Julia Ann Meller Narducci
Julia (Julie) Narducci, a clarinetist and elementary school music specialist, taught music at all levels in the Seventh-day Adventist school system for 23 years. She now serves as Director of Alumni Services at La Sierra University, a position she has held since 2006.
Julie was born in Eureka, California, and spent her childhood in Fortuna, the older of two children and the only daughter of Simon Aldin and Elma Gregerson Meller. Both parents are active in music. Her father, a retired dentist, is an amateur musician who plays accordion and saxophone, and her mother, a singer, played French horn while at Lodi Academy and sang in the choir and in a girls’ trio at LA with Arladell Nelson, later a legendary choir director at Monterey Bay Academy.
Julie started piano lessons in second grade and clarinet in fifth grade at Fortuna Junior Academy. She had a number of good teachers, an early influential one being Robert Tan, whose enthusiasm for and love of music was contagious for his students. Another favorite for Julie was a later piano teacher, Nancy Dale, who had a “huge influence” in her life and encouraged her to consider being a music teacher.
After attending FJA through her sophomore year, Julie completed her junior and senior years at Rio Lindo Academy, graduating in 1977. While there she played in the band under Alonzo Lang and studied piano with Helen Brown and organ in her senior year with June McManaman, the latter an experience which she recalls as providing a wonderful foundation for playing the instrument.
She enrolled at Pacific Union College where she continued study in music and had completed all requirements for a music education degree except for student teaching by 1981. She had met Kenneth Narducci and, following his graduation in 1980 and one year of graduate studies at the University of Oregon, they married and moved to Oregon for a year while he continued his graduate study.
They returned to PUC in 1982 when Ken was hired to direct the band. She completed her student teaching at that time and graduated in 1983 with a music education degree and piano and clarinet as her performance areas. Her clarinet teacher, Richard Heyden, got her excited about teaching music to children and introduced her to the Kodaly Method in an elementary music methods class.
She started teaching music full-time in the fall of 1983 at PUC Elementary School, where she taught for the next nine years, doing classroom music, giving instrumental lessons, directing two choirs and, as the program flourished and school enrollment peaked, three bands. During that time she completed an M.Mus. in the teaching of the Kodaly Method at Holy Names College in 1989, becoming a Kodaly Specialist.
In 1992 she was offered a position at Napa Junior Academy, where she taught for the next seven years, developing essentially the same program she had at PUC elementary. She especially enjoyed her time there and the support the school, students, and parents provided for her program. While at NJA she was awarded the Zapara Excellence in Teaching Award in the 1995.
She returned to teach at PUC Elementary School in 1999 when its music program was combined with the PUC Preparatory Academy music program. Her responsibilities included choirs, bands, and instrumental lessons for the elementary through the academy levels.
At the end of four years when she had been teaching half-time at each level, she continued at the elementary level at PUC and replaced the half-time at PUC Prep with teaching half-time at Foot Hills Elementary. She also taught as an adjunct faculty member at the college on occasion, teaching classes in the Kodaly Method after she had completed her master’s degree in that specialization.
Although Julie no longer teaches music she is still musically active, singing in the LSU church Chancel Choir and playing bass clarinet in the LSU Wind Ensemble which is conducted by Ken.
Source: Interview with Julie Narducci, November 2013; California Birth and marriage indices, Ancestory.com.