A graduate of the University of South Dakota (B.A.and M.M), Mary Crandell started her instrumental music career in LeCenter, Minnesota, and Clear Lake, Iowa, before her tenure began at Waukee Middle School from 2004 to present. Mary was the first woman to serve as Jazz Educators of Iowa President, coordinating All-State Jazz auditions and performances in conjunction with the Iowa Bandmasters Association Annual State Conference. Mary also created the Middle School Jazz Combo Workshop for middle school jazz students in the state. Mary serves in leadership roles for the Iowa Bandmasters Association, where she is the State Historian and has coordinated Large Group Events within her prospective district within the IBA. She is a member of the following: IBA, JEI, JEN, NEA, IMEA, IAAA, WBDI, ITA, WEA, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church (Vestry Past President, Lay Eucharistic Minister Coordinator and Vacation Bible School Co-Organizer), PEO (Women’s Philanthropy Group) and is a Veteran of the ARNG. Mary has also been a guest conductor for numerous honor band festivals in Iowa and Nebraska.
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 enjoys playing trombone and spending time with her husband, Myron Peterson, also a music educator and trombonist.