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2 georgia music news / fall 2015

The stage is set for your future.

Bachelor of Music Music Education Performance Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Performance

Master of Music Composition Conducting Music Education Music Technology Performance

1 fall 2015 / georgia music news

Best in class. Best in show. Both play Yamaha. Today’s string musicians are more versatile than ever. Players everywhere have more opportunities to perform in a wide variety of styles and venues. From classical to contemporary, from the classroom to the stage, you’ll find the perfect instrument for any situation in Yamaha’s selection of acoustic and electric string instruments. Play the very best you can.



georgia music news / fall 2015


President Dr. John Odom


Immediate Past President Frank Folds Vice-President of All State Events Tracy Wright Vice-President of Performance Evaluation Events Richard Prouty

4 The President Speaks 6 Board Meeting Minutes 12 Division News 28 The Ratings Game

Past Presidents’ Representative Dr. Bernadette Scruggs Executive Director Cecil Wilder Band Division Chair Neil Ruby Choral Division Chair Wes Stoner


Around the State 18 District News 21 University News

College Division Chair Dr. Laura Stambaugh


Elementary Division Chair Victoria Knowles Orchestra Division Chair Sarah Black

ASO Educational Programs


Music education is integral to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s mission, “connecting people of all ages to high quality symphonic music.” Learn about the wide variety of programs offered by the ASO Center for Music Education this school year.

The Clarinet Embouchure Decoded Five strategies for developing the characteristic sound.

32 It Ain’t On The Judges’ Sheet What will your student’s leave school with? Great talent? An appreciation for music events? District 11 Chair, Lloyd McDonald, reflects on the lasting impact that music programs have on students.


Dr. Bernadette Scruggs

Piano Division Chair Dr. Joanna Kim District Chairs 1 - Kenza Murray 2 - Andrew C. Bell 3 - Jonathan Carmack 4 - D. Alan Fowler 5 - Carolyn Landreau 6 - Samuel Miller 7 - Bob Steelnack 8 - Catheryn Shaw 9 - Pat Gallagher 10 - Gene Hundley 11 - C. Lloyd McDonald 12 - Paula Krupiczewicz 13 - Lee Newman 14 - Dion Muldrow Editor, Georgia Music News Victoria Enloe For the complete list of Board Members please visit:

GMEA Staff Aleta Womack Brandie Barbee Ryan Barbee GMN Advertising/Exhibitors Cindy Reed © Copyright 2015 by the Georgia Music Educators Association Printing by Priority Press, Stockbridge, GA All pieces reproduced in this issue are under prior copyright of the creators and publisher by the contractual arrangements. Nothing shown may be reproduced in any form without obtaining the permission of the publisher and any other person or company who may have copyright ownership. Photos provided by Andy Edwards of Ace of Photos Visit


Division Chairs The GMEA Division Chairs welcome back their respective divisions for the 2015-2016 school year. (Page 12)

Tammy Hawk Music education is integral to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s mission, “connecting people of all ages to high quality symphonic music.” Learn about the wide variety of programs offered by the ASO Center for Music Education this school year. (Page 22)

fall 2015 / georgia music news

with us!



Cecil Wilder The GMEA Executive Director, Cecil Wilder, shares his thoughts on Large Group Performance Evaluation events and their effect on directors. (Page 28)

Mevonnie Biggins Mevonnie Biggins gives readers five strategies for developing the characteristic sound of the clarinet. (Page 30)


District 11 Chair, Lloyd McDonald, reflects on the lasting impact that music programs have on students. (Page 32)




georgia music news / fall 2015





As I begin my two year term as GMEA president, I want to thank you for your vote of confidence and for this opportunity to lead a body of some of the finest music educators in the country. I look at the next two years not only as an opportunity to lead, but much more as an opportunity to serve. I feel extremely humbled to be placed in a position that has been held by many of our state’s most accomplished music educators and leaders and pray that God will give me the wisdom and discernment to serve you as well as they have in the past. It is my sincerest hope that the years to come are a time of continued growth for our organization, which sees each young life that has been entrusted to us, regardless of any demographic, socio-economic status, or academic potential, as a life to be shaped and molded into a future contributor and leader in our society. We, as music educators, have known for decades that music shapes the whole student; that music study increases the development of other academic skills and has been proven to be a contributor in higher standardized test scores. Let us continue to move forward as music educators as we take on the mission to employ music in shaping the lives behind those scores.

As each fall approaches, I hope you feel the same excitement that I still feel after 28 years as a music educator. Of course, after all these years, there is a good deal less fear with each coming school year, but the excitement of new opportunities and challenges is always paramount. To our young and first year music educators, let me confirm to you that you have chosen a profession that has countless rewards that no other profession can offer. There will be mountains to climb and long stretches of road that may seem endless, but stay the course. Continue to impart to every student your love for music and encourage them to embrace their music as a gift, whatever level their skill and experience. Let GMEA help! Don’t feel like you are an island unto yourself. Seek out fellow GMEA members around you who have stayed that course and have seen years of these challenges. If you are new to the area, contact me or any of our GMEA leadership and let us help guide you. It is my hope that you will reach out any time you need answers or direction. Let this organization serve you in whatever capacity will help you to feel successful and embrace a sense of accomplishment in your role as music educator. To all of our membership, I challenge you in the coming year to take an active role in our organization. GMEA is YOU! Every person in leadership, from the president to each vice-president to each division chair and beyond, is an everyday teacher just like you. We all face the same challenges with students, parents, administrations, communities. We ask the same questions, seek the same solutions. Make your district meetings a priority on your busy calendar and, as the year progresses, take the time to share your concerns with each district and state leader.



I want to close this article by urging every member to place January 28-30, 2016, on your calendar for the annual In-Service Conference at the Classic Center in Athens. I know many of us have strong ties and feelings about Savannah, but I have been excitedly overwhelmed by what the facilities at the Classic Center are going to allow us to accomplish in serving you at the conference. Don’t miss the amazing first year that the planning committee has prepared for you in Athens. You will not be disappointed. There will be many more details in our next issue of the GMN as we move closer to the event. Once again, thank you for the privilege and honor of serving you the next two years as your president. As we move ahead, I look forward to great things in our organization in encouraging music learning, creating, studying, and enjoyment for every young life we touch in our profession.

HISTORIAN DERIK CLACKUM, GMEA HISTORIAN Welcome to all our members and our newly elected state officers, as we open up 2015-2016 and prepare to make History! History can be an interesting subject, as it tells us how we became who we are today. For instance, maybe you have noted that we change our state GMEA elected leadership every two years, always on odd numbered years (2015,2017,2019, etc.), and, even though we change our district GMEA elected leadership every two years, we do this on even numbered years (2014, 2016, 2018, etc.). This practice is a product of our GMEA history, as this odd/even system was gradually developed to insure a smooth transition from year to year. This wasn’t always the practice, however, and terms were not always a two-year time period. Over the years, our organization has experimented with several lengths of leadership terms and formats. Through this process of experimentation, we came upon the idea that two year terms were more efficient for a member-based organization. In addition, we realized that staggering the terms of our state and district officers (in odd/even years) would help stabilize our organization. District Information Needed - Again this year, I will seek to compile more historical information about our district activities. I want to en-courage every district chair and committee/activity chair to send me copies of all meeting minutes, honor group programs, and LGPE pro-grams, as well as any information about special recognitions that per-forming groups in your district have received. I have already estab-lished a folder system for each district’s information, and I hope we will fill those folders for 2015-2016. As history happens in your district, I want you to send me documentation. In looking through our GMEA archives, I note that information about our district activities has been a priority during some decades, but, sadly, not in others, leaving us with an incomplete picture of our past. While our state-wide activities are of great importance, we need to remember that it is in the districts where the water meets the wheel. I hope we can all make keeping records of our 2015-2016 activities a priority this year. We are already making outstanding progress in the cause of Music Education in Georgia. Let’s just remember to document our achievements in our GMEA archives.


GMEA is a constantly growing and evolving organization that seeks to meet the needs of the membership statewide. To an even greater degree, you are part of a national organization that is making extraordinary strides in promoting and developing music education in our country. I know that I did not realize the scope of what the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) encompassed until I became actively involved. As I attended the National Leadership Assembly in Washington D.C. this past June, I saw an organization that is working tirelessly at the national level to serve each of us as music educators at the local level. One example is advocacy. NAfME is constantly on the forefront in the political arena that involves music education. NAfME has had a large role in the push for legislation involving the “Every Child Achieves Act of 2015” (S. 1177). As I write this, the Senate has just passed S.1777, which now moves it to conference committee with the House of Representatives. The Senate bill includes music and arts as core academic subjects! Did we ever think that we would see this type of legislation in our lifetime? This example is only a small portion of what our national organization is doing to aid each of us at the local level. I urge each of us to take advantage of what NAfME and GMEA have to offer and also encourage us all to give back to each of these organizations by being actively involved.

georgia music news / fall 2015




• The meeting was called to order by President Frank Folds at 10:00.

THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS WERE PRESENT: Frank Folds-President, Kerry Bryant-Vice President for All State Events, Carl Rieke-Vice President for Performance Evaluations, John Odom-President-Elect, Bernadette Scruggs-Past Presidents’ Council Representative, Cecil Wilder-Executive Director, Neil Ruby-Band Division Chair, Wes Stoner-Choral Division Chair-Elect (for Jeff Funderburk-Choral Division Chair), Laura Stambaugh-College Division Chair-Elect (for Carol Benton-College Division Chair), Karen Leamon-Elementary Division Chair, Nicole Thompson-Orchestra Division Chair, Donna Dasher-Piano Division Chair, Andrew Bell-District Two Chair, Jonathan Carmack-District Three Chair, Alan Fowler-District Four Chair, Carolyn Landreau-District Five Chair, Samuel Miller-District Six Chair, Bob Steelnack-District Seven Chair, Steve Myers-District Eight Chair, Pat Gallagher-District Nine Chair, Lloyd McDonald-District Eleven Chair, Paula Krupiczewicz-District Twelve Chair, Jason Atha-District Thirteen Chair-Elect, Craig Cantrell – District Fourteen Chair, Skip Taylor – member-at-large, Sue McDonald – member-at-large, Victoria Enloe – Editor, Georgia Music News, Harry Bergwall – Representative, Georgia School Music Dealers Association.

