Dr. Neff has been a public school music educator for over 24 years, having taught at various levels K-12, in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Her current position is Instrumental Music Director at Bala Cynwyd Middle School for the Lower Merion School District in Pennsylvania, where she conducts two concert bands. Previously, she taught in the Tredyffrin/Easttown Public Schools in Pennsylvania as Instrumental Music Director at Valley Forge Middle School. Before returning to her home state of Pennsylvania, she was Instrumental Music Director at Orville H. Platt High School in Meriden, Connecticut. Her ensembles have received top ratings at local and regional festivals and competitions. High school seniors in CT and PA districts have named her an “influential educator”. Student and intern teachers frequently request her as a teaching placement experience.
Dr. Neff serves on the Band Council for the National Association for Music Education Band Council as the Eastern Division Representative. Recently, she co-presented sessions on unpacking and using the new National Core Arts Standards at PMEA and NAfME Eastern Division conferences. In June 2013, she was invited by NAMM Foundation to co-present for the Turnaround Arts Initiative Summer Institute on the topic of curriculum. In February 2013, she was the Guest Conductor for the Anne Arundel All-County Middle School Band in Maryland. She was also the Guest Conductor for the Susquehanna University Pennsylvania Honors Band Festival in February of 2011. She toured for five summers as Symphonic Band Director and String Ensemble Director for the American Music Abroad Bronze Tour of Europe, taking students from 25 different high schools to seven countries, sightseeing and performing as American musical ambassadors to Europe.
A true advocate for arts education, Dr. Neff has served as the Advocacy Chair for PMEA Districts 11 and 12, as well as serving on curriculum committees in the districts where she has taught. She has been a guest speaker on Music Advocacy at Eastern University, Temple University, and Susquehanna University; presented at the 2009 PMEA District 11 In-Service on Promoting Music Education Through Advocacy; and was a panel member at the PMEA All-State Conference in 2010 on Embracing Change. She currently serves on the Professional Development Committee for PMEA District 11, planning educational activities for music teachers in two counties.
Dr. Neff received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music education from Michigan State University where she studied French horn with Douglas Campbell and Neill Saunders, and played under the batons of Eugene Corporon, Kenneth Bloomquist, and Leon Gregorian in MSU’s top bands and orchestra; highlighted by a performance at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in 1986. She marched with the Michigan State Spartan Marching Band under the direction of William Wiedrich, and performed in the 1988 Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses Parade. She recently completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership (EdD) from Immaculata University.
As a former camper and counselor at NEMC, she is always excited to return to work with students and faculty as part of the camp family.