Michael Berning, coordinator of music for the Kettering Schools, had a chance meeting with Marcia Neel several years ago at the OMEA Professional Development Conference. "Marcia was giving a presentation on a subject I was interested in and it had been a really long conference day..I snuck in the back of the room and grabbed a seat just in time to hear her tell the packed house that she started her interest in music in Kettering Schools" Berning recalls. "I honestly can't remember much about her presentation but I knew I had to stick around to meet this dynamic educator and speaker afterwards." Since that first meeting Berning and Neel have kept in touch sharing thoughts and inspiration about music education, often catching up on twitter. Berning and the Kettering music team hosted Marcia at Fairmont a year or so later for a day of observations and sharing. "Marcia is certainly a major player in the music education scene nationally and we are so proud to call her one of our very own!"
More about Marcia Neel:
A veteran of 37 years in public school music education, Marcia MacCagno Neel has directed successful choral music programs in Connecticut, Ohio, Massachusetts and Nevada. She graduated from Fairmont West High School in 1967, where she was an active participant in the Choral Music Program directed by Gene Seeberger. Marcia fully credits Mr. Seeberger for cultivating her love of choral music education through the many conducting and accompanying experiences he provided her over the five (5) years that she sang with him beginning in the 8th grade at Barnes JHS. She received her Bachelors Degree in Music Education, with a concentration in Choral Music, from Miami University and her Master of Arts Degree in History and her administrative credential from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Marcia was subsequently appointed Secondary Fine Arts Supervisor for the Clark County School District—the nation’s fifth largest—headquartered in Las Vegas, NV, where she served for 14 years. During the course of those years, she led the Secondary Music Education Program to a total class count of over 55,000 in 56 middle and 38 high school music programs and over 100,000 in Secondary Fine and Performing Arts overall. Her greatest pride was in knowing that all of the students in each of the district’s secondary schools were provided with an equal opportunity to study music.
Elected to numerous leadership positions, Marcia has served as Western Division President of NAfME; President of the Nevada Music Educators Association (two separate terms); and President of the Nevada Choral Directors Association. She was appointed by two Nevada governors to sit on the Goals 2000 Panel and in that capacity, co-chaired the team responsible for the writing of Nevada's Content Standards in Arts Education. In 1993, The Disney Channel selected Marcia as their National Performing Arts Teacher of the Year.
Marcia now serves as president of Music Education Consultants, Inc., a consortium of music education professionals which works with a variety of educational organizations, arts associations, and school districts to foster the growth and breadth of standards-based, music education programs. She also serves as Education Advisor to the Music Achievement Council, a 501(c)(6) organization whose purpose is to enable more students to begin and continue in instrumental music programs through effective professional development programs for music educators and was recently named Senior Director of Education for Yamaha Corporation of America’s Band and Orchestral Division.