THE FOLLOWING GUESTS WERE PRESENT: Vicki Knowles – Elementary Division Chair-Elect, Tracy Wright – Vice President for Performance Evaluations – Elect. • The minutes of the May 17, 2014 board meeting were approved as submitted.

THE FOLLOWING ACTION ITEMS WERE DISCUSSED AND VOTED ON: • A proposal from the Executive Committee to amend the appeals process for late fees for event applications as follows: • No appeal for reimbursement of late fees can be submitted to the appeals committee until after the applicant has completed the application and submitted payment of all fees, including late fees. • Late applications must be paid with credit cards or electronic funds transfers. No checks will be accepted. • All appeals of late fees must be submitted in writing and signed by the director and principal. • In cases where the appeals committee approves the reimbursement all late fees will be returned. In cases where the appeal is denied no reimbursement will be made. • The appeals committee may not recommend partial reimbursement of late fees, only complete reimbursement or no reimbursement. Other than that the procedure for review by the appeals committee will remain as before. A teacher may only request a refund of late fees once during any three-year period. After a request has been made no other request will be accepted for three school years. This rule will apply even if the teacher changes schools in that the three-year-limit applies to the teacher, not the school. It also will apply whether or not the appeal is approved.

• It will be the responsibility of the GMEA office to maintain accurate records of all appeals. • Beginning thirty days after the event deadline, no late applications can be accepted for any reason, even with the payment of late fees. This in not appealable. The proposal passed unanimously and will take effect immediately. • A proposal from the Executive Committee to clarify the policy for payment of LGPE adjudicators as follows: • If all or part of an event is cancelled due to weather issues after the judge arrives on site they will be paid full pay for all groups judged and 1/2 pay for all groups that were cancelled due to weather. In cases where the entire event is cancelled and the judge has not yet arrived on site no payment will be due them. • Judges will no longer be paid on site at the conclusion of the event. Their honorarium will be mailed to them after the event along with their expense reimbursement. • The reimbursement will still be paid with a separate check for tax reasons. • Note: The reasons for this change are as follows: • The addition of two additional weeks in mid-February for LGPE events has made it difficult to impossible for the bookkeeper to generate the checks for those early events prior to the event and get them mailed out in time for the organizer to have them prior to the event at the same time as having to pay bills and write checks for the In Service Conference and Statewide Honor Chorus event. • Having those events that early in February increases the possibility of weather related event cancellation. Since judges are paid by the judging hour that can cause all the judges’ checks to be incorrect and have to be sent back to the office and rewritten. • We have too many cases where judges are changed at the last minute and judges are hired to fill in for part of an event, also causing checks to be incorrect and rewritten. • Many organizers do not send in their judges list until the last minute, making it difficult for the bookkeeper to get the checks written and mailed out in time for on-site payment. • Note: Starting next year organizers will not be able to start scheduling their event until they have filled in the names of their judges in Opus. The proposal passed by a vote of 25 to 1, with the provision that the board must revisit the issue at the 2016 meeting to reassess negative effects, if any, that are caused by the changes.

The motion to table as spelled out here passed unanimously. • A proposal from the Band Division to send out a recap sheet to all directors after final round all state auditions - In late November/early December, provide districts with the sent/made AS percentages from the previous year. Hopefully, that would encourage districts to make thoughtful decisions regarding the students that are sent to the second round. Concerns were expressed that this data would create perceptions among districts that are neither accurate nor fair. It was further pointed out that, in some districts that use the first all state audition scores to select their honor bands, there are students who take the auditions strictly in the hope of being selected for the honor band and that this can skew the data. It was also pointed out that other strategies have been tried in the past to affect the large numbers of students being sent to the second auditions and none of them have worked. The proposal failed by a vote of 3-23. • Proposal from the Band Division to make score sheets from different state marching festivals available on the GMEA website for directors to have the flexibility to provide the current GMEA sheets for their contest, or choose their own based on other states evaluation methods. • Rationale: The different score sheets allows directors to choose the method of adjudication for their band. This helps the scoring be tailored more directly to the bands’ weaknesses or strengths. Ensuing discussion focused on whether we should be this involved in an area where we do not sponsor any events and whether we should continue to vet in-state marching contests for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not they conform to “GMEA standards”. It was pointed out that, even if the people running these events actually meet the standards we require of them, we have no way to police that, and that this process has largely become a way for marching events to purchase advertising in return for the $150 fee they pay. It was pointed out that we should not use the online materials (score sheets) of other music associations without first securing their permission as a matter of professional courtesy. It was also pointed out that our logo and name are registered service marks owned by us and that they represent our bona fides, our brand, and our reputation and may not be used for any purposes other than on connection with our activities and purposes (it was requested that we put our logo on the forms from other states). John Odom questioned whether this is a board issue since it does not represent an association policy. It was decided that it is not and the proposal was dismissed by President Frank Folds and will be dealt with by the Executive Committee, which is charged with the day-today running of the association.

• Proposal from the Choral Division to allow High School choirs to perform a split program at LGPE. The parameters would be as follows: • Directors would be able to declare a split program between adjacent classifications only (AB, BC, CD) AC, BD would not be allowed. • Clarification: If a split program is declared, both pieces would obviously have to be on their respective lists. No selected piece not on any list would be allowed. • The ensemble would sight read at the lower level of the split. For example, a choir that declares AB would sight read the class B example in the appropriate voicing. • Choirs will still be able to declare a straight class A, B, C, or D program, as is currently the case. No changes will be made to the standing guidelines if a choir selects a straight program. They will with the approval of the head adjudicator. The proposal passed by a vote of 24-0 with 2 abstentions. • A proposal from the Piano Division as follows: • Participation in GMEA Piano All-State may be denied for a period of one year for any student who accepts, then declines (without sufficient cause), after their name has been printed in the In-Service Conference Program. • Cause would include: severe illness and death in the family, in which documented proof may be required. The Piano Division Chair will send a letter to the teacher to explain the decision, with a copy to the All-State Chair. The decision may be appealed to the All-State Chair, whose decision will be final. • A file will be maintained by the Piano Division Chair of all letters sent denying student participation for the following year in the All-State event. The proposal passed unanimously. • A proposal from the Piano Division as follows: • Participation in GMEA All-State may be denied to any piano teacher who exhibits unethical and unprofessional practices. These practices would include: falsifying information on student applications, not participating in the All-State event, and attending In-Service Conference sessions (which include recitals and master classes) without paying Conference fees. A letter of reprimand will be sent by the Piano Division Chair to any teacher found to exhibit unethical or unprofessional behaviors. Three letters within a five-year period will result in the teacher losing the privilege to participate in the GMEA All-State event for a period of one year, including the ability to enter any students in the event. A copy of the letter will be sent to the Ethics Chair and the All-State Chair. A file will be maintained by the Piano Division Chair which will include all letters sent. If three letters have been sent within a five year period, the third letter will state that the teacher will not be able to participate in the All-State event the following year. Appeals may be made to the Ethics Chair, whose decision will be final. The proposal passed unanimously.


• A proposal from the Executive Committee that ensembles not able to perform at their LGPE event due to cancellation of the part of the event when they were to perform due to weather the school will be reimbursed half of fees paid on request from the teacher. After discussion that failed to produce any consensus on the matter Frank Folds offered a motion to table the proposal until a committee can further study it and bring a revised proposal back to the board for a vote. President Folds appointed a committee consisting of Kerry Bryant, Jason Atha, and Victoria Enloe. Their deadline for submitting a revised proposal will be July 1, 2015. The board will then vote on the revised proposal via email. If the revised proposal passes it will become policy beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.

georgia music news / fall 2015



BOARD MEETING MINUTES (CONTINUED) • Constitutionally required presidential appointments, as presented by President-Elect John Odom were approved as follows: • Awards – John Odom • Collegiate NAFME - Mary Land • Government Relations – Peter Lemonds • Ethics - Jay Wucher • Guitar – Luther Enloe • Historian - Derik Clackum • MIOSM - Bonita Thomie • Multi-Cultural Awareness - Roland Ventura • Research- Brandon Tucker • Technology - Pat Gallagher • Retired Members –Fritz Siler • Members at-large – Skip Taylor and Sue McDonald • Editor, GMN – Victoria Enloe • The 2015-2016 statewide calendar was approved with amendments as follows: • The deadline for all state band applications was moved to October 6. • The information for piano concerto competition was removed since that only takes place every other year. • The following items were presented for information purposes only since they do not require board approval and have been passed by the Executive Committee: • Beginning next year, districts will no longer submit a list of choices for LGPE head judges for the office to pick from. They will simply contact them in the same way as their remaining three judges. When we started using the office as a clearinghouse it was because there was a shortage of choral and orchestra head judges. That situation no longer exists so there is no need for that extra step in the process. • In the future we will do Certified Adjudicator retraining in the form of an online test, administered via Survey Monkey. The adjudicators will log in and take the test (open book) at their leisure as long as they complete it before the specified deadline. They will be required to answer all questions correctly in order to pass. All questions will be of a general nature and should not present a problem to any of them. They will be allowed to retake the test if they need to. Training of new certified adjudicators, if and when those are appointed, will be done in the same way as in the past. • Starting next year, late fees will become standardized for all event applications as follows: • An initial late fee of $25.00 per application (not per student for all state as is now the case) on the first day after the deadline. After that the late fee will increase by $5.00 per day per application. This fee structure will also apply to all state acceptance fees. After thirty calendar days past the deadline,

no applications can be accepted for any reason. • Beginning next year, solo ensemble fees will be restructured so that the ensemble fee will be per group, not per student. The fee for an ensemble and the fee for a solo will be the same. There are two reasons for these changes. Having ensemble fees calculated on a per student basis causes much confusion and many errors on the part of members. As for making the fee consistent across the board, all entries are allotted the same time, therefore the cost for each is the same (except that most solo entries require a piano, making them more expensive). The fee per entry for 2015-2016 will be $12.00. Note: The question was asked whether this same logic could and should be applied to LGPE fees. It was noted by Cecil Wilder that this question had been addressed in the past but that no action had ever been taken. It was also stated that some members had taken exception to the sharp increase in solo fees and that they (or their students) might not be able to pay that amount and might not be able to participate. It was stated that the Executive Committee would add both these concerns to the agenda for their next meeting in August. • It was announced that beginning next year the solo ensemble application process would be done through Opus. • An interim financial and student participation report was presented by Cecil Wilder. • Written and oral reports were taken. • Certificates and pins were presented to outgoing board members. Frank Folds was presented a plaque of appreciation for his service as president. It was announced that Executive Director Cecil Wilder had been nominated as by the GMEA Executive Committee as an NAfME Lowell Mason Fellow and that he had been selected for the award. • The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 PM. Respectfully submitted, Cecil Wilder, Executive Director


