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MSU Spotlight: Snow is taking the reins ... and the baton | Life | moncler outlet sale review

MSU Spotlight: Snow is taking the reins ... and the baton Parker Padgett, Staff Reporter Feb 6, 2017 1

Dr. Donald Snow is in his first year at Missouri State as Director of Athletic Bands following a six-year term at University of Missouri. 

Collin O'Connell/The Standard

Dr. Donald Brad Snow isn’t your typical college band director.

He’s Donald Brad Snow, the ex-Marine band trumpet player who takes his coffee with three creams and three sugars.

Snow is the new-ish band director of athletic bands at Missouri State, taking over the reins from the legendary Jerry Hoover, who just retired last spring, after 30 years of leading the PRIDE Marching Band.

Snow was born a couple of blocks from the famous Worlds of Fun theme park, in Kansas City, Missouri. He was raised in a home with a stay-at-home mother and a father who was a machinist all his life until they both recently retired. He was the middle child to an older brother and younger sister.

In a family like his, music was introduced early, having music lessons on the piano along with his siblings. It was in fifth grade when Snow was first intrigued with music as a career.

“That’s kind of where the fire was lit for me,” he said. “As far as wanting to study music.”

Ironically, the athletic band director started out on an instrument that you’d never see anywhere near a football field: the violin.

Shortly after playing the violin, Snow quickly switched to the trumpet in middle school and went on to play trumpet at Winnetonka High School in Kansas City.

After his freshman year, his original band director, Dr. Charles T. Menghini, left to pursue other positions. That’s when the opportunities really opened for Snow through music and marching band, with the arrival of new band director Pat Setser.

With the influential help of Setser, Snow slowly began to narrow down what he wanted to do with his life.

“She was the voice of reason,” Snow said. “She was the one that told me to pursue education rather than just performance.”

Snow had also been inducted into the Wennatonka High School Hall of Fame.

But following the advice of Setser, Snow found himself in Columbia at the University of Missouri on his way to his bachelor’s degree in music in music education, graduating in the spring of 1992.

Snow went on to begin his career of education at Warrenton High School in Warrenton, Missouri, for five years until he took a break to dedicate himself to serve in the United States Marine Corps—something Snow felt he needed to do.

“All my life I wanted to serve in the military,” Snow said. “I felt I needed to serve.”

With his father being in the military and his grandfather as well, Snow proceeded in those footsteps. But in addition to joining, he also was a member of the Marine Band, playing the trumpet.

But Snow never forgot why he joined.

“You’re a Marine first and a band member second.”

After his stint in the USMC, Snow went on to graduate school allotted under the Montgomery/G.I. Bill at University of Southern Mississippi, got his MBA and doctorate and got his first chance at teaching on a college level.

“Getting a college job as a band director,” Snow said, “It’s being at the right place at the right time.”

Right timing and place indeed, for Snow wouldn’t have gotten the job if the director at the time hadn’t gone on sabbatical.

After being an assistant band director at the University of Southern Mississippi for two years, Snow went on to head up marching bands at Oklahoma State University for four years and the University of Missouri for six years, until he got the call from Missouri State. Or in this case, he made the call.

“I had contacted Dr. Julie Combs about the position one day last spring and had to get all my stuff together overnight for the application,” Snow said. “It’s the best decision I ever made.”

Snow is family-centered, with two children: 5-year-old Brett and 2-year-old Caroline. He lives near Missouri State with his wife whom he met during his days at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Snow intertwines his family values and some of the things he’s learned from his days in the Marine Corps to educate his students to the highest ability.

“I want everyone to feel like an equal partner,” Snow said. “And I try to give every student opportunities, like I was given. I value my students’ time, and they are my number one priority.”

But what is the effect of the Brad Snow-storm?

With Snow coming in, the PRIDE Marching Band is in a transition period.

The members are getting brand new uniforms, brand new drums, and what Snow believes is his biggest contribution, is the ability to get a lot more done in a shorter amount of time.

Sophomore Natalie Regenold, a Pride Band member, notices what Snow brings to the table as a director too, and admires the process.

“His greatest contribution is that he made the transition (from Hoover) so seamless,” Regenold said. “It was almost unnoticed. He came in and set us up for success.”

Regenold also went on to talk about Snow in nothing but an optimistic tone as well.

“He’s not only very good at his job, but he is funny,” Regenold said. “He makes sure to work with our schedules and understands that we are students first.”

Snow shared he values his students and their well-being.

“I value my students time and they are my number one priority,” Snow said.

As for the future, Snow has no intentions of leaving the Springfield area.

“I’m tired of moving,” Snow said with a chuckle. “We love the Springfield area, and for the first time, we feel like we can make this home.”

Snow continues to make his Missouri statement every morning when he goes to work for the old maroon and white. But not without stopping for coffee.

Three creams and three sugars. Typical.

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