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The Future of Music Education georgia music news / spring 2015



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IN THIS ISSUE... georgia music news / spring 2015

06 Association News 06 The President Speaks 07 Historian


Around the State 16 District News 18 Brandi Dent


Peach County Teacher of the Year

20 University News

GMEA Election Results 23 2015-2017 Vice Presidents 24 2017-2019 Division Chairs

29 All State Conductors 31 37 42 46

All State Band All State Chorus All State Orchestra Sixth Grade Statewide



President Frank Folds

Vice-President of All State Events Dr. Kerry Bryant Vice-President of Performance Evaluation Events Carl Rieke Past Presdients’ Representative Dr. Bernadette Scruggs Executive Director Cecil Wilder Band Division Chair Neil Ruby


In Service Conference Recap 51 52 55 56 57


General Session Award Winners Sessions Performances Candids



In a world of increasing pressure on educators and impatience with the slow pace of educational change, it is not surprising that there has been a new set of standards defined for this country’s music educators. The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards released new standards for all the fine arts in 2014. We will show how the new Core Music Standards align with the existing Georgia Performance Standards. This article will provide Georgia’s music educators with a means for identifying how the valuable work they now do is aligned with the new National Core Arts Music Standards.




Choral Division Chair Jeff Funderburk


The MIOSM state chair shares her thoughts on the importance of Music In Our Schools

President-Elect Dr. John Odom

spring 2015 / georgia music news

Music in Our Schools Month

Elementary Division Chair Karen Leamon College Division Chair Carol Benton Orchestra Division Chair Nicole Thompson Piano Division Chair Donna Dasher District Chairs 1 - Kenza Murray 2 - Andrew C. Bell 3 - Jonathan Carmack 4 - D. Alan Fowler 5 - Carolyn Landreau 6 - Richard Prouty 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

georgia music news / spring 2015


The Georgia Music News Editor shares her vision for the future of the quarterly GMEA magazine. (Page 8)

The Division Chairs

spring 2015 / georgia music news

Victoria Enloe



The GMEA Division Chairs give readers a recap of the In Service Conference and the recent All State events. (Page 10)

The Districts Read up on all that’s going on around the state. (Page 16)

Darlene Guida The MIOSM state chair shares her thoughts on the importance of Music In Our Schools (Page 58)

Edward P. Asmus, Daniel Bermel, and Jared Register Edward Asmus, Daniel Bermel, Jared Register discuss aligning the new Core Music Standards with the Georgia Performance Standards. (Page 60)


georgia music news / spring 2015




WOW! What an outstanding In Service Conference! As I walked around, I saw packed rooms for clinic sessions, great attendance at performances, and excellent traffic in the exhibit hall. Many people commented that they valued the practical and informative sessions and that the conference was wellrun. All the credit goes to the division chairs and the GMEA office staff, led by our executive director. If you have ideas for clinic sessions for next year’s conference in Athens, be sure you look for the application on the GMEA website in coming months. Some of the sessions dealt with the National Arts Standards and their correlation to Georgia’s state curriculum as well as music teacher evaluation. There is a lot of information on the NAfME website concerning these two very important issues in music education.

We enjoyed a tremendously successful “All-State Month,” as Jim Guantt calls it. Statewide Sixth Grade Chorus, on February 6-7, was our first event. Next year it will combine with the Fifth Grade Statewide event and will move to Athens. All-State Band and Orchestra took place on February 26-28 at the Classic Center in Athens. This year, the orchestra division added a second middle school string orchestra as well as string orchestras for the 9-10 and 11-12 levels. February 28 was a long, but exciting day of concerts. Choral All-State weekend, March 5-7, was also held at the Classic Center. All of these exceptional groups gave outstanding performances, and I hope you made it to Athens to hear some or all of them. Congratulations to our newly elected officers. Our new vice-presidents, who will take office on July 1, are Richard Prouty, VP for Performance Evaluations, and Tracy Wright, VP for All-State Events. Each division also has new chair-elect positions. These folks will begin their term in 2017. Thank them for their willingness to serve and use them as references and advisors. I enjoyed seeing many of you in Athens for the AllState events and I wish you all a wonderful LGPE season. Please let me know if I or the other members of the Executive Committee can be of service in any way. You ARE important and so is what you do. Keep up the outstanding work!



