Mandy Fara DeShrage, conductor of the Nassau-Suffolk Honor Band since its inception in 2010, is a member of the music education faculty of the Syosset Central School District. She is currently a band director at South Woods Middle School. Prior to her appointment in Syosset, she was a band director at both Commack Middle School and George W. Hewlett High School.
Ms. DeShrage is a graduate of Hofstra University, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education with a concentration in flute performance, graduating cum laude with departmental honors. Ms. DeShrage also holds a Master of Arts degree in Wind Conducting from Hofstra University, where she served as the Graduate Conducting Associate to Dr. Peter Loel Boonshaft from 2005-2008, conducting both the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band.
Ensembles under Ms. DeShrage's direction have received numerous Gold with Distinction ratings at NYSSMA Major Organization Festivals. They have performed at clinics and workshops for many composers and conductors such as Robert W. Smith, Christian Wilhjelm, and Sean O'Loughlin. In addition to performances on Long Island, The Nassau-Suffolk Honor Band commissioned and premiered a work by renowned composer Richard Saucedo, and was recently selected to perform at the prestigious National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
A composer of works for concert band and percussion ensemble, she is currently published by Row-Loff Publications. In addition, she continues to keep an active performance schedule. She is a founding member of the Long Island Flute Quartet and has performed with a number of regional orchestras and ensembles. She has studied flute and piccolo with Carol Wincenc, Patricia Spencer, Susan Deaver, Mindy Kaufman, John Oberbrunner, Ted Mordoff, John Littlefield and John Wion.
Ms. DeShrage maintains a private flute and conducting studio and is an active member of the Nassau Music Educators Association, the New York State Band Directors Association and the New York State School Music Association, for which she is a certified Major Organization and Woodwind Adjudicator. Extremely active as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator and workshop presenter for band festivals, universities, schools and conferences, she has served as guest conductor for the Hampton Music Educators Association High School Honors Band Festival, Suburban Council (Albany) Music Festival, Suffolk County Music Educators Association Division 2 East All-County Band, Orange County High School All-County Band, and the Bristol Township School District Honors Band in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Most recently, Ms. DeShrage served as an adjudicator for the prestigious New South Wales School Band Festival in Sydney, Australia.