Spring 2023 MECA
Continuing Education Courses
A Complete Guide to Band Warmups
This class will study how to set up your rehearsals for success through engaging techniques and learning activities by maximizing the most important time for teaching: the warmup. Topics will include: review of published resources, rote exercises, developing tone/tuning/timing/ technique/theory through daily fundamentals, musically centered ensemble setups and classroom management, chorales, use of the Yamaha Harmony Director, sigh treading, and more. This class will center around viewing weekly video lessons that bring exposure to time-tested ideas, as well as new and innovative techniques.
Darcy Williams is the head band director at Stiles Middle School. Born to parents who met in their beginner trombone class, Darcy is 100% a product of the Texas music system. Her own musical education began in her father’s band hall in Harper, Texas where she spent her afternoons learning to play any instrument she could find in the storage closet while waiting to go home. Darcy received her Bachelor of Music in 2004 from West Texas A&M University.
Mrs. Williams bands have performed at The Midwest Clinic in Chicago twice (2015, 2021), the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, and are consistently state finalists in the TMEA Honor Band contest.
In addition to teaching Mrs. Williams clinics both students and music educators across the United States. She is the author of two books on education: Teaching Rhythm Logically and Pacing for Success: Beginner Band.
Darcy is married to John Vogt, and together they have a future All-State Band member – their daughter Caroline – and 2 spoiled dachshunds, Lucy and Jack.
Alex Kaminsky was appointed Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at VanderCook College of Music in 2019 after a highly successful tenure at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Previous to that, Kaminsky led the band programs at Buchholz High School, Lincoln High School, Auburndale High School, and Cocoa Beach J/S High School, all of which excelled under his direction. He holds degrees from the University of Florida and Indiana University, is active as an adjudicator, and is in demand as a guest conductor/clinician across the country. Throughout his 30-year career as a high school band director, Kaminsky’s ensembles consistently earned Superior ratings at all levels of evaluation. In addition to earning straight Superior ratings at the Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA) State Concert Band Assessment beginning in 1997 for an unprecedented 21 years (the last 11 years with both his first and second bands), he is the only director in the history of the Florida Bandmasters Association to have had three concert bands from one school earn straight Superior ratings at State, and he achieved this three times (2009, 2018 and 2019).
Kaminsky’s high school bands performed at the Midwest Clinic (2005, 2009, 2014, and 2018), ABA National Convention (2014), CBDNA/NBA Southern Division Conference (2004 and 2014), FMEA State Conference (2014), Music for All National Concert Band Festival (2002 and 2012), and the National Wind Band Festival at Carnegie Hall (2009 and 2018). In 2018, the Stoneman Douglas Wind Symphony was named a Mark of Excellence National Wind Band Honors winner as one of only ten 6A bands in the nation. His marching bands consistently placed in the Florida Marching Band State Championship Finals, winning several FMBC State Championships (including 4 of his last 6 years as a high school band director), as well as being named a finalist band at BOA regional competitions.
Kaminsky has presented his clinic “How Can I Get My Band to Sound Like That” at various conferences and workshops, and his hands-on rehearsal demonstrations for the annual “How To Fix It” series at the FMEA Professional Development Conference received high acclaim with over 900 attendees in 2019. He has been awarded the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence numerous times and has been recognized with several achievement awards for education including Florida’s 2019 FMEA Secondary Music Educator of the Year Award, FBA Oliver Hobbs Award, FBA Andrew J. Crew Award, National Honor Roll’s Outstanding American Teacher, Nobel Educator of Distinction, Teacher of the Year, and is listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Kaminsky is an elected member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and the American School Band Directors’ Association, and also holds memberships in CBDNA, NBA, NAfME, and Phi Beta Mu. He has served on many state and national committees, and currently serves on the ABA Sousa/Ostwald Award Committee and the ABA School Bands Task Force. Kaminsky is a National Board Certified Teacher and has been featured in several periodicals including The Instrumentalist, Teaching Music, Halftime Magazine, School Band & Orchestra Magazine’s “50 Directors Who Make A Difference” and Home Magazine’s “12 Exceptional Educators.”