2015-2016 GMEA BUDGET


BUDGET SUMMARY HISTORY AND PROJECTION Membership Dues Medals and Plaques Georgia Music News Non-GMEA Festival Fees In Service Conference Performance Evaluations All State Events Royalties Interest Income

INCOME 2015 $              59,006.16 $              87,537.03 $              13,147.50 $                  4,950.00 $            354,643.35 $            490,467.32 $            483,588.25 $                  1,936.10 $                  3,136.12

EXPENSE 2015 $              68,179.52 $              43,474.92 $            271,621.57 $            296,333.85 $            358,106.45

Other Income

$                4,000.00 $                  6,804.14 $              15,905.01 $                  3,805.47

Scholarships Board Expense Executive Committee Expense Council Expense CNAfME

$          144,495.03 $            232,683.90 $              27,325.38

OfficeExpense Employee Expense Online Application Project Handbok Expense Archives/Historian Awards


$                1,407.28 $                              36.58 $      1,498,411.83 $    1,474,179.10

SURPLUS/DEFICIT $                59,006.16 $                  19,357.51 $                (30,327.42) $                      4,950.00 $                  83,021.78 $              194,133.47 $              125,481.80 $                      1,936.10 $                      3,136.12 $                                        -­‐ $                    (4,000.00) $                    (6,804.14) $                (15,905.01) $                    (3,805.47) $                                        -­‐   $            (144,495.03) $            (232,683.90) $                (27,325.38) $                                        -­‐ $                    (1,407.28) $                                (36.58) $                  24,232.73

OFFICE EXPENSE   R EPORT OFFICE AND EMPLOYMENT BUDGET  S UMMARY  2014-­‐2015 EXPENSE REPORT BUDGET  PROJECTION  2015-­‐2016 Executive Director Office Manager Ass't to the Executve Director Publications Director Total Salaries Benefits, Insurance and retirement FICA, Medicare, and Unemployment Tax Total Employee expense Taxes and Licenses Accounting and Legal Fees Bank Charges Computer and Technology Donations and contributions Dues and Subscriptions Executive Travel and Development Insurance General Insurance Workmens' Comp Internet Services Miscellaneous Expense Office Machine Leases Operating Expense Outside Services Printing Expense Postage Property Taxes Rent Staff Development Telephone 1 Travel Repairs and Maintenance Leadersip Training Utilities Total Administrative Expense Total Employee and Administrative Exp.

2015 $      61,000.08 $        52,991.82 $        48,193.28 $        46,010.12 $  208,195.30 $            8,694.72 $        15,793.88 $  232,683.90 $                249.99 $        13,434.40 $        24,099.35 $        10,190.21 $                484.94 $                495.00 $            2,740.36 $            4,739.00 $                743.00 $        19,548.48 $            1,313.01 $            7,566.73 $            6,258.88 $            2,750.00 $                             -­‐ $            6,209.61 $                             -­‐ $        35,200.00 $                             -­‐ $            4,736.17 $                          5.00 $                             -­‐ $                             -­‐ $            3,730.90 $  144,495.03 $  377,178.93


2016 $          62,220.08 $            54,051.66 $            49,157.15 $            48,430.32 $          213,859.20 $                8,761.59 $            16,425.64 $          239,046.43 $                      250.00 $            12,000.00 $            25,000.00 $                7,500.00 $                      200.00 $                      500.00 $                1,500.00 $                4,800.00 $                      750.00 $            20,000.00 $                      500.00 $                9,000.00 $                6,000.00 $                2,750.00 $                6,000.00 $            35,200.00 $                      250.00 $                4,700.00 $                      150.00

$              3,800.00 $          140,850.00 $          379,896.43

INCOME 2016 $                    59,000.00 $                    85,000.00 $                    13,000.00 $                        5,000.00 $                308,000.00 $                485,000.00 $                500,625.00 $                        2,000.00 $                        3,000.00

EXPENSE 2016 $                67,000.00 $                32,000.00 $            240,050.00 $            297,000.00 $            377,500.00

$ P      OSITION              4,000.00 CASH   $                3    6,500.00 AS  OF  JUNE   0,  2015 $                10,000.00 $                    4,000.00 $                            500.00 $            140,850.00 $            239,046.43 $                30,000.00

$                  2,000.00 $                            400.00 $            1,460,625.00 $      1,450,846.43

SURPLUS/DEFICIT $              59,000.00 $                18,000.00 $              (19,000.00) $                      5,000.00 $                67,950.00 $            188,000.00 $            123,125.00 $                      2,000.00 $                      3,000.00 $                                        -­‐ $                  (4,000.00) $                  (6,500.00) $              (10,000.00) $                  (4,000.00) $                          (500.00) $            (140,850.00) $            (239,046.43) $              (30,000.00) $                                        -­‐ $                  (2,000.00) $                          (400.00) $                      9,778.57

CASH POSITION AS OF JUNE 2015 CASH POSITION   AS  OF  30, JUNE   30,  2015 checking  account  balance

$          23,374.98  

reserve  savings

$    282,249.86  

scholarship money  market  account

$              1,995.36  

total assets

$    307,620.20  

10 georgia music news / fall 2015

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11 fall 2015 / georgia music news

Schwob School of MuSic | Columbus state uNiversity (Ga)

18th Annual Conductors Workshop November 20 & 21, 2015 Begins Friday afternoon and continues through Saturday evening Craig Kirchhoff

Steven Davis

Large and Chamber Ensemble Conducting Sessions Lectures and Panel Discussions Conductor ($225) | Auditor ($75) | SDU (add $10) Click “2015 Conductors Workshop� at Workshop details, downloadable brochure, and on-line registration available For questions, email Jamie Nix at or call 706-649-7252 Jamie Nix

georgia music news / fall 2015




Summer is officially over and it’s time to get back to the classroom, concert stage and football field! I hope everyone found an opportunity to recharge his or her batteries and is looking forward to a new school year. The beginning of each school year is an exciting time as we welcome back our students after a long break. It is our chance to build upon things that worked well last year and an opportunity to improve things that did not. I hope everyone is making plans to attend our Inaugural In-Service Conference in beautiful Athens, Georgia! Although we will all miss our time in Savannah, this will be an exciting conference, with new opportunities. This year we were able to schedule more concerts and clinics than ever before. The band division will be well represented in all areas, including an expanded number of clinics/performances in the areas of Jazz and Percussion, something that has been needed for some time. In order for the ISC to be successful and for the number of offerings to continue to expand, we all need to attend and support these clinics and performances. You will not be disappointed! One of the many challenges band directors face each year is earning buy-in from all stakeholders associated with their programs. Support from students, parents, teachers, administrators, and community members is necessary for a program to grow and thrive. In my opinion, the most important task in getting others to “go the extra mile” for your band program is COMMUNICATION. Coach Mike Krzyzewski states, “Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.” Communication is also a key ingredient in what I like to call “The Happiness Cycle.” Happy band directors foster happy students. Happy students foster happy parents. Happy parents foster happy administrators. And, you guessed it, happy administrators foster happy band directors! This cycle will ultimately have a positive effect in the community support for your band program. Before others will go the extra mile for the band program, they must first see the DIRECTOR giving 100% and going the extra mile for the program, school, and community. In this article, I would like to focus on three of these stakeholder groups: teachers, administrators, and the community. I think we would all agree that what we put into our programs determines their level of quality and that what we invest in our school and community also impacts the success of our programs.

Classroom teachers have some of the most difficult jobs in education because, unlike band directors, they often have no say in which students they teach. Students who chronically misbehave, have attendance issues, bad attitudes, and poor work ethics will eventually be removed from a band program, but the classroom teacher is still expected to teach those students on a daily basis. Academic teachers need to know they have your support. Sending a list of your band members to every teacher and letting them know they have your complete support and that, yes, academics do come before band will be a first step in extending that support. Offer tutoring sessions for band members who are struggling academically. This is a great way to not only help weaker students, but also to utilize the strengths of your advanced students as peer tutors. Finally, support other activities in the school by attending games and productions and volunteering at school events. It is vital for band directors and coaches to get along and support each other. Meet with your coaches to discuss goals. Learn the game they coach and be supportive of the job they do. Help line off fields, work admission gates and concessions. Ask the coach to speak to your band program and/or parent booster club. We are all in this together. With all the teachers and coaches in your school, it is important to be a TEAM player and support what they do! We would all agree that our jobs are so much easier when we have supportive administrators. Conversely, unsupportive administrators can make our jobs miserable. It is important that the principal and band director have a positive working relationship and know that they can count on the other for support. Being organized, maintaining discipline within the band program, and communicating with your principal will help build a strong, positive, and long-lasting relationship. It is important for us to remember that the principal is in charge of the school, not the bookkeeper, custodians, or band director. Take the time to get to know your principal and his/her vision for the school. Discuss your goals


Cesar Chaves said, “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” The bond between a band program and the community is something special. The more we can do to include our community members, the more support we will ultimately receive from them. Participate in community events and work hard to establish a positive identity in your community. Send students to perform at community events, volunteer for charity activities, and select performances to involve the community. Communicate upcoming performances and events, and, lastly, thank the community often for the support they give your band program. As we enter a new school year, I would like to encourage all of us to take a moment to think about the incredible challenges and opportunities we have been given to help mold and shape our students’ futures. By combining passionate teaching and the help of fellow educators, parents, and the community, we CAN reach this ultimate goal. I wish each of you the best in all your endeavors, and if I can ever be of assistance to you or your program, please do not hesitate to contact me. Neil Ruby State Band Chair


Welcome back, Choral Division! I hope that you have had a restful and rejuvenating summer break. I am honored to begin my term as your choral division chair, and look forward to two years of diligent work to maintain the rich tradition of choral music in our state. Much work has already gone into preparing this year’s choral events, including All-State Reading Chorus, All-State Chorus, Statewide Sixth Grade Honor Chorus, and the performances and sessions at the 2016 In-Service Conference in Athens. As you get your year started, check OPUS to identify deadlines and other important dates. Don’t forget, you can pay all fees via credit card, if that is easier for you. Also, one thing that tends to slip many of our minds is remembering to renew our membership on time. This can cause headaches for everyone, so stay on top of it. The biggest reminder I can give you is to read your handbook. I know you are told every year, but it’s so important. Make sure you familiarize yourself (again) with the All-State Chorus audition rules and regulations, LGPE rules and regulations, and any changes that have been made. All changes will be in red print in the handbook. The biggest change, particularly to LGPE rules, is the ability to perform a split program. I hope that this change will allow programs to challenge their choirs, but at a more reasonable increment. The specifics of this change will be in the handbook. Finally, I would like to thank Jeff Funderburk for all that he did in leading our division. Working alongside him as the chair-elect, I had the opportunity to see his love for the division and the entire organization. Again, I look forward to working with the outstanding choral directors in our state! Have a great fall!

fall 2015 / georgia music news

for your program and the goals of your principal, and then see where they can be aligned to be achieved. I think the main ingredient in garnering future support from your principal is “AIR”: Always Invite and Recognize! Include your principal in all communications with the parents and community, and send both written and verbal invitations to everything! Take every opportunity available, again in writing and publicly, to thank your principal for ANY support he or she gives you and your program. Principals deal most often with the “bad”, and they will always appreciate the “good” that a supportive band director and band program can give.


