Mary Crandell's Biography

Mary Crandell

Mary Crandell is a native of Storm Lake, Iowa. After graduating from Storm Lake High School, Mary attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, earning a BA in Music Education. Mary’s first teaching position was in LeCenter, Minnesota where she was the 5-12 Band Director for four years. Mary started a competitive marching, concert and jazz program at LeCenter in the time she was there. The first four summers of her teaching career were spent back in the classroom to earn an MA in Music Education in 2002. Mary spent one year as the Director of Bands at Clear Lake High School (IA) and has been teaching at Waukee (North) Middle School (IA) from 2004 to present. Duties at WMS include: Co-teach 6th & 7th lessons, 7th & 8th Jazz Bands and 7th Concert Band.

Mary grew up in a musical family. She had her own father as her high school band director and followed in her parents’ footsteps becoming a band director. She is a proud veteran who served ten years as a member of the 43rd National Guard Band in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Waukee (North) Concert Bands have received consecutive Division I or I+ ratings at Large Group Contests and the 2010-11 8th Grade Jazz Band was selected to perform at the Iowa Bandmaster’s Annual Conference in May, 2011. Mary and her colleague, Deb Dunn, have presented professional development sessions on Embedding Jazz Into Your Beginning Band Program at state and national levels as well as Rehearsal Techniques for Middle School Concert Bands at the state level. Mary has also been a guest conductor for numerous honor band festivals in Iowa and Nebraska.

Mary serves in leadership roles for the Iowa Bandmasters Association and Jazz Educators of Iowa. She succeeded her mother as the IBA State Historian, Co-Chaired the South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association District Junior High Concert/Jazz Band Festivals and is currently in her second term as JEI President. Mary is a member of the following: NAfME, IMEA, IAAE, JEI, WEA, ITA, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church (currently facilitates the Pastoral Ministries Commission, Vestry President and Vacation Bible School Co-Organizer) and PEO (Women’s Philanthropy Group).

Mary’s daily life thrives on her passion and drive for teaching music to her students. Her passion for inspiring young students to engage their creativity through the arts is exemplified through her first two published books: Little Miss Mary Discovers Music Outside Her Window (ISBN: 9781499022179) and Little Miss Mary Discovers the Piano (ISBN: 9781503580008). When Mary is not teaching or writing, she loves spending time with her husband, Myron Peterson, who also shares her love of teaching music and playing trombone. She tries to log a few miles of running and biking or practicing yoga as well as reading music journals and IBA Archives.

Back to Middle School Honor Band