Winning Strategies for a Positive Band Environment: Leadership, Accountability & Community

June 8July 31, 2020

Managing a band program can be a daunting task, but it doesn't need to be. This course will provide multiple strategies for building a “family” atmosphere within your ensemble that can breed a culture of excellence, accountability and community. By encouraging positive student leadership opportunities, holding students accountable for their own musicianship, and embracing the role of school ambassador that is often required of bands, a director can create an environment that is sustainable and thriving, while also serving as a vital part of the community.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Create a student leadership skills development plan;
  • Construct a plan for the development of musical independence in all student musicians; and
  • Outline strategies for positive ensemble, school and community engagement.


Dr. Myra Rhoden

f-57-162-9891771_2YYgWBhc_Rhoden_Photo_2019Dr. Myra Rhoden serves as the Director of Bands and Fine Arts Department Chairperson at Fayette County High School in Fayetteville, GA. Located approximately 20 miles south of downtown of Atlanta, the Fayette County High School Band program has performed at national and international venues and consists of a competitive marching band and winter guard, three concert bands, a jazz band, and several chamber ensembles. Recent invitational performances include the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) In-Service Conference, the Kennesaw State University Concert Band Festival, and honor band festivals at the University of Alabama, the University of South Carolina, and the University of Georgia. Her marching bands have been finalists at Bands of America Regional and Super-Regional Championships and have won numerous Grand Championships at area competitions.

Dr. Rhoden has been awarded the National Band Association Citation of Excellence on four occasions, has been named STAR Teacher at FCHS, was named Teacher of the Year on two occasions, was selected for membership in the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, and was presented the 1995 Sallie Mae First Class Teacher Award, a national award given to one teacher in each state for an outstanding first year of teaching. She has recently presented clinics at the Music for All Summer Symposium and the GMEA In-Service Conference, and was named the National Band Director of the Year by the National Association for Music Education for the 2017-2018 school year. She has had the distinct pleasure of being a guest conductor for the United States Army Field Band of Washington, D.C. and the Tara Winds of Atlanta. She is the founder of the Athena Music and Leadership Camp, a summer band and orchestra camp for middle- and high school-aged girls that was created to promote musical excellence while emphasizing self-esteem and leadership skills; and the New Notes Band Camps, summer day camp programs for middle school musicians in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

Before joining the faculty at Fayette County, Dr. Rhoden taught at the middle and high school levels in Alabama. A native of Tuskegee, AL, she received the Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees in Music Education from the University of Alabama and the Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Rhoden serves as a GMEA All-State Band Organizer and has served as the GMEA District VI Band Chairperson. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern United States (SEUS) Honor Band Clinic at Troy University, has served on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Bandmasters Association, and is honored to be a clinician and adjudicator throughout the southeast.

Dr. Zandra Bell-McRoy

Dr._Zandra_Bell-McRoy_WebsiteA native of Monroe, GA, Dr. Zandra Bell-McRoy has been a music educator since 2002. Upon graduating from the University of Georgia in 2001 with degrees in music and music education, Dr. Bell-McRoy began her career as a high school band director in Troup County and later in Clayton County. She has also served as a middle school band director in Clayton, Walton and Gwinnett counties. Bands under her direction have consistently received superior and excellent ratings. Her most recent appointment is as Director of Bands at Cedar Shoals High School, in which she oversees all aspects of the comprehensive band program as well as serving as a teacher leader.

Dr. Bell-McRoy received her Doctorate of Education in Music Education from the University of Georgia under the direction of Dr. Roy Legette in 2014. While studying at the University of Georgia, Dr. Bell-McRoy served as a graduate teaching assistant, earning awards for teaching and being selected to participate in the Future Faculty Program. She maintains an active research presence, being invited to present at conferences and symposia across the country. She was honored to serve as the Tau Beta Sigma Women in Music Series speaker for the Southeastern Division Conference in Athens, GA, in 2011. Her research interests include multicultural music education, gender and music education, music teacher preparation, and music teacher evaluation and supervision.

Professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA), National Band Association (NBA), American Educational Research Association (AERA), Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Delta Pi, Tau Beta Sigma (Honorary), Sigma Alpha Iota, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Dr. Bell-McRoy serves as a flutist with Tara Winds Symphonic Band, as well as a freelance performer around the Atlanta area. Dr. Bell-McRoy is an active clinician and adjudicator in the state of Georgia.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288