Wes Stoner



georgia music news / fall 2015


Dr. Laura Stambaugh

As incoming College Division Chair, I would like to extend my thanks to Carol Benton, who just completed serving in this role. How appropriate to have a Savannah-based faculty member lead us through the last GMEA conference held in Savannah! I begin this column be renewing Dr. Benton’s invitation to division members to engage in active dialogue with one another. Later this fall, I will be extending that invitation to you electronically in a more systematized format. The name of our division details two roles we play on our campuses: preparing future music teachers and serving as faculty members in the discipline of music. In this fall issue, I will address the first role. One of the most pressing concerns for Georgia teacher preparation faculty is edTPA. Many of us have been living with edTPA for several years now, including participating in hours of training by Pearson to become official scorers. For me, that undertaking definitely falls in the “teacher preparation” part of my job. I believe it is my responsibility to enable my students to be certified, and scoring portfolios provides insights I would not otherwise gain. Despite this responsibility to provide the foundation for my candidates to meet certification requirements, passing edTPA is not the end goal. This line of thinking quickly leads to the broader philosophical topic of the purpose of higher education in general – is it to educate in the more classical sense of the term, or is it to prepare young adults for a career? Obviously, that topic is a larger discussion for another time. We, to a large extent, control the content and types of experiences students gain in our courses prior to their student teaching experience. We are not, however, the most important daily influence during student teaching. Mentor teachers fill this role. I argue that expecting mentor teachers to take on the burden of knowing the details of edTPA is unreasonable. They already have a job. The edTPA structure, requirements, and language are recent developments that were not part of their own pre-service training. I have found it quite challenging to balance providing mentor teachers with information about edTPA without sharing so much information that it becomes burdensome. One of my projects this summer was to prepare a 15 minute video, a mini-lecture of sorts, for my mentor teachers. The content is specific to what music student teachers at my university need to show in their edTPA portfolio and how the mentor teacher can support this. I posted the video on a private YouTube channel and emailed the link to mentor teachers and university supervisors. This is one approach to supporting candidates while being respectful of the many demands already placed upon mentor teachers. If you have other ideas you would like to share, feel free to email them to me and I will share those in the future (

Finally, I will take this opportunity to remind you of the dates of several upcoming conferences. Since the NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference will be held in Atlanta this spring, it provides a wonderful opportunity for graduate students to attend (and, perhaps, co-present at) this national conference. • Symposium on Music Teacher Education: Toward a Stronger, Richer Community, Greensboro, NC, September 17-19, 2015 • NAfME National In-Service Conference, Nashville, TN, October 25-28, 2015 • College Music Society National Conference, Indianapolis, IN, November 5-7, 2015 • College Music Society Southern Regional Conference, Birmingham, AL, February 18-20, 2016 • NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference, Atlanta, GA, March 16-19, 2016

ELEMENTARY DIVISION Victoria Knowles Back to school! As I type this phrase, those three lovely words are popping up everywhere. They come with a mix of happy expectation and reluctance to give up the freedom of summer; time to focus on the happy expectation! I love teaching and one of the many reasons is that I get to start each August with high expectations. Each year brings something new along with the chance to remember what worked well and what needs to be adjusted. I am lucky enough to work with amazing people in my building, my county and my state. I am looking forward to getting to know even more of you as I begin this two year journey as state chair. There are several changes coming this year. I am excited about the move to Athens for our In-Service Conference. (But I will miss Savannah as well!) I have always enjoyed learning in a workshop setting and love recalling the memories of people and places as I plan lessons from session notes. The 2016 In-Service Conference will offer a great mix of outstanding Georgia educators and experts from around the nation. Details will be coming soon. The biggest change this year for our division is moving Statewide Elementary Honor Chorus to February, when we will share the Classic Center with the 6th grade honor chorus. The layout of the Classic Center is going to work really well for us, and I am sure you will be pleased with the fantastic opportunity this offers your students. I am also certain there will be new problems and that the men and women of the Elementary Division will meet them with our typical Southern grace, charm and savvy. Both of our clinicians are outstanding experts in elementary voices and repertoire. Ms. Angie Johnson is the artistic director of the Young Naperville Singers in Illinois and is also the ACDA Central Division Children’s Choir and Community Youth Repertoire and Standards Chair. Fred Meads, Jr. is the director of vocal studies for the American Boy Choir in Princeton, NJ. I am looking forward to having my students learn under their guiding influence. Welcome to your new school year! I hope to see you at Statewide Honor Chorus and the annual In-Service Conference.

fall 2015 / georgia music news



georgia music news / fall 2015


ORCHESTRA DIVISION Sarah Black Happy New Year! Teachers might be the only people who think the year starts in August and ends in May…and that made me start thinking. What is my new year’s (teaching) resolution for 2015-16? What is yours? Maybe you have always wanted to go back and get another degree. Maybe you are striving for more balance between home and school. No matter what it is, I encourage you to set goals for yourself at the beginning of the school year (after all that is what a resolution really is), and set an action plan in place to achieve those goals. My newest resolution for this year is to do whatever I can to serve the orchestra division to my fullest ability. I am excited and honored to represent such an amazing group of educators. We have an exciting year ahead of us. I had the opportunity to tour the Classic Center in May, and it is going to be a fantastic venue for the In-Service Conference. If you plan on staying in Athens, go ahead and reserve a hotel room early! As much as we will all miss Savannah, Athens gives us the opportunity to make new memories and start new traditions. Finally, a few things to add to your to-do list to make your year go smoothly. • Make sure you know when your GMEA membership ex pires and renew it. • Always look at the LGPE music list EVERY year. Pieces change levels, get added, deleted, etc. Never assume!! • Always check the GMEA handbook first. If you cannot find the answer, then you can check with me. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find out for you. • Check the calendar. Know and meet all deadlines. I always remember one of my college conductors saying, “If you’re early you’re on time. If you’re on time…you’re late.” Allow some wiggle room with your bookkeeper, administration, Mother Nature, etc. • Get involved and stay involved. I wish you all a successful, exciting, and fun start to school and I am honored to represent the GMEA Orchestra Division for the next two years. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, suggestions, concerns, or observations you have. Good luck with those resolutions!!


Welcome to the new school year! It is my great pleasure to write this article as the new piano division chair for 2015-2017. As I begin this journey, Warren Bennis’ quote comes to my mind: “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” GMEA has a long history as a great organization serving music educators in areas such as band, chorus, and orchestra. Georgia is also one of the few states in the U.S. to include the piano division in All-State. We are fortunate, but the reality is that the piano division has been struggling with membership recruitment. We have had a high number of participants in the piano

solo auditions, and the number of participants in the four and six hands piano ensemble auditions has been increasing. Our spring Performance Evaluation participation and the annual In-Service Conference attendance rate are, however, comparably lower than in other divisions. As the new piano division chair, I’d like to hear from you! As a member of GMEA, your opinions matters and I am here to listen. Before I go on, I’d like to express my gratitude to Donna Dasher, who has done a marvelous job as piano division chair over the past two years. Her dedication and enthusiasm have resulted in many updates to the piano handbook, which were long overdue, and the members of the piano division will see those changes taking place this year. Please read the handbook and note the modifications. Some important changes I’d like to draw your attention to are listed below. The State Audition is now called the GMEA Piano AllState Audition and, thus, will follow the regulations governed by the All-State Committee. You can read more details in the handbook. In May 2015, the Executive Board approved the requirements of a Music Theory test, Sight reading, and Scales at the Piano All-State auditions. These additions have been standard requirements for other divisions of All-State and the piano division will now observe them. Specific details will be sent via email to all GMEA piano teachers later this year. Next, the date of the State Piano Audition has been changed to the last Saturday in November and will take place at Clayton State University. Many of you are used to going to Mercer University on the first Saturday of December, so please mark your calendar now! Also, the number of students participating in the event is now limited to ONE solo and ONE four or six-hand audition. The performance time limit for students will be strictly enforced from this year on. Please be mindful that the performance time limit for students in grades six through twelve is SIX minutes and for collegiate students is EIGHT minutes. Each participant’s performance will be recorded with a time-clock at the audition site. For the 2016 In-Service Conference, we will be moving to the Classic Center in Athens. The updated and expanded Classic Center is very nice, and I was able to secure a space for all the piano division events as well as a larger space for our winners’ recital. Both rooms have sound proof walls, providing us with a better experience. I hope more piano division members will consider attending this year’s conference. There have been complaints from many of you that the lengths of the master classes are too short and the lengths of the winners’ recitals are way too long. I am diligently working on ways to improve those issues as well as lining up fantastic presenters and clinicians! More details will be published in the winter issue of the Georgia Music News. Lastly, I’d like to draw your attention to the new “Teachers Ethics” section of the handbook. Now that piano division events are officially part of the All-State events, all the rules and restrictions will be governed and enforced by the All-State Ethics Committee. Please take time to read these important additions. All changes cause anxiety or excitement, more or less. But as one said, “Dreams are the seeds of change. Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream.” As the new school year begins, let’s hold our heads up high and remember that music can change the world because it can change people.




fall 2015 / georgia music news

Athens get to know

georgia music news / fall 2015



AROUND THE STATE DISTRICT NEWS • The Ebenezer Middle School Eagle Winds Honor Band has been selected to perform for the GMEA In-Service Conference in January 2016. The ensemble has also been selected to perform for the 2nd Annual Music for All Southeastern Regional Concert Festival at Georgia State University in March 2016. The Eagle Winds Honor Band is comprised of 7th and 8th grade musicians and is under the direction of Kenza Murray. • The Effingham County High School Wind Ensemble has been selected to perform for the 2016 Kennesaw State University Concert Invitational. The group, under the direction of Matthew Leff, will perform on Friday, February 26, 2016 at KSU’s Bailey Performance Center. • The Savannah Children’s Choir is pleased to announce their 2015-2016 Fellows, Morgan Luttig and Rene Johnson. Fellowships are awarded as part of a competitively-selected process open to all Savannah area music teachers. • Select students from the Langston Chapel Middle School choir have been chosen to perform for the National Youth at Risk Conference in Savannah. Lawanda Allen is the choral director at LCMS.

