AMEA: Giving Our Best Effort


Hello AMEA!

I hope that this issue of the Ala Breve finds you experiencing well-planned, effective, sequential, and standards-based lessons in which your students are learning a life-long love and appreciation of music and music making. We are all very much aware of the positive effects that the study of music provides our students and the empowerment experienced by students who have professional, caring teachers. I want to encourage all of you to find new ways of engaging your students and providing them with the best possible experiences in your classrooms. Our world is changing rapidly due to the continual expansion and use of technology, and we are going to have to develop methodologies which match the learning styles of our students as we move further into the future. Our noble profession and art form deserve nothing short of our best efforts, as do our students. When our students get our best, they give us their best!

Southern Division Meeting

The Southern Division of NAfME Board held our meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, September 8-9. Representing you there besides myself were Executive Director/Editor Garry Taylor, Past -President Susan Smith, and President-Elect David Raney. Some of the topics we discussed were Collegiate Voting, Technology, the new NAfME Membership Management System, Societies and Councils, Budget Review, the use of Lobbyists at the State Level, Partnerships with Arts Coalitions, Policies concerning Conference Presenters, Organizational Development at the State Level, and several other topics. The conversations were lively, informative, and thought provoking.

2020 Election

We have an election coming up in 2020 to determine our next AMEA President-Elect. Currently we are voting online through an email methodology. We have experienced somewhat low voter turnout, and are looking into possible solutions. One idea discussed at the August AMEA Governing Board meeting was to switch the voting event back to voting on site at our Conference. For this election cycle, we will continue the online process. That having been said, may I please challenge all of you to participate in the process and vote? Let us together as an organization achieve the highest voter turnout in AMEA history this spring when we get to choose our next leader. How awesome would that be? It has indeed been my pleasure to serve you as President, and I would like for the next President-Elect to feel as though they have the support and attention of the entire organization.

Making use of NAfME Resources

There is a huge amount of very useful information on the NAfME website. Some of the most valuable information addresses Advocacy, Lesson Planning, and of course the 2014 National Standards. The site also keeps very close watch on Legislative happenings in Washington, DC. I encourage you to search through the website and find out what our National Organization is doing and providing for your use. Your dues are paying for access to the resources, so why not make full use of them? You just might find some answers you are looking for, or a great solution to an issue which is preventing you from providing your students the well rounded education that they are guaranteed by Federal Law. So put aside an hour and check out all the information on the NAfME website. You’ll be glad you did.

2020 Conference Introduction

I am so excited about our upcoming Professional Development Conference, January 16-18, 2020. Congratulations to all who were selected to perform and present at the Conference. And Thank You to all our exhibitors as well. We could not have such a great event without their support. Each Division has planned some fantastic learning activities and performance opportunities. I hope that you have already registered, but if you have not yet done so, make it a priority to get it done soon. Dr. Carl Hancock has done a huge amount of work building our own website and interface with the new NAfME Membership Management System, and I’m looking forward to the registration process being the smoothest it has ever been. As you peruse the schedule you will see that we have moved the Keynote Address to Thursday morning at 10:30, so please make your travel plans accordingly. You will not want to miss this Keynote Session. It will include a combined schools Special Needs Drumming Group, The University of North Alabama Low Brass Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Thomas Lukowicz, and our Keynote Speaker, Mr. David Satterfield. Dave is absolutely one of the most dynamic human beings alive on the planet. He is currently the Director of Asset Development for the Office of Research and Economic Development at West Virginia University and a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Music. Mr. Satterfield also serves as the Assistant to the Director of the WVU Manufacturing Extension Partnership, as well as the Facility Security Officer for WVU and the WVU Innovation Corporation. Dave has also been a Staff Member and Board of Directors Member for The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. As you can already see, Dave will bring a very diverse background of experience, a huge amount of knowledge, and a fresh perspective to the Keynote Address. He is also one of the most endearing, genuine, and entertaining speakers you will ever hear. Dave will also speak at the Leadership Breakfast and spend some time with our FAME students. I would also like to highlight a couple more opportunities for you at the Conference. The first is Thursday, January 16th, 4:30-5:30 when the Jacksonville State University Steel Band, under the direction of Dr. Thomas McCutchen, will perform at the Exhibit Reception. Please also attend the President’s Reception on Friday, January 17th, 9:30-11:00 where the Gadsden State Show Band will be performing under the direction of Dr. Matt Leder.


I have been blessed to meet a great many leaders in our profession throughout the country over the past four years, and I look forward to learning from them and sharing information with them for the next two years after I have “passed the gavel” to President-Elect David Raney. The one similarity that I have seen in all the truly great leaders is the mentality that Leadership is not about at title, but rather it is about responsibility and actions. Search out ways to be a leader in your community, your state, your Division, and in the AMEA itself. When you see an opportunity to serve our profession, go for it. When you see something that needs done or changed, do it. When you have discovered some information that would be useful to our profession, share it. Be a leader in our profession and enjoy enriching Music Education in the process!

I look forward to seeing all of you at our Conference!

Music Education is AWESOME in Alabama!

Respectfully Submitted,

Gregory L. Gumina