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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Summer 2024 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


A Complete Guide to Band Warmups


June 10-August 2, 2024

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits


$1,125 is due in full with registration.


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.


Guest Instructors:
Alex Kaminsky:

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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: 

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Mark Poole, originally from Mesquite, Texas, is in his sixth year at Lone Star High School. The Lone Star High School Band has had great success at the local, state, and national level. The Wind Symphony was invited to perform at the 76th Annual Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in 2022. The Lone Star Wind Symphony was a TMEA Honor Band Finalist in 2019, placing 6th overall and was awarded the 2024 TMEA 5A Honor Band this past year. All 3 band concert bands are sweepstakes award winners.  The Wind Symphony was named Grand Champion at the 2022 and 2024 Dallas Winds Invitational and was recognized as a National Windband Honor Recipient of the Mark of Excellence in 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023. The LSHS Marching band advanced to the State Marching Contest in 2019, 2021, and 2023. The band placed 12th in 2019 and 7th in Finals in 2023.

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 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 (5th overall) and 2017.

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 degree, 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-Hawbaker: 


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.

Josh Kaminsky:

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Josh Kaminsky is currently serving as music educator at Metea Valley High School. His curricular responsibilities include three different concert bands and a music production course. He also works with the instrumental and vocal jazz programs, the Marching Mustangs, and is the faculty advisor of Metea’s Tri-M Music Honor’s Society. Prior to teaching at Metea Valley, Mr. Kaminsky taught middle school in Indian Prairie School District #204. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from Elmhurst University in 2007 and his master’s in music education at VanderCook College of Music in 2014. Mr. Kaminsky has been a guest clinician for ILMEA District IV and IX junior and senior jazz festivals, worked with numerous bands across Illinois, and has also served as a clinician for multiple festivals in the Chicago-land area. He has maintained a private studio of trombone students and plays trombone in various jazz groups in the Chicago-land area. Mr. Kaminsky lives in Oswego, IL with his wife, Melissa, their blended family of five children, Emma, Hailee, Sophie, Hailey, and Luca, and their dogs, Maverick and Nala.



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Glen Schneider

MECA Faculty

Glen Schneider is an innovator in music education and has enjoyed a comprehensive career spanning 23 years in K-12 and collegiate level instrumental music. Since 2014, he has served at VanderCook College of Music as a course creator, instructor, and advisor for the MECA program. He is also the founder of Seven Innovations, which provides consulting services for teachers and organizations seeking professional development, continuing education, student leadership, clinics, keynote presentations, marketing strategy, business operations, and business leadership. After two decades of leadership in music education, his skills as a visionary and integrator have led him into the business world where, as General Manager of Kendall Partners, he is responsible for tremendous operational and financial growth for Chicago’s #1 Home Buyer.

Still active and extremely passionate about helping in-service teachers succeed and develop their passion for music education, he is appreciative of the opportunities to have taught at Wheaton College Conservatory of Music as the Director of the Symphonic Band (2019-2022), Naperville Youth Symphony Orchestra (2018-2022), Metea Valley High School in Aurora, IL (2009-2022), where the Music Department received the Grammy Signature Gold Award, The American Prize, and was featured at numerous performances from the University of Illinois Superstate Band Festival to the Illinois Music Education Conference to the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic. Other teaching appointments include Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, IL (2009-2010), Oswego Community School District 308 in Oswego, IL (2002-2009), and Fox Chapel Area School District in Pittsburgh, PA (2001-2002).

He received his education from Duquesne University (Bachelor of Science in Music Education), VanderCook College of Music (Master of Music Education), and Concordia University Chicago (Master of Arts in Educational Technology). He has served as a 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, “MAC Corner” in the School Band and Orchestra Magazine, and Yamaha Education. 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 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, 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.

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