New and Transfering Teachers: • Josh Watford, Band Director, Screven County Middle School • Lisa Mason, Assistant Band Director, Ebenezer Middle School • Lindsay Sandberg, Assistant Band Director, Effingham County Middle School • Regan West, Assistant Band Director, South Effingham Middle School • Stacie Long, Band Director, Walker Middle School • Tim Pounds, Band Director, Long County High School • Michael Loredo, Choral Director/ Assistant Band Director, Long County High School • John McMullan, Band Director, Pooler/West Chatham Elementary School • Ann Marie Struble, Band Director, Jacob G Smith/Heard Elementary School • Kinsey Mannion, Band Director, STEM Academy • Justin Davis, Band/Choral Director, Woodville Tompkins High School • Federico Foster, Choral Director, Beach High School • Katrina Scoggins, Choral Director, Isle of Hope K8 School • Annastascia Pallero, Choral Director, Groves High School

• Danny Jones, Choral Director, Georgetown K8 School • Tressa Woodard, Choral Director, South Effingham Middle School • Krystin Kicklighter, Choral Director, Effingham County Middle School • Janice Haus, Music Teacher, Bloomingdale Elementary School • Iris Littrell, Music Teacher, May Howard Elementary School • Jodie Austin, Music Teacher, Thunderbolt Elementary School • Elizabeth Castro, Music Teacher, White Bluff Elementary School • Jyminia Tiller, Music Teacher, Spencer Elementary School • Janet Wooten, Music Teacher, Hesse K8 School • Brent Lamkin, Music Teacher, Garden City Elementary School

• Robert Truan the Director of Band at Decatur High School presented a session entitled Filling in the Gaps: Secondary Music Education and 21st Century Learners at the Woodruff Arts Center Educator Conference in June. • Jeffrey Rowser, Director of Bands at Morgan County High School, served as clinician at the Drum Major Leadership Academy held at Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA (July 12-17). • Mevonnie Biggins, from DeKalb County, will be presenting a session at the 2015 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago entitled Don’t go Claricrazy! - Teaching clarinet fundamentals through performance of wind band literature. • The Eastside Symphonic Band was selected to perform at the Music For All Southeastern Regional Concert Festival which will be held next March. • Morgan County High School Marching Band will perform at the Waikiki Holiday Parade 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii. • The Pride of Eastside Marching Band has accepted an invitation to perform in The Hollywood Christmas Parade in November, 2016.

New and Transferring Teachers: • R. Kevin Brown, Band Director, Rockdale County High School • Karen Mullins, Band Director/Music Theory Teacher, Peachtree Academy • Matt Haynor, Band Director, Henderson Middle School • Colleen Fleming, Band Director, Chamblee High School • John Edwards, Chorus Director, Newton High School • Scott Daniel, Chorus Director, Liberty Middle School • Devon Kitchens, Chorus Director, Clements Middle School • Tom FitzStephens, Choral Director, Lakeside High School • Ciara Edge, Elementary Music Teacher, Newton County Theme School • Colleen Casanove, General Music Teacher, Woodward Elementary School

• Northview High School Chamber Orchestra and the Roswell High School Chamber Orchestras have been selected to perform at the 2015 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. • Seth Gamba will be presenting a session on teaching rhythm at the 2015 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.


• Alpharetta High School Orchestras will be performing at Carnegie Hall in March 2016.

fall 2015 / georgia music news

• Sutton Middle School Band and Orchestra will be performing at Carnegie Hall in March 2016. • Matthew Baggarly (Stillwell School of the Arts) has been invited to perform in Carnegie Hall in spring 2016. • The Sandy Creek High School Orchestra has been awarded GMEA’S Exemplary Performance Award for their commitment to excellence. The Orchestra, under the direction of Patti Davis, will be receiving recognition at their October concert. • The Union Grove Middle School, under the direction of Kathy Saucier has been selected to perform for the GMEA In-Service Conference in Athens in January.

New and Transferring Teachers: • Audrey Alger, Orchestra Director, Ola Middle School • Nicole Miller, Orchestra Director, Adamson Middle School • Nathan Kufchak, Orchestra Director, Starrs Mill High School • Michael Wright, Orchestra Director, Ola High School and Union Grove High School

• The Riverwatch Symphonic Band has been selected to perform at the National Band Association/College Band Directors National Association southern division conference. Their performance will include Lightning Field by John Mackey, with the composer in attendance, and The Haunted Carousel by Erika Svanoe (winner of the 2015 NBA Young Band Composition Contest). The conference takes place at Charleston Southern University in Charleston, SC, February 1820, 2016. The Riverwatch Symphonic Band is under the direction of Matt Koperniak and Dean Patterson, and will also perform at the 2015 University of Georgia Middle School Festival. • The South Forsyth Middle School Symphonic Band will be performing at the University of Georgia Middle School Honor Band Clinic on December 11. The performance will feature Boston Symphony Orchestra Principal Tuba, Mike Roylance. Additionally, Mr. Reggie Humphrey was recently appointed new Assistant Director of Bands for South Forsyth Middle School. • The Sequoyah High School Symphony Band, under the direction of Casey Eubanks, has been selected to perform at the 2016 Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy University. The Clinic will be held February 4-6, 2016. • Mr. Kevin Kenney has been hired as the new Associate Director of Bands at North Forsyth High School (Cumming, GA).


what’s going on in your



information to your district



georgia music news / fall 2015


DISTRICT NEWS • The 2015–2016 school year is shaping up to be an amazing year for district 12 bands! 14 bands and percussion ensembles have been invited to give featured performances at conferences and festivals across the southeast.

• Finally, in the spring, the Dickerson Middle School 8th Grade Band will travel to Washington, D.C. to work with the United States Air Force Band, and the Hillgrove High School Band, along with the Hillgrove Orchestra, will travel to China for a cultural exchange program.

• In December, the Tapp Middle School 8th Grade Symphonic Band, under the direction of Erin Cole and Patrick Clark, will be a featured band at the University of Georgia Middle School Band Festival, while the Simpson Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Symphonic Band, under the direction of Valerie Page and Mike Lynch, and the Mabry Middle School Symphonic Bands, directed by Jill Barnocki and Mia Athanas, will be featured at the Troy State University SEUS Band Festival. The McEachern High School Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Bo Sodders, Sheldon Frazier, and Anthony Cananzi, will be a featured band at the University of Alabama Honor Band in January, and the Lovinggood Middle School Symphonic Band, under the direction of Joe Heiberger and Shelley Ferrell, will perform at the CBDNA Southern Division Conference in Charleston, SC, in February. • Four bands and ensembles from district 12 will be featured at the GMEA In-Service Conference in January: the Dickerson Middle School Symphonic Band, John Palmer and Scott Brown, directors, the Kell High School Wind Ensemble, David Roth and Taylor Watts, directors, the Kennesaw Mountain High School Percussion Ensemble, Max Mullinix, director, and the Lassiter High School Percussion Ensemble, Mike Lynch, director. • Seven bands from six district 12 schools have been invited to the Second Annual Music for All Southeastern Regional Concert Festival, held at Georgia State University in February. Invited ensembles include the Durham Middle School 8th Grade Band, Michelle Rickard and Matt Segars, directors, the Lost Mountain Middle School Symphonic Band, Suzanne Tingle and Brittany Mori, directors, the Lovinggood Middle School Band, Joseph Heiberger and Shelley Ferrell, directors; the Barber Middle School Symphonic Band, Robert Grogan and Brad Rickard, directors, the Mabry Middle School Symphonic Band, Jill Barnocki and Mia Athanas, directors, and the Harrison High School Symphonic Band and the Harrison High School Wind Ensemble, Josh Ray, Jonathan Grogan, and Shaun Evans, directors.

• District 12 choral directors are thrilled to welcome Mr. Vincent Oakes of the Chattanooga Boys Choir as conductor for our 2015 Middle School Honor Chorus. This two-day event will take place at the lovely Lassiter Concert Hall in Cobb County, with a final performance at 7 pm on Tuesday, November 17th. Our most talented 200 middle school singers will perform a variety of styles of music including Kyrie from the Schubert Mass, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. • The High School Honor Chorus event will take place on November 3rd and 4th under the direction of Dr. Deanna Joseph. District 12’s top high school singers will perform selections from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with full orchestra. In an effort to encourage our singers to continue their musical endeavors from middle school throughout high school, district 12 teachers are developing lessons on Carmina Burana, which will culminate in a field trip for eighth graders to attend the High School Honor Chorus event.

