The Schnicke family is a two-generation Summer Symposium family. Jonathan Schnicke has attended Summer Symposium as a director for years and will be returning in 2022. His daughter, Lauren, attended for three summers and his son, Isaac attended one summer. His youngest daughter, Julia, will be attending Summer Symposium for the first time this summer.

Jonathan is currently the band director at Kent City High School in Kent City, Michigan. He attended his first Summer Symposium based on the recommendation of a colleague. He attends the Director Academy and loves that he can learn not only from faculty, but from the other band directors he’s met over the years. Jonathan credits staff management and brass techniques learned at camp as crucial in his personal growth as a teacher and the growth of the Kent City band program. Besides himself, Jonathan also brings Kent City High School drum majors to attend the Drum Major Institute. Year after year, Jonathan finds the Summer Symposium to be the best kind of professional development and feels invigorated for the next season.

Lauren is currently studying music education at Grand Valley State University. This summer, she will be a drum major with Carolina Crown. When Lauren first attended Summer Symposium, she felt like her role as high school drum major was a fluke. She wasn’t confident in her conducting or her leadership skills. It was at Summer Symposium where she learned what makes someone a good leader and therefore a good drum major: it’s much more than just standing on a podium.

Lauren’s first drum corps summer was spent with Legends Drum and Bugle Corps. The work ethic, perseverance, and confidence she learned at the Summer Symposium gave her the strength to push through a rookie summer and eventually audition to be a drum major at Carolina Crown. As she was going through the audition process, she remembered talking to a Carolina Crown drum major at Summer Symposium about auditioning. Their advice? “Try out and give it your all, even if you don’t think you’re good enough.” As she sent in audition videos, she leaned on her Summer Symposium network of campers and staff for feedback and critiques. The Summer Symposium changed Lauren’s life and she swears by its teaching methods and skills.

Isaac is currently studying music education at Western Michigan University. This summer, he will march contra with Carolina Crown. He is also a drum major with the Western Michigan Bronco Marching Band. Isaac, like Lauren, was also a drum major in high school. His favorite part of the Summer Symposium was being surrounded by people who always wanted to improve and grow as people, not just as musicians.

The confidence, rigor, and determination it took to transition to a world class corps is something Isaac learned at the Summer Symposium. In order to earn a spot at Carolina Crown, Isaac had to practice daily and strive to be perfect, another lesson he gained from his time spent with the Drum Major Institute.

All three Schnicke family members agree on one thing: the Summer Symposium, and Music for All programming in general, focuses on educating the whole person, not just the “band” person. As Lauren pointed out: “you can’t expect someone to be a good at band when they’re not doing as well as a human.”

To experience the 2022 Music for All Summer Symposium presented by Yamaha, register below.