Brandt Schneider, a native of Newtown, CT, received a BA from Oberlin College in 1991, a MPA from Syracuse University in 1994, and a Sixth Year degree in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University in 2008. While at Oberlin he studied jazz composition with Wendell Logan, Donald Byrd, and JJ Johnson and was a four year member of the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble. He has taught as a music director in Los Angeles, Louisiana, Newtown, and Derby. He has been selected as the 1993 Jackson High School Teacher of the Year, 1998 Wal-Mart teacher of the year, a recipient of the 2002 New Haven Symphony Excellence in Music Teaching Award, and received a 1993 commendation from the State of Louisiana legislature for outstanding teaching. In 2001 he was designated a Palm Education Pioneer. While an assistant at Newtown High School the marching band performed in both the Rose Bowl and Citrus Bowl Parades. He has presented workshops and served as chairman of various Connecticut Music Educators (CMEA) Festivals and Ensembles. Mr. Schneider is a member of Teach for America’s Class of 1991.
After joining the Derby staff in 1996 the performance music program grew from zero to fifteen large ensembles. By 2004 there were 250 students enrolled in performance classes in the Derby schools. Students performed with Jung-Ho Pak, Tom Duffy, Ted Rosenthal, Phil Bowler, Awadagin Pratt, Earl MacDonald, Dan Goble, the Yale Concert Band, and the UConn Jazz Ensemble. Students attended the 2001 and 2004 IAJE Festival in New York City. In 2002 both the DHS Jazz Ensemble and Small Ensemble program were selected to perform at the CMEA Conference. A tour of Italy and a performance at the Vatican occurred in 2003. In 2005 Mr. Schneider presented a workshop on Handheld Computers in Jazz Education at the IAJE conference in Long Beach, CA.
Mr. Schneider became the music teacher at Seymour High School in 2008 and led the high school band and choir to superior and excellent ratings in their first year. In 2010 Mr. Schneider received a grant to deploy iPads in the Seymour High School music department. In 2012 he performed with the Waterbury Symphony in a unique collaboration.
Articles about Mr. Schneider's program have been published in Leading Notes, SBO Magazine, and CMEA Journal.
As a track coach Mr. Schneider has led several teams to league and state titles in Louisiana and Connecticut.