UNIVERSITY NEWS • Georgia Southern University’s Department of Music Announces the Appointment of Three New Full-time Faculty Members and One New PartTime Faculty Member. • Ms. Sarah Hancock, Lecturer in Voice Sarah Hancock most recently performed the role of Mrs. Noye in Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde at Hilton Head Presbyterian Church. She will return to Hilton Head for their annual performance of Handel’s Messiah in December of 2015. The mezzo has enjoyed singing with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, The Augusta Choral Society, The Peach State Opera, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and Christ Church in Savannah, and The Lyric Arts of Savannah. Other operatic and oratorio credits include performances with the Toledo Opera, the Bronx Opera, The Ohio Light Opera, the Lansing Lyric Opera, the Savannah Symphony, the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, The University of Florida Symphony, Mercer University Symphony, Augusta Symphony, and the Columbia Artists Community Concert Series. For the past 18 years, Mrs. Hancock has taught voice part-time at Georgia Southern University, and after 12 years of dedicated service to the Statesboro Youth Chorale Mrs. Hancock has turned over the reins to the Averitt Center for the Arts. • Dr. Stephanie Furry, Lecturer in Horn • Dr. Diane Kessel, Lecturer in Flute • William Holmes, Part-time Instructor of Low Brass • Georgia Southern University’s Department of Music Announces Dr. Rick Mason as new Jazz Ensemble Director. Dr. Richard (Rick) Mason is the newly appointed Director of the Jazz Ensemble at Georgia Southern University, where he has served as Associate Professor of Trombone/ Low Brass since 2003. For more than twenty years, Rick played professionally with some of the biggest names in jazz. He has served as the bass trombonist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Harry James Orchestra, Al Hirt Big Band, Bill Tole Orchestra, Ray Anthony Big Band, Bill Holman Big Band, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Tom Kubis/Ken Kaplan Big Band, Ollie Mitchell’s Sunday Band, Bruce Lofgren Jazz Orchestra, and Bill Watrous’s Wildlife Refuge West. Additionally, Rick has served as bass trombonist with the Burbank and La Mirada Symphony (CA) orchestras. As an active studio trombonist in Los Angeles for more than ten years, Rick recorded in most major recording studios including Capitol Records, A&M Records, Evergreen Studios, MCA Universal, Disney Studios, and Paramount. His television and film credits include: Knots Landing, The Rockford Files, Blacke’s Magic, Quincy, Private Benjamin, Xanadu, Rich Man / Poor Man, and Yes, Georgio. In addition to directing the Jazz Ensemble at Georgia Southern, Dr. Mason will continue to direct the Trombone Ensemble and teach applied low brass and jazz improvisation.

• Young Harris College is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Shelley Sanderson as Assistant Professor of Music and its Coordinator of Music Education. Dr. Sanderson earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Education from Georgia College and State University and her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Florida. She has taught in high school and middle school choral programs in Houston County and at The Westfield School in Perry, GA. She also is an experienced adjudicator, has been published in the Florida and Alabama Music Educators’ Associations publications, and has presented at the Georgia Music Educators In-Service Conference.

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georgia music news / fall 2015



This year, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) will celebrate the music and legacy of the late Robert Shaw on what would have been his 100th birthday. One of the things Mr. Shaw championed during his tenure as Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is the importance of music education as a fundamental component of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s mission – connecting people of all ages to high quality symphonic music. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Center for Music Education is a multi-faceted institution that offers meaningful music education programs that build communities, inspire young minds, and nurture the next generation of musicians and music lovers. The cornerstone of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Center for Music Education is the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra (ASYO) and the nationally acclaimed Talent Development Program (TDP). Each year, more than 300 instrumentalists from all over the Southeastern region, rising eighth to twelfth grade students, audition for one of 120 seats in the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. Under the baton of ASO Assistant Conductor and ASYO Music Director Joseph Young, the ASYO performs three concerts each year in Atlanta Symphony Hall, and members receive exclusive invitations to participate in reading and master classes with top artists in the instrumental music industry. In addition, the ASYO has collaborated with the Founder and Artist Director of the New World Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas, in Miami, as well as performed in the Concert Hall at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Whether as a member or a guest, the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra concerts are the perfect opportunity to experience and enjoy classical music. This year, the ASYO Overture Concert will be performed on November 15, 2015, and will feature Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. The Crescendo Concert will be performed on March 13, 2016, and will feature John Adams’ Chair-

man Dances and Puccini’s La bohème. Finally, the students will perform the Finale Concert on May 8, 2016, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet and Ginastera’s Estancia. “I just completed my first year with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and it was an incredible experience,” said Joseph Young, Assistant Conductor and ASYO Music Director. “The young musicians were not only talented, but they were willing to open their minds to new music and new experiences. They truly inspired me and I believe I was able to inspire them as well.” For more than 20 years, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program has identified and supported talented, young African American and Latino students of every orchestral instrument to prepare them for acceptance into top music programs. Each year, up to 25 students receive intensive year-round instruction, mentoring, performance opportunities, and bi-annual progress reviews, as well as access to exclusive Atlanta Symphony Orchestra resources. TDP students also participate in the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, with many holding principal chairs. Members of the 2014-15 TDP graduating class will be going on to pursue degrees in music at Carnegie Mellon University, The University of Michigan, Kennesaw State University, Andrews College, and the New England Conservatory. The inspiration for the program came from Mrs. Azira G. Hill, who remains active in the Talent Development Program today. To honor her contributions, the Azira G. Hill Scholarship was established in 1999. The scholarship provides financial assistance to TDP students, enabling them to attend intensive summer music study programs, including Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Heifetz International Music Institute, and Kennedy Center Summer Music Institute, among others. In the past 14 years, nearly 200 scholarships have been awarded to TDP students.

The Talent Development Program Musicale and Aspire Awards will be held on November 15, 2015, in Atlanta Symphony Hall. The concert will feature a performance by the Sons of Serendip, and this year’s Aspire Award will be presented to Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinetist with the New York Philharmonic, in the Artist of Note category. TDP students will also perform at annual recitals on April 16 and 17, 2016, in the Rich Theatre at the Woodruff Arts Center. The application deadline for students interested in being part of this program for 201617 is February 29, 2016. In addition to training programs, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra offers Teen Nights @ the ASO, which provides free tickets for teenagers to attend ASO performances through the Wells Fargo ArtsVibe Teen Program. ArtsVibe is a collaborative program with the Alliance Theatre and High Museum, offering teens ways to engage in and explore all the Woodruff Arts Center has to offer. It also provides platforms for teens to share their works, including art exhibitions, talent showcases, film festivals and more. To learn more about ArtsVibe, visit The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra also offers a string program designed for all levels, from the complete novice to intermediate/ advanced students, as well as a music appreciation program, through its Community Music School. String classes are taught with a unique hands-on approach originally created by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra violinist Judith Cox for the LYRA Academy. This innovative method incorporates both private instruction in a group dynamic, and group instruction in an orchestral setting, to create a cohesive and evenly progressive learning environment. Class sizes are small, allowing frequent one-on-one contact and demonstration between students and teacher. “These classes provide a fun, safe group setting where juniors and adults alike can begin the discovery of playing a stringed instrument for the first time,” said Judith Cox. “Students will learn to read music, rhythms, and, most importantly, have a good time learning to play with others.”

Music with a Purpose! celebrates that music is everywhere around us and fills many different roles in our lives. Whether it’s listening, dancing, celebrating, or paying tribute, music enhances our everyday experiences. Using a variety of fun and familiar orchestral selections, this concert promotes active listening while exploring our many relationships with music. Performances will take place at 10am and 11:15am on February 26, 2016, at Lassiter High School, March 10 and 16, 2016, at Atlanta Symphony Hall, March 17, 2016, at Clayton County Performing Arts Center, and March 15, 2016, at a location to be announced. The ART of SOUND is offered for grades three through eight on October 14 and 15, 2015, and October 27 and 28, 2015, at Atlanta Symphony Hall, with performances at 10am and 11:40am. The ART of SOUND explores the qualities and science of sound and how sound becomes music. Through a selection of major orchestral masterworks, students will become critical listeners and examine how sound is produced by the different instruments of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Students will see how sound can be manipulated in pitch, tone, dynamics and rhythm to create a complete work of art we “see” with our ears. Classical American Roots is offered for grades six through 12 on February 10 and 11, 2016, at Atlanta Symphony Hall, with performances at 10am and 11:40am.

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Along with introductory lessons and advanced instrumental studies, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra works to provide pre-kindergarten through high school students an introduction to classical music that complements or helps to fill in the gap of school music programs. The Concerts for Young People series is conducted by Assistant Conductor and ASYO Music Director Joseph Young and this year will feature three programs: Music with a Purpose!, The Art of Sound and Classical American Roots.

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During an 1893 visit to the United States, Czech composer Antonín Dvořák said, “The future music of this country must be founded upon what are called the African-American melodies.” His words were visionary, as many American and immigrant folk music traditions would find their way into the foundations of our greatest orchestral music creations. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and ASO Assistant Conductor Joseph Young will engage students as analytical listeners as they explore where we come from and how our musical roots have shaped who we are as Americans. A curriculum guide accompanies each program, and all field trips are designed to support Georgia curriculum standards. There is not a group minimum for the Concerts for Young People, and special Title One school rates are available. Additionally, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra offers a limited amount of funding to help public schools bridge field trip funding gaps. Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, and schools are asked to provide as much funding as possible to help the ASO serve as many schools as possible. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra continues to provide many wonderful opportunities for families to enjoy and participate in programming designed specifically with them in mind. Under the baton of ASO Assistant Conductor, Joseph Young, the ASO’s Family Concert Series begins with a performance of Halloween Hijinks! at 2pm on Saturday, October 31, 2015. On Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 3pm, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will perform a FREE Valentine’s Day Concert, Be Mine, as a part of the Woodruff Arts Center’s Family Fun programs on Sunday afternoons. The final Family Concert of the season, Musical Story Time with the ASO, will be held at 3pm on March 20, 2016. All performances in the Family Concert series are held in Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Throughout the 2015-16 season, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Music for the Very Young program offers professional musical performances designed specifically for early learners (children ages 3-5 years old) and their parents. Audiences of this nature can enjoy up-close and intimate performances that encourage them to go beyond their visual senses and explore how to become active listeners of live classical music through Stories in Sound. This series of performances introduces the audience to a variety of contrasting musical elements brilliantly interwoven with storytelling techniques to create a unique, interactive musical journey. Tickets for these performances will be available through the Box Office and on our website beginning in August, 2015. Finally, along with their many stage performances, the musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra also bring their music into Atlanta communities. Through Musicians in Communities, orchestra members present solo or chamber performances in local libraries, schools, hospitals and cultural centers throughout the city. If you are interested in hosting an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musician in your school or community, email us at . Each year more than 40,000 students and teachers are touched by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concerts designed to inspire students in music and other academic pursuits. Let this be your year to experience all The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Center for Music Education has to offer.

Tammy Hawk

Tammy Hawk is a senior level marketing and public relations professional who has more than 25 years experience helping consumer brands and non-profit organizations engage key audiences with strategic messaging and creative content. Hawk recently joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as Director of Communications. Prior to joining the Atlanta Symphony, Hawk led the strategic communications planning and program development for some of the country’s most well-known brands as a senior leader at Weber Shandwick, Chicago. During her tenure, Hawk’s clients included Motorola Mobility, Oscar Mayer, Nestle Pizza Division, Unilever, Allstate and Groupon. She also played an integral role in the successful launch of Namaste Charter School, an innovative public charter school on Chicago’s under-resourced Southwest side, which introduced a groundbreaking education model that combines health and wellness with academic rigor.

