David Schreier

Assistant Band Director David Schreier coaches the Marching Knights practice on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017.

It’s not uncommon for UCF alumni to come back and visit their alma mater, but it’s usually just that, a visit. That’s not the case for Assistant Band Director David Schreier. Every day that he comes to work, he comes back to the school he first attended 20 years ago.

Schreier is a passionate man. He is passionate about teaching; he is passionate about his students; he is passionate about the UCF band program; and he is especially passionate about the UCF Marching Knights, where he was a member while he attended UCF, according to staff and students alike.

“If there were a spokesperson for UCF bands, especially athletic bands, then that would be him,” said Director of Athletic Bands Tremon Kizer.

Not many children follow through on the career they choose while still in elementary school, but that wasn’t the case for Schreier.

“I remember career day in second grade, I wore a shirt and tie. When they asked what I wanted to be, I told them that I wanted to be a teacher,” Schreier said.

After joining the school band in seventh grade, he knew what he wanted to teach when he grew up.

“I thought, wow, there are degrees to teach music, and that was it. I never wavered from it,” said Schreier.

In 1997 Schreier came to UCF, to follow that dream and get his bachelor's degree in music education, a demanding degree where students take approximately 10 classes at a time and need to spend at least two hours a day practicing their instruments.

“When you look at band directors, or any teacher, you don’t always realize how much work they had to do to get to where they are,” said Schreier. “I didn’t realize that when I started my first degree.”

During his time at UCF, Schreier juggled a schedule that included classes from music theory to science classes, learning about sound waves, things that he says prepared him for becoming a teacher. He was able to do all this while playing euphonium in the Marching Knights and becoming president of his fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha.

After graduation and teaching music for six years at Osceola High School in Kissimmee, Schreier was recruited to come back to UCF to complete his Master of Arts in music, with a focus in wind band conducting. In 2010 he finished his master's degree and was hired as the assistant band director.

Schreier never saw himself coming back to teach at UCF; he said that was never his plan. When he did come back he noticed some change, like a new stadium and a larger band, but he said the spirit of the marching band had stayed the same. The program’s drive to make students the best musicians they can be was also intact.

“His teaching style is very hands on,” said Ashton Ellison, a Marching Knights sophomore, who plays the mellophone. “He gives you the ability to figure out your mistakes and fix them on your own, without making you feel negative about it, and staying supportive.”

He is kind, has a strong understanding of what students need, is a teacher at heart and puts students first, Kizer said. Schreier has a deep understanding of the band and by being active as a student in the past is considered an asset to helping it grow in the future, according to Kizer.

“He’s considered the Godfather of the band program because he has seen it in so many capacities, as an undergrad student, a graduate assistant and as a faculty member,” Kizer said. 

The band, faculty members and facilities have changed since Schreier first walked onto the field 20 years ago, but he said he is happy to remain a constant for the band program and keep the traditions and spirit of the band alive.

“It’s nostalgic everyday that I walk into the building,” Schreier said. “I still can’t believe I’m a director here who works with students and I get to give back to a place that gave me so much.”

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