2024 Summer Conducting Symposium

2024 Dates announced!

July 15, 16, and 17, 2024

Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center

Seton Hill University is proud to host the second annual Summer Wind Band Conducting Symposium with special guest Dr. Courtney Snyder, Associate Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Conducting at the University of Michigan. Join music educators from around the Western PA area and beyond for our three-day event filled with professional development and music-making. The workshop is designed for band directors at all stages of their careers to develop their conducting and teaching skills.

We are pleased to offer two tracks for participation: Full Participant (Max. 10) and Auditor (no limit). Full Participants will engage in all clinics and conduct several pieces with the Westmoreland Symphonic Winds (WSW). Full participants are expected to perform with the WSW while others conduct the ensemble. Auditor will participate in all clinics and observe/perform with the ensemble during the symposium. The auditor option is designed for any conductor interested in learning more about technique and teaching, without the pressure of preparing scores.

Conducting repertoire (to be announced at a later date) will represent standard works from a variety of grade levels. Daily clinics will address topics such as rehearsal techniques, literature and programming, conducting technique, and continued musical growth.


$300 Full Participant Fee (Conducts the large ensemble twice per day, participates in all clinics)
$75 Auditor Fee (Observes and/or plays in large ensemble, participates in all clinics.)

Click here to register

Daily Schedule:

9 am - Clinic
10 am - Large Ensemble Conducting Session
noon - Meal (Included)
1 pm - Clinic
2 pm - Large Ensemble Conducting Session
4 pm - end

Act 48 Credit available


Dr. Courtney Snyder, Associate Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Conducting at the University of MichiganHeadshot of Courtney Snyder

Dr. Courtney Snyder is Associate Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Conducting at the University of Michigan, where she conducts the Concert Band, teaches conducting, and conducts the Michigan Youth Symphonic Band. Under her artistic leadership, the Concert Band was invited to perform at the College Band Directors Association North-Central Division Conference.

Previously, Snyder served as the assistant director of bands and director of athletic bands at the University of Nebraska-Omaha where she conducted the “Maverick” Marching Band, conducted the Concert Band, served as associate conductor of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and taught courses in conducting, music education, and brass methods. While in Omaha, Snyder also served as music director for the Nebraska Wind Symphony, which, under her direction, was invited to perform at the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association annual conference. Prior to teaching at the collegiate level, Snyder taught high school and middle school band and orchestra in the Michigan public schools.

Dr. Snyder is an active guest conductor and clinician. She has presented at national and international conferences including the Midwest Clinic, World Association of Symphonic Band Ensembles, College Band Directors National Association, College Music Society, and Women Band Directors International. Her current projects include research in conducting movement kinesiology, promoting equity through programming and commissioning works by women and minority composers, and building a strong community of women band directors. She is President of Women Band Directors International and serves on the editorial board for The Woman Conductor journal.

Snyder is published in Music Educators Journal, The Instrumentalist, several volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, School Band & Orchestra Magazine, The Woman Conductor, and Association of Concert Bands Journal. Her chapter “Trailblazers: Five Pioneering Female Band Directors Recount Their Journeys Over the Last 50 Years” in the book The Horizon Leans Forward…Stories of Courage, Strength, and Triumph of Underrepresented Communities in the Wind Band Field will be published in December 2020. In 2018 she received Tau Beta Sigma’s Paula Crider Award. She earned 2nd Place of the 2017-2018 American Price in Conducting, Band/Wind Ensemble Division Competition and was given a Citation of Excellence award by the National Band Association.

Dr. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Michigan (DMA – conducting), Baylor University (MM – conducting) and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (BME). She is a member of College Band Directors National Association, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, Women Band Directors International, National Band Association, National Association for Music Education, College Music Society, Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, and Pi Kappa Lambda.

Dr. Christopher Marra - Assistant Professor of Music, Director of Instrumental Activities, Seton Hill UniversityHeadshot of Chris Marra

Dr. Christopher M. Marra is currently the Director of Instrumental Activities at Seton Hill University. As a part of his duties, Dr. Marra conducts the Westmoreland Symphonic Winds, the Griffin concert band, and teaches courses in music education, conducting, and brass. He holds a B.S. in Music Education from Duquesne University, a MM in Music Education with an emphasis in wind band conducting from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. in Music Education with an emphasis in wind band conducting from the University of Michigan. Prior to his university teaching, Dr. Marra taught high school band and orchestra for 10 years in San Jose, CA where he held board positions with the CMEA Bay Section and the California Band Directors Association. He is an active member and presenter at a variety of state, national, and international education organizations including: National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA), Michigan Music Educators Association (MMEA), Indiana Music Educators Association (IMEA), and California Band Directors Association (CBDA), and American Educational Research Association (AERA). Dr. Marra authored and co-authored several articles in the field of music education and has been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education (JRME), the Journal of Music Teacher Education (JMTE), and the Music Educator’s Journal (MEJ). He is a contributing author to chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Preservice Music Teacher Education and Critical Issues in Music Education: Contemporary Theory and Practice both published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Marra is an active guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator for several state and national organizations including Drum Corps International (DCI). His research interests include: social influence in music education, music teacher retention, and undergraduate teacher preparation.

For questions, contact Michelle Walters, Director of Community Relations for the School of Visual and Performing Arts walters@setonhill.edu