Over the years, the relationship between our state and district organizations has experienced an interesting evolution. In the early days of GMEA, we employed the ten-district structure of our parent organization, the Georgia Education Association, with each district generally centered on a large city. Districts served to encourage musical growth in the local schools, and district festivals (now more accurately called Large Group Performance Evaluations) aided in heightening local interest in music and increasing participation among students. In 1947, GMEA established a state festival in Milledgeville to encourage each district to sponsor its own district festival. Prior to applying for the state festival, ensembles were required to participate in their district festival. Dr. Max Noah and Miss Maggie Jenkins, faculty members at Georgia College for Women (now Georgia College & State University), coordinated and hosted the state festival. Max served as the first executive secretary and Maggie served as treasurer, consequently they were well positioned to coordinate events and handle expenses. The state festival included performances from students in all four divisions (vocal, instrumental, piano, and elementary) and became extremely successful, growing from a few hundred participants to over 9,000 by 1953. This rapid growth, however, proved to be the undoing of the event, as it grew too large for Georgia College to host, and no one else in the state was willing to take on the task. While a few strong districts had developed well-functioning festivals, several districts were not as fortunate. In 1954, having outgrown the state festival, GMEA combined the 10 districts into five regions, hoping for strength in numbers. As a result, over 15,000 students participated in the five 1954 regional festivals. As a high school student, I participated in the 1958 Region Three festival, hosted by West Georgia College in Carrollton. At that time, the region included districts five and seven as well as part of six. In 1959, Briarcliff High School, in Atlanta, hosted the Region Three festival. I still remember being amazed at Charlie Bradley’s East Atlanta Elementary Band as they performed level six music.


At the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, we welcomed the addition of a 14th district to our GMEA organization. Newly elected District 14 Chair Dione Muldrow, employing his experience as district 13 chair, made the transition a smooth one.

The regional festivals worked well to stimulate interest in all 10 districts, and participation continued to grow. Transportation expenses for long bus rides and time out of class proved to be problematic factors, though. In 1959, GMEA voted to abandon the region festivals and returned to local district festivals. Even under the 10 district format, however, some groups were forced to travel long distances. As a young director at Baldwin High School in Milledgeville (1966-1971), I remember taking my group to district festivals that were alternately held in Athens and Augusta. Both destinations were long trips from Milledgeville on school buses and involved missed classes and lots of make-up work for my students. Since Macon was only a 30 minute drive from Milledgeville, I often wondered why GMEA did not host a festival there. The obvious solution for performing groups in middle Georgia was the 1972 creation of a new central Georgia district, centered on Macon. Three years later, this became GMEA’s 11th district. Around the same time, the suburban counties above Atlanta were in the midst of considerable development. In 1975-76, due to explosive growth in northwest Fulton County, GMEA created District 12. This new district initially included Cobb, Douglas and Paulding counties, all formerly part of District Seven. In 1989, Paulding County elected to return to District seven, as did Douglas County in 2014, leaving Cobb the only county now in District 12. Likewise, the fast growing area northeast of Fulton County, including Gwinnett and eight other counties, became District 13 in 1999. Due to our most recent district reorganization, District 13 now encompasses only Gwinnett. Over the years, GMEA has flourished by responding to the needs of our membership. We started with 10 districts, added a state festival to stimulate participation, and then dropped it in favor of five regions when the number of participants became unwieldy. We eventually returned to the 10 district format, then expanded to 12, then 13, and now 14 districts. Are more districts in our future? Probably so.

8 georgia music news / spring 2015



I am delighted to be a part of the Georgia Music News team and hope to contribute to the tradition of excellence established by Dr. Mary Leglar over her long tenure with the magazine. I am excited, too, about the new look of GMN, developed by the extremely talented GMEA Director of Publications, Ryan Barbee.

music educators we in Georgia enjoy. GMEA is a powerful organization with a knowledgeable membership passionate about music education, and it is my goal that our publication will showcase the contributions of its members within their local communities, our state, and throughout the U.S. The GMN should be a reflection of our outstanding and diverse music programs and activities, and I invite you to contribute your thoughts, experiences, and articles. Whether you would like to share a recent honor, a new teaching technique you have successfully implemented in your classroom, or a research article, your contributions will assist in building connections within our GMEA community.

As I read through the final draft of our spring issue and contemplate the future of GMN, I think back to my experience as an All State Orchestra organizer this year. Between rehearsals, I had the opportunity to talk with directors of several of the All State Orchestras, many of whom teach orchestra in other states, and was surprised to learn that many state music educators associations do not possess the strong network of highly involved



