AMEA: Expect It, Accept It, and Cherish It.

I am humbled and honored to write my first article as the AMEA President. Please forgive me if I make claim to the most unique start of a presidency since 1946. Despite the unique start of my term, I am most certainly excited to work with the amazing team of AMEA Staff and Governing Board. I am well aware the foundation of this association was established by the great leadership of those that came before me. I would like to thank Greg Gumina and Susan Smith for providing me with the mentorship and guidance as I step into this position.

As I write this article, I am still unsure how the fall semester will look for our students. By the time you read this article, my hope is that we all have a clear understanding of how to approach the challenges that lie ahead within our own unique situation. Although the plans have changed and your curriculum may have been altered, one thing that has not changed is the commitment our educators have towards their student’s education.

A truth that is evident in our band program is that adversity can be a great motivator. Adversity is often the tool that bring students together to work as one and overcome enormous obstacles. A beloved former director of mine was once overheard saying, “Students must have a problem to overcome and if they don’t, I will make one up for them”.

One thing is clear, we currently do not have to seek out challenges to overcome; however, we must constantly remind ourselves that challenges are what make us stronger and better at what we do. Challenges are uncomfortable but also give us an opportunity to appreciate what we had and will have in the future. For some, this year may create your most fond memories with your students or your most proud moments as an educator. I challenge you to open your mind and allow those moments to happen. Expect it, accept it, and cherish it.

Spring/Summer Activities

Watching everyone jump into action during the onset of this pandemic was nothing short of an amazing site to witness. Greg quickly gathered the leadership and started collaborating ideas and brainstorming for solutions. Over the coming months, complete websites were developed, Town Halls were organized, resources were gathered, the Advocacy Leadership Force was established, and constant collaboration with NAfME and other state leaders became daily events. Identifying everything that transpired over the summer is more than can be mentioned in this article.

Although the opportunity to advocate for music education at the annual “Hill Day” event in Washington, DC was cancelled, NAfME hosted an outstanding virtual National Assembly that exceeded our preconceived expectations with an online event.

2021 AMEA Conference

Of all the plans AMEA has made over the summer, none have been as difficult as addressing the upcoming conference. The AMEA staff has always provided outstanding conference experiences with each year progressively improving technology, performances, and professional development sessions. Evidence of these improvements can be found in the consistent growth of attendance each year.

The foundation of our conference is based on providing experiences that will expand and promote your professional growth. This year our conference may look different but the goal remains the same. We are committed to provide a conference experience that will be rich with learning experiences.

Division Leadership

Our Division Leaders have done an amazing job going above and beyond the call of duty this summer. We have met as a board more this summer than we typically meet for the entire year. They have eagerly worked to provide back to school guidance documents, emergency “Essential Standards” for programs that must teach virtually, and they remain on standby for any requests received at a moment’s notice. Please help me thank your Division Leaders for the work they have done, and will continue to do, as we navigate through these times.

Goals and Agenda

As your president, I will focus my efforts to achieve a set of goals I feel will continue the forward progress of AMEA. These goals will continue the path my predecessors have established in the advancement of music education in our state.

We must promote unity between our divisions by communicating often and share ideas of successful practices. Despite being called “Divisions,” we must be united to provide a stronger association that is more efficient in providing opportunities for our students.

We will enrich our advocacy efforts to provide more resources for members by adding tools to promote music education in your own school system. We must all take an active part and speak the same language to the system leaders across our state in order to be effective in our efforts.

Support for our teachers should be established by building relationships with legislators and school leaders across our state. We know how essential music education is and we must invite everyone to be a part of the benefits we bring to the education system. The future of music education is dependent upon our emerging leaders and the recruitment of new teachers. We will promote and share the successes and achievements of our amazing educators in order to inspire and recruit those that will one day take our place.

Most of these goals rely on our ability to improve communication with our membership. We will advance our technology to provide innovative ways to stay connected throughout the year as well as provide unique opportunities for professional development.

I feel we have entered a defining moment for music education and you are a part of the history that is taking place. Write your story well and always remember to expect great things, accept the challenges, and cherish the rewards.

David Raney

AMEA: Well, it happened…

Hello AMEA!

Well, it happened…The strangest spring of our lifetimes. The most odd time we could never imagine. COVID-19 has changed everything we do. We are Zooming, WebEx’ing, Google Meeting, and literally living in the virtual world. It has been an adjustment for everybody, not just music education. However, inside every challenge is an opportunity to grow and learn. From the very beginning of this experience, we have accepted the challenge and taken advantage of the opportunity. I would like to thank the Governing Board and our AMEA Staff for all of their work on bringing the organization two very valuable resources that are now available. First, through the work of Carl Hancock, we have a dedicated space on our website called “Alternative Music Teaching Resources.” It was designed as a receptacle for anything and everything related to teaching music without actually being at school. Please contribute your best ideas, lessons, practices, and finds related to distanced learning. Please also use the ideas which are there already. Our organization has done a wonderful job of sharing knowledge in this new and unusual time. If you haven’t heard, we also have developed a new platform for ongoing Professional Development called the AMEA “Town Hall Meeting/Social.” At the time of this writing, we have hosted our first session, and it was fabulous. Phil Wilson and Susan Smith both gave wonderful sessions packed with useful and valuable information. Thanks to both of these professionals for being the first presenters in this new format. We will continue hosting the Town Hall Meeting/Social every Monday evening at 5:30. The format will develop over time but expect to see both large group meeting time and break out interest sessions more specific to our various Divisions and classroom situations. Staying connected to our profession is very important, so definitely plan to attend these events.

