by Asami Nelson
A new band director is welcomed into the Big Green Marching Machine as Lee Schneider makes her way into Reedley High School from Rock Valley, Iowa. She previously taught middle school bands in the Rock Valley Community School District where she spent most of her time teaching small group lessons or even individual ones. Schneider earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and her Master’s in Clarinet Performance from the University of South Dakota.
Moving to another city is a challenge for everyone, yet Schneider also faced the difficulties of moving across the nation to California for the first time. She commented about her transition to Reedley, “Moving to a new community and school district was a very scary move for me, but it has turned out to be one of the best choices I’ve ever made. I believe that we make our own paths in life, however, this move to California has me thinking that maybe fate has something to do with it.” In Reedley, Schneider teaches Marching/Concert band at RHS along with Individual Instruments, in which she is also the resident clarinet expert, and co-directs the RHS Pep Band. At Navelencia, she teaches the grade 6-8 bands. Schneider is also excited to become involved in more organizations and clubs around the campus.
Regarding her experience with the RHS band so far, she mentions, “I genuinely like the four other directors I work with at RHS. I enjoy having my own middle school bands, and I feel like I have already been able to make connections with my students. Even though I come from somewhere completely different, I feel like I fit in more than I ever have before.”The students have also begun to bond with the new director. Senior clarinet player Kristen Rodriguez claims, “Some people may think she is strict, but she is very kind, and it’s really nice to have a clarinet teacher. She really cares what we sound like, and I like her as a teacher.”
Schneider’s life calling has always been music. She is extremely excited to have found a job that she would not give up for another. ”I think I got really lucky. I couldn’t be happier with the position I’ve ended up in. I love the work that I do, my co-workers, the place we live, and I have genuinely enjoyed getting to know my students. I believe that my experiences teaching more than just band have shown me the bigger picture of music education and teaching individual lessons has given me a deeper understanding of each instrument.” She looks forward to traveling, playing, and making memories with the RHS band in the upcoming season, and those that will follow, and making a positive impact on not only the band, but also the school as a whole.
You can find many more Reedley articles in our Reedley News category, including two more in this week’s issue!