It was so great to see so many of you at the AMEA Conference. While I always love going to concerts and sessions, some of my favorite moments of our conferences and workshops are in conversations with my colleagues. It’s always a time for me to reconnect and remind myself that I am not in this alone. Being the only teachers of our disciplines at our schools can feel like being on an island, so coming together with other choral directors always leaves me encouraged and renewed.
Congratulations and thank you to all of this year’s performing ensembles. It was obvious that there were tremendous amounts of hard work and thoughtful planning behind all of the performances. Your choirs made me smile, moved me to tears, and inspired me. Thank you for going above and beyond to share your music with all of us.
Also, thank you to our session presenters. We had a great variety of topics and it was great to have several of our own AVA directors presenting in addition to our invited clinician, Dr. Lori Hetzel. Please consider applying to present a session next year. You all are doing great things in your classrooms and we can all benefit from learning from each other!
Next year, the AMEA conference will be returning to Montgomery. We are exploring some great options for our concert sessions and so we hope you will apply to perform. We are again providing recordings of your SCPA performances as part of your registration and we hope you will take advantage of this and submit a performance application to AMEA.
Thank you to everyone for helping us test Acceptd as a potential platform for conducting auditions in the future. Before the All-State General Membership Meeting, please take a few minutes to reflect on the process. Ginny Coleman, Vice-President, will be sharing a survey with you all during the festival to gather your feedback. We would love to hear any of your thoughts and concerns.
This year’s All-State Festival is going to feature some wonderful music and clinicians. Please take a moment to read about the clinicians in this issue of the Ala Breve. You may also visit the AVA website to view the official All-State correspondence which contains rehearsal duties, the schedule, and more details. Thank you so much to all of you who have volunteered to serve in various capacities throughout the festival. It is a huge event and could not happen without your service.
All-State Show Choir
In the past several years, we have been modifying the ASSC festival and auditions in different ways in an effort to raise participation numbers. We have moved the festival date so as to not coincide with show choir season, have included 9th-grade students, and have conducted auditions by video to prevent schools from having to travel and miss school. Despite all of these efforts, our All-State Show Choir participation has not increased. I plan to make a motion at this year’s All-State General Membership Meeting to remove the requirement that ASSC students also make a traditional All-State Choir. Due to feedback on recent surveys, I know that our AVA members are split in their opinions regarding this requirement. Therefore, we anticipate needing to take a vote by ballot during the meeting. Please make every effort to attend the meeting to cast your vote.
As SCPA approaches, please take a few minutes to read through the new guidelines and rubric. We are very excited about the new levels of sight reading that will hopefully encourage schools that have previously been hesitant about SCPA to participate. In addition to the new level guidelines, we also changed the Standing Rules to allow directors to establish tonality once at any time during the 5-minute study period. This will allow choirs who use audiation during the study period to audiate in the key of the sight-reading example.
During the All-State Festival, we will share a survey regarding event dates for next year. This survey was a great help to the District Chairmen last year in their planning. Please take some time before the festival to view your school calendar for next year and to prepare to share your requests with your District Chairman through the survey.
As always, we welcome any and all feedback from the membership. The AVA Board seeks to be transparent and to serve you all as best as we are able. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any thoughts, concerns, or questions. I look forward to seeing you all in March!