GMEA News of Note - July 2023

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I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer with time to recharge and spend quality time with your family and friends! I want to thank our past President and my good friend, Matt Koperniak, for all of his guidance, support, and a lot of patience with me over the past year Matt has been an incredible leader for our organization for many years and I am so thankful for his unwavering dedication and commitment to all of us in GMEA I also want to thank and recognize the great work that our new Executive Director Alan Fowler, and the entire GMEA staff do for us all year The GMEA office staff is here to serve our members, and they do a phenomenal job!

The GMEA Executive Committee is already planning for the upcoming fall meetings and we are looking forward to sending a representative to each district meeting to share updates and the exciting events being planned for the 2023-2024 school year

Enjoy your last few days of summer, and for those who have already started back, I hope you are off to a terrific start! Thank you for all you do for your students schools communities and GMEA!


Neil Ruby GMEA President

Sara Grimes

Vice President Performance Evaluation

Jay Davis

Vice President All-State

Dr Matt Koperniak

Immediate Past-President

Dr Richard Bell

Past Presidents' Council Rep

Chris Shumick Band Division Chair

Michelle Levesque Choral Division Chair

Dr Josh Byrd College Division Chair

Letricia Henson Elementary Division Chair

Krissi Davis Orchestra Division Chair

J U L Y 2 0 2 3 W W W G M E A O R G N E W S O F N O T E
Neil Ruby, President Georgia Music Educators Association

Meet the Music Educator

What is the La Maestra Competition?

The La Maestra International Competition for Women Conductors is a collaboration between the Philharmonie de Paris and Paris Mozart Orchestra A panel selects 14 conductors from hundreds of applicants worldwide! The goal of the competition is to unite the international musical world behind a strong commitment and support to women conductors

What is the La Maestra Academy?

Of the 14 participants, 6 conductors make the semi-final round and participate in the La Maestra Academy which provides professional s years I made the semi-final round in 2022 and served a Orchestre de Paris and Gürzenich Orchestre with Klaus M Roth respectively both incredible learning cultur opportunities More is in store for the 2023-24 season!

How do you balance (or plan to balance) your new po Philharmonic and Georgia State University?

This is a great question! My plan is to set accomplishabl myself positive reinforcement for accomplishing those go phone at 6pm so I can somewhat balance my work and good care of myself and have a rich life outside of work, I conductor colleague and partner! This is easier said than it here will keep me accountable!

What is your favorite orchestral conducting experienc

Probably conducting the Boston Pops in a competition!

What advice do you have for young conductors and ed Be kind to yourself; teaching and learning is messy a process Be true to yourself! Pick music you love and belie

Do you miss classroom teaching?

I miss my students and colleagues at Lakeside High School! Some great memories from those years!

What can educators do to become more effective conductors?


Video yourself and watch as if you are a student in your own classroom When something happens that you don t like, stop the video, and practice handling the situation or saying something th way you wish you had!

2 Don't try to get better alone Find a mentor (or two or three!)

For more information or to contact Dr Dworetz visit: https://www tamaradworetz com/



The Commerce High School Marching Tiger Band from Commerce, Georgia has been honored with an invitation to perform in the 2023 Chick Fil A Peach Bowl! The band will travel to Atlanta Georgia to participate in this incredible event on December 27th The Peach Bowl will take place on December 30th at 12noon and be broadcast nationally on ESPN The Tiger Band is humbled and honored to have received this invitation The band director is Travis Roye and the Assistant Band Director is Julie Dixon




The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra presents concerts of traditional and contemporary symphonic repertoire, seeking both the highest possible level of artistic quality and the advancement of musical awareness and participation among our musicians and diverse audiences

The Dekalb Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Paul Bhasin, is seeking players in the strings, horn, and percussion sections.

Rehearsals for the 2023-2024 season will take place at Emory University.

If you are interested in joining the orchestra please email DSO@dekalbsymphony org


From the Director Adrian Adams:

The Sound of Dutchtown it has truly been a life changing experience for myself our students and my staff to have been the only marching band from Georgia selected to participate in events and attend this occasion celebrating and memorializing the 80th World War II Commemoration of D-Day 1944 To kick this event off, our students were the only marching band to play in a parade held inside of the Maynard H Jackson International Airport! Our students led a parade through the entire F international terminal with the brave women and men who fought for our country right behind them Our students have been recognized internationally and have represented our school district our city and our state with pride poise and dedication Our students have visited sites that are synonymous and symbolic to the 80th D-Day Commemoration and have shared their sentiments about what they encountered upon visiting these historic and meaningful sites

In the words of students:

During our stay in France, I have thoroughly enjoyed our trip France was filled with great scenery and food! I also admired their architecture! CameronMobley

I had the chance to hang out with some of the people I care about and got to travel around France play and eat! RaoulClarke

This trip has shown me the most beautiful views nature has to offer and has opened my eyes to a different culture of people and taught me how to interact with them!


