ABA: New Beginnings, New Opportunities!

As we begin a new school year here in the scorching south, let’s remember the advice of Mike Holmes; SUNSCREEN!!! This heat makes me wish for an indoor practice facility. While we were on break, the summer conference was a great success. Your ABA Board is working diligently to improve the association and to strive to evaluate and make decisions that will begin to move us forward.

First, I would like to thank President-elect Terry Ownby and the members of the Music Selection Committee for their continued hard work on the All-State etudes. The middle school etudes will now be found in the Rubank Advanced Vol. 1 for this school year. The high school etudes will remain on their current cycle but will be reviewed by university instructors for the different instruments to recommend changes.

Second, the ABA evaluated the data from all ABA events gathered this past year and the findings will be shared with the membership in the near future. The board also approved the printing of the bylaws and policy handbook. ABA will be selling advertisement space in the books to offset the cost of printing and mailing. They will go out in September once the directory has been updated. Many of our directors are new, have new jobs, or are in newly created jobs. Please update your profile on abafest.com and also on myamea.org. It is very important to update both profiles.

There are two items of legislation to be voted on at AMEA. 2018-1 is legislation to include home school students in public school bands. It follows along with the AHSAA policy on home school students. 2018-2 is dealing with Solo and Ensemble and just corrects a mistake in the bylaws.

The board also participated in training for the different events they host in order to standardize procedures across the state. So, to say the first day of summer conference was busy is an understatement but very productive. The clinics this summer were outstanding; Jennifer Farris with eye opening copyright law, David Gregory with two informative clinics, Andy Nevala on Latin jazz with our own directors as a reading band, and David Waters with Harmony Director. We would like to thank Kim Bain for putting together the entertainment for the Shrimp Boil and Pat Stegall for his words as the Old Fogey. The conference shrimp boil could not be possible without our sponsors: AWB Apparel (Wayne Broom), Southern Performances (David Brannon), Group Travel Network (Justin Shuler), Mouchette Enterprises (Roland Mouchette), Custom Fundraising Solutions (Charlie Colwell), Demoulin (Jeff Therber and Frank Godfrey), Arts Music Shop (Mike Mason and Paul Freehling). Also, Scott Thompson Band Supply for the donuts and coffee.

AMEA is right around the corner and will be a great in-service opportunity. Thirty-five groups submitted to play at AMEA. All the groups submitted were outstanding and there will be some great performances. Once bands are selected, please consider playing music from all levels to showcase music ideal for any size band. Remember to book your rooms early. This year the performances will be in the BJCC Theater instead of the concert hall.

As I said earlier, many directors have new jobs. Please reach out to your new neighbors. Especially reach out to our first year directors to offer help, advise, and support so they have a great first year experience. As we continue to move forward, let’s continue to evaluate and make our programs better. If there is anything we can do as a board, please do not hesitate to ask. Once you receive your handbook, READ IT! My high school director, Becky Rodgers Warren, gave me the best advice as a new director. Read the handbook as the year progresses. Before each event READ THE HANDBOOK! Then as you evaluate your year go back and READ THE HANDBOOK. That was one of the best pieces of advice I received and has served me well through the years.

Good luck on a great year and remember – don’t forget the SUNSCREEN!