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December, 17, 2021
08:30 AM - 09:30 AM


W 184


Building From the Ground Up: A Successful Blueprint Created for Middle School Band Programs

Clinic Synopsis:

Our clinic will demonstrate how specific middle school rehearsal techniques are incorporated into a regular rehearsal situation – some even student lead and created. Each technique can be differentiated to the skill level of any ensemble and can be embedded into concert music instruction. This lends itself to naturally synthesizing the fundamental concepts of performing within an instrumental music ensemble, while maintaining high quality instruction with positive results.

Mary Crandell - Biographical Information

A graduate of the University of South Dakota (B.A. and M.M), Mary Crandell, taught in LeCenter (MN) and Clear Lake (IA) before her tenure began at Waukee Middle School from 2004 to present. Mary was the first woman to serve as Jazz Educators of Iowa President (2017-2019) and serves the Iowa Bandmasters Association as State Historian (2009-present). Mary has taught with Deb Dunn for the past 17 years, sharing the responsibilities of the 6th and 7th grade concert bands, small group and master class lessons, and 7th grade jazz band and jazz combos. WMS Concert Bands have consistently been awarded runner-up or first place at the annual Adventureland Junior High Festival of Bands (IA). Jazz Bands have earned consistent division I or I+ ratings at district jazz festivals and in 2011 was chosen to perform at the IBA State Conference. Mary and Deb have presented sessions on Embedding Jazz Into the Beginning Band Program, at state conferences and at the 2015 NAfME Conference in Nashville, TN. The duo has also presented Rehearsal Techniques for Middle School Concert Bands at the state level. An article printed in School Band and Orchestra (August 2017), featured Mary and Deb’s band rehearsal techniques at Waukee Middle School. Most recently, Mary and Deb collaborated with two Iowa band directors on an extensive jazz education presentation, Part One: “Nuts & Bolts” of Teaching Beginning Jazz Band: How to select, set-up & rehearse. AND Part Two: “Nuts & Bolts” of Teaching Beginning Jazz Improvisation: Multiple approaches to fit your objectives, at the 2019 IBA Conference.

Deb Dunn - Biographical Information

A graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Deb Dunn started her instrumental music career at Northwest Webster Community Schools in Barnum (IA), where she was the 5 - 12 band director. Her position at Barnum shifted to grades 6-8 within the Manson-Northwest Webster Community Schools. In the fall of 1992, she became the 6-8 middle school band director in the Waukee Community School District. From a middle school band staff of one and currently a middle school staff of five, Deb has experienced the vast changes within the growing WCSD. Deb has been a member of the Iowa Bandmasters Association throughout her career. Deb was chosen by the School Band & Orchestra Magazine in 2020, to represent Iowa in the annual Fifty Teachers That Make A Difference article. Deb is actively involved with her church, where she is currently the keyboard player in the band for contemporary services and the adult choir accompanist. Deb and her husband, Jess, have two children, Mikaela and Blake. Both are actively involved in music. Camping and visiting National Parks are favorite pastimes of the Dunn family. Deb and Mary Crandell have collaboratively taught and shared responsibilities for the 6th and 7th grade concert bands, small group and master class lessons, varied chamber ensembles, 7th grade jazz band and jazz combos.