Victoria Eastman Chamberlin
Upon graduation from Mansfield University in 2006, I attended graduate school at the University of North Texas and earned a master of music degree in oboe performance and orchestral conducting. Following completion of my masters program, I performed as a freelance musician in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area performing regularly with the Lone Star Wind Orchestra and San Angelo Symphony Orchestra. Later, I accepted a position at the National Association for Music Education as the director of business development and continued to freelance in the Washington, DC area. While a member of the NAfME staff, I managed and directed several national student programs, and oversaw a major branding change and corporate fundraising program. Most recently, I enlisted in the United States Army as an oboist in the 8th Army Band located in Seoul, South Korea where I live with my husband Dr. Michael Chamberlin, also a member of the 8th Army Band as a saxophonist.
My time at Mansfield University prepared me for my professional life in many ways. Being a small school, the faculty was always available to mentor and cultivate me as a musician and student. Caring and compassionate faculty able to know each and every student helped me be successful through difficult times in my career as a student. Access to ensembles was absolutely key in preparing me for a career as a performing musician. When I arrived at North Texas and became a member of the North Texas Wind Symphony, I had already performed many great wind band works under the direction of Dr. Adam Brennan. Every student had an opportunity to read through or perform major works, where students at large, prestigious universities miss due to studio size. The relationships I forged with faculty have helped me advance my professional career.
After graduating from Mansfield University in the spring of 2013 with a Bachelor of Music in Music Technology, I began working full-time at Mark Custom Recording Services, Inc., a small recording company in Clarence, New York. I had interned with Mark Custom to fulfill my degree requirement and was beyond delighted when they offered me a full-time position as office manager. Some of my duties include coordinating recording assignments, managing all aspects of all-state conferences and conventions, drafting and submitting copyright licensing requests, and answering inquires about the company. I am thrilled to be working with a company that specializes in recording elementary through collegiate level ensembles for educational purposes! We record all-state events in Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, and New York. We also record clinics and conventions such as the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, American Choir Directors Association (Central & Western Divisions,) the Texas Bandmasters Association Convention, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Conference, and the Western International Band Clinic. To be so fully immersed in the educational sector of the music industry immediately after graduation was quite honestly not where I had thought I would be, but it has been immensely gratifying nonetheless.
Did my time at Mansfield University prepare me for all of the demands of the working world? No, but no institution of higher education can ever truly prepare you for all the world will throw at you. What Mansfield University, and my time in the Music Department in particular, taught me was how to be adaptable, how to problem solve, and how to never-ever give up, no matter how daunting the challenge may seem. I learned to push myself to my limits and to never settle for mediocrity--in myself or in my work. The faculty in the MU Music Department are an astounding group of professionals who know how to simultaneously push and support their students. For certain, I would not be the musician and person I am today without their influences.
Mansfield University gave me the chance to pursue my dream. In high school, music was more of a hobby than a career path. I'd never had as much as a trombone lesson until my first week at Mansfield, and I certainly didn't realize how competitive the process was to become a music education major. There were definitely some growing pains adjusting to the demands of my new musical pursuit. But I was invested in my musical pursuit, and Mansfield, I learned, was invested in me. As an education major, I learned the value of hard work, which has helped me succeed in both the classroom and the practice room. As I matured both musically and as a young adult, I grew from the incredible faculty that constantly guided me down the right path. My teacher, Steve McEuen, was more than a music teacher—he became my mentor, and a friend.
The multitude of ensembles offered at Mansfield was overwhelmingly stimulating for me as a young musician. Prior to Mansfield, I never knew what a brass band was, or realized how satisfying playing in an orchestra, or jazz ensemble could be. There were so many different musical activities within my grasp, and Mansfield gave me the opportunity to experience them all. One thing was certain: music was no longer a hobby. Before long, doors were opening for me, and things that I never dreamt possible were coming to life.
After graduating with my bachelor's degree in music education (2011), I was accepted into the master of music in trombone performance (2013) program at Penn State University. I remained an active performer during my two years there, playing in a graduate brass quintet, trombone quartet, orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, and trombone choir. I also made my professional debut, frequently performing with the Nittany Valley and Altoona Symphonies, as well as the Penn's Woods Music Festival. I was honored to become the graduate teaching assistant for Mark Lusk. As part of my assistantship, I taught the trombone methods course for the music education majors at Penn State. This was an intimidating task, but I felt extremely prepared, having taken similar methods courses led by the outstanding faculty at MU. I was also given the privilege of conducting the trombone choir and teaching lessons for Professor Lusk when he was busy with other musical ventures. Working with college music students was an enormously fulfilling experience that reminded me of my first lessons at Mansfield.