Engaged and Flexible
The two words which seem to define this very interesting time are Engagement and Flexibility. We must stay engaged with our students so that teaching and learning can continue. We must stay engaged with our parents so they know what the expectations are, and so they continue to support our programs. We must also stay engaged in the process of Advocacy. This is not the time to become invisible and allow ourselves to be distracted. Instead, continue to be visible and vigilant. Our students, parents, communities, culture, profession, and art form deserve our very best…all the time. And finally, we must stay engaged with other professionals so that we can help each other thrive in such a different time. We must not allow ourselves to become complacent with lowered expectations. Instead, stay engaged and communicate as much as possible so that we are prepared for whatever the future holds. We must also be flexible. It seems like every day there is a different outlook on the progress of this virus, and the plans continue to change in response. Be flexible with your students and give them opportunities to learn music in different ways. Take the opportunity to teach the things you have always wanted to teach your students, but never had the time. This is that opportunity! Be flexible with your parents and other stakeholders as well. They are working through this, learning to live life differently, and trying to be teachers to their kids just like we are. And be flexible with the administrative structure at your institution. They are trying to figure out how to have school without actually having school. This is a very difficult time for them as well and they will appreciate the music people being flexible.

Fall 2020 and Beyond
I would highly suggest being prepared for a multitude of possibilities for what education will look like in the fall. You have all heard the conversations. The State of Colorado has already counseled its District Superintendents to be prepared for schools to not open until January of 2021. Colleges and Universities are also talking about the real possibility that they will not reopen to in- person classes until January of 2021. Nobody really knows what education will look like in the fall of 2020 yet, and its only four months away. Some school districts in our state have already made plans to include more distanced learning in the curriculum. Will school start on time? Will there be some sort of alternate scheduling scenario? Will there be football games, AKA Marching Band performances? Will schools start on time, and then have to close again? Will we get to be in the same room with our students? I don’t think anybody can honestly answer these questions quite yet. But our response needs to be one of genuine concern, ferocious planning, purposeful engagement, meaningful connection, and fearless flexibility.

New President and Future Leadership
I have thoroughly enjoyed being the President of AMEA, and thank you very much for allowing me the opportunity to serve our fabulous organization. It has indeed been one of the highlights of my career. On June 1st, David Raney will become the President of our organization and I am very much looking forward to his leadership. As I have observed and worked with David over the past two years, I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that he is going to be a wonderful President for the AMEA. We also just completed an election cycle. I would like to thank all the candidates who were willing to serve our organization. Congratulations to Dr. Carla Gallahan for being re-elected as AMEA Recording Secretary and to Dr. Rob Lyda for being elected as President-Elect. We all look forward to your leadership and continued devotion to our profession and our organization. My sincere wish is that each of you stay safe and have a great summer. And regardless of what happens, Music Education is STILL AWESOME in Alabama!

Respectfully Submitted,

Greg Gumina, AMEA President

AMEA: Happy 2020 AMEA!

 

Hello AMEA!

Wow! What a Conference. If you missed it, and not many of you did, you definitely missed a life-changing experience. We once again achieved historically high attendance numbers which shows your dedication to our profession. One popular definition of Professional is “working and behaving in such a way that others think of you as competent, reliable, and respectful. Professionals are a credit not only to themselves but also to others.” We checked this box. Development is defined as, “a specified state of growth or advancement.” We checked this box as well. And Conference can be defined as, “a formal meeting that typically takes place over a number of days and involves people with a shared interest, especially one held regularly by an association or organization.” We definitely checked this box in Montgomery. Our 2020 Professional Development Conference was truly a group of dedicated Professionals gathered together with shared interests specifically for the purpose of growth and advancement. Thank you to all who performed, presented, presided, exhibited, volunteered, and/or attended. I think we all owe a collective standing ovation to Dr. Carl Hancock, Pat Stegall, and Mary Ann Stegall for the best registration process in the history of AMEA! And thanks to all of you who pre- registered, which made the process so efficient. Our conference is actually six simultaneous conferences, and the reason we are able to have such great experiences is that the Division leadership is so strong and devoted. Thanks and congratulations are indeed in order for the leadership teams from all our Divisions.

ADVOCACY

Dave Satterfield’s Keynote Address at our conference was so well prepared, delivered, important, and on point. Particularly of interest was his message regarding Advocacy. The idea that there is “no new money” and that “the competition for the money that does exist is fierce” were both points well taken. Dave suggested four fundamental principals for Advocacy and showed that they are the same whether speaking to local, state, or federal policymakers, district officials, potential donors, and supporters, or even the media. The first was documenting the accomplishments and achievements of our groups, students, and schools. This is often the thing we neglect because of our already taxed schedules and real-life obligations. But, we must do it. We must quantify what we accomplish. Dave went on to reminded us that Advocacy begins at the local level and that no matter who we talk to, they all have a vested interest in our successes. His third point on Advocacy was to make it personal. Invite the Superintendent, School Board Members, Local Elected Officials, and State Elected Officials to visit you in your classroom quarterly. If they don’t immediately respond, keep trying because at some point they will, and then the relationship can become personal and twice as effective. Mr. Satterfield finished his thoughts on Advocacy by making the point that we need to begin the process with the end result in mind. Our end result is that policymakers, decision-makers, and funding sources already know us and are in a position to help when we ask because they are familiar with our programs and their benefits. Let’s all make a commitment to spend some time building relationships with decision-makers and taking action on Advocacy for our profession, our art form, our programs, and most importantly our students.

Arts Alliance Summit

On April 2, AMEA President-Elect David Raney, ABA President-Elect Joel Henson, Elementary/General Division President Betty Wilson, and I will attend the Alabama Arts Alliance Pre-Conference Summit. The event will gather leaders from all areas of Arts Education in our state for a day of learning, brainstorming, and cooperation. The sessions will be facilitated by the Alabama State Department of Education Arts Education Specialist Andy Meadows and promise to be another opportunity to coordinate and fellowship with our fellow Arts Educators.

