Windy Schmidt has been the band director of the Walkersville High School Marching Lions band for the seven years. Before she took the job of being a band director full-time, she studied music education at Frostburg State University.
Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a band director?
A: Actually, I didn’t want to be a band director. I wanted to be a studio engineer. My first year professor changed me to education.
Q: Who inspired you to start playing music?
A: Everyone in my family played an instrument.
Q: Was there a point in time where you asked yourself “What if I never did music?”
A: Yes! Every day! Cooking is my next passion. I always figured if teaching doesn’t work out, I want to go into pastry arts. I probably would have jumped back into studio work
A: Yeah, I get to see students grow and my success stories are the ones who come back and tell me they’ve stuck with music. Now as a band director, I get to see what’s going on out there and keep up with the times and students. It keeps me young.
Q: Describe your music career in college. Was it different compared to high school and how?
A: Yes, very. In high school, I had to pick and choose whether I wanted to do band or choir. In middle school, I would do both at the magnet school and in college, you’re demanded to be in a choral ensemble. My college career has set me more prepared for what I’m doing than my high school career did.
Q: Have any of your former students pursued music professionally? How does it feel knowing that you’re changing the lives of numerous kids?
A: In the course of seven years, I’ve had ten students become music majors and three become music teachers. It’s like a proud momma moment, for you to realize someone went into the military for music. For those who become teachers, we joke around and say “do you really want to do this”? A lot of them would say “I didn’t know your job was really that hard.”
Q: You’ve been a musician for well over 15 years. How your life changed in anyway and how?
A: I get to do my hobby every day as a career; I don’t hate coming to work. While it is painful some days coming home feeling old because you can’t march anymore or because your shoulders hurt from conducting so much, it’s still something I want to do every day.
Q: Is there any advice you can give to any aspiring musicians?
A: I would say do your research because a lot of students get this notion that “I’m the greatest.” Do your research and don’t be afraid to take classes.
You can catch the WHS Marching Lions band’s new show entitled “Swinging with the Pack” during halftime.