AVA: Updates and AMEA Conference Recap

Updates and AMEA Conference Recap

It was great to see many of you at the AMEA conference in January. We had some wonderful performances and sessions and also enjoyed having Michael Hanawalt from Florida State University join us as our clinician. I hope you were all able to take some new strategies and ideas to use with your choirs.

We also enjoyed performances by the Alabama Honor Choir and the Alabama All-State Show Choir. Thank you to all of you who had students audition and participate. The behavior, focus, and work ethic of all of the students was excellent. The Honor Choir learned some excellent repertoire with Dr. Gary Packwood in a really short amount of time and put on a great Friday night concert. The Show Choir’s performance on Saturday morning was definitely a highlight of the conference for me. Thank you to Ginny Coleman and Cameron Weiler for all of their organization and planning and to everyone who helped out behind the scenes.

Bylaw Change

During the general membership meeting at AMEA, the membership voted to change Article VII, Section 7.1 of the AVA Bylaws to read “The Executive Board will appoint All-State adjudicators. Adjudicators will not judge their own students.” The membership asked the AVA board to create qualifications for All-State adjudicators. The board will work on developing the list of qualifications during the AVA summer board meeting and we welcome any feedback from the membership regarding this.

All-State Choral Festival

I am really excited about our move to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. While I know there will be some kinks to work out, I think that this move is going to open up a lot of opportunities for our students. One of the opportunities that I am most excited about is the ability to invite collegiate-level choirs to perform for our students during our convocation. This year, we are thrilled to have as our guests the University of Alabama and Birmingham Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Brian Kittredge and the University of Montevallo Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Melinda Doyle.

Our festival schedule is slightly different this year due to our new location, so please make sure to look at it early and make plans especially for the meal breaks. Thank you to Cathy Spence, director at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in downtown Birmingham, for compiling a list of nearby restaurants for us.

AVA Officer Elections

The AVA Bylaws, Article I, Section 1.1 states “A nominating committee consisting of the current year’s Executive Board will select one qualified candidate (Constitution Article VI, Section 6.1) for the office of President-Elect and one qualified candidate for the office of Recording Secretary. These candidates will be presented to the Board at the AVA board meeting at AMEA. Upon approval, the candidates will be presented at the general membership meeting at AMEA at which time nominations of qualified candidates will be accepted for a predetermined time period. The membership will have time between AMEA and All-State to voice questions and concerns regarding candidates. Officers shall be elected by a plurality of those members present and voting at the All-State general membership meeting.”

The Executive Board has nominated Hilen Wilson for the office of President-Elect and has nominated our current Recording Secretary, Margaret Heron, to remain in her role for another term. Hilen Wilson is currently the choral director at Paul W. Bryant High School and the Tuscaloosa Fine Arts Academy. She is in her seventh year of teaching at the secondary level. Mrs. Wilson has served as the District II Chairman for the Alabama Vocal Association for the last 6 years. Hilen has several years’ experience with the Alabama American Choral Directors Association where she currently serves as the Children’s Choir Repertoire and Resources Chair. She has also served on the Mentoring Committee, Summer Conference Committee, and Student Representative at the state level.

The deadline to make additional nominations is February 20. Nominations may be sent to the AVA board at theavaboard@gmail.com. The vote will take place during the AVA general membership meeting on Friday, March 6 at 8:45am during the All-State Choir Festival.

I hope that your semester is filling with great music and memory making with your students and I look forward to seeing you all very soon at All-State! If you have any comments, suggestions, or concerns, please contact me at .meg.jones.ava@gmail.com.

Thank you, Meg