By: Kristin Conrad
Wendy Bauer Reeves is currently Band Director at Sells Middle School and Assistant Director of the Dublin Coffman High School Marching Band in Dublin, Ohio. Reeves began her career as a student teacher in Dublin City Schools, and she is now in her 29th year within the district. Reeves grew up surrounded by music, as her mother was a church organist and her siblings were in band. Her own musical journey began at a young age.
“I actually knew I was going to be a band director when I was 11,” Reeves said. “When I started in 6th-grade band, I loved my band director, I loved going to band, I loved my tuba, and I just knew that I was going to spend the rest of my life in a band room.”
Reeves went on to study music in college, graduating from The Ohio State University School of Music in 1993, and received her Master of Arts in Music Education in 1998. While at OSU, she played tuba in concert ensembles and sousaphone in The Ohio State University Marching Band.
Reeves has been immersed in music and surrounded by musicians her entire life, and her love of music and teaching has taken her all over the world. She has played her tuba in 15 countries and 27 states.
“I keep a world map on the wall of the band room, and every time I speak, or I play my tuba somewhere else, I put a star on it,” Reeves said. “I talk to my kids about how music has taken me all over the world. If you learn your instrument and stay with it, there are opportunities that you can’t even imagine ahead of you.”
Reeves has conducted honors bands in Ohio, Indiana, and Georgia. She was honored to be selected as a clinician for the Women Band Directors International conference in 2017 and 2020. She was also selected to present at The 2021 Midwest Clinic. In 29 years, Reeves has taught about 4,000 students through her school programs and as a clinician.
“You can have a massive impact on students as an honor band conductor in one weekend,” Reeves said. “One weekend can change a child’s life. They’re around other musicians, and a different conductor. It can change the course of their life. Having an impact on the course of the lives of my students has been the greatest thing for me.”
Reeves’ teaching philosophy focuses on accepting and meeting students wherever they might be in their own journey.
“I think we always have to remember that we just don’t know what’s going on with a child and if the band room can be their home away from home, then that’s the most important thing we can do,” Reeves said. “We are in the business of teaching young humans to be better older humans and to love life.”
When asked what advice she might give the next generation of female music educators, Reeves emphasized the importance of confidence.
“We do have to believe in our own self-worth and our own confidence. We have to not beat ourselves up. And we have to give ourselves the privilege of knowing that we are competent and that we are well-trained, and that even if things don’t go like they are supposed to go every single day, it does not mean that we are a failure at our job. I think so many musicians, me included, see black and white with no gray.”