From the President

AOA: And So, it Begins

Dear Educators,

Welcome back to what I hope will be another great year! I know all of you have been working hard throughout the summer preparing for the new school year. Please know the work you do for our students does not go unnoticed! As such, the Alabama Orchestra Association is looking forward to serving you and your students throughout the 2019-2020 school year.

As we begin this school year, I would love to hear from those of you currently teaching in a school-based or community-based string and/or orchestra program here in Alabama. We want to feature you and your programs via our social media pages and other available outlets. Please let me know what you’re up to and any events you may want to promote and we will share that with our membership.

The fall is an especially busy time for the AOA. The beginning of August will see excerpts posted for the upcoming Orchestra All-State Festival auditions. We have made several updates to our audition procedures for next year’s festival. We will be combining the audition material for the Festival and Sinfonia orchestras and including scales and etudes for the first time. We will also be adding a second audition day in early-November specifically for Wind, Brass, and Percussion students ONLY to help alleviate the issues of preparing and auditioning during marching season. More information about these changes as well as district audition dates, times and locations can be found on our website – As in previous years, students can take advantage of being able to audition in any district so as to allow for scheduling conflicts. If you are a band director, we sincerely hope that you will encourage your students to audition for our All-State Festival. As you know, the experience of performing with strings as well as the challenge of playing one to a part is something a lot of our band students never get the chance to do.

I am excited to announce that we have a wonderful line up of conductors for our 2019 Orchestra All- State Festival which will be held from Feb 6-9, 2020 at the University of Alabama. Our Festival Orchestra will be under the leadership of Mr. Thomas Heuser (Idaho Falls Symphony and San Juan (CO) Symphony), with Mr. Creston Herron from Klein HS (TX) conducting our Sinfonia Orchestra, and Dr. Rebecca MacLeod (UNC-Greensboro) conducting our Consort String ensemble. More information about our conductors and festival repertoire can be found on our website.

The Alabama Orchestra Association always strives to find quality clinicians for the AMEA Professional Development Conference. We look for clinicians who will inform, educate, and inspire not only our state’s string teachers but music educators across all the divisions. The 2020 AMEA Conference (Jan. 17- 19) will be no exception with a lineup of distinguished clinicians headlined by Richard Meyer. Mr. Meyer is a highly sought-after music educator as well as being a nationally-recognized, best-selling composer with over 190 compositions and arrangements in print. For 16 years, Mr. Meyer served as string editor for Alfred Publishing Company and is the co-author of several string method books, including the popular String Explorer Series and Sight-read It for Strings. He maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician and we are delighted that he will be joining us!

We will also continue to encourage string vendors to attend the 2020 AMEA conference. As we are able to lock in those vendors, we will let you know who they are via our Facebook page so you can contact them with any specific needs you might have while you are attending the conference.

During the 2019-2020 school year, we will continue to build upon the success of our annual Orchestra Music Performance Assessment event. We expect to have details regarding locations and dates (in Spring 2020) finalized soon. As always, check our Facebook page and/or the AOA website for updates. We encourage all string teachers including those that teach guitar and non-traditional string ensembles from both school-based and community-based programs to plan on participating.

Lastly, the AOA is here to serve you. If we can be of any assistance to you or your program please reach out to us. We hope you have a successful and rewarding school year and look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events.

Important Dates for 2019-2020

  • All-State Audition Materials Released – August 2, 2019
  • All-StateAuditionApplication Deadline -September27,2019
  • String Auditions (as well as early wind, brass, & percussion) – Early-October (check website)
  • Wind, Brass, & Percussion ONLY Auditions – Early-November (check website)
  • String Audition Results Posted – November 18, 2019
  • Wind, Brass, & Percussion Results Posted – November 25, 2019
  • All-State Scholarship Application Deadline – December 6, 2020
  • AMEA Conference – January 16-18, 2020
  • All-State Orchestra Festival – February 6-9, 2020
  • Orchestra Music Performance Assessment – Spring 2020 (check website)