Today, I am pursuing my doctor of musical arts in trombone performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. With this degree, I aspire to become a college music teacher and change the lives of my future students, the way Steve McEuen, along with countless other faculty at Mansfield forever changed mine.
After graduating from Mansfield University in Spring of 2013 with a Bachelor of Music in Education, I felt ready to enter the work force fully equipped with the knowledge to teach anything music. Only weeks after graduation, I accepted a position in the Clark County School District of Nevada. I was given the task of teaching grades 9-12 Beginning and Advanced Bands, Marching Band, Glee, Concert Choir, and developing a curriculum for Music Appreciation at Cimarron-Memorial High School. The school was unique in that it had been dubbed “turn-around” at the start of the 2013-2014 school year. Teachers, administrators, and staff are under the microscope of the district to improve curricula, increase graduation rates, and make CMHS a strong and safe environment in which to learn. Since arriving, my bands have had the honor of playing at various events throughout Southern Nevada and the West Coast, including the Las Vegas Veterans Day Parade, competitions in the Los Angeles area, and community events that are open to the public. The CMHS Spartan Marching Band also has a place reserved in the 2015 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C.
In addition to teaching, I have had the opportunity to network with other music educators around Clark County. Being part of the largest Secondary Fine Arts department in the nation, I have been exposed to many different ideas and philosophies. Mansfield University has prepared me to take part in discussion at district-wide meetings specific to band and choir methods and share new ideas with veteran teachers around the valley. In my first year of teaching, I realized that Mansfield has provided me with education that is on the cutting edge of teaching theories and practices, as well as rooting me in traditional methods that have stood the test of time. The University provided abundant opportunities to go into public schools and gain the hands-on experience that I needed in order to be considered “qualified.” In my time at Mansfield, I received training that also qualified me to be strong musician. Since arriving in Nevada in August 2013, I have had the opportunity to perform in The Desert Winds, a contemporary wind ensemble of the utmost caliber. Through The Desert Winds, I have also performed with other small ensembles, horn quartets, and more.
Mansfield University had addressed all of my needs in my time on campus. Striving for excellence is a virtue that has been instilled in me, and that is all thanks to this phenomenal music department. The faculty at M.U. is nothing less than excellent, and their high standards have prepared me for this noble, humbling, and exciting profession.
Since graduation in May 2012 I have been teaching at Grover Washington, Jr. Middle School in Philadelphia. My duties include teaching general music classes for grades 5-8 and directing the middle school band. While at GWJMS, I also had a lot of fun directing the school's 3rd annual spring musical, Aladdin, Jr., that was performed with great success! Our band even traveled to PECO (Philadelphia Electric Company), to perform for a Black History Month Celebration. I also helped prepare students to audition for the All-City Middle School Band, in which four of my students were accepted! I am the softball coach, and am running Grover Idol, our school's talent show, which is a lot of fun!
Recently I was accepted to the Juilliard Conducting Workshop for Music Educators in the Summer of 2013 and also have the honor of running my own Clarinet Camp at Mansfield University. In the Fall of 2013 I will return to MU to pursue my MA in Music: Instrumental Conducting degree.
My time at Mansfield University really prepared me for the professional world. One of the best things MU does is to get future teachers into the classroom from the beginning of their collegiate degree. This preparation time allowed me to figure out different teaching styles and methods before going into student teaching. The student teaching placements that I received in Philadelphia, PA were exactly what I needed to help me transition from a student to a teacher. From the experiences, to the cooperating teaching, I learned so much, and truly felt prepared to enter the world as a teacher.
Mansfield University also set me up to hold high standards for my musical ensembles. All of the music professors at MU taught me something extremely valuable, and I see it come out in my teaching everyday. Mansfield inspired me to teach to a high level of expectation, and not accept mediocrity. I know that I can encourage my students, even middle school students, to a high level of musical ability.
After graduating in Spring of 2010, I spent the year living in my parents’ home in Stroudsburg, PA and substitute teaching in local school districts. Although frustrated that I didn’t have my own job, I learned a lot through this experience such as classroom management and the grade levels I enjoyed working with. During the 2010-2011 school year, I kept applying to districts throughout the state of Pennsylvania as well as New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina; I was determined to get a job. In June of 2011, I was offered and accepted the position of High School Choral Director at Clifton Public Schools in Clifton, NJ. I am currently living in New Jersey teaching two choirs, piano labs, theory, and am the musical director for our spring musical theatre production.
Mansfield University taught me to set the bar high, both for myself as an educator and for my students. I was challenged both academically and musically while I was at school but with the guidance from my fellow peers and professors, I learned how to accept and even surpass those challenges. I now set high expectations for myself and for my students because I know that through hard work and dedication, these challenges can be met.