spring 2015 / georgia music news







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The Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference was a huge success, and it was a great end to our time in Savannah. I want to thank all of our clinicians, directors, performers, volunteers, presiders, and hosts for the incredible job they did to make this an unforgettable conference. I think all would agree that music education in Georgia is alive and well! I hope all of you had a chance to relax a little, learn new information and techniques to take back to the rehearsal hall, and recharge your batteries for the last half of the school year. The world of education today seems to be centered on Standardized Testing, Student Learning Objectives, End of Course Tests, TKES, and the list goes on and on. As we enter the Large Group Performance Evaluation season, my hope and challenge is that each of us will be able to look past the “test” as some like to think of it, and focus instead on the more important opportunity: making music. Yes, LGPE is an evaluation process, but it is so much more than putting a number rating on how well a group plays three selections on a given day. LGPE gives us, as music educators, a chance to expose our students to quality band literature and teach the basic foundations of music through tone production, intonation, technique, balance, blend, interpretation, and musicality. I have always been amazed by the process of preparing a band for what we hope to be a memorable performance. It begins with nothing but the music, and we provide the needed ingredients to create the finished product. How we use those ingredients will ultimately determine the success of our product. Like an artist who begins with a blank canvas and eventually finishes with a beautiful painting, the process of creating music from the beginning stages to the ending performance is equally gratifying. I encourage you to keep a journal of the progress you make during the course of the LGPE season and look back at it often, especially on those days that students don’t seem to be progressing as much as they should. A recording on the first day the band reads the piece and a comparison recording of the finished product will not only prove the incredible progress we make every day in our band rooms; it will also go a long way in building continued confidence in our students! I strongly believe in the benefits of LGPE, mostly for the journey getting there. It will certainly be filled with ups and downs, but what goal worth reaching is easy? Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, says this about growth and journeys: “Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery-there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair.” I encourage you to not turn it into a testing evaluation. Don’t

simply make your goal to earn a certain rating. Don’t simply teach the test and be content with a number. Music is so much more than that, and our students and audiences deserve more. Everyone wants to earn a “Superior,” but in my opinion, the journey and what was learned and achieved along the way are more important. What is your success story? It doesn’t matter how small it may be. Each band performing has its own story to tell. Some come from urban areas; some come from rural areas. Some come from large schools; others come from small schools. Some have overcome incredible odds just to have a concert band in which to participate. Some may have experienced difficult set-backs, while others are experiencing their most positive season ever. Regardless of each band’s particular circumstances, every student on that stage has made the choice to make music and art. As directors, boosters and administrators, we each have a responsibility to recognize and support those efforts. A test can’t evaluate the individual and group goals that are set at the beginning of the process until the final performance, but you can.

Cherish this time you have to teach your students about music. In the words of Dr. Suess, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” Tests in education will come and go, but the proven process of teaching music has stood the test of time, and the end results are students who learn the dedication, commitment, hard work, and responsibility that will take them far in life. Best wishes for the remainder of your school year and upcoming concerts. Thank you for all you do for our students and music education in Georgia. I am amazed by the incredible talent in our state and feel very blessed to part of such a wonderful organization. Sincerely, Neil Ruby State Band Chair


All-State Reading Chorus was an outstanding event again this year. Let me encourage all high school choral directors to urge your students to audition and participate in this event. This year’s conductor, Dr. Stanley Roberts, presented a wonderful demonstration as the last event of our In-Service Conference. Thanks to Greg Hucks for a great job organizing this meaningful event for our students. We presented another successful Statewide Sixth Grade Honor Choir, organized by Dawn-Marie Schafer, this year, with conductors Caroline Crocker and Sally K. Albrecht. At this time the final preparations for All-State Chorus are being made. We are anticipating another great year in Athens at the Classic Center with an awesome line-up of conductors: Robyn Lana, Middle Treble; Rollo Dilworth, Middle Mixed; Tim Sharp, Intermediate Mixed; Lori Hetzel, Senior Women; Ethan Sperry, Senior Men; and Tim Seelig, Senior Mixed. Thank you for your encouragement and for doing a great job with our choral students in the state of Georgia. You are impacting lives that will, in turn, reach beyond the boundaries of our state to enrich others.

spring 2015 / georgia music news

I hope that you gained some thought-provoking information from our In Service Conference this year. Those who have spoken to me about the sessions said they received some wonderful ideas and returned to their students energized. I hope that every one of you were able to take something away from the conference to use in your classroom or maybe some inspiration from one of the outstanding choral performances from the choirs that performed. It was good to be in Savannah this year and I know that the conference in Athens next year will be wonderful, too. Wes Stoner, Choral Chair-Elect, will be working hard to select sessions that will be meaningful and educational for you. Be on the lookout for session applications and performance applications in the near future. You help our conference to be a success each year.


Wow! We’ve made it through All-State Chorus second auditions, In Service Conference, All-State Reading Chorus, and Statewide Sixth Grade Honor Choir at the writing of this article without any severe weather! And what a great time we’ve had so far. Thank you to all of you for your work in helping the choral division run smoothly.

