South Band Director Marni Conte named state's 2017 Outstanding Band Director

The Williamsville Central School District is proud to South Symphony Band black and whiteannounce that Mrs. Marni Conte has received the 2017 Richard H. Snook Outstanding Band Director Award for New York State.  The Board of Education will recognize Mrs. Conti at its meeting Feb. 14.Marni Conte headshot black and white

According to Mr. Bradley Morrison, Director of Fine Arts for Ossining School District and the First Vice President of NYSBDA, award recipients are not only educators of excellence in their schools, but individuals who are contributing their time and efforts to their communities, professional organizations, and music education as a whole in New York State. “I am deeply humbled and deeply appreciative for being recognized as an Outstanding Band Director,” Mrs. Conte said. 

To be considered for the award, the conductor must be a member of NYSBDA, be a current conductor of elementary, middle school, high school, college or community band, have a minimum of seven years of band directing experience, and maintain and support an effective band program which has resulted in a high level of performance of quality literature.  This honor has been awarded by the NYS Band Directors Association (NYSBDA) since 1994 and Williamsville claims two past winners: Dr. Stephen Shewan, Williamsville East High School, 2004, and Mr. Matthew Cool, Williamsville South High School, 2006.

Mrs. Conte has been with the Williamsville Central School District as a band director and music teacher since 1998, first at Mill Middle School and then at South High School beginning in 2009. She began her teaching career in 1993 at St. Paul’s school in Kenmore, NY, and then taught for five years at Grand Island Central School District.  She studied flute and piccolo as a middle and high school student and attended the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music while in high school. She continued her studies at The Ohio State University and earned her Master’s Degree in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia. She credits her mentors, Professors Richard Blatti and Craig Kirchhoff, who inspired her to become a music teacher/band conductor. Mrs. Conte has been a member of NYSBDA since 1993.

Additional recognition goes to Mrs. Conte and the 103 students of the Williamsville South Wind Symphony who were selected to perform at the NYSBDA Symposium March 3-5 in Syracuse, NY. The South High Wind Symphony will be the only high school band to perform at the conference.  Mrs. Conte will present a clinic along with the performance titled, Taming the Beast-How to Approach a Large Concert Band and Love It.   “I love the sound of a big band and am so immensely proud of this group,” she said.  The Wind Symphony will play, “Emblem of Unity March” by J.J. Richards, “Chorale and Alleluia” by Hanson, “Triumphant Festival” by Richard Saucedo, and “Beyond the Horizon” by Rossano Galante.

Mrs. Conte shares her joy at receiving this honor with her husband, Michael Conte, a music teacher/band director at Williamsville North High School, her son, Jordan Conte, a bass trombonist at Williamsville South High School, and her daughter, Nicole, a flutist, who is currently pursuing a music degree at The Ohio State University.