This page gives us an opportunity to introduce one of our members “up close and personal”. Our featured player this month is Nathan Snyder, bass clarinet.
Nathan Snyder, born (1979) and raised in Carlisle, PA, is a product of the fine band program in the Carlisle Area School District. From the moment he opened his first clarinet case in fifth grade he was hooked. Nathan first played the bass clarinet in sixth grade at the behest of his band director and later learned the saxophone for his high school jazz band and baritone horn for the marching band, “The Big Green Machine”. While in high school Nathan played in the Susquehanna University Honors Wind Ensemble as well as district and regional festivals and made the trip to Erie, PA his senior year to be part of the Pennsylvania All-State Band. In an interesting side note, Nathan’s aunt, Martha Awkerman, was the first female to achieve principal trumpet in the PA All-State Band.
Upon graduation from high school, Nathan entered Susquehanna University’s music education program with an emphasis in instrumental music. In addition to playing the clarinet and bass clarinet in the University Band, he spent many hours learning new instruments and became a bit of a jack-of-all-trades playing euphonium and tuba in the pep band, horn in the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia brass quintet, saxophone in the jazz band and even spent one year as a member of the percussion ensemble. His greatest honor was being chosen principal clarinet of the Symphonic Band his senior year. While at Susquehanna, Nathan discovered his love of conducting and studied with Director of Bands Dr. Valerie Martin, now the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities.
After graduating with his BM in Music Education in 2002 and getting married to Jessica in June that same year, Nathan became director of the junior high school bands in the William Penn School District in Lansdowne, PA. While he loved the thrill of conducting students, a new challenge awaited Nathan as he and his wife relocated to Illinois in 2005 and he became the music teacher for third through fifth grade students and director of the fifth grade musicals in Gurnee, IL. While in Illinois, Nathan and Jessica welcomed their little bundle of joy, Gretchen Renee into the world on January 13, 2008. At that time Nathan resigned from teaching to become a full-time stay-at-home-dad and has loved every minute of being home with Gretchen. In August of 2008, Nathan, Jessica and Gretchen moved back to PA where Jessica works as a process engineer for Dow Chemical Co. and Nathan and Gretchen stay home together.
Nathan was a member Montgomery County Concert Band from October, 2004 until moving to Illinois and rejoined the group as a bass clarinet player upon moving back to PA. While in Illinois, he played with the famed Northshore Concert Band, directed by Mallory Thompson, the DeKalb Municipal Band and the West Suburban Symphony. Now that he’s back in PA, Nathan enjoys playing with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra and the Eastern Wind Symphony in addition to the MCCB. Besides performing on clarinet, Nathan enjoys staying active with weightlifting and cycling as well as reading and playing Guitar Hero.
Nathan was recently appointed conductor of the Merion Concert Band in Lower Merion, PA. He looks forward to the challenge and a long history with the group. We enjoy having Nathan share his skill and versatility with the Montgomery County Concert Band.