ELEMENTARY DIVISION Karen Leamon Dancing, drumming, singing, “banging,” laughing, playing, re-connecting and re-charging: all part of a fantastic in-service conference in Savannah! Thank you to the many teachers who served as hosts and presiders for our elementary sessions. We went out with a “bang!” I loved seeing many new faces. I hope you found many useful ideas and exciting new activities to use with your students. Thank you to our wonderful presenters! So long, Savannah, we will miss you☹. Athens, here we come! Mark your calendars now for the 2016 In-Service Conference in Athens, GA, on Jan. 28-30, 2016. Vicky Knowles, our incoming elementary division chairman, is already working on plans for next year☺. Congratulations to Emily Threlkeld, our newly chosen Elementary Division Chair-Elect! Thank you also to Kelly Jackson for allowing her name to run on the ballot. Both of these ladies were fine candidates! In case you have not heard, our next Statewide Elementary Honor Chorus will be held in Athens, GA on Feb. 19-20, 2016. Note the new date and location! In an effort to make it easier for all our teachers to register students for Statewide EHC (some school systems do not start until the beginning of September), we are moving Statewide to the same weekend as Sixth Grade Honor Chorus. Both choral events will be held in Athens on Feb. 19-20, 2016. I’m excited about this change and the opportunity to partner with the Choral Division☺. March is Music in Our Schools Month, a monthlong celebration of music education in our schools! This is your opportunity to highlight the many benefits of your school’s music program. Visit the NAfME website for creative ideas for celebrating Music in Our Schools Month in your school. Don’t let this opportunity slip by!


georgia music news / spring 2015


GUITAR DIVISION Dr. Luther Enloe Another GMEA In- Service conference has come and gone. The 2015 conference was the third conference since the guitar chair was created and the last conference to be held in Savannah. The primary role of the guitar chair is to receive conference submissions, pick sessions accepted for presentation, attend the conference planning meeting to schedule the sessions, and attend the conference to make sure everything runs smoothly. For this reason, I wish to express my thanks and gratitude to the hard-working GMEA office staff, the guitar division presenters and performing ensembles, and guitar session attendees for making the guitar and guitar education such a positive and important part of the 2015 conference. This year, the guitar division presented ten sessions and four performing ensembles. We were honored to host guest clinician Glen McCarthy, who presented four outstanding and well-attended sessions. I wish to thank Mr. McCarthy for taking time out of his busy schedule to be part of our conference and Cecil Wilder and Frank Folds for supporting us in having him. We were also honored to host performances by the North Gwinnett Middle School Eighth-Grade Guitar Ensemble, under the direction of Ms. Caryn Volk, the St. Pius X Advanced Guitar Ensemble, under the direction of Mr. Brian Kennedy, and the Knepp and Miller duo, consisting of Dr. Richard Knepp, guitar, and Dr. Leigh Miller, clarinet, from Young Harris College, and myself. When creating the guitar chair, one of the goals was for the position to be a stepping stone to a formal guitar division within GMEA. One way of achieving this goal is the creation of large group performance evaluations, solo and ensemble evaluations, and an All-State Guitar Ensemble. North Gwinnett Middle School Director of Guitars Caryn Volk has assumed the task of creating LGPE and

Solo and Ensemble events for the guitar. It is my understanding that she will submit a proposal for a GMEA sanctioned LGPE events to the board this spring. In the meantime, Ms. Volk and North Gwinnett Middle School will host “Giocoso! Guitar Day @ North Gwinnet Middle School� on Saturday, 14 March, 2015. The event will feature large ensemble, small ensemble, and solo evaluations as well as workshops and performances. Please contact Caryn Volk at Caryn_Volk@ for event information and an application. There will also be an online large ensemble evaluation for groups that would like to participate, but are too far away to travel to the event. Please contact Brion Kennedy, director of guitars at St. Pius X, for online submission information: Lastly, please help keep the momentum of our organization going by suggesting guitar sessions that you believe would be beneficial to yourself or other guitar teachers, submit a session to present, or submit a performing group for the 2016 conference in Athens. Thanks again to all who attended this year. It was an outstanding conference and a fitting end to our time in Savannah!


spring 2015 / georgia music news




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georgia music news / spring 2015


ORCHESTRA DIVISION Nicole Thompson Happy Spring, Everyone! So quickly, another school year is coming to a close. I have been honored to serve as your Division Chair for these two years. Congratulations to Sarah Black, who will be your district chair next year. I appreciate the help of the Orchestra Council Members: Ashley Culley, Carl Reike, Carolyn Landreau, and Amy Clement. Thank you to the GMEA office staff for all of the work you do and support you provide to make our events successful. The final auditions for All State this year were the best yet! The new system for scoring and tabulating each student was very accurate and efficient. Thank you, Evelyn Champion, for continually striving to make the audition process better for everyone involved. Special thanks to Linda Cherniavsky, Rebecca Doster, Jim Plondke, Pete Ciaschini, Georgia Ekonomou, Sarah Black, and Evelyn Champion for helping Friday evening before auditions. Westminster is always a wonderful host for final auditions. Having two orchestras for each level of All State this year is so exciting! Now, even more talented young people will have this special opportunity to spend time learning from great teachers and making great music. The 2015 All State conductors and organizers did an outstanding job. The event ran smoothly and the students enjoyed the experience. We have such a great tradition of excellence for our young musicians of Georgia. Special thanks to the middle school conductors Susan Ellington and Jeremy Woolstenhulme, middle school organizers Aaron Yackley and Sam Lowder, 9-10 conductors Soo Han and Marilyn Seelman, 9-10 organizers Victoria Enloe and Jennifer Floyd, 11-12 conductors James Mick and Kirt Mosier, and 11-12 organizers Stephen Lawrence and Carolyn Landreau. Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication to making this an amazing experience for students! Our last In-Service Conference in Savannah was absolutely fantastic! I couldn’t have asked for a better group of clinicians and performers. Special thanks to Bernadette Scruggs for helping me with the planning during the summer. I appreciate her volunteering her time and expertise! I was impressed with the number of attendees we

