From the President
As the school year has begun with 12+ hour days, working with beginners on their new instruments and preparing for all the next events of the year, don’t forget to register for the AMEA Conference in Birmingham, January 17-19 2019. The conference is a great way to re-energize at the beginning of the second semester. With the number of applicants, Garry and I discussed different scheduling possibilities, and that includes an amazing program by The Alabama Winds. Let me encourage you to make plans now to attend their concert, set for 10 pm Thursday night. You do not want to miss it! In addition to this treat, we’ve planned many clinics covering a wide range of topics that we hope will inspire you to ‘learn and return’ by taking some new ideas and energy back to your own programs.
The board received thirty-five applications to perform. Choosing from all the applicants was a great problem to have and shows our bands are continuing to improve and are wanting to share their outstanding students with the music educators of Alabama. The groups that have been selected are truly outstanding, and include Liberty Park 7&8 MS Band, Oak Mountain HS Symphonic Band, Music Shoals HS Wind Ensemble, Thompson HS Wind Ensemble, UAB Wind Symphony, Alabama Winds, Bob Jones HS Percussion Ensemble, Auburn University Jazz Band, Fairhope MS Symphonic Band, and the Intercollegiate Band.
Please remember that the middle school etudes are selections from the Rubank Advanced Volume I. These students must present a copy of the book at the registration table at the district level. String bass and percussion will continue with the current cycle of etudes. The scales for the middle school must be performed at the range listed on the website. There is also a four-minute time limit on the middle school scales. As a professional organization, we must strive to adhere to the rules and regulations that are in place for the benefit and fairness of our students’ success.
The music performance classifications have changed for this year. Your district chairmen should have discussed these changes in detail at your district meetings or through email. The current bylaws are online at www.myamea.org. Please read the bylaws first before calling and asking a question whose answer can be easily found. Your ABA board works very hard for you while maintaining their own band programs, and we ask that you please be patient with them at the busy times of the year. Read their emails, get registrations done on time, and participate and help during your district events. Band directors demand so much of our students on a daily basis, but we often do not live up to what is expected of us as members of ABA. I am speaking to myself as well when I say this: let us strive to do our jobs for our students and for their success at ABA events. When judging all-state auditions, they are all your students and need professionalism and fairness. When you don’t meet deadlines, judge at district All-State auditions, or follow the bylaws and guidelines, it is your students that potentially suffer.
If you have not already updated your directory on abafest and myamea, please do so immediately. We are still finding mistakes in member’s information. This helps the organization keep you informed and
to make sure your registrations are processed correctly. The ABA has asked that when you are registering for events, you complete the process yourself by mailing the payment and registration to the appropriate person at ABA. We constantly receive checks and registrations sent to the wrong places, causing delays in processing. Thanks for your attention to this detail.
All-State 2019 will be in Huntsville. Please use the hotel links on the website to book rooms. It is easier for you and benefits the organization!
Finally, the AMEA conference is more than great concerts, inspirational and educational clinics, and meetings. It is a time to listen to veteran directors on how they have conquered the problems the younger directors face. And for veteran directors, it’s a great time to hear new ideas, innovative techniques, and to be inspired about a fresh look at a career to which they have devoted their professional lives. Find a way to join us at the AMEA conference and let’s continue to make our organization stronger for the benefit of our students.