The End of an Era


Retiring Rory Snider plays some improv in his office in the music department at DVC

“Rory Snyder just retired as the Director of Jazz Studies at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill and for 16 years was the Director of Bands at Homestead High School and Jazz Director at Santa Clara University. He earned a B.A. from UCLA and an M.M. from the University of Northern Colorado, and is in demand as an adjudicator, clinician, honor band director, and guest artist throughout the west. Rory recorded his first CD as a leader titled “New York Sessions” featuring Michael Wolff – piano, Wallace Roney – trumpet, John Patitucci – basses, and Victor Jones – drums.

He has recorded 5 album/CD projects with Dave Eshelman’s Jazz Garden Big Band, and two with the Mike Vax Jazz Orchestra. He has appeared as a sideman with Johnny Mathis, Clark Terry, Ed Shaughnessy, Don Menza, Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin, Bobby Shew, The Temptations, and many more.

His Master’s Degree is in Instrumental Conducting and Literature, and he has conducted Wind Ensembles and Symphonic Bands for most of his career. His wind ensemble at Homestead High School always received superior ratings at CMEA Festivals, and was selected the “Best Wind Ensemble in North America” by Downbeat magazine in 1988.

Rory performs professionally on saxophones and flutes, and leads The Rory Snyder Jazz Groups. Appearances include the west coast’s premeire jazz club Yoshi’s, Jupiter, the Monterey, San Jose & Vallejo Jazz Festivals, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants, UCLA, Cal State Stanislaus, and San Jose State University.

At DVC he produced 3 CDs with the Night Jazz Band: the first featuring Phil Woods, the second featuring Toshiko Akiyoshi. The latest release is DVC Jazz Live at Yoshi’s and DVC featuring Bob Mintzer. Rory has led DVC and HHS Music tours to China, Paris, London, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Disneyland and Disneyworld. He has presented many major jazz figures as guest artists at DVC including Joe Henderson, Clark Terry, Louie Bellson, Bruce Forman, Bill Watrous, Michael Wolff, Ed Shaughnessy, Don Menza, Gordon Goodwin, Bobby Hutcherson and more.”

Rory Snyder, autobiography