Mary K. Schneider is Professor of Conducting and Director of Bands at Eastern Michigan University where she conducts the Wind Symphony, teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting and music education, directs the Music Now contemporary music festival, and guides the vision of the comprehensive band program at EMU. In addition, Dr. Schneider was appointed and began serving as interim Associate Director of the School of Music & Dance in 2018. Prior to her appointment at Eastern Michigan University a decade ago, Dr. Schneider served on the music faculty at the University of Minnesota for three years.
Active nationally and internationally as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, Dr. Schneider is a strong advocate for new wind music, and maintains an active interest in that area of research. She has participated in commissioning and/or premiering over two dozen new works for wind band, and her ensembles frequently collaborate with a diverse group of composers. In addition to published articles in the GIA book series, Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Schneider has presented on the topic of wind repertoire at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, and is a frequent invited lecturer on the celebrated American composer, John Corigliano, and his Symphony No. 3 for large wind ensemble, “Circus Maximus.”
Dr. Schneider brings a diverse background to the podium and to her students in the classroom. She holds a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied conducting with Jerry Junkin. She has also earned degrees in horn performance and music education from the New England Conservatory of Music, and the University of Connecticut, having graduated with Distinction in Performance honors from the former. Elected to the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 2013, Schneider is President-Elect of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), and has served two terms as President of the Mid-American Conference Band Directors Association. She is a contributing founder of the Music Education Alliance, which sponsors the William P. Foster project, a collaborative initiative between CBDNA, Music For All, and the National Band Association. Additionally, she serves on the Music Education Committee and has chaired the Diversity Committee for CBDNA, and has professional affiliations with the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, and holds honorary membership in the national band fraternities of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.