Sandy Neel is director of Orchestras at Burns Middle School. Under Neel’s direction, the Burns Middle School Orchestra has earned superior performances for many years at the annual Music Performance Assessment held each March

As a teacher, Sandy Neel, the director of Orchestras at Burns Middle School in Brandon, is able to combine here love for music with love of teaching.

Neel said, “I’m so thankful everyday for the opportunity to do what I love. It is a joy to share your appreciation for music with your students who hopefully will continue to share their musical experiences with their families.”
Neel has been at Burns Middle School for 16 years.

Under Neel’s direction, the Burns Middle School Orchestra was invited to perform at the 2008 Florida Music Educator’s Association Conference at the Tampa Convention Center. Neel was also voted Teacher of the Year in 2003-2004.

Neel said, “What a wonderful honor to be recognized by your fellow teachers and staff for what you do on a daily basis.”
Neel said, “The students and I are relentless in our pursuit to perform to our potential. We are passionate about music and making classical string music current and fun.”

Neel got her start with music at a young age. “I was introduced to the violin in elementary school at a summer camp program. Music started as a hobby and became a career for me,” said Neel.

Neel has a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of South Florida. She received her National Board Certification for Early Adolescence to Young Adulthood in Music in 2003.

In addition to teaching, Neel is also the conductor for the Symphonic Strings for the Tampa Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. Neel is passionate about music. Neel said, “The performing arts are a refuge where individuals from different social, economic, race, gender, physical and emotional challenges and personality receive recognition, respect and inspiration for their talent.”

For more information on Burns Middle School and its music program, please call 744-8383. For more information on the Tampa Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, please visit

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