Vote!

This is a voting year for us, both at the state (AMEA) and national (NAfME) levels. Please read through the bios of our in-state candidates for President-Elect and Recording Secretary which are included in this issue of the Ala Breve. Voting will be conducted online by email link. Please make sure you are receiving emails from AMEA so that you will be able to vote. Voting will open on March 1st and close on April 1st. In the last issue of the Ala Breve, I challenged you as an organization to achieve the highest voter turnout in AMEA history. I hereby repeat that challenge. Voting at the national level is now open as well. You should have received at least two emails concerning the elections from NAfME already. We are electing our National President-Elect and Southern Division President-Elect, plus we are voting on two proposed By- Law Amendments. I urge you to make your voice heard in all these voting opportunities.

News from NAfME

Applications for the 2020 All-National Honors Ensembles opened on Friday, January 31. The event will take place on November 5-8, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Ensembles include Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra, Mixed Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, and Modern Band. Please see the NAfME website for more information. March is Music in Our Schools Month. What do you have planned? It would be a great opportunity to start working on some initial Advocacy efforts in your community. The NAfME website has a lot of resources and information to help us celebrate Music in Our Schools Month, including lesson plans.

Wrapping it up

The AMEA Governing Board met following our convention and one of the recurring themes of the conversation was how much we all enjoy having our event in Montgomery. As you know, we will be returning to Montgomery for our 2021 Convention, which will also be our 75th Anniversary Celebration. The convention will then return to Birmingham for the following two years. So we all need to make the most out of our stay in Montgomery next year while thinking of ways to make our Birmingham experience more similar to Montgomery. I would respectfully ask that each of you think of ways we can make Birmingham more like Montgomery, and then

send those ideas to your Division Presidents. The Board has agreed to talk about this at our meeting in June. I would like to both congratulate and thank Susan Smith for her six years of faithful service on the AMEA Governing Board. She is a true professional and always keeps the needs of the students as her top priority. I wish all of you a great 2020 filled with awesome lesson plans, beautiful concerts, collegial professionalism, and many student success stories shared with others.

Music education AWESOME in Alabama!

Respectfully Submitted,

Greg Gumina, AMEA President

AMEA: Giving Our Best Effort

 

Hello AMEA!

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 and music making. We are all very much aware of the positive effects that the study of music provides our students and the empowerment experienced by students who have professional, caring teachers. I want to encourage all of you to find new ways of engaging your students and providing them with the best possible experiences in your classrooms. Our world is changing rapidly due to the continual expansion and use of technology, and we are going to have to develop methodologies which match the learning styles of our students as we move further into the future. Our noble profession and art form deserve nothing short of our best efforts, as do our students. When our students get our best, they give us their best!

Southern Division Meeting

The Southern Division of NAfME Board held our meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, September 8-9. Representing you there besides myself were Executive Director/Editor Garry Taylor, Past -President Susan Smith, and President-Elect David Raney. Some of the topics we discussed were Collegiate Voting, Technology, the new NAfME Membership Management System, Societies and Councils, Budget Review, the use of Lobbyists at the State Level, Partnerships with Arts Coalitions, Policies concerning Conference Presenters, Organizational Development at the State Level, and several other topics. The conversations were lively, informative, and thought provoking.

2020 Election

We have an election coming up in 2020 to determine our next AMEA President-Elect. Currently we are voting online through an email methodology. We have experienced somewhat low voter turnout, and are looking into possible solutions. One idea discussed at the August AMEA Governing Board meeting was to switch the voting event back to voting on site at our Conference. For this election cycle, we will continue the online process. That having been said, may I please challenge all of you to participate in the process and vote? Let us together as an organization achieve the highest voter turnout in AMEA history this spring when we get to choose our next leader. How awesome would that be? It has indeed been my pleasure to serve you as President, and I would like for the next President-Elect to feel as though they have the support and attention of the entire organization.

Making use of NAfME Resources

There is a huge amount of very useful information on the NAfME website. Some of the most valuable information addresses Advocacy, Lesson Planning, and of course the 2014 National Standards. The site also keeps very close watch on Legislative happenings in Washington, DC. I encourage you to search through the website and find out what our National Organization is doing and providing for your use. Your dues are paying for access to the resources, so why not make full use of them? You just might find some answers you are looking for, or a great solution to an issue which is preventing you from providing your students the well rounded education that they are guaranteed by Federal Law. So put aside an hour and check out all the information on the NAfME website. You’ll be glad you did.

2020 Conference Introduction

I am so excited about our upcoming Professional Development Conference, January 16-18, 2020. Congratulations to all who were selected to perform and present at the Conference. And Thank You to all our exhibitors as well. We could not have such a great event without their support. Each Division has planned some fantastic learning activities and performance opportunities. I hope that you have already registered, but if you have not yet done so, make it a priority to get it done soon. Dr. Carl Hancock has done a huge amount of work building our own website and interface with the new NAfME Membership Management System, and I’m looking forward to the registration process being the smoothest it has ever been. As you peruse the schedule you will see that we have moved the Keynote Address to Thursday morning at 10:30, so please make your travel plans accordingly. You will not want to miss this Keynote Session. It will include a combined schools Special Needs Drumming Group, The University of North Alabama Low Brass Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Thomas Lukowicz, and our Keynote Speaker, Mr. David Satterfield. Dave is absolutely one of the most dynamic human beings alive on the planet. He is currently the Director of Asset Development for the Office of Research and Economic Development at West Virginia University and a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Music. Mr. Satterfield also serves as the Assistant to the Director of the WVU Manufacturing Extension Partnership, as well as the Facility Security Officer for WVU and the WVU Innovation Corporation. Dave has also been a Staff Member and Board of Directors Member for The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. As you can already see, Dave will bring a very diverse background of experience, a huge amount of knowledge, and a fresh perspective to the Keynote Address. He is also one of the most endearing, genuine, and entertaining speakers you will ever hear. Dave will also speak at the Leadership Breakfast and spend some time with our FAME students. I would also like to highlight a couple more opportunities for you at the Conference. The first is Thursday, January 16th, 4:30-5:30 when the Jacksonville State University Steel Band, under the direction of Dr. Thomas McCutchen, will perform at the Exhibit Reception. Please also attend the President’s Reception on Friday, January 17th, 9:30-11:00 where the Gadsden State Show Band will be performing under the direction of Dr. Matt Leder.

