AVA: Reflections on the Year, Anticipations of the Future

AVA: Reflections on the Year, Anticipations of the Future

I could never have imagined that I would be writing my final AMEA article during a time of quarantine. I know we are all desperately missing our students, colleagues, and music-making. I’m so grateful that technology is allowing us all to stay somewhat connected, but I know we all can’t wait for the chance to gather to create music again. The need for community created by our choirs has never been more apparent!

I cannot say thank you enough to all of our participating schools and directors for how you adapted to our new location and did so with grace and positivity. The AVA Board has already been evaluating areas for improvement for next year as we look forward to returning to the BJCC. We welcome any ideas you may have to make next year even better.

Thank you to all of our members who served as Choir Coordinator, Assistant Coordinator, Attendance Monitor, or in any other capacity and helped to keep the festival running smoothly. I would also like to specifically thank John Kincaid for his hard work in coordinating our concert site in a brand-new venue!
I would also like to say thank you to Melinda Doyle and the University of Montevallo Concert Choir and Brian Kittredge and the UAB Concert Choir for performing for our convocation. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to expose our students to these wonderful choral programs. We look forward to having more university choirs participate in the future. In addition to these convocation performances, we are also planning for next year to invite university choirs to set up recruitment tables in the Forum building so that our students can have the chance to see what choral opportunities are available to them throughout the state.

Next year’s All-State Festival will be March 4-6, 2021. Again, if you have any ideas for next year’s festival, please let us know.

The 2021 AMEA conference will be January 21-23 in Montgomery. The deadline to submit is June 1. Please do not let the fact that we do not have recordings from SCPA this year deter you. Submit Christmas recordings if that is what you have available! I would hate for us to have a small number of submissions this year simply because we did not have SCPA or spring concerts. Even if you are unsure of your recordings, I would still encourage you to submit.

Fall Workshop
Please mark your calendar now for this year’s Fall Workshop and make plans to attend! It will be on September 11 in Montgomery. At this workshop, we will announce any major decisions that are made during Summer Board and we will review All-State music to prepare for auditions. If you plan on participating in any AVA events next school year, I would strongly encourage you to attend. Also, if you are interested in presenting a short, 30-minute session during the workshop, please let us know. Though we love hearing from our guest clinician, it’s so beneficial to hear from our colleagues who are in the trenches with us every day!

Summer Board
The AVA will meet this summer to review and revise the handbook, approve All-State music, and plan events for this coming year. If you have anything that you would like added to the agenda for the board to discuss, please submit it in writing to Randall at randall.fields.ava@gmail.com before May 29.

AVA Board
As my time as AVA President comes to a close, I want to say again how much the relationships I’ve built while on the board have meant to me. This has been the biggest benefit and blessing to me. In serving on the board, I have had the privilege of getting to know so many of you across the state, an honor that otherwise might have not been possible. I am so thankful for all of you and am honored to serve with such great people. I look forward to continuing to serve you as Vice-President as I support Randall Fields in his new role as AVA President. I’d also like to say thank you to Ginny Coleman she rotates off of the board for her 10 years of service – an entire decade! – to the AVA. Ginny’s leadership has been invaluable to our organization. I have appreciated her efforts to make our organization more transparent and forward-thinking.

Thank you, again, for allowing me to serve as your AVA President. I look forward to seeing you all in September!