Mark Poole, originally from Mesquite, Texas, is in his fourth year at Lone Star High School. The Lone Star High School Band has had great success at the local, state, and national level. The Lone Star Wind Symphony was a TMEA Honor Band Finalist in 2019, placing 6th overall in the entire State. All 3 band concert bands are sweepstakes award winners, and the Wind Symphony was recognized as a National Windband Honor Recipient of the Mark of Excellence in 2019 and 2021. The LSHS Marching band returned to the State Marching Contest in 2021 and 2019 as a finalist. The marching band has been a finalist at every local competition, 2nd place at the Little Elm Classic on the Lake (2018, 2019) and was awarded Grand Champion at the Denton Golden Triangle contest in 2018, 2021. The LSHS Band was named a BOA Regional Finalists in 2021.
Prior to Lone Star he was the director of bands at Forney High School for 12 years. Under his tenure, the Forney band had great success at the local, state, and National level. The marching band made appearances at the Texas State Marching Contest 5 consecutive times. (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017) The band was awarded “Best in Class” at the Mesquite Marching Festival 8 times and numerous Grand Championships at the Mesquite Marching Contest, DeSoto Marching Classic, Mansfield Preview of Champions, and the Frisco Centennial Marching Contest. The Wind Ensemble was awarded consistent Sweepstakes, several “Best in Class” awards, named a 4-time National Windband Honor recipient, 2-time Grand Champion of the Dallas Winds Invitational, advanced to the TMEA Honor band Area contest in 2011. 2013, 2015, and 2017 and named a TMEA State Honor band finalist in 2013 and 2017 (5th overall).
Prior to his appointment at Forney, Mr. Poole was the director of bands at Nimitz High School in Irving, Texas, director of bands for the Jasper Independent School district, and at Southwood High in school in Shreveport, Louisiana. His bands received numerous sweepstakes awards and enjoyed great success at both the region and state levels (Texas and Louisiana). In 2003, the JHS Symphonic band was awarded the OPS (Outstanding Performance Series) award from ATSSB.
Mr. Poole received a degree in music education and saxophone performance from the University of North Texas in Denton. While there, he performed with many top performing organizations in both the classical and jazz idioms, serving as a principal player and section leader in many of those groups. He was under the tutelage of fine instructors such as: Robert Winslow, Dennis Fisher, Tim Ishi, Jim Riggs, and Eric Nestler. While obtaining his undergraduate, Mr. Poole taught private saxophone and clarinet in the D/FW area. After completing his undergraduate, Mr. Poole graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern State University the following year, receiving his master’s degree in conducting. As a graduate assistant he was director of the Symphony Band, jazz band, basketball pep-band, marching band assistant, and assisted and conducted the Wind Symphony. He also served as a private instructor and arranger for the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band.
In addition to his teaching, Mr. Poole has performed professionally with groups such as: Texas Wind Symphony, Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, Natchitoches Symphony Orchestra, Roy Clark, Ben Vereen, Bill Causey Big Band, Pete Peterson Big Band, Just Friends Big Band, and many other groups in the DFW area. Mr. Poole also serves as a clinician/adjudicator.
Mr. Poole currently resides in Little Elm, TX with his wife Cyndi.
Kim Cooley is in her nineteenth year teaching and nineth year as Director of Bands at Creek Valley Middle School. Her responsibilities include: directing Honor Winds, assisting the Symphonic and Jazz Bands, and teaching beginning flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, and saxophone classes.
Under the direction of Mrs. Cooley, the Honor Winds has been awarded Superior ratings at UIL, Peak Festivals, and the Dallas Winds Festival. The Honor Winds was also awarded Best In Class and Most Outstanding Middle School Band at Peak Festivals and was named a National Winner in the Mark of Excellence Contests. Recently, the Creek Valley Honor Winds were selected to perform at the 70th Annual Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago in December 2016.