Leadership

I have been blessed to meet a great many leaders in our profession throughout the country over the past four years, and I look forward to learning from them and sharing information with them for the next two years after I have “passed the gavel” to President-Elect David Raney. The one similarity that I have seen in all the truly great leaders is the mentality that Leadership is not about at title, but rather it is about responsibility and actions. Search out ways to be a leader in your community, your state, your Division, and in the AMEA itself. When you see an opportunity to serve our profession, go for it. When you see something that needs done or changed, do it. When you have discovered some information that would be useful to our profession, share it. Be a leader in our profession and enjoy enriching Music Education in the process!

I look forward to seeing all of you at our Conference!

Music Education is AWESOME in Alabama!

Respectfully Submitted,

Gregory L. Gumina

AMEA: From the President’s Desk

 

Hello AMEA!

My sincere hope is that you all had a great summer and that you are prepared to return to the business of educating our young people. It has been very rewarding to follow all of the professional development activities so many of you sought out during these summer months. We have an awesome profession, and I am constantly humbled by, and appreciative of professionals sharing knowledge with each other. It’s definitely one of the things which make our profession so special. Once again, I would like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to represent and work for you as your President. I will continue to do my best in that capacity, and it has indeed been my pleasure to serve our organization.

Summer Board Meeting

The Governing Board had a very productive meeting in June with a very full agenda. All the represented divisions gave excellent reports concerning the depth and breadth of their respective activities and programs. There are truly some exciting things happening throughout our state. All the divisions are healthy and vibrant, and rest assured that each division is very well represented. You have done an excellent job of electing great representatives in each of our divisions. I am happy to report that our organization is moving forward toward our 75th Anniversary next year in a very strong financial position, and membership numbers are solid. Please talk to your fellow music education colleagues and encourage them to renew their membership in AMEA, or join us if they are not already a member.

Advocacy in Our Nation’s Capitol

The NAfME National Leadership Conference, Collegiate Advocacy Summit, and 2019 Hill Day were June 17th-21st. The AMEA was very well represented by two great teams of music education advocates from our state leadership. While in Washington, DC we were able to meet with representatives from the offices of Senator Doug Jones, Senator Richard Shelby, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Congresswoman Martha Roby, Congressman Mo Brooks, Congressman Gary Palmer, Congressman Mike Rogers, and Congressman Bradley Byrne for Hill Day. We were even fortunate enough to meet with Congresswoman Martha Roby and Congressman Gary Palmer in person. Thanks to these two Representatives for taking the time to meet with us personally. Our message was well received in all offices as we shared the importance of music education as part of a well-rounded education. We made several requests as part of the goals for the day, both legislative and fiscal. The House and Senate have done a very good job of funding the “Every Student Succeeds Act” through the appropriations process, and all parts of the law are currently being funded for 2020 at significantly higher levels than during the Fiscal Year 2019. We also asked for Legislative support for the “GAAME” Act (Guaranteed Access to Arts and Music Education) while on the Hill this year, which more specifically enumerates how federal funding should be used in support of music education. For specifics on federal appropriations, authorized spending, and all things “ESSA” and “GAAME,” please see the NAfME website. During our meetings, we presented each Senator and Congressperson with a framed copy of our state song and a note from the AMEA as part of our State’s Bicentennial Celebration. During the National Assembly many valuable sessions were presented and information was shared amongst state leaders concerning subjects such as: Country Music

Association Grants, ESSA Title IV (Part A), Strategies for Cultivating New and Emerging Leaders, Governance and Fiduciary Responsibilities, Mentoring: State and National, Connecting with the Fundraising Community, Vision 2020: The Future is Now for NAfME, Shortening the Distance: State, Division, and National Collaboration, Working with Affiliate Organizations, and National Standards Initiatives, amongst other informative and valuable sessions. We were also able to meet with Matt Barusch, NAfME State Advocacy and Engagement Manager, to discuss ideas concerning our own advocacy efforts here in Alabama. Dr. Rob Lyda has been doing a great job heading up these efforts for us and we will all need to be engaged in the process of advocacy.
2020 Professional Development Conference

As you know, we are returning to Montgomery for our 2020 conference this year. Please make plans to attend the conference now, and please plan to stay on site. Congratulations to all the performing groups and presenters who were chosen for our conference this year. We look forward to enjoying your performances and learning from your willingness to share knowledge. I’m super excited to announce that the Low Brass Studio @ UNA under the direction of Dr. Thomas Lukowicz will perform as part of our Keynote Address and General Session on Thursday morning, January 16th at 10:30. Please arrange your travel plans so you are able to attend. We will also have the opportunity to feature the Jacksonville State University Steel Band under the direction of Dr. Thomas McCutchen during the Exhibit Reception on Thursday afternoon, January 16 at 4:30. And finally, the Gadsden State Show Band directed by Dr. Matt Leder will entertain us at the President’s Reception on Friday evening, January 17th at 9:30. Thanks to all these groups for participating in our conference. You definitely won’t want to miss any of these outstanding ensembles from our own state. The Governing Board will be meeting in August to finalize plans for the conference, and I’m looking forward to seeing all of you there. It’s going to be fabulous!

