From the President

ELEM/GEN: It’s Time!

A music teacher colleague tells the story of a farming family who awakens one morning to do their daily chores. The father climbs on his tractor and heads to plow the distant fields while the mother and their son stay behind to do work on the farm. The mother is expecting and due to deliver at any moment. While working, the time arrives for her to have the baby so she sends her young son to fetch his father. The son obeys, runs the distance to the father, and they both arrive back at the house to find the very pregnant and in labor mother picking tomatoes. The father asks the mother why she is picking tomatoes when she is in labor. She simply replies, because they are ready to be harvested; it’s time.

My friends, it is now time for us to do what we have done for years; teach music to the children who have been waiting all summer to learn from us. They deserve fresh, fun, and new ideas and it’s our duty to make sure they receive them. Your elementary division board has been hard at work planning professional development opportunities for you over the course of this next school year to assist you in educating the children of Alabama. I am honored to serve you as President of the Elementary Division along with Dr. Rob Lyda, secretary and Lori Zachary, treasurer. As many of you may know, Dr. Kelly Jo Hollingsworth was elected to serve as President-elect, but has since taken a higher education job out of state. I have asked Betty Wilson to fill this position. Cliff Huckabee will serve two roles this year; Past-President and Choral Festival Director.

This year, several professional development opportunities are available for you to attend beginning August 26. The East Alabama Music Workshop will be held in Auburn, AL at Grace United Methodist Church from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The guest presenters will be Dr. Sara Womack and Dr. Becky Halliday. The topic of discussion will be the new state standards. There is no cost for the workshop. Contact Dr. Rob Lyda for more details at

The 12th Annual Elementary Music Festival will take place at Samford University’s Wright Center on Friday, October 6. Approximately 400 elementary students representing over 40 schools across the state have registered. The clinicians for this event will be Ericka Bridge and Vic Oates. This music festival is a great opportunity for our students. Thank you for your continued support of this festival.

Saturday, October 7th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. we will have our joint Fall Workshop sponsored by AMEA Elementary/General Division and AOSA. This year our clinician will be Orff specialist Ericka Bridge. Stay tuned to the webpage for further details as they become available.

The 2018 AMEA Professional Development Conference will be moving from Montgomery to the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama. You will not want to miss this one. This year we are honored to have Lorelei Batislaong as our featured clinician. She will be presenting three sessions for us, while an Alabama favorite, Roger Sams, will return to present a session. We will also have member guided sessions ranging from bucket drumming to around the world recorder.  We look forward to seeing you in Birmingham January 18th -20th. If you have not renewed your NAfME membership, do so soon so that you will not miss a second of this conference.

We want to stay in touch with you and reach out to those who are not members of AMEA. Please email us at to update your information and please share this address with those who you know are not members.

As you step into your classroom this fall know that you will not be there alone. The voices and ideas of teachers from across the state and country will be there with you to help you along this journey. The professional development material you bring with you will interject new life into your class, and your students will see the difference a little time on your part makes. Please know how very hard your elementary/general board is going to work with and for you. We are always open for suggestions and hope that you will reach out to us. The tomatoes are ripe and it’s time to harvest them. Here’s wishing you a great school year!

See you in October,

Phil R. Wilson, President

Elementary/General Division


  • East Alabama Music Workshop, Grace United Methodist Church, Auburn,  August 26, 9 a.m. to 3 a.m.
  • 12th Annual Elementary Music Festival, Friday, October 6th, Samford University’s Wright Center
  • Joint Fall Workshop sponsored by Elementary/General Division of AMEA and AOSA, Saturday, October 7, 9 a.m. to 3 a.m.
  • 2018 AMEA Professional Development Conference, BJCC, Birmingham, AL, January 18-20.