Cheryl Floyd has been the director of bands at Hill Country Middle School in Austin, Texas, for over 25 years. She was one of the first females and the first middle school band director to be elected to the American Bandmasters Association. Floyd has served as co-principal flute with the Austin Symphonic Band since 1985. She is a Yamaha Master Educator.
Q. When did you know that you were going to make music the focus of your professional life?
A. Initially, I chose the flute as my instrument because of a program the Dallas Symphony had for elementary schools in the area. I was in love with the woodwind quintet and wanted very much to play the flute so that I could play the flute part in their arrangement of "Peter and the Wolf!" In high school, I was thrilled to realize that I could teach and make music as a career for the rest of my life. Prior to that, I wanted to be an astronaut!
A. Reading, yoga, walking on the treadmill, good friends.
A. There are a few. Once I wore one blue shoe and one black shoe for a concert. Another time while talking about intonation at Murchison Middle School, instead of saying "pitch," I said the "b" word! The kids laughed so hard! And finally, I can't believe I actually rented "The Blues Brothers" to show at a middle school band pizza party. Luckily, no one complained!
A. Hard to say. I love "Candide Suite" by Leonard Bernstein. I love to listen to it, and I love to perform it as well!
A. Because it is! Mothers sing lullabies to their babies. Children sing nursery rhymes. Students learn important mathematical/ historical facts to music. Countries have national anthems. Every civilization has made music to celebrate good times and lift up those who have fallen on bad times.
A. Sunday champagne brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin with my hubby.
A. My grandmother, Hazel Chisum. But she would want to fix the lunch, I'm certain! We would talk about when she and my grandfather first married, all the wonderful things that have happened in my life, and her great grandson, Weston Floyd. I just recently discovered that she played guitar!
A. People who say mean things, and people who park poorly!
A. Everyone is inherently musical. It's crucial to develop that talent in every person. There are so many studies that validate the importance of music education for every child. Music is a language I believe everyone should be comfortable with in their daily lives.