Best In The State

Cindy Scheid, band director at Youngsville High School and Youngsville Elementary Middle School, has been named the best band director in the state of Pennsylvania.

The award came from Phi Beta Mu and is the highest award bestowed upon its members. Phi Beta Mu is an international band masters association devoted to improving band programs throughout each state chapter. Scheid has been a member since 2000, in the first class including women.

She said the selection committee looks for accomplishments by band directors across the state, looking for consistency, outstanding bands and music performance assessments by the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA). Scheid said she has received 19 superior ratings from the PMEA in the 22 years she has been teaching music in Youngsville, because she only entered 19 times.

Scheid said, “Other factors Phi Beta Mu considered are a championship in Tournament Bands Chapter 8 which led to advancing to the Atlantic Coast Championships (ACC).”

She added that the ACC includes nine states with 20 bands in each of four classes based on band size. YHS took second place in its class, and the first-place band came from a school with 3,000 students in grades 9 through 12.

She spoke of the marching band’s trip to Ireland in March where it performed at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade before two million people.

Next year her preliminary plans include starting the competitive season at the end of August. The high school band has been invited to compete at the USBand Nationals in Met Life Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., with approximately 50 to 100 bands. Two years ago, YHS finished fourth in the competition.

She said she joined Phi Beta Mu after being sponsored by the late Nick Sinibaldi, a well-known music educator from St. Marys.

Her award was presented on April 18 at the annual state PMEA luncheon held at the Bayfront Center in Erie.

She said, “Receiving this award is very humbling for me. There are three gentlemen who are the reason I do what I do. First, Harris Lanzel, who received the award in 1998; Sinibaldi, who won it in 1984; and Dr. Stanley Michalski, who won in 1982.”

Lanzel is a former Eisenhower High School Band director.

Scheid said, “I tell all my students, from fourth through twelfth grades that it’s a privilege to experience music with them.”

Arthur Stewart, president for the Warren County School District’s board of directors, said to Scheid, “You elicit from your students what you did not know they could give.”