had and all of the new faces I saw. There were also a large number of college students in attendance. I am really looking forward to the move to Athens, where we will have better facilities and more space. A huge thank you to those who brought performing groups and presented sessions. This summer, as every summer, a committee of directors will work to update the LGPE list. The list is only updated once a year. I would like to encourage you to submit a piece you think should be on the list. Did you play a fantastic new piece as your free choice at LGPE this year? If so, please submit it to be added to the list so others can have an opportunity to get to know the piece. Please suggest an old favorite in your library if you think it should to be added to the list. The process for adding music to the list is as follows: First, make sure the piece is not already on the list on any level and that it is appropriate for LGPE performance (what did your adjudicators say?). Then send the title, composer, arranger, publisher, your past performance date, the level you suggest, and a weblink to the score and recording (usually found on the publisher site) to If a weblink is not available, attach a scanned copy of the score (.pdf, please). Also, any information you can provide about your experience with teaching the piece would be great; for example, “This piece is great when you have strong cellos and weak violins,” or “This piece is great for teaching dynamic contrast.” Please, limit your submissions to your top two or three favorites (not your entire music library list). Please consider submitting an application to bring your outstanding orchestra to the 2016 In-Service Convention. What does your program have to offer? You may also want to think about presenting a clinic or workshop. Many of you have outstanding professional practices that need to be shared! Applications can be found on the GMEA website. Please apply! As you are packing up your rooms and preparing for summer, I would like to thank the many of you who take on responsibilities for GMEA outside of your already demanding teaching position, organizing Solo and Ensemble or LGPE, hosting All State auditions, acting as District Chair. Your contribution to our division does NOT go unnoticed, and although you may not be told often, what you do is extremely valuable and appreciated in every way. And to all of you, every member of the Orchestra Division, thank YOU for being the most cohesive, supportive, cooperative, and best-all-around division.

Three major events have occurred in the Piano Division since our last newsletter. First, the Piano Division All-State auditions held at Clayton State University in December resulted in numerous outstanding student winners in solo, four-hand, and six-hand categories. Fifty teachers and 270 students participated in over 300 events. The auditions were a success due to student and teacher participation the day of the event and to Dr. Susan Tusing, Past Piano Chair, who secured the location and oversaw the sight details. In addition, our judges, Dr. Jeri-Mae Astolfi, Dr. Kris Carlisle, Dr. Geoffrey Haydon, Dr. Lyle Indergaard, Dr. Michiko Otaki, Dr. Carol Payne, Dr. Susan Thomson, and Dr. Soohyun Yun, took on the difficult but rewarding task of hearing student performances and selecting our All-State winners. In the upcoming year, to keep in line with the GMEA AllState rules, the All-State auditions will include sight reading, scales, and a theory exam. More information will be detailed in the coming months. Beginning this fall, all teachers entering students in the All-State auditions will need to be present at the auditions, or secure a GMEA substitute. The second major event, the Concerto Competition, was held at Georgia State University and resulted in one winner, Judy Li, student of Lois Finlay. Miss Li performed the first movement of Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff with the All-State Orchestra in February. Dain Song (Lois Finlay) was named as alternate, and two students were awarded Honorable Mention. The next Concerto Competition will be held in January 2017. A hearty thanks goes to Dr. Geoffrey Haydon, Concerto Chair, and Dr. Kris Carlisle, judging the competition. And, finally, the In-Service Conference, the last held in Savannah before moving to Athens, was well attended. Dr. Gail Berenson of Ohio University, our headliner, presented four enlightening sessions. Dr. Peter Jutras, Dr. Soohyun Yun, and Dr. Jennifer Huang presented our Thursday sessions. Dr. Kris Carlisle led the College Master Class with four students, Geneva Stonecipher (student of Dr. Martha Thomas), Lee Song, and Bethany Seawall (Dr. Geoffrey Haydon), and Janelle Hendrickson (Susan Naylor). Finishing the evening was Dr. Geoffrey Haydon, performing an entertaining concert, “Gershwin and More.”