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When you study great teachers... you will learn much more from their caring and hard work than from their style. William Glasser


georgia music news / fall 2015


fall 2015 / georgia music news


georgia music news / fall 2015



RATINGS GAME written by cecil wilder

The system of numeric ratings and their accompanying word descriptors with which we evaluate adjudicated performances by large ensembles, small ensembles, and solos was designed by the National Interscholastic Music Activities Commission (NIMAC), a long since discontinued part of MENC (now doing business as NAfME), more than fifty years ago. The system is basically unchanged since its inception. We are all familiar with the five levels of accomplishment from I to V (superior, excellent, good, fair and poor). Some of you may not be as familiar with the longer descriptions accompanying them. They are:

SUPERIOR (I) Outstanding performance. Worthy of distinction of being recognized as among the very best.

EXCELLENT (II) Unusually good performance in many respects, but not worthy of the highest rating due to minor defects. A performance of distinctive quality.

GOOD (III) A good performance, but not one that is outstanding. Shows accomplishment and marked promise, but lacks one or more essential qualities.


): A performance that shows some obvious weaknesses, generally weak and uncertain.

Poor (V) A performance which reveals much room for improvement. The students reveal almost a complete lack of preparedness and understanding.

Interestingly, in recent years that five level system has been essentially reduced to a three level system in many cases. I say this because, in my experience as an adjudicator, I have seen the use of the numerical ratings IV and V almost disappear from use and, when they are assigned to a performance, they become the topic of directors’ hospitality lounge conversation, as if they had been awarded by Nathaniel Hawthorne himself. We could discuss this development at length and, if we did, we would most likely be no closer to consensus than when we started. However any of us feels about the situation, I think we would all agree that a three level system offers less specificity and discriminating potential than a five level system. That having been said, if we consider the word descriptors assigned to these numerical ratings, most of us might agree that they do not align with the general consensus of how we would describe any given performance, especially the description of a III as a “good” performance, or even a II as being “excellent”. Using only the odd numbered designations, omitting the “excellent” and “fair” ratings, might be more accurate. It could even be argued that, given the changing landscape of jargon used in educational evaluation, we might instead use the descriptors “exceeds expectations” for superior, “meets expectations” for excellent (or good if we only use the odd numbers), and ”does not meet expectations” in the place of good (or poor if we only use the odd numbers) in the place of the current, lengthier descriptors. It should be noted that the ratings system is administered by human adjudicators and is therefore subjective in nature. No two adjudicators will hear a performance in the same way and will measure it in keeping with their own tastes, standards, knowledge of literature, and ability to discern the content of the music based on their level of aural skills. This subjectivity is an important part of why we employ three adjudicators. It is also why we sometimes encounter “split ratings” (I-I-II, II-III-III, or even I-II-III).

It should also be noted that, since different adjudicators are utilized from year to year and from district to district, any comparison of ratings from event to event is flawed from the outset. These ratings, moreover, represent a single performance, sometime under less than ideal conditions in unfamiliar surroundings, and cannot be fairly used to assess the overall quality of the ensemble or the music program in the school represented. The only way these ratings should be used for program assessment is as a part of a much broader scenario that includes multiple years, multiple events (All State, Solo and Ensemble, etc.), number of students participating in the program in relation to the size of the school, variety of course offerings in music, and student and parent enthusiasm for the program. In the absence of other evaluation tools, administrators are increasingly turning to the results of our performance evaluations as a means (hopefully in conjunction with other indicators) of evaluating teachers’ performance. This method of evaluation can be daunting to some teachers, and I am concerned that it might be a contributing factor in some teachers’ discontinued participation in what should be an effective tool for them in improving student learning and their teaching. I believe we need to take a close look at this issue with the goal of updating a system that is as archaic as this one. Our evaluation instrument needs to possess the right combination of thoroughness and rigor, understandability by all stakeholders (teachers, students, administrators, and parents), descriptive verbiage that is both current and clear, and is nonthreatening in tone and perception. If we are to be successful in revamping our evaluation system, I believe there are several specific aspects of the evaluation that need close attention. The first is the document, the judge’s comment sheet. It needs to be measured against the above criteria as to how well it serves its purpose. In this regard, it would be a good thing if all three of our divisions that sponsor these events (band, chorus and orchestra) could use a sheet that aligns, to the degree possible, with the other two. After all, we are all evaluating the same basic things.

The same applies to those whose names appear on our adjudicator lists. Those lists should include only individuals with a proven track record of success with performing ensembles over time that ensures that they are fully capable of offering suggestions and advice that, if taken, would give reasonable assurance that a substantial improvement in teaching, learning, and performing would be possible.


Our required music lists should contain only the best and most appropriate literature possible at each difficulty level. To accomplish this would involve an in-depth evaluation of these pieces and measuring each of them against a well defined set of criteria. All our teachers, especially our younger ones, should be able to select music for evaluation from these lists with the confidence that their selections are worthy of their and their students’ time and effort, and that the selections are well crafted enough to present no unnecessary obstacles to successfully teaching and learning them.

fall 2015 / georgia music news

It has been a fairly common practice for a panel of adjudicators to delay release of the first few sheets of an LGPE event and compare ratings with each other. This practice has always been a topic of concern to me since it can lead to some adjudicators’ ratings being tempered by a sort of guessing game as to what the other two judges are likely to rate. It is my feeling that each adjudicator should assign ratings based on their own standards, not to be compared with the standards of others.

I believe that a successful update of our system of evaluations has the potential to propel us into the future much stronger and more capable of serving our membership and their students at a level they deserve. And that, folks, is just the way I see it.

Cecil Wilder is currently employed as Executive Director for the Georgia Music Educators Association, having held that position since 1996. Prior to that he worked for nineteen years in the Clayton County (GA) schools as Director of Bands at Jonesboro Senior High School, Conductor of the Clayton County Youth Symphony, and as Lead Teacher for Instrumental Music. Before coming to Clayton County, Cecil was Director of Bands at Kendrick High School in Columbus, Georgia, from 1969-1977 and at Rothschild Jr. High School in Columbus from 1967-1969. He also was employed at Auburn University as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Music Department at Auburn University from 1973-1977. Bands and orchestras under his direction have performed at the Georgia Music Educators Association In Service Conference (five times), the National Convention of the American School Band Directors’ Association, the Tri-State Conductor’s Conference at Florida State University, the Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy State University, the Southern Instrumental Conductors’ Conference at the University of Southern Mississippi, and the Mid West International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Cecil has served as adjudicator and clinician for bands and orchestras throughout the southeastern United States and for the US Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Europe. Ensembles under his direction consistently earned superior ratings during his thirty-year career as a music educator. During his teaching career he maintained an active private low brass studio and had many students selected for the Georgia All State Bands during that time. Cecil holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Auburn University and has done additional graduate study at Georgia State University, Columbus State University, the University of West Georgia, and Northwestern University where he participated in their Summer Fellows Program in Music Education. He is a member of the Hall of Fame of the Georgia Chapter of Phi Beta Mu (2010), a recipient of the GMEA Distinguished Career Award (2002), and was named a Lowell Mason Fellow by the National Association for Music Education (2015). During his teaching career, Cecil was twice named Star Teacher (Kendrick High School, 1977 and Jonesboro High School 1996).


georgia music news / fall 2015


When teaching clarinet embouchure to students, realize that the lips do the bulk of the work. The upper lip and bottom lip come together in a drawstring fashion that give the mouthpiece a snug fit. The upper teeth rest on top of the mouthpiece and lower teeth support the bottom lip’s push towards the reed. One way to engage students is to start with this question,: “Which part of your mouth is holding the instrument?” Now, they will ponder for a moment, hopefully realizing that much of the pressure used to produce reed vibrations is coming from alternative sources, and make the necessary adjustments to their embouchures. With careful and guided supervision, the proper clarinet embouchure can be established so that your students’ musical confidence and technical facility can flourish. Here are five strategies for developing the proper clarinet embouchure to produce the characteristic sound:




The source of the sound on the clarinet is the vibration of the reed in the mouthpiece chamber. The lower lip serves as the foundation of support that allows the reed to vibrate freely, which means students must identify how much lip covers the lower teeth. Students with thinner lips may need to put more lip over the teeth, while students with thicker lips would need to use less. It should be noted that the lower lip should “stand” on its own and not lean against the teeth.






Biting occurs when the lower lip is relaxed and the lower teeth push up into the lip and mouthpiece. Biting produces a thin, stuffy tone with little body and, much to the ire of band directors everywhere, results in an uncharacteristic sound. Most students who play with this excess pressure have difficulty producing tones above high C. In order to correct this problem, the position of the lower jaw should remain the same thought the entire range of the instrument. One way to open up the sound is to play the “tugboat” tones of G, F, and E in the chalumeau register. This will force the jaw to open up.


This strategy is discussed last because it is often the first step most students and educators take to correct tone problems. Good equipment paired with poor physical embouchure development, however, will not automatically remedy the tone quality. If the student has a proper embouchure and is lacking in equipment, having the following tester mouthpieces on hand would be wise: Vandoren M30, Vandoren 5RV, Vandoren B45. Correcting and improving a clarinet embouchure takes patience and observant, daily practice of fundamentals. Along with the strategies discussed above, long tones, tone control exercises, and breathing routines will all help in the development of the characteristic tone. Consistency throughout the school year is key to breakthrough progress. ReferencesREFERENCES



Students who play with puffy cheeks or draw the cheeks back in order to hold the mouthpiece create a debilitating habit that is extremely hard to correct. Beginners who play with puffy cheeks should work on long tones to strengthen the chin muscles. Students who draw the cheeks back should return to practicing on the mouthpiece/barrel combination alone to relax the chin muscles.

Westphal, F. (1962). Guide to Teaching Woodwinds. McGraw-Hill. 5th Edition

Mevonnie Biggins is the music specialist at Peachcrest Elementary School in Decatur, GA. She holds a Master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Florida A&M University. She is a 2015 Midwest Clinician conducting a clinic session titled “Don’t’ go Claricrazy! Teaching clarinet fundamentals through performance of wind band literature”. She runs a private clarinet studio in Atlanta, Ga. Her thoughts and musings on clarinet pedagogy can be found at



Stein, K. (1958). The Art of Clarinet Playing. Summy-Birchard Inc.

