At a young age, Altoona native Jake Snyder was already showing his musical abilities. He taught himself to play the piano. His father had wanted him to play the accordian, which was a heavy instrument for his small size and age, so his mother would put the accordian into a red wagon and pull it across town to his music lesson.
His wife Cheryl, who he married in 1974 says that she remembers Jake in ninth grade, being a vocalist at Keith Junior High School. She remembers him singing at special assemblies and things like that.
Piano playing came naturally to him. He had a gift where he could hear a song and then he could play it. Cheryl says that his whole being was in tune to music. She adds that it was his lifeblood.
She remembers that music was probably the most important aspect of his life. except for his faith and family.
Graduating from Altoona Area high School in 1967, Snyder attended Penn State University, Altoona Campus from 1967 to 1969 and then attended the main campus in State College from 1969 to 1971, graduating in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science in secondary school music education. He also received from Penn State, his Master of Music Education in 1975, a Professional certificate as Secondary Principal in 1993 and Professional Certificate as Superintendent in 1995. Then, he went on to earn a Masters of Art Degree in Ministry from Grace Theological Seminary in 2000...
***To read Jake's complete story, check out the upcoming book release They Came From Blair County Volume 2
***Information for this article was obtained through a phone interview with Cheryl Snyder
***Photos were provided by Cheryl Snyder