The Middle Grades Master Class was led by Dr. Douglas Jurs with Sarah Street (Nancy Elton), Chloe Chen (Anne Sun), and Helen Bryant (Dr. Alexander Wasserman). Concluding our conference was Dr. Lyle Indergaard, conducting the High School Master Class with Ruby Lee and Richard Red (Fred Hsiang), Ava Wei (Ping Xu), and Stephanie Niu (Lois Finlay). A very special thank you is extended to all the teachers who served as presiders and hosts. You did an outstanding job helping to make the conference sessions run smoothly, as it takes all of us working together to make each conference a success. We also want to thank the businesses that donated our door prizes: Byrd Cookie Company, River Street Sweets, Savannah Piano, and Savannah’s Candy Kitchen. You helped make our last Savannah conference very special. In addition, we thoroughly enjoyed our ride on Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah to The Lady and Sons restaurant for the Piano Division Luncheon on Friday. And, several of us rode the water ferry to a Friday evening after-hours performance to hear Dr. Geoffrey Haydon play keyboard with a jazz band at Huey’s on the famous River Street, apparently an annual tradition. The Spring Solo and Ensemble Performance Evaluations are coming up in April and May. This is the event that should mark the beginning of your students’ quest to the All-State auditions. Begin in the spring evaluating students’ performances, and again in the fall. Students should then be ready for the All-State auditions in November, this year, again, at Clayton State University. Teachers, don’t forget that you can order medals to reward those students performing in the performance evaluations.


Donna Dasher

Friday and Saturday sessions included presentations by Dr. Martha Thomas and Dr. Stephanie Tingler, and Dr. Joanna Kim and Dr. Benjamin Shoening. Student performers in the Four- and Six-Hands Winners Recital were: Jessica Tang, Skyler Feng, Andrew Wang, Dylan So, Grace Xu, Nicholas Hong, Tigerwin Yang, Kevin Tao (Ping Xu), Jennifer Zou and Connie Xiao (Lois Finlay), and Tristin Nguyen, Ji SeokChoi, Tho Van, Sophie Li, and Charles Li (Dr. Clara Park). Students performing in the Four-Hands Master Class led by Dr. Geoffrey Haydon were: Kelly Huang and Grace Lee (Gayle Vann), Jennifer Wei and Sabrina Ang (Suzanne Woodrum), and Harsha Sridhar and Noah Andrews (Lois Finlay). Our Piano Solo Recital performers were: Charles Li (Dr. Clara Park), Emily Zhao, Kevin Chen, Anthony Zhang, Elynna Chang (Anne Sun), Jessie Zhu (Dr. David Watkins), Catherine Shih (Dr. Elena Cholakova) Yuy Hsiang, Ivy Xue (Fred Hsiang), Nicholas Hong, Grace Wei, Joshua Li, Richard Pei (Ping Xu), Jennifer Zou, Dain Song (Lois Finlay), Laura Street (Nancy Elton), Alex Claussen (Dr. Geoffrey Haydon), and Derek Vann (Dr. Sergio Gallo).

spring 2015 / georgia music news


georgia music news / spring 2015



AROUND THE STATE DISTRICT NEWS • District Three sent 66 students to the AllState event in Athens (March 5th – March 7th). • All-District Honor Chorus was held January 23rd and 24th at Hardaway High School with Judy Beale (elementary clinician), Dr. John Flanery (middle school clinician), and Phillip Shoultz (high school clinician). • Wynnton Arts Academy, Britt David Elementary, Northside High School, Kendrick High School, and Blackmon Road Middle School performed at the annual “Broadway Holiday” event in Uptown, Columbus, GA (Friday, December 5th, 2014). • The following schools sent students to represent district three at the 2015 6th Grade Statewide Honor Chorus Event (Feb. 6th-7th): Blackmon Road Middle School, Fort Middle School, Rothschild Middle School, Calvary Christian Middle School, Long Cane Middle School, Walter Richards Middle School, and East Columbus Magnet Academy. • District seven was well represented at the 2015 In Service Conference. Catoosa County Superintendent Denia Reese was presented with the GMEA Administrative Leadership Award, and Ringgold High School Director of Bands Robin Christian was presented with the GMEA Music Educator of the Year Award. During the conference, the Ringgold High School Clarinet Quartet provided music in the lobby.

Music Educator of the Year Robin L. Christian

Administrative Leadership Denia Reese

• John Reed will be presenting a clinic at the national NAfME conference in October in Nashville. Entitled “Trash to Treasure: Getting Old Horns Into Young Hands,” the session will explore ways to develop a pool of loaner instruments for band programs with low income students. A long-time band director in the Jeff Davis system, Reed has made participation in the band program possible for nearly 80 students who would not qualify for rental or purchase contracts.

