West Union’s annual parade to be held July 4 –
By Patricia Beech –
Carl and Nancy Schneider, the musical teaching team at West Union schools, have been chosen to serve as Grand Marshals for the 2018 Independence Day Parade on Wednesday, July 4.
Sponsored by the West Union Lions Club, the annual Fourth of July event through downtown West Union will begin at 10 a.m. with parade line-up starting at 9 a.m.
Lions Club member Stephen Caraway called the Schneiders “outstanding citizens”.
“Throughout their lives, Carl and Nancy have generously contributed to the community and we are pleased to recognize them and honor their noteworthy accomplishments,” Caraway commented. “They have worked together as a team in our schools for over three decades and both have given so much of their time and energy to the community that we call home.”
“It’s a great honor,” Carl told the Defender in a telephone interview Monday. “It’s been fun being in this community all these years working with the kids, the parents, and all the people in the community.”
Carl and Nancy have each taught 36 years in the Ohio Valley district. Both are graduates of Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio.
Carl began his career with Ohio Valley schools as choir director at Manchester High School where he taught for two years before accepting the band director’s position at WUHS.
He has received several awards and honors through the years: Adams County/Ohio Valley Teacher of the Year, National Board Teacher Certification, Master Teacher, and is an inductee into Phi Beta Nu – an International Band Director Fraternity.
He has also held several state and regional offices in the music field and is currently the Vice President of the Tri-State Marching Arts Association.
While attending Mount Union College, Nancy held several offices in both the Associated Women Students Organization and the Mu Phi Epsilon Music Sorority, leaving her senior year as President.
She has taught music to students from Kindergarten through grade 12 at several Ohio Valley district schools including: Jefferson Elementary, Franklin Elementary, and Sinking Spring Elementary her first year in 1982, followed by Cedar Mills Elementary, North Adams Elementary, North Adams Junior and Senior High Schools, and Winchester Elementary and Junior High. She accepted her current position at WUHS in 1991 and has served as accompanist and pit director for all the school’s theatrical productions. Nancy has also served as the pit director for several other local school musicals and the Arts Council’s production of “Nunsense”.
She believes experiencing live classical music performances by The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in downtown Cincinnati is one of the best opportunities she provides many of her elementary students.
“So many of our students would never get out of the county to enjoy these experiences if we or their parents didn’t take them,” she says. “Providing these opportunities is so vital because music allows children to release their emotions in a positive way.”
A life-long musician, Nancy started learning piano at age eight and was a piano major in college. She is known, not only for reaching thousands of young minds through music education, but also for contributing her talents as a pianist to the community.
She has taught private piano lessons; accompanied many solos and groups such as school choirs; musicals; Solo and Ensemble Competitions; weddings; graduations; dedications; Honor Choirs, and many more. She has also been the regular pianist for the West Union United Methodist Church for 27 years.
Through the years, Carl has overseen the remarkable development and growth of the West Union High School instrumental music program. When he first came to WUHS in 1982, he inherited a marching band of 13 members and saw it grow to 115 members before it was abandoned in 1997.
By applying for grants, Carl established new ensembles and programs at the school including: a steel drum band, a theater program, a handbell choir, a radio station, music technology and recording facilities, a piano lab, music theory lab, and a guitar lab; a winter color guard and a winter percussion program, which in recent years has won the Open Class in the Tri-State Marching Arts Association, winning a top three medalist spot during the past six years.
Carl singles out the success of the WUHS’s musical theater program, which he calls a valuable learning tool for students.
“When the marching band stopped competing, our Band Camp was changed to a Performing Arts Camp which gives all students in the department an opportunity to expand their experiences in the arts,” he says. “ It’s a great start to the next year’s activities.”
Carl has also been the coach of the WUHS Boys and Girls Golf Teams for 16 years. During that time the boys team has won 14 SHAC league championships, numerous sectional and district titles and has had four teams qualify for the state tournament along with three individuals. The girls team has also won three SHAC league championships and a sectional championship in only four years of being a SHAC-recognized sport.
The Independence Day parade is one of West Union’s longest-running traditions, according to Caraway.
“We encourage businesses and civic groups to participate with an entry into the parade,” he said, adding that it’s equally important that village residents attend the event to show their support.