It is hard to narrow down one thing as my favorite from the trip However if I had to it would be the town of Bayeaux The people were so kind! JoshuaPeek

All of the preparation paid off and we were able to have great performances!


It is cool to think of how I am one if not the only Dutchtown student to play a solo with the band in another country and continent! Devin Cooper

The Louvre Museum where I had a chance to see The Mona Lisa and the town of Normandy were among my favorite places!


This trip has shown many things from the band It showed our resourcefulness, resilience, and drive towards a goal


The internationally famed and world renewed Sound of Dutchtown! RyanPeek



Dr J Scott Smith presented at the 2023 International Music Education Summit His session titled “Rebuilding your choir program: Tried and true tactics for a middle school program ” was well-received by those in attendance Chorus teachers need to equip themselves with tools for recruiting students into their chorus program This session provided attendees with tricks and trades on rebuilding whether post-pandemic or new to the school

Dr. Smith has been the choral Director at Central Middle School since 2011. Prior to his appointment at Central Middle School, Dr Smith was the music specialist, choral director, and orchestra director at Roopville Elementary for eleven years While at Central Middle School the choirs under his direction have consistently scored superior and excellent ratings at LGPE and at various southeast music festivals

Not only did Dr Smith initiate and organize the first Carroll County Middle School Honor Chorus, as well as four subsequent years, he has also served GMEA in many other capacities He held the office of District 7 Choral Co-Chair and District 7 Elementary Chair for 9 years Dr Smith was the State Elementary Honor Chorus organizer for 3 years and 6th Grade State Honor Chorus organizer for 9 years Now, as a director at Central Middle School, students under his direction have also participated in GMEA Middle School All-State Honor Chorus


Andrew Geocaris has been promoted from the role of music teacher at Rocky Mount Elementary School to Fine Arts Professional Learning Coordinator for Cobb County School District He will be collaborating with supervisors and teachers around the district in all fine arts disciplines to plan and deliver professional growth opportunities that enhance student experiences in the arts


This summ

nted the United States as the first ensemble invited from Georgia, b stival des Anches d'Azur in LaCroix Valmer, France For 27 years, La Croix Valmer’s Festival has become a musical highlight each summer in the Bay of Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera Since 1996, more than 55 international orchestras and bands have performed in the gardens of the Villa Turquoise This beautiful setting was reconfigured into an outdoor theater in 2011 and renamed the Forum Constantin Tara Winds' concert on Friday evening, June 30th, was incredibly received by an audience of nearly 2 000 people The other ensembles invited this year were from Montreal and Copenhagen and were also wonderfully appreciated by the exuberant crowds The Festival and Mayor of LaCroix Valmer provide financial support for international ensembles to attend Travel Gallery, Inc and Charlie Brodie, Logistics Director for Tara Winds, made all of the arrangements for members to travel to Paris and Nice The Festival treated the band to a boat cruise and tour of a winery in southern France

Under the direction of Dr. Andrea Strauss Tara Winds performed a wide variety of works including pieces by Bizet Fauré Morricone and Sousa The band opened the Gala Concert with "Atlantic Fanfare" by Christopher Kyle Green, a talented composer from Georgia who is also a member of the band Michael Kobito, Georgia's Teacher of the Year and Associate Conductor conducted "March Lorraine" and "Tico Tico" and Stan Kramer Director of Bands at Union Grove HS and Associate Conductor, lead Tara Winds on "The Symphonic Gershwin" and "Moment for Morricone" Soprano soloist Amber Greer, who has been singing with Tara Winds since she was 11-years-old, sang "Skyfall" and "Georgia on My Mind", which were both crowd favorites and another Georgia native and retired U S Army Band musician Dickson Grimes thrilled the crowd with a rousing presentation of the "Concerto for Clarinet" by Artie Shaw Our Principal Oboe and a Charter Member, Rusty Wilson, was featured on "Gabriel's Oboe" by Ennio Morricone and a longtime friend of Tara Winds and renowned composer and arranger Dr Sam Baltzer met the band in France and guest conducted his setting of "New York New York" In addition to the full ensemble performing the Gala Concert, the Tara Winds Clarinet Choir performed on the beach Saturday and in the town on Sunday