• The Pickens High School Symphonic Band was accepted, along with other bands from around Georgia, to participate in the Music for All Southeastern Regional Concert Festival at Georgia State University on February 19-20, 2015. • The South Forsyth Middle School Symphonic Band performed at the 16th Annual Southeastern United States Middle School Band Clinic and Honor Bands on December 5, 2014. The Band was also presented the GMEA Exemplary Middle School Music Award at our Fall Concert on October 11, 2014. • The Creekview High School Wind Ensemble, the most advanced concert band at Creekview High School, was selected to perform at the 65th Annual University of Georgia January Band Festival. Known as one of the most prestigious and well attended band conferences in the Southeast, the University of Georgia January Band Festival involves hundreds of band students and directors who participate in clinics and honor bands throughout the four day event, January 22-25, 2015. Out of dozens of applicants, the Creekview Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Stephen McCarthy, was one of seven high school bands selected to perform a feature concert as a part of the conference. This marks the second invitation of this kind received by the Creekview Wind Ensemble in the past two years, having presented a feature concert at the Reinhardt University Honor Band Clinic in February, 2014.



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spring 2015 / georgia music news




georgia music news / spring 2015


DISTRICT NEWS • Byron Middle School choral director, Brandi Dent, among many other educators in Georgia, was recognized as 20142015 Teacher of the Year for the Peach County School District. A student in the Crisp County School System, she graduated from Valdosta State University in 2006 and began teaching in the Peach County School System in 2007. Currently teaching at Byron Middle School, Ms. Dent’s choirs have participated in numerous performances, including the Georgia National Fair, Savannah Civic Center, and the Baldwin County Fine Arts Center. The BMS Chorus attends Large Group Performance Evaluation each year, where they consistently receive superior ratings. Ms. Dent is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Fort Valley Arts Alliance, Valdosta State University Alumni Choir, Georgia Music Educators Association, and many other community groups. She attends Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church of Cordele, Georgia, where she sings on the praise team and directs the choir. She is the proud mother of 13 year old Bryson Dent.

• “Giving Bach” is catching fire in District XII! The aim of this outreach program, developed by orchestra director and composer, Richard Meyer, is to engage young audiences through interactive peer music performances, and orchestra programs in District XII are finding exceptional ways to reach out to the community. In December, the Hightower and Palmer Middle School Chamber Orchestras were caught “Giving Bach” to the community, performing at Piedmont Baptist Church’s Winter Festival, which helped raise funds for local schools. The Lovinggood Middle School Chamber Orchestra performs regularly at senior assisted living homes throughout the county, while Campbell and Kell High School Orchestra students have presented small concerts for gifted students at their school. McEachern High School Tri-M students, too, participated in a hugely successful collaborative performance with gifted students. Not only did The Palmer Middle School Chamber Orchestra perform for the community, but they were also caught “Giving Bach” at their school, spreading holiday cheer and collecting gently used coats to donate to Must Ministries. Sprayberry High School Orchestra students recently visited local elementary and middle schools, providing young students an opportunity to play the violin, viola, cello, and bass. Needless to say, orchestra programs across District XII are finding unique ways to give back to the community!




Duluth High School is located in the heart of Old Town Duluth thirty minutes northeast of Atlanta, Georgia. The school has an enrollment of 2400 students, and approximately 14% of the student body participates in the school’s orchestra program. Currently, the orchestra program enrolls 335 string players in six orchestras. The Duluth High School Orchestra Program was recognized for its excellence in the 2002 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ evaluation report. Also in 2002, the Chamber Orchestra was invited to perform as the featured guest orchestra at the University of Georgia Honors Orchestra Festival. The Chamber Orchestra placed as the top public school orchestra in the country in the 2005 National Orchestra Festival at the American String Teacher’s Association Conference


Duluth High School Chamber Orchestra was selected to perform at the 2014 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. In December, the orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Peter Lemonds and Shawn Morton, travelled to Chicago to perform. Guest violinist Helen Kim, Associate Professor of Violin at Kennesaw State University, appeared as soloist on Astor Piazolla’s Oblivion, arranged by Robert Longfield, and on Bingiee Shiu’s arrangement of Fritz Kreisler’s Praeludium and Allegro. Michael Alexander, Director of Orchestras at Kennesaw State University, and Nathan Groves, Director of Bands at Duluth High School, were guest conductors on the program.

