Rock Star 101

Mark Snyder (center) performs with two of his students during a class session

If UMW offered a Rock Star 101 course, Mark Snyder would be the undisputed choice to teach it. The assistant professor of music and 1997 Mary Washington alum has performed with nearly 100 bands in the past 30 years, from rock to jazz to classical. Today, he plays in six different musical ventures, all while teaching classes in composition, electronic music and music theory. Through his music, Snyder gives his students the opportunity to experience the music business firsthand. In fact, three of his six current projects involve UMW student and alumni musicians. Nature Boy Explorer, an eclectic pop/rock group with a self-titled album, features Snyder on guitar and vocals, junior Becky Brown on the harp, junior Paige Naylor on the keyboards and 2012 graduate Joanna Smith on bass. Brown, Naylor and Smith all had a hand in the recording or production of the album, as well as Natasha Smoot, a 2011 graduate, who played accordion on the tracks. The band plays regionally, including … [Read more...]