Agenda, Goals, and Celebration

The agenda during my tenure has been driven by the goals of advocacy, action, technology, collegiality, standards, knowledge, and pride. I would like everybody to feel included, important, and crucial to the success of the AMEA. There is no stronger advocacy group than one which is united. We all play a part in the musical education and social development of our young people in Alabama, and I wish for us all to identify as one unified association. One of the main ways we are accomplishing this is through advocacy efforts. I want us to become more visual in our communities, in our State Capitol, and be more culturally relevant to our populous. Let’s all continue to be both visible and vigilant at the local, state, and national levels. All politics is indeed local, so make sure you are in contact with our elected officials on all levels. Invite them to your concerts and other events to let them see that music education is healthy and vibrant in Alabama. Additionally, we will be helping our state celebrate its bicentennial. There are now downloadable PDF arrangements of our state song on the AMEA website which I hope you will program on your various concerts and events this fall. We will also continue with our performances in the State Capitol Rotunda during the spring legislative session. And finally, I can now officially announce that we will be a very vital component of the Bicentennial Celebration and parade on December 14th of this year. Funding has been acquired from the

ALSDE, Bicentennial Commission, and the Travel and Tourism Commission, so look for announcements and information about this event which will be released very soon.

As we move forward into the 2019-20 school year, let’s all commit to finding that first-year teacher, that new person to our state, and our fellow music educators not currently involved in AMEA and invite them to participate. I hope that you all have a great school year with wonderful lessons based on best practices, standards and assessments, and high-quality sequential methodologies. Our students deserve the best that we can do for them. Now let’s get busy educating the young people throughout our beloved state.

Music Education is AWESOME in Alabama!

Respectfully Submitted,

Gregory L. Gumina

AMEA President: Finish Strong!

Hello AMEA!

I hope you have had a very productive school year full of high quality, sequential, standards- based units of instruction, and wonderful performances. We are the protectors and advocates of our beautiful art form, and we also possess a noble profession. Closing down a school year can be both enjoyable and sorrowful at the same time. So let’s make the best out of the time we have left in this academic year. I have chosen to share some information with you in this article from both the state and federal levels. My hope is that you will read through, get motivated, and take action where necessary.

Arts Alliance Meeting

I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Alabama Arts Education Alliance Pre-Summit Conference. Representatives from Theater, Visual Arts, Dance, and of course Music were present and we discussed many topics throughout the day. Our organization was the largest and most organized of the Professional Organizations represented at the Summit, but the other areas were well represented by distinguished professionals and contributed great ideas to the discussions. The meeting was administrated by Andy Meadows, Arts Specialist with the Alabama State Department of Education. Some of the topics of the day were organizations’ strengths and weaknesses, Artistic Literacy Consortium, advocacy, Arts in Alabama Schools Month, Arts Signing Day, certification pathways, On-line arts courses, Arts Mega Conference, and next steps for each area of discussion.

NAfME Monthly Update Highlights

A grassroots action alert has been activated for members to write to Congress in support of fully funding Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act following the release of the President’s budget for FY20, where he zeroed out appropriations for this section of the education law. Title IV, Part A is known as Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) and is a block formula grant with a wide range of allowable uses. It allows States, LEA’s, schools, and local communities to provide students with access to a well-rounded education, improve school conditions for student learning, and improve the use of technology in order to improve academic achievement and digital literacy. I encourage you to contact your Federal Representatives in Washington and encourage them to fully fund Title IV, Part A. In other news, NAfME membership numbers are strong and growing. Active Members, Retired Members, Collegiate Members, TRI-M Chapters, and TRI-M Members all showed growth from 2018 to 2019.

Teacher Shortage and Teacher Raises

There is a nationwide teacher shortage coming, and depending on which data you look at, it could be disastrous for schools and students. Alabama is no exception. Many, including our state Superintendent Eric Mackey, are calling it a crisis. This situation is not expected to drastically impact our profession, but we must always be vigilant. According to the Director of Human Resources with the Jefferson County School System, prior to 2013, there were approximately 12% of high school graduates who pursued education as a career. Since 2013 that number has dropped to 4%. Teachers who entered service after 2013 are only staying in the teaching profession for an average of 5 years. 2013 is the year that the Tier II Retirement plan was put into place. The teachers in Alabama who were hired after 2013 have no option for early retirement at 25 years of service, cannot retire until 62 years of age, have a lower percentage donated to their retirement accounts, and cannot accumulate sick leave time towards retirement credit. Recently a plan was introduced to allow Tier II employees to opt into a new Tier III plan which allows employees to serve for 30 years, and they would have the same percentage donated toward their retirement as Tier I employees. While Tier III would be an improvement over Tier II, it is still not equivalent to Tier I. Let’s hope that our Tier II generation teachers are afforded the opportunity at a better future. In other news from Montgomery, Governor Kay Ivey has proposed a 4% pay raise for school employees next year. PEEHIP is also fully funded in the Governor’s plan, so there would be no insurance increase for teachers.

GAAME Act

Last Summer Congresswoman Velazquez and Senator Testor introduced the Guarantee Access to Arts and Music Education (GAAME) into discussions on Capitol Hill. The National Association for Music Education applauds the introduction of and wholeheartedly endorses the GAAME Act (H.R. 1676 and S. 885). If passed, this legislation would provide language articulating the ability for school districts to use their Title I, Part A funds to improve access to sequential music and arts education for disadvantaged and low-income students, including programs taught by certified music educators. The GAAME Act’s reinforcement that Title I’s school-wide and targeted assistance funds can be used to support music and arts education aligns with NAfME’s mission, which is to advance music education by promoting the understanding and making of music by all. Studies have shown that in-school music programs are highly valuable in engaging students by improving their overall participation and attendance, especially for students deemed at-risk. Furthermore, the benefits of music programs transcend typical quantifiable markers of academic achievement. Music Education at all grade levels has also been shown to support the development of essential 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking, collaboration, and creative problem-solving. When students are denied a quality music education, they are denied the ability to hone skills valuable for success in life. I have a feeling your Alabama Advocacy Team will be advocating for the GAAME Act on Capitol Hill when we visit Washington, D.C. in June.