Tara Winds is an all-adult symphonic band with membership ranging from college students and first year teachers to retired music educators The mission of the organization is to present the world’s finest symphonic band music with passionate and engaging concerts at the highest level of professional standards and provide educational programs and opportunities for young aspiring musicians “Music: Enjoyment for All Ages” is the motto of Tara Winds and to inspire the community with excellence in musical performance is the band's goal Tara Winds has presented invitational performances for numerous regional and national music conferences The organization has the distinction of having performed three times for the Midwest International Band & Orchestra Clinic In 2018, Tara Winds traveled to Germany celebrating the ensemble’s 30th Anniversary Blaserphilharmonie



GMEA was well-represented at the NAfME National Assembly at the end of June The theme of the assembly was "Together Towards Tomorrow" and it was terrific that Georgia again had people "at the table" for the presentations, breakout sessions, and shared advocacy efforts that took place In addition to then-President Dr Matt Koperniak President Neil Ruby, and Executive Director Alan Fowler, Advocacy Chair Dr Sara Womack also traveled to Virginia for the Assembly Dr Womack organized and scheduled Hill Day visits to the offices of five Georgia Congressmen and our two Senators.

June's event marked the return of in-person Hill Day activities for the first time since 2019 and this past spring NAfME invited states to bring collegiate members to participate in both Hill Day and the Collegiate Advocacy Summit GMEA was fortunate to be able to take two terrific CNAfME members with us for these wonderful events Mikayla Murphy, a recent graduate of Clayton State and the new music teacher at New Hope Elementary School in Henry County and Jadyn Green, the President of Georgia State's CNAfME chapter were the stars of our group's visit to Capitol Hill. Both shined brightly as they shared their stories as music students and future educators in the offices of our representatives Our contingent was even able to personally visit with Representative Mike Collins And in Congressman David Scott's office, we visited his Legislative Aide Ruby Zimmerman, who is a proud Lassiter HS Band Alumnus

The folks at NAfME are hard at work on several fronts that you will be hearing more about this fall, including both a revamped NAfME website and the Music Teacher Profession Initiative (MTPI): A Blueprint for Strengthening the Music Profession.

Registration is now OPEN. Visit our website or CLICK HERE. Book your hotel through the GMEA website to receive special rates: MAKING PLANS TO ATTEND GMEA ISC 2024? RENEW YOUR NAFME MEMBERSHIP TODAY! https://www gmea org/membership

Marching Band Contests 2023

9/30 Lake Lanier Tournament of Bands 9/30 Oconee Classic 9/30 Contest of Champions 10/7 The Gathering 10/7 Super Bowl of Sound 10/7 Yellow Jacket Classic 10/7 Valhalla Classic 10/14 Coastal Empire Classic 10/14 The Conquest 10/14 Jaguar Classic 10/14 Northwest GA Marching 10/14 Sound of Silver 10/14 Eagles Nest Invitational 10/14 Wolverine Classic 10/21 Berkmar Invitational 10/21 The Branch Classic 10/21 Grovetown Warrior Invitational 10/21 Heart of Georgia 10/21 Hurricane Classic 10/21 Lake Hartwell 10/21 McEachern Marching Invitational 10/21 Music for All Buford 10/21 Southern Invitational Music Festival 10/21 Sound of the County Invitational 10/21 Golden River Marching Festival 10/28 East Georgia Marching Championship 10/28 Kennesaw Mountain Invitational 10/28 Legacy of Champions 10/28 Peach State Marching Festival 10/28 Lafayette Marching Classic 10/28 March the Plank Invitational 10/28 South Georgia Championships 10/28 Strong Rock Classic 10/28 North GA Marching Championship 11/4 Old Southeastern Invitational 11/4 Deep South Invitational 11/4 Greater Atlanta Marching Festival 11/4 Tiger Town Throwdown Forregistrationandcontactinformation https://wwwgmeaorg/marching-band Submit for the "News of Note!" We want to hear your stories and announcements you would like to share! The next edition will come out in mid August Please use the JotForm link below to submit: "News of Note" Content Submission Form ONE FINAL NOTE... Click Here for the 2023-2024 GMEA Statewide Calendar
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