AMEA President: Hello AMEA! Back to Work

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. Whatever Division you belong to and whoever makes up your classroom, my wish is that you feel empowered and excited to have a positive effect on our next generation of music lovers, music consumers, musicians, and citizens. And while we are at it, let’s all acknowledge what a fantastic job our Editor does with our publication. I can tell you from many conversations I have had over the past two and a half years with leaders from other states that the Ala Breve provides a model for many other state publications. Leaders from around the country constantly and consistently praise the work that Mr. Taylor does for us. Thank you so much Garry!

Southern Division Meeting

The Southern Division of NAfME held its Fall Board Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee on September 9-10. Representing you at the meeting besides myself were President-Elect David Raney and Executive Director/Editor Garry Taylor. Some of the topics discussed were state by-laws and policies, navigating the NAfME website, State Chair Positions, collegiate voting, budgeting, resources, technology, Societies and Councils, Tri-M, and the organizational split with the Give a Note foundation.

National Conference

The NAfME National Conference will take place November 11-14 in Dallas, Texas. You may feel free to consider this an advertisement, and I’m proud to do so. Our national leaders have conducted extensive research and I’m happy to report that they have listened to the respondents and associated generated data. The new model for the National Conference looks to be a very effective one and includes several tracks of learning for the Professional Music Educator. There will be three two-day forums including Emerging Leaders, Collegiate, and Music Program Leaders. There are also several topic areas or “Opuses,” which can be followed including Learning, Innovation, Involvement, Inspiration, and Technology. You can receive 20 hours of professional development for attending an Opus and/or 10 hours of professional development for attending one of the three two-day Forums. Learn more about the newly revised National Conference offerings at and I’ll see you there.

August Meeting and 2019 Conference

The AMEA Governing Board met in August with a full agenda of 21 business items to accomplish. I am proud to report that the Board worked diligently and completed all items on the agenda. Most importantly, the Board completed planning our January 2019 Conference. I won’t belabor the point by giving a substantive analysis of the conference here, but I will say this: Get there, and get your colleagues there as well! We have all heard the phrase to the effect that “There’s nothing there for me.” Just peruse the schedule and you will see that not only is there something for everyone, but there is a lot there for everybody. There are more clinic sessions, interest sessions, meetings, and of course more concerts. We will also have a general session, keynote address, and awards. You do not want to miss this, so get your pre-registration complete and join your 1,200 Alabama Professional Music Educator Colleagues for a fantastic conference!

Read the August meeting agenda

Conference Registration

As I mentioned in my last article and through no fault of anyone in the AMEA, we experienced major issues with registration at our 2018 Conference. I am super excited to announce that those problems have been dealt with and solved. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dr. Carl Hancock for engineering a new registration program and process, which is currently up and running perfectly. The best way to alleviate any delays in the registration process is still to pre-register and get right to the conference activities. You won’t want to miss a minute. Thank you, Dr. Hancock!

Register for the conference

Bicentennial Performances

Bicentennial Performance Applications for the 2019 Spring Legislative Session are due November 1. These performances will occur in the Rotunda of the State Capitol building and were very well received last year. There are some very specific rules and logistical concerns for these performances, so please read the performance application very carefully. You can find all the information you need on the website. I hope to see you and your group in Montgomery this coming spring!

See video from last year

Apply to perform in 2019


I mentioned in my previous article that I was going to make some appointments to the Presidential Cabinet, and I am pleased to report to you that some of these appointees and their associated committees are already doing great work. You will begin to see the fruits of their labors in this and coming issues of the Ala Breve, at our Conference, and through other special reports. The Presidential Cabinet will also meet during our conference in Birmingham to discuss, strategize, and plan for the future. Here are some highlights of recent appointments: Carlton Wright-Diversity in Music Education, Stephanie Ezell-Health and Wellness, Keith Anderson-Technology, Dr. Rob Lyda-Advocacy, David Raney- Mission and Vision, Deanna Bell-Sexual Harassment and Safety in the Workplace, Margaret Herron-AP Music Theory, David Allinder-Harmonizing Instruments, Susan Smith-AMEA Emerging Leaders, Craig Cagle-Grant Writing, and Franklin Bell-Copyright Compliance. Others are still being formed. Thanks to everybody involved and I look forward to seeing the results of your research. You will also notice that I have added Elementary/General, Jazz, and Orchestral Music Reviews to our publication to generate more useful information for all our members. Thanks also to our newest Music Reviewers!

Visible and Vigilant

In closing, may I ask each of you to be both Visible and Vigilant? Be visible in your towns, cities and counties. Be visible to your local residents and school populations. Be visible in our state. Be visible to your elected officials at all levels of government. Invite people to come see your performing groups and classrooms. Let our fellow citizens and elected officials see what you are doing, what you are accomplishing, and even what you might be struggling with. Let them see what a difference Music Education makes for our students, our communities, and our culture. Also, be vigilant. Keep a watchful eye on legislative happenings at the local, state, and national levels. Many decisions are made for us and about us, often without us even knowing there was a decision being made. Be vigilant and stay informed about music education policy in your local school, school system, city, county, state, and nation. Contact elected officials at all levels, communicate your thoughts, ask them to visit you and your students, and stay vigilant about their decisions and policy making. Our art form, our students, and our noble profession deserve both our visibility and vigilance.

Looking forward to seeing all of you at the Conference!