Summer PD Opportunities

Almost every day I receive an email (or ten) about a summer professional development opportunity, some of them in very desirable locales. Music Educators might be the best education professionals at seeking continuing education and professional development. We are also a group who is typically very willing to share what we have learned with others in our beloved field. So whether you plan to travel or stay more local, I would encourage you to seek a great professional development opportunity this summer to both increase your effectiveness in the classroom and benefit your students. Our students deserve the best “us” that we can be.

Finish Strong

As we close down this school year, I would encourage you to get plenty of rest, take care of your own health, and finish strong. Teach as hard as you can all the way through your last opportunity to see your students. We are all tired and weary at this time of year, as are our students. We all see the finish line together, but we can’t win the race if we stop short of the finish line. So let’s be great examples to our students, and finish strong.

Music Education is AWESOME in Alabama!

Respectfully Submitted,

Greg Gumina, President

Alabama Music Educators Association

AMEA: From the President’s Desk

Hello AMEA!

Sometimes it’s beneficial to take a step away from the daily realities of being in the classroom in order to recharge and reset our appreciation of music, and possibly our daily teaching practices. Conferences, committee work, and other professional development opportunities are the perfect vehicles for us to accomplish that recharging and resetting process. Ryan Lilly, an expert in the field of business development, advises to “Be a Professional at what you do. No one shows up to meetings of the Unsuccessful Skydivers Club.” And Amit Kalantri, an engineer and author, addresses the subject by stating that, “Professionalism is not a tactic, but a moral value.” The entire community that comprises the AMEA certainly lived up to these goals and morals with your participation in our 2019 Professional Development Conference.

Wow! What a great conference we had in Birmingham. I am so proud of our entire organization for putting together such a wonderful professional development opportunity and thank you so much for your attendance. The numbers are in, and it was by far the second largest AMEA Conference in our history. One thousand and three members were registered, and exactly one thousand attended, plus a good amount of guests as well. That is clear evidence of your commitment to our profession and our students. There are so many people to thank and so many people to congratulate that I could fill this entire issue of the Ala Breve if that was possible.

The first people I would like to thank are two gentlemen without which, we would have no conference. Thank you, Ron Bearden and James Champion for everything you do for the AMEA. You are very much appreciated and your tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed. Thanks also to President-Elect David Raney and Immediate Past-President Susan Smith for all of their help, guidance, and leadership. Susan also did a wonderful job with our FAME students and their sessions. Next is the staff of the AMEA, and there are not adequate words or space in this article to accurately express their importance to us. Garry Taylor, Rusty Logan, Carl Hancock, and Pat Stegall are all amazing professionals and truly dedicated to our organization. They work all year long to guarantee the success of our conference. Thanks also to our vendors and exhibitors for supporting the AMEA, and I would also like to thank the membership for visiting them. Revenue from the exhibition hall was once again up this year, which helps pay for the conference. Traffic through the exhibits was also up this year, and our exhibitors appreciated seeing all of you at their booths. A healthy relationship between us educators and our industry partners is both beneficial and necessary. Thanks to Becky Lightfoot for serving as our Industry Representative, and for representing our partners with such dignity and sincerity.

The Governing Board assembled a fabulous experience, full of diverse and useful learning opportunities. We had wonderful concerts, informative interest sessions, and many occasions for collaboration with colleagues. Thank you so much to: Doug Farris (ABA), Guy Harrison (AOA), Meg Jones (AVA), Phil Wilson (Elementary/General), Mildred Lanier (Higher Ed), Ted Hoffman (Collegiate Advisor), and Jordan Hare Banks (Collegiate) for everything you did to make our conference such a wonderful experience. Also thanks to Kim Bain and the Jazz Division for doing such an awesome job with our All-State Jazz Bands and Randall Coleman along with those that helped facilitate the outstanding Intercollegiate Band. I would also like to thank Carla Gallahan for always making sure we have accurate documentation for our activities, and for ensuring the correct operation of our various endeavors. I am so honored to have the opportunity to work with the consummate professionals who comprise the AMEA Governing Board.

They represent you well, work diligently for our organization, and should be commended for their dedication to music education in Alabama.

To apply for, prepare, and present a performance for one’s colleagues is a very rewarding experience, and is not without challenges to overcome. So a sincere ‘Thanks’ and ‘Congratulations’ goes out to all of our colleagues who presented concerts for us to be inspired by and enjoy. Thanks also to those who presented interest sessions full of information which both enriched us personally, and nourished our profession.

Our special guests were amazing, intuitive, informative, and entertaining. Dian Eddleman, our NAfME Southern Division President was fantastic in all the sessions we asked her to do. She brought a wealth of knowledge and information to us and worked purposefully to present targeted data, findings, and communication to various groups throughout her stay with us. Andy Meadows, our ALSDE Arts Education Specialist, also brought information, concern, and communication while visiting several meetings and sessions during his time with us. It is indeed profitable and beneficial to have an open line of communication and mutual understanding with our state officials in Montgomery. Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser was the one and only, as only he can be. He is always uplifting, rejuvenating, inspiring, encouraging, and motivating. He is without equal as the preeminent music education speaker and advocate in our country. And to everybody else who contributed in any way to the success of our conference, thank you very much.

