About Us

The Maryland Christian Youth Band & Orchestra begun as part of Cedar Brook Academy in the fall of 2002. Founded by Robert Fogleman with an initial class of eight students, the band and orchestra program has grown to well over 100 students and is still growing.

As one of the premier homeschool instrumental programs in Maryland, the MCYBO now offers to both homeschool and afterschool musicians multiple levels of performance groups with professional instruction in all of the orchestral winds, strings, and percussion. All groups (except Jazz Band) meet each week on Thursday afternoons At Ashton United Methodist Church, 17314 New Hampshire Ave. They perform from a variety of repertoire including concert selections, classics, and popular pieces.  Concerts are given twice a year and, in the past, these groups have performed at Six Flags America, Glen Echo Park, and other venues.

In addition, we also offer early musician training for ages 6 to 8 with classes for Windstars and Ukulele. All group classes are held either Tuesdays or Thursdays at Ashton United Methodist Church, 17314 New Hampshire Avenue, Ashton, MD. Please see our Calendar for the most up to date schedule of classes.

Students who have played in the program over the years have gone on to major or minor in music and play for various other groups and worship teams. Students have also had the opportunity to compose for the different groups and we have premiered several of their compositions.

Our Mission

Our mission at the Maryland Christian Youth Band and Orchestra is to fulfill the aspirations of home schooled and after school students who want to participate in a nurturing and challenging musical environment. We welcome students of all backgrounds and levels of ability and strive to provide appropriate instruction. Please contact us  to discuss how you might become a part of this unique opportunity.

All classes except Jazz Band are held Thursday afternoons at Ashton United Methodist Church in Ashton, MD. Tuesday afternoon Beginning Band and Strings will be held from 4:00 to 5:00 PM at Ashton UMC. Jazz Band will be at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Silver Spring, MD on Mondays at 5:00 PM. Individual and small group coaching will also be held on Tuesdays.

Our Directors

Robert Fogleman, Director of Bands, .holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts-Boston with further studies at the Berklee College of Music and Villanova University. He has studied woodwind and jazz performance with Chris Vadala, George Coleman, Ken Radnofsky, and Michael Vaccaro, among others.  As a performer, Mr. Fogleman has appeared on stage at the U.S. Capital, the Baltimore Convention Center, the Today Show, and the Los Angeles Convention Center. He has also conducted the Montgomery County Public Schools Junior Honors Jazz Ensemble, the MCPS 6th Grade Honors String Orchestra and numerous band and orchestra concerts for private groups as well as for the Montgomery County, Maryland public school system. In addition, Mr. Fogleman has been the adjudicator for the Washington Archdiocese Honors Band, the MCPS Honors Band, the Baltimore County Solo and Ensemble Festival, and the MCPS Honors Jazz Band. The Fogleman Family were members of the Cedar Brook Academy during 2000-2008.

Karl Schneider, Director of String Orchestras,  is a violinist, teacher, and conductor, with degrees in music and psychology from the State University of New York.  He has conducted the Birmingham Musicale in Detroit, served as concertmaster of the Detroit Metropolitan Orchestra and the Orlando Opera, and played with the Florida Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Schneider’s teaching experience includes middle schools and the Winter Park High School Orchestra in Orange County, Florida. He has a wide variety of orchestral, freelance and recording experience in Michigan, Florida and the Washington area.

Elizabeth Dumas Schneider, Assistant Director of Strings, has degrees from the Juilliard School of Music and the Catholic University of America.  She teaches cello and piano, and performs as organist for the University of Maryland Memorial Chapel. Dr. Dumas Schneider is the Music Director for Ashton United Methodist Church. Together, Karl and Elizabeth have a large private music teaching studio.  They enjoy homeschooling Clara and are members of Knox Orthodox Presbyterian Church, where Karl also directs the choir. 

Sheralee Thomas, Director of Beginning Bands, holds a Bachelors Degree in music (piano and clarinet) from the University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, as well as a Higher Education Diploma with emphasis in Class Music. She continued her post graduate studies in the Philippines completing two Masters Degrees in Theology, and a PhD in Education, with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction. Dr Thomas currently works and teaches online for three universities, while she and her husband, Italo Osorio, enjoying the benefits of homeschooling her two daughters Kim and Lin.  In addition to teaching her daughters their instruments and music theory, Sheralee currently teaches several private music students in her home.