Educators commonly instruct students to, “Keep the chin flat,” when trying to improve or correct the sound. In order for the chin muscles to develop, encourage students to bring the corners of their mouth toward the mouthpiece. Using the syllables “eww” or “ee-you” helps to keep the corners engaged and brings the chin down.




fall 2015 / georgia music news


t is my belief that amongst the myriad of annoyances a band director may face, none beats the sound of an unfocused clarinet tone. Though there is a large body of warm-ups and exercises designed to correct or improve overall technique, one cannot really master the clarinet if the embouchure is not properly solidified first.


georgia music news / fall 2015


My involvement in band has opened so many doors, and it has introduced me to many wonderful people. One of those people was a man named Bill Gaines. Bill, who was a fabulous trombone player and had Paul Yoder as a high school band director, invited me to play with the Yaarab Shrine Band – an invitation that ultimately forged my approach to teaching and tempered my philosophy of the importance of music.

Ask your band kids what they remember about some of the “things” we do in band. A few of them will remember moments from our performances, but most of them will remember the bus ride to McDonald’s or some other neat stuff that happened. All of them will remember the time they shared with their friends.

The Yaarab Shrine Band is an interesting group. Started in 1914, the band has been in continuous existence for over 100 years. The musicians in the group come from all walks of life and many career paths. Professional musicians, engineers, lawyers, plumbers, pharmacists, salesmen…all with music as a common denominator. There is also a wide range in ages – at the time I joined, I was in my early 30’s, and our oldest member was in his mid 90’s!

As we get back to work this fall, think about creating opportunities for fellowship in your music activities. Have an unplanned pizza party. Ask the ice cream man to drop by marching practice and let the kids have some ice cream together. Build in some down time so that the kids can have a chance to connect. Earning the superiors is important; winning the competitions is fun; excellence should certainly be expected. But, in the midst of all the “things” we do as band directors, remember the factor that is not on the judges’ sheet – fellowship.

Working with this group on a weekly basis, I saw an intense loyalty and devotion to the band. These fellows would make it to rehearsal every Tuesday night - week after week, month after month, year after year. Some of them had been playing in the band for decades – one of the trumpets had been a member of the band for 55 years! Something brought these guys back every week. What was it? One of my greatest concerns as a band director is that so few students continue with band after graduation. During my career, I have seen scores of great band kids spend years learning to play, only to put their horns away when they leave high school. Yet, here is this band full of guys who have been playing their horns for 30, 40, 50, or 60 years. What has kept them at it for so long? I asked them, “What has kept you playing all these years? What is it about performing that keeps you interested in playing? What/who inspired you in your youth to do so well in your musical pursuits? What extra-musical benefits have kept you active in music all these years?” Most of the guys responded with the answers you might expect…the joy of making music, the emotional response from a beautiful performance, the inspiration of good leaders. There was one universal response, however, that was consistently at the top of the list. As a matter of fact, each of them listed it: Fellowship. Fellowship is not on our adjudication sheets – not even in the “other factors” category. I did not have a music class in college about fellowship. There is no chapter on fellowship in the “how to be a band director” book. And yet it is at the top of the list of reasons that these bandsmen have continued to play their instruments for so many years.

C. Lloyd McDonald is the band director at Feagin Mill Middle School in Warner Robins, Georgia. He received the Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from Georgia College, and the Master of Music Education degree from the University of Georgia. During his teaching career, he has taught at the middle school, high school, and collegiate levels, returning to his hometown in 2008 to lead the band at Feagin Mill. As a professional musician, he remains active as a clinician, adjudicator, and performer at festivals and clinics throughout the southeast. His bands and students consistently perform at high levels of achievement, and the Feagin Mill Band was awarded the GMEA Exemplary Performance Award in 2013. He is a founding director of Camp ExtravaBANDza, a summer camp for middle school band students. In his community, he serves as the vice-president of the Warner Robins Community Concert Association, and he is the conductor of the Wellston Winds, a local community band. In 2014, he was recognized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars as the VFW State Teacher of the Year for his commitment to the promotion of citizenship and patriotism through his teaching. His professional affiliations include Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Professional Association of Georgia Educators, and Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. He currently serves GMEA District 11 as Chair and host for Solo & Ensemble festival. He and his wife, Sue, live in Warner Robins with their children Cody and Bailey, and with their dogs Beeny Weeny, Puck, Scout, Token, Flash, and Dottie.


In the middle of the rehearsals of the Newton County Community Band, Mr. T.K. Adams would have a short break for the band. Out in the hallway, he would have a little table set up with cookies and some drinks. The folks in the band would stand around eating cookies, drinking sodas, and catching up on the previous week’s activities. I didn’t realize it, but Mr. Adams was deliberately fostering fellowship. And those folks came back… week after week, year after year. Absolute brilliance.

fall 2015 / georgia music news


ike many of us in music education, I periodically question my methods and reasons for doing what I do. I am motivated by the desire to succeed, which may mean getting those “superior” ratings, high accolades, or special recognitions. But there is certainly more to what we do in this business of ours.

34 georgia music news / fall 2015

Dr. Bernadette Scruggs

Dr. Bernadette Scruggs received her Bachelor of Music in Education and her Master of Music in Education from Columbus State University. Her Ed.S. and Ph.D. were earned at Georgia State University. Prior to teaching in the Gwinnett County School System, she taught for both the Floyd County and the Clayton County School Systems. Five of Dr. Scruggs’s groups have been invited to perform at the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) annual In-Service Conference. Dr. Scruggs was voted the 1995 Pointe South Teacher of the Year and the 1999 Hull Middle School Teacher of the Year. Currently, she is on the orchestra faculty at Peachtree Ridge High School. Dr. Scruggs was a co-director of the Kendall Honor Orchestra and is currently a co-conductor for the Gwinnett County Youth Symphony. Dr. Scruggs has served as Georgia state secretary for the American String Teachers Association and as both the Vice President of Performance Evaluations and President for GMEA. She currently holds the position of Past Presidents’ Representative on the GMEA Executive Board.

1. Please tell us a bit about your musical background and teaching experience. I started playing violin in 5th grade, the first year Dekalb County ever offered strings at my school, then picked up French horn in tenth grade at Redan High School with Bill Fry as my teacher. He encouraged me to go to Columbus State University to study music education. I got a scholarship for violin to study with Andrew Galos so I went. I loved it. I stayed.

2. What first drew you to music education? I really liked the music department at Columbus, although it was really going through a metamorphosis while I was there. We went through three violin teachers in four years and a complete restructuring of the college during my four years of undergraduate school. Though I guess it was not the best time to be there, it was a good time to take a student leadership role at the school, and I really enjoyed that part. I didn’t leave actually knowing how to teach, however. That came later.

3. Who has been the biggest influence on your teaching career? What lessons did that person teach you? My first real mentor was Fern Gibson in the Floyd County School System. She was the music supervisor who helped me while I was an elementary music teacher/high school chorus teacher and class piano teacher, and then became an elementary string teacher along with my high school responsibilities. Fern taught me how to be super busy and work a ridiculous number of hours per day and each weekend. The biggest influence on my teaching career so far has been David Gregory. He hired me into the Clayton County Public School System and, in essence, taught me how to teach. I was simply awful when I began, having no idea of how to make students sound good or how to fix anything. By simply making suggestions- never intrusively- and pairing me with veteran teachers, David gently nudged me into my first real understanding of how to teach.

5. How has your teaching philosophy evolved throughout your career? I hate this question. My philosophy is, as it has always been, to offer my students a terrific string education in a friendly environment, among peers. I love Wally’s answer though- it used to be product, but now it’s a lot more about process and, happily, the product is much better because of that.

6. What has been the proudest moment of your teaching career? My sons are both in the teaching field, and it makes me so happy that they love school in the same way I do. Watching Bill Jr. conduct his groups and steal all of my best teaching lines is so gratifying (and eerie at the same time). Seeing Bill Jr. play his cello as part of a duet with my college violin teacher accompanied by our county honor orchestra was definitely a highlight of my personal and professional life. Working at the same school as Shaun is so wonderful. Also, during my thirty years, I’ve had about five or six concerts where the music and camaraderie between my student and me was so outstanding that those programs are very memorable to me…amidst a bunch of very forgettable ones! Bill Jr. and Shaun Scruggs

7. What wisdom/experience/skills do you hope students gain from their time in your program? I would like them to leave our program a little more empathetic, a little kinder to others, behaving more like a team member and leader, understanding what it takes to make music from notes, a little more literate regarding music history and musical terms, with enough performance and organizational skills so that they can remain a lifetime learner of music.

I feel that students should have a balance of music from all eras, especially since orchestra educators are so lucky to have a great deal of outstanding repertoire from every musical era, both original and arranged. Some of the new music written by string composers like Del Borgo, Meyer, Monday, and Mosier is educationally appropriate for teaching concepts to middle and high school players, so shouldn’t be discounted simply because it was not written by a “master.”

9. What advice would you offer teachers beginning careers in music education? I have a couple of suggestions: • Go to performance evaluations, sit down for several hours and listen to a bunch of groups. That’s the quickest way to hear a lot of groups, to learn a lot of literature, and to get a barometer reading of what’s going on outside of your own program. • Slow and steady wins the race! Don’t burn yourself out by seventy hour workweeks. Find some balance and have a satisfying work life and home life.

10. What still inspires you about teaching? Oh, my gosh! Who is lucky enough to get to work with kids like ours every day? Who gets the best and brightest students at school and teaches them in a class they enjoy (in a subject I like also) in a way that can change from week to week so no one gets too bored? Who gets summer vacation and a reasonably long Christmas break? Who gets to learn new music every year and to work with colleagues from all over Georgia and, indeed, from all over the United States? Plus, there’s always stuff to learn no matter how long you teach.

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Have there been any? Maybe when we went to starting beginning students in middle school instead of elementary school… That made things better, in my opinion. I think things are much nicer than when I started. Hardly anyone teaches in little, dark rooms or clinics (where I had orchestra class). Programs are more established and orchestra is now looked upon as a favorable alternative to band.

8. Is there a particular musical work or composer to which you feel all students should be exposed?

fall 2015 / georgia music news

4. What have been the biggest changes to music education in the course of your career?

CHOIRS georgia music news / fall 2015



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