The AMEA Governing Board is already working on next year’s conference and I am confident that we will again have a wonderful experience. But this time, we’re going back in Montgomery! Now is the time to decide to participate in next year’s conference. Make a commitment to apply for a performance opportunity. Create chamber groups at your school and apply for a lobby performance. We have so many talented professionals in this state with so much knowledge to share with each other. Decide now to apply to present a session on the topic you have intimate knowledge of and are passionate about. Or, if there is something you are studying and gaining understanding about, decide now to finish your research and present it at our conference next year. Together, we all make the AMEA a powerful force for the betterment of our profession and to the benefit our students. Let’s have a great 2019, and best wishes to all.

Music Education is Awesome in Alabama!

Respectfully Submitted,
Greg Gumina

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 nationalconference.nafme.org 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 myamea.org website. I hope to see you and your group in Montgomery this coming spring!

See video from last year

Apply to perform in 2019

Appointments

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!

Greg

AMEA: From the President’s Desk

Hello AMEA!

I trust that you all had a great summer, and that you are ready to get back to the work of educating our young people. It has been exciting to follow all of the professional development activities that so many of you have been involved in through the summer months, and I consider myself very fortunate to be amongst such consummate professionals in our most excellent profession. I want to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to represent and work for you as your President for the next two years. I will endeavor to do my best in that capacity and I look forward to the work we will do together.

Summer Board Meeting
The Governing Board had a very productive meeting in June with a very full agenda. All the represented divisions gave excellent reports concerning the depth and breadth of their respective activities and programs. There are truly some exciting things happening throughout our state. All the divisions are both healthy and vibrant, and rest assured that each division is very well represented. I am happy to report that our organization is moving forward toward our 75th Anniversary in a strong financial position and membership numbers are solid. While active membership decreased a little last year, overall membership grew by 145 due to the growth of Tri-M. Way to go Tri-M! Membership numbers in fact remain in line with recent trends and history, but let’s do our best to grow the organization. Please talk to your fellow music education colleagues and encourage them to renew their membership in AMEA, or join us if they are not already a member.

Advocacy in Our Nation’s Capitol
The 68th NAfME National Leadership Conference, Collegiate Advocacy Summit, and 2018 Hill Day was June 26th-30th. Representing Alabama besides myself were AMEA Executive Director and Editor Garry Taylor, AMEA Immediate Past-President Susan Smith, AMEA President-Elect David Raney, NAfME Chair of the Council for General Music Education Dr. Rob Lyda, and AMEA Collegiate Division President-Elect DeLee Benton. While in Washington, DC we were able to meet with representatives from the offices of Senator Doug Jones, Senator Richard Shelby, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, and Congressman Bradley Byrne for Hill Day. Our message was well received in all offices as we shared the importance of music education in a well-rounded education. We made several requests as part of the goals for the day, both legislative and fiscal. This House and Senate have done a very good job of funding the “Every Student Succeeds Act” through the appropriations process, and all parts of the law are being funded for 2019 at significantly higher levels than during Fiscal Year 2018. For specifics on Federal appropriations, authorized spending, and all things “ESSA,” please see the NAfME website. During the National Assembly many valuable sessions were presented and information was shared amongst state leaders concerning subjects such as: Position and Mission Statements, Crisis Management, Finding and Nurturing Leaders, Coalitions at the National and State Level, Budgeting, Legal Issues, Technology, Diversity, Governance, Federal Funding, and Ethics.

2019 Professional Development Conference
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room and immediately get it out of the way. Registration was a major concern at our 2018 Conference. The root cause of this problem was an issue with the NAfME Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, and our Registrar Pat Stegall, along with our AMEA Governing Board is determined to solve this for our members. In fact, we will not be using that CRM this year in order to expedite the registration process. However, the best way to mitigate this risk is to pre-register for the conference online and avoid the issue completely.

I am excited to announce that our Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, who will also be conducting a clinic session on beginning band. This year is also an Intercollegiate Band year, and we are excited to have Dr. Lowell Graham from UTEP as the conductor. We had a record number of performance applications this year and I am also proud to announce that we will be featuring more of our own students’ and teachers’ efforts at this year’s conference through some adjustments in the schedule and planning. As you know, we are returning to Birmingham for the conference this year. We will be using the BJCC Theater as our meeting space and large concert venue which will fit our events perfectly. Please make plans to attend the conference now, and plan on staying on site. The interstate highway system in Birmingham will still be significantly under construction at the time of our conference and you won’t want that impeding on your enjoyment of the conference. In addition to all the performances of our colleagues and their ensembles, there are going to be some fantastic clinics and sessions. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Agenda and Goals
My agenda over the next two years will be driven by the goals of Advocacy, Action, Technology, Collegiality, Standards, Knowledge, and Pride. I would like everybody to feel included, important, and crucial to the success of the AMEA. There is no stronger advocacy group than one which is united. We all play a part in the musical education and social development of our young people in Alabama, and I wish for us all to identify as one unified association. One of the main ways we will accomplish this is through advocacy efforts. I want us to become more visual in our communities, in our State Capitol, and be more culturally relevant to our populous. We will accomplish this in many ways. In addition to the standing committees spelled out in the by-laws, I am forming ad hoc committees as part of the the President’s Cabinet. The committees will be tasked with studying issues and sharing their findings with the organization. Additionally, we will be helping our state celebrate its bicentennial. There will soon be downloadable PDF arrangements of our state song on the AMEA website which I hope you will program on your various concerts and events. We will also continue with our performances in the State Capitol Rotunda during the spring legislative session. And finally, we will be a very vital component of the celebration and parade on December 14th, 2019.

