Mary Schneider is associate professor of music and director of bands at Eastern Michigan University. She conducts the wind symphony, teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting and music education, and oversees and guides all aspects of the university’s comprehensive band program. Active both nationally and internationally as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor, Schneider is a strong advocate for new wind music. In addition to being a contributing author for the series Teaching Music through Performance in Band, she has engaged in extensive research and writing and given numerous presentations on Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 3 for large wind ensemble, “Circus Maximus.”
David Toney is currently assistant professor of acting and directing at Theatre VCU at Virginia Commonwealth University. Toney’s playwriting credits include the plays Kingdom, The Soul Collector, and The Last of Midnight; and the musicals Elysian Fields, Coming Home, and The Snowy Day. His film and television writing credits include staff writer for Fox’s In Living Color, screenwriter for New Line Cinema’s House Party III, and head writer and story editor for ESPN, Jumbo Pictures, and Sony Wonder. For his screenplay Sticks and Stones, Toney was named co-winner of the 1995 Script to Screen screenplay competition, which is sponsored by the Independent Feature Project and Writers Guild of America.
Jill Trinka is well known by children, parents, and music educators as a dynamic, winsome, and energetic teacher and performer. Her performances bring new life to the musical and cultural treasures of American folk music as she accompanies herself on the autoharp, banjo, dulcimer, and guitar. She has made four recordings of folksongs, singing games, and play parties for kids of all ages and has three collaborative recordings with John Feierabend. Her latest publication is a DVD entitled Jill Trinka: The Bass Hall Children’s Concerts (Ft. Worth, TX). She is a past president of the Organization of American Kodály Educators and received its Outstanding Educator Award in 2003.
Gustave Weltsek has performed and written for and with young people in a wide variety of socially relevant educational theatre productions and classes. He is the founding director of the First Coast Children’s Theatre Company in Jacksonville, Florida, which specializes in multicultural and cross-cultural children’s theatre performances. He runs the Indiana University Educational Theatre Licensing Program, whose outreach includes creative dramatics classes for young children and after-school programs at community theatres and local Boys and Girls Clubs. Weltsek is a member of the American Alliance for Education board, for which he is the current Chair of Research and Scholarship. He is also part of the twelve-person committee that is writing the new United States National Standards for Drama and Theatre Education.