Professional Development

In Case Study: Private School Outreach, we learned about the Mater Dei Music Academy. The middle school students in the program join the Mater Dei High School band — a close-knit group of about 50 — for several performances throughout the year. To form a cohesive unit among students from a variety of schools and ages, Taylor Smith — director of the Music Academy and associate band director at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California — created a mentorship program.
Yamaha Master Educator Richard Floyd is state director of music emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin and the musical director and conductor of the Austin Symphonic Band. A recognized authority on conducting and music advocacy. Below, he pens a letter to his younger self, sharing advice, anecdotes and inspiration for a fulfilling career in music education. 
Daniel Berard is director of bands at Grain Valley High School in Missouri. Prior to this, he served as the director of bands at Fossil Ridge High School in Colorado and was part of the team that opened the school in 2004 and oversaw the explosive growth of the award-winning concert and marching band programs there. 
Dr. Elizabeth Lolli is the superintendent of the Dayton (Ohio) Public Schools (DPS), an urban district of 14,000 pre-K to high school students. In 2016, she took the bold step of bringing back the DPS Music Education Program after a 10-year absence.
Marcia Neel is senior director of education for Yamaha Corporation of America. She is president of Music Education Consultants Inc., and serves as the education advisor to the Music Achievement Council. In this capacity, she presents sessions with practical success strategies for music educators at state music conferences, district in-service days and dealer workshops. Neel is also a Yamaha Master Educator. 
Dr. Emily Threinen, director of bands and associate professor of music at the University of Minnesota, talked about her teaching philosophy in the blog post, Emily Threinen: Music's North Star. Here, she focuses on how music educators have an opportunity to strive for inclusive musical experiences and repertoire for students and audiences. "Our music selections highlight our values. Making decisions on programming is incredibly personal, complicated, sometimes controversial and critical," she says.
Gary Lewis is the director of Orchestral Studies and the Bob and Judy Charles Professor of Conducting in the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he conducts the University Symphony Orchestra and oversees the entire orchestra program. He is also a Yamaha Master Educator and Music Director and Conductor of the Midland-Odessa (TX) Symphony Orchestra.
Richard Floyd is state director of music emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin and the musical director and conductor of the Austin Symphonic Band. His 55-plus-year career as a music educator and conductor began at Richardson Junior High School and J.J. Pearce High School before he moved to the collegiate level at the University of South Florida, Baylor University and the University of Texas. A recognized authority on conducting and music advocacy, Floyd is a frequent clinician, adjudicator and conductor. He is a Yamaha Master Educator.
Larry Gookin, distinguished professor and emeritus professor of music at Central Washington University, retired in 2015 after 34 years as the university's director of bands. He is the former principal trombone of the Eugene and Yakima Symphony Orchestras and is emeritus artistic director and conductor of the Seattle Wind Symphony.
Anthony Maiello is professor of music at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He was awarded the title of "university professor," the highest rank given to Mason faculty. A graduate of Ithaca College with bachelor's and master's degrees, Maiello taught in public schools and at the Crane School of Music, Potsdam College of SUNY. He is the founder and conductor and artistic director of the American Festival Pops Orchestra. Maiello is a Yamaha Master Educator.

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