Thanks and Moving Forward
Please join me in thanking Susan Smith for her leadership as President of the AMEA over the past two years. Susan is a tireless advocate for our profession and our students. Thank you so much Susan for your dedicated service to our organization. As we move forward into the 2018-19 school year, let’s all commit to finding that first year teacher, that new person to our state, and our fellow music educators not currently involved in AMEA and invite them to participate. My sincere wish is that you all have a great school year. Now let’s get busy educating our young people throughout our beloved State.

Have a Great Year!

Gregory L. Gumina, President

AMEA: From the President’s Desk

“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve” Martin Luther King Jr.

As I write my final article as President of the Alabama Music Educators, I am struck buy how quickly the time has raced by and how many things have changed in our profession and daily life in the last 2 years. It has been a true honor to serve the music educators of our state and I appreciate the opportunity given by the membership. My journey of teaching and leadership has been molded by teachers, colleagues, mentors and family who have often said just the small things to keep me centered.  An encouraging word or a moment of interest and support might be just thing we each need. What we do as music teachers is valid and important – I have never been more convinced of this. I have been guided by a few phrases that I hope will be helpful or interesting to you as you step into the classroom each day.

Keep moving forward– Some days this is all we need to get us through.

Get 1- 3 things done a day– We all get overwhelmed by having so much on our plate. If we can focus on completing just a few things, we will feel confident and successful. I love to check something off a list!

Teach for the long haul – My mom was a music teacher her entire life and this was a big piece of her teaching philosophy.  We sometimes make decisions or react in ways that might seem the easiest or most efficient route in the moment. However, in the long run, this might not be wisest course of action.  Be careful to not allow short term outcomes override long term goals.

Don’t always apologize– As teachers and servant leaders we sometimes take the blame for things that aren’t our fault or we apologize just to make someone else feel better. This is something I have learned through the strength and guidance of my daughters.

Celebrate successes but never be satisfied– Music teachers must be our own marketing team and tell all about the successes of our students and programs.  We are our own best advocates and should tell those in our communities.  As well,  standards of success should be something that changes and continues to move forward. Don’t ever be satisfied!

You deserve to be appreciated– Sometimes it is easy to be caught in the mindset that music is a service only to a community and not an academic venture with standards and rigor. We can feel under-appreciated as teachers and administrators.  Support other teachers and this will come back many times over.

Don’t burn bridges– We are faced daily with outside negativity or challenging circumstances as teachers. It is tempting to say or email something we might regret as reaction. Try to count to 10 or run it by someone you trust before hitting send!

Model who you want those around you to be – I see so many wonderful educators in all fields I want to emulate. Our students look up to us. If we don’t like their behavior or reactions, we should take a moment to evaluate our own.

Find a hobby – Our jobs can be so all encompassing that we forget to care for ourselves. One of my mentors, Linda Gammon, taught me that having a hobby or interest outside of music was important to keep a fresh outlook as a teacher.

Every child deserves a champion – You might be the only person who sees value in a child.  Take that responsibility seriously. When they try your patience, wipe the slate clean and start over tomorrow.  My husband Robert often says  “Be on the lookout for Mozart.” We might have a Mozart in our class and we need to nature and foster that talent.

As teachers, we choose a career of servant leadership by the nature of the job.  We try to leave things better than we found it. Along the way we make a lasting impact on our students, communities and  families. It isn’t always easy and sometimes it doesn’t seem worth it. However, all it takes is that one lightbulb or “thank you” to make it all worthwhile.  AMEA is a strong organization because of the leadership of those who have come before and will continue to thrive if YOU become involved and help guide the future path.  I hear people say “I don’t know how to get involved” or “there is no place for me.” Here are some ways to get started making a connection to the state music organization:

Attend an AMEA Professional Development Conference– While we always have good attendance at conference, we want a larger percentage of the music teachers in the state to benefit from the information and performances shared. Encourage a colleague in your area or a younger teacher to attend as well.

Apply to present at conference– Our application process is live and available on the www.myamea.orgwebsite.  We are accepting applications for educational sessions and ensemble performances until June 1.  We will also be gathering applications through October 1st for our Lightning Round session which includes 6-10 minute sessions. We are also accepting applications for small ensemble chamber performances. If you have a great idea to share, this is the place!

Start a Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter – This is great way to grow support for your music program at your school and to encourage collaboration within the arts programs. It can also bring recognition for your students at the level of the other academic honor societies in your school.  High School and Junior High School chapters alike can bring schools together with very little effort and highlight what you are doing in your music program.

Support a collegiate CNAFME chapter – If you have a college CNAFME chapter near you, invite them into your classroom for hands-on experience.

You might also offer to speak to the group about what you do in the classroom each day.

Division clinics  and serviceEach of our AMEA Divisions offer multiple sessions and clinics throughout the year.  From the Elementary Orff and Kodaly workshops to the All State Choir or Orchestra Festivals and Summer ABA Conference, there are many chances to make connections and get involved. We are always looking for those to serve as district officers and state officers and that level of service usually starts with moving a riser or music stand and pitching in at any event.

Congratulations to our new President Elect, David Raney and Recording Secretary, Carla Gallahan.  Your willingness to serve is much appreciated. Special thank you to the most recent Past Presidents, Dr. Carl Hancock and Dr. Sara Womack for their guidance and patience.  Thank you to Greg Gumina for your help and support and your never-ending optimism. The calming daily leadership of Garry Taylor has guided each president during his tenure and the strength of the organization is a direct result of his steadfast commitment to the betterment of music education in Alabama.

Finally, thank you to my family for your support and ability to focus my daily walk.  I appreciate the time you have given up in the interest of AMEA and for your constant love and encouragement.

Remember to get involved and teach for the long haul!

Susan

“Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life’s blood. But everyone has something to give.”  Barbra Bush

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