Prior to her appointment, she was a graduate assistant and conductor of the University Wind Ensemble at West Texas A&M, under Dr. Gary Garner, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree. Her professional affiliations include the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association, and Texas Music Adjudicators Association.
John McAllister (b. 1985) is an educator and composer. He has taught band at all levels of secondary music education and has been teaching since 2008. Currently he serves as Coordinator of Bands for Spartanburg School District 7, as well as Director of Bands at Spartanburg High School. During his time in Spartanburg, he has led numerous ensembles to successful performances and superior ratings at local and regional festivals. John was fortunate enough to be selected as Teacher of the Year for McCracken Middle School in 2014 and Spartanburg High School in 2020. In 2021, John was named a winner of the DeLucia Award in Music Education for contributions to the profession.
As a composer, his band compositions and arrangements center around creating engaging and exciting music for young performers. In addition to writing for performing ensembles, John also writes for the screen. He has written the score for several films, video games, and other forms of media with placements ranging from national television (CBS) to popular Youtube channels (i.e. HISHE). His collaborations with documentary filmmaker Kane Farabaugh have led to multiple Emmy Award winning films. Writing for the screen has led John to combine his love for teaching music and composition. He maintains John McAllister Music, a website full of engaging and often “cinematic” resources for music educators, with the majority of them accessible for free.
Learning Platform Information - Online Courses Only
Schoology is a learning management system that allows you to interact directly with your instructors, fellow students, and members of the greater VanderCook community.
The evening before your class begins, be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you receive credentials, visit www.online.vandercook.edu to login.
Some courses have specific online chat meeting times (please see course descriptions), while others have a flexible meeting schedule. You can expect all courses to meet together in a live online chat. If a live meeting time doesn’t work, you can work with your instructor to make other arrangements.
More information about Schoology can be found at www.schoology.com
Please see specific software/hardware requirements in the course description.
Online course grades are available within two weeks of the course(s) completion. If you need a transcript, please CLICK HERE to access the online transcript request form. For a faster turnaround time, please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).
Glen Schneider is proud to be a music educator, currently at Metea Valley High School in Aurora, IL, where he teaches a variety of wind and percussion classes, and directs the Metea Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Marching Mustangs. Schneider has taught at Metea Valley since its opening in 2009 where the Music Department has received the Grammy Signature Gold Award, The American Prize, and has been featured at numerous performances from the University of Illinois Superstate Band Festival, to the Illinois Music Education Conference, to the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic. He is also an Adjunct Instructor at VanderCook College of Music (Chicago, IL), where he teaches and writes graduate level professional development classes for the MECA Continuing Education program. He holds the position of Associate Conductor of the Naperville Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Previous teaching appointments include Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, IL, Oswego Community School District 308 in Oswego, IL, and Fox Chapel Area School District in Pittsburgh, PA. He received his education from Duquesne University (Bachelor of Science in Music Education), VanderCook College of Music (Master of Music Education), andConcordia University Chicago (Master of Arts in Educational Technology).
He has served as guest clinician/conductor for the Western Sun Conference Honor Band, District 230 High School Honor Band, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Middle Level Honor Band, and has presented clinic sessions at the Illinois Music Education Conference and the Illinois Percussive Arts Society. He has authored review articles for the Music Educators Journal and Teaching Music, and regularly writes a column called “MAC Corner” in the School, Band and Orchestra Magazine. He has served in positions for the Fox Valley Music Festival, IMEA District IX, VanderCook College Alumni Association Board, ARTSpeaks 204, the Alyssa Alvin Foundation For Hope, and is an educational consultant/writer for the NAMM Foundation’s Music Achievement Council. He is a member of Phi Beta Mu, and the Vic Firth Education Team. He has received the National Band Association Citation of Excellence Award, and the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award, TeachHUB’s Making A Difference Award, and the Metea Valley Tireless Teacher Award. Most importantly he is supported by his wife Ashlee and their five children, Corinne, Caleb, Calvin, Clara, and Cole.