Mary K. Schneider is Professor of Conducting and Director of Bands at Eastern Michigan University where she conducts the EMU Wind Symphony, teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting and music education, and oversees the comprehensive university bands program. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Schneider held a teaching position at the University of Minnesota School of Music and had a successful career as a secondary school instrumental music educator.
Active nationally and internationally as a guest conductor and clinician, Dr. Schneider has served as an adjudicator for the Music For All National Concert Band Festival, the Thailand International Wind Symphony Competition, and the Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival. She served as clinician and chief adjudicator for the Victorian School Music Festival in Melbourne, Australia, and featured instructor of the ABODA Conducting Symposium in Sydney, New South Wales. Schneider has been an invited guest conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band, Dallas Winds, Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony, Concordia Santa Fe, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Festival & Staff Bands, and Wheaton Municipal Band, and is a frequent guest conductor of regional and All-State honor bands throughout the United States.
Elected to the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in 2013, Dr. Schneider served as President of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association from 2021-2023—the first woman elected to leadership since the inception of the division—and currently serves on the Music Education Committee of CBDNA. A strong advocate for new wind music, she has participated in commissioning and/or premiering over three dozen 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, she has presented on the topic of wind band repertoire at the Midwest International 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.”
Schneider holds a doctoral degree in conducting from the University of Texas at Austin, and 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. She is a member of MSBOA, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, and serves as Michigan Chair for the National Band Association.