After graduating from Mansfield University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Music in Education, I began teaching music courses at Edward W. Bok Technical High School in Philadelphia, PA. Students in my class focus on music composition, engaging in rigorous coursework that includes music theory, lyric and song development, and extensive study of music notation software. Students frequently experience workshops presented by professional composers and musicians, and are encouraged to write music that they feel is relevant to their lives and community. I strive to provide my students with culturally relevant and personally significant musical coursework while maintaining high musical and personal standards.
Mansfield University provided hands-on opportunities to teach a variety of students and music curricula, which helped me develop lesson plans and curricula that are responsive to student needs. The music department also provided opportunities to perform eclectic repertoire in quality ensembles, which enabled me to set high compositional standards spanning different genres and time periods. Professors in the music department acted and continue to act as professional mentors in my educational life. Mansfield faculty members continue to encourage the development of my musical and pedagogical skills. The knowledge I gained studying in the music department at Mansfield University has been essential in providing my students with a relevant and meaningful musical education.
My time in the Music Department at Mansfield University gave me the opportunity to explore, discover and be involved in making any type of music I wanted. It showed me the importance of being versatile and flexible yet proactive and in control of my own direction in life.
American trumpeter and composer Andre Canniere has worked with artists such as Maria Schneider, Bjorkestra, Donny McCaslin and Darcy James Argue. He has appeared on stage at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Symphony Space and The Jazz Gallery and has toured widely throughout the United States and Europe, including performances at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Hague Jazz Festival, Bimhuis in Amsterdam and the Rochester International Jazz Festival.
In 2008 Andre relocated from New York to London where his profile is steadily rising, both as a leader and a collaborator. Aside from performing with his own group, he has also worked with Lizzy Parks, Nostalgia 77, Ingrid Laubrock, Jasper Hoiby, Dekata Project and Today Is Boring at venues such as Blackheath Concert Halls, The Vortex, Pizza Express and The 606 Club.
Canniere’s first solo recording was released in 2006 on Omatic Records and he has appeared on numerous recordings as a session musician. A new album of original music is due for release in January 2012 on the London-based jazz label, Whirlwind Recordings.
In addition to his work as a performer and composer, Andre enjoys an active career as a music educator. Currently, Andre teaches at the Highgate School and Trinity College of Music in London and previously was a teaching assistant at the Eastman School of Music where he received his Masters degree in Jazz Performance, and as an instructor at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts. He also teaches privately, works as an adjudicator, and presents master classes at schools and universities.
Since graduation in 2005, Jill Davis has been working on starting her teaching career. Jill completed her masters in choral conducting at Eastman School of Music in 2007, and then was appointed as Director of Vocal Music at Palmyra-Macedon High School in Palmyra, NY where she teaches Chorus, Select Choir, AP Music Theory, Music Literature, and Voice Lessons. She is also the choreographer, vocal director, and orchestral director for the school's musical productions and madrigal dinners. Her Select Choir had participated in several recent competitions, and has performed in New York City, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scotland, Wales, England, and Boston. Jill recently completed her SBL (School Building Leader) and SDL (School District Leader) certifications through the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester in hopes of becoming a building principal someday. In her free time, Jill enjoys spending time with her goldendoodle dog, Katie, who she trained as a certified Therapy Dog. Katie is a valued member of the school district as well, and attends school with Jill every day to work with the high school students and assist with their social and emotional needs. Jill also maintains a private piano and voice studio, teaching from her home in Rochester.
My time at Mansfield will always be dear to my heart, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with my students who are looking at colleges. The close connections and ability to participate in a multitude of ensembles allowed me to grow tremendously as a musician. I find myself mirroring the teaching techniques of many of my professors and consider myself lucky to have that knowledge. I am proud to be a Mansfield Alum, and consider the music department second to none.
After graduating (’03) with a degree in music education, I spent the majority of my career teaching instrumental music in the suburbs of Rochester, NY. I earned my master’s degree at Ithaca College (’08) and have since gone on to pursue a Ph.D. in music education at The Ohio State University (’13, anticipated). Currently, I teach undergraduate courses in instrumental methods and music for classroom teachers, supervise pre-service music teachers in their field experiences and student teaching internships, and serve as a clinician at state music education conferences and district-level in-service days.
The education I received from Mansfield University’s School of Music has prepared me well for the wide range of teaching opportunities I have encountered. Requiring courses for all pre-service music teachers in both general music and instrumental pedagogy allowed for a well-rounded experience, and has provided me with the tools I need to have success in all classrooms. Additionally, it is the close relationships with the faculty that I have appreciated most about MU. Although it has been nearly ten years since I graduated, I am still in touch with several of my former professors who are always eager to find out what I am up to and, when solicited, offer professional advice. You don’t get that at other schools, where often you are just a number and forgotten as soon as you graduate. It is that sense of camaraderie and support that makes MU what it is.