We have accomplished so much by doing something different and taking risks.

carl b hancockDear Friends and Colleagues,

With this final column, I want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you for your support and trust. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities you gave me to serve––beginning as Collegiate Advisor in 2008, Research Chair in 2010, President-elect in 2012, and finally, in 2014, as the 36th President of the Alabama Music Educators Association. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving the AMEA and I am looking forward to what the future has in store for our great organization as I take on my next role as immediate past president.

Since I first took office, I have been surrounded by a remarkable group of dedicated educators who have worked tirelessly in their support of music education and I want to specifically recognize the members of the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 Governing Boards who were there with me every step of the way. It has been a genuine pleasure serving with Rusty Courson, Stacy Daniels, Carl Davis, Becky Lightfoot, Carla Gallahan, Karla Hodges, Ted Hoffman, Mike Holmes, Cliff Huckabee, Andy Meadows, Sarah Schrader, Susan Smith, Pat Stegall, Garry Taylor, Thad Walker, Sara Womack, and Jim Zingara. I have come to believe that there isn’t another state president in NAfME who has received as much support as I have nor has been as proud as I am. Many of the initiatives we undertook would have been impossible without their faithful service to our organization. Thank you to every board member for putting your time, talent, and energy into achieving these milestones.

Across the past two years our annual conference has headed into new waters, growing into a vibrant professional development experience. Thank you to every presenter, audience member, performer, business member, and volunteer. Through your participation, we brought together nationally recognized clinicians, invited engaging keynote speakers, and booked world-class performers to truly add more “professional” to our professional development. Moreover, your faith in us bolstered the governing board’s creativity, which we channeled into building collaborations with music businesses, expanding our conference offerings, and branding our conference to compliment the artistry of music and emphasize the professional growth experienced by our members.

Beginning with goals we set back in 2014, AMEA has opened up new pathways and positioned itself to make meaningful changes in how we advocate for music education, run our organization, serve our members, and, most importantly, teach our students. Thank you to the entire membership for embracing this growth. Achieving these milestones allowed us to explore new options and experiment with different approaches. Accomplishing so much together in just a few years is a direct result of your faithful service to the music educators of Alabama and our organization.

Finally, to our Executive Director and Ala Breve Editor, Garry Taylor. Thank you for managing the AMEA so it continues to be a strong organization that is a model for others. I was so fortunate to have your experience and wisdom guiding me along the way.

In closing, I am very optimistic about the future of the Alabama Music Educators Association. It is an exciting time for our association. We have accomplished so much and made many memories together by doing something different and taking risks. I am truly honored to call you my friends and colleagues. On June 1, Susan Smith will take office and her presidency will be met with great enthusiasm from all music educators in Alabama, but especially from those of us who have been members of the AMEA for many years. I hope you will join me for what I know will be an exciting new direction for our organization.

All the best,
Carl B. Hancock,
President Alabama Music Educators Association