in Reno, Nevada, and second runner up in the 2007 NOF in Detroit, Michigan. In 2007, the Chamber Orchestra was selected to perform at the Midwest Clinic. In addition, in 2009, the Chamber Orchestra performed at the American String Teacher’s Association Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, premiering The Green Anthem by Julie Lyonn Liebermann. In March 2010, the Chamber Orchestra performed at the Festival of the States in Washington D.C. In 2004, 2007, and 2011 the Chamber Orchestra was selected to perform at the GMEA In-Service Conference. In addition, in 2013, the Chamber Orchestra placed first in the National Band and Orchestra Festival at Lincoln Center where they performed at Avery Fisher Hall. In 2010, the Duluth High School Orchestra Program was selected by Gwinnett Magazine as a winner in its annual Best of Gwinnett Contest for Best Arts and Cultural Scene. In addition, Duluth High School was a finalist for the 2010 Grammy Signature School Award. In 2013, the entire Duluth High School Orchestra Program was awarded the Exemplary Performance Award from the Georgia Music Educators Association. The orchestra program mirrors Duluth High School’s rich ethnic diversity with students representing 62 countries and 40 languages. In addition to studying and performing music of the European classical tradition, students also study and perform music of alternative styles from their native countries and explore the music of America through the idioms of jazz, blues, swing, and traditional American fiddle music.

spring 2015 / georgia music news

• Duluth High School Orchestra Performs at Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic


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georgia music news / spring 2015



UNIVERSITY NEWS • On March 8-10, 2015, Georgia State University hosted The Improvising Brain II: Multiple Perspectives, a symposium and concert event designed to bring together researchers and musicians to explore musical improvisation and its related brain processes. A collaboration between Georgia State University Neuroscience Institute, School of Music, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the Center for Collaborative and International Arts, the symposium featured Peter Vuust and Guerino Mazzola. Dr. Vuust is one of the leading neuroscientists in the field of music perception and production as well as a renowned jazz bassist. Dr. Mazzola is a world renowned mathematician and jazz pianist and the founder of Mathematical Music Theory. He performed in duet with Swiss percussionist Heinz Geisser. The symposium theme was Multiple Perspectives as exemplified by the keynote speakers’ background in both science & performance and tonal & free improvisation. Following the success of the first Improvising Brain Symposium in 2013 and the related theme issue in Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain, this symposium once again explored questions related to all aspects of improvisation in music including cognitive, neuroscientific, therapeutic, and pedagogical issues. Examples included: How can improvisation be studied empirically? How do creative processes differ in musicians from different performance traditions? Are note choices during improvisation and word choices during speech controlled by similar decision making processes? Is it the sound or the motor movements that drive the choices? How do the environment and the underlying musical structure affect these decisions? Can these decision making processes be modeled mathematically? For more information, see

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Tracy D. Wright has served as the Director of the Ringgold Middle School Band and the Associate Director of the Ringgold High School Marching Tiger Band for 22 years. He also serves on the Operations Staff for the American Band College in Ashland, OR and the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, WA. Mr. Wright was named the RMS Teacher of the Year for the 2000-2001 academic year and has received three Citation of Excellence awards from the National Band Association (2002, 2005, 2011). Mr. Wright is a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and an elected member of the American School Band Directors Association and Phi Beta Mu (Honorary Band Directors Fraternity). He has served GMEA on various committees and currently serves as band chairman for District VII. Under Mr. Wright’s direction, the RMS Band has performed at the Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy University (2002, 2011), the Georgia Music Educators In-Service Conference (2003), and the University of Georgia Middle School Music Festival (2005). The RMS Band has traveled to Washington, DC, Orlando, FL, and Baltimore, MD and maintains at busy performance schedule at regular concert and jazz band events and pep band performances at RMS athletic events.

The band received a commendation from the Governor of Georgia in 2000. The band has also received numerous superior ratings at GMEA festivals and other regional festivals in concert, jazz, and chamber ensembles. GMEA awarded the Ringgold Middle School Band with the prestigious “Exemplary Performance Award” in 2012. The RHS Marching Tiger Band has won numerous championships, and performed in the New York City Veteran’s Day parade (2006, 2012), the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade (2011), various college football games, and traveled to The Bahamas and Canada. A marching, concert, and jazz band clinician and adjudicator throughout the Southeast, Mr. Wright was awarded the Master of Music in Conducting from the American Band College at Southern Oregon University in 2004. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL in 1992. At JSU, Mr. Wright studied saxophone with Dr. Ronald C. Attinger, directed the basketball pep band, and served as a drum major of the nationally renowned Marching Southerners.

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spring 2015 / georgia music news




RICHARD PROUTY VICE PRESIDENT georgia music news / spring 2015




Richard Prouty in his fourteenth year of teaching and is currently the Director of Choral Activities at Whitewater High School. Ensembles under his direction consistently receive superior ratings in both sight reading and performance. He holds a Master of Education in Administration and Supervision from the University of West Georgia and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Georgia Southern University. Mr. Prouty currently performs with Coro Vocati and formally with Georgia Southern Chorale, Southern Crescent Chorale, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. He is an active member of Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Educators, and American Choral Directors Association. Mr. Prouty currently serves as the GMEA District 6 Chair where he has held that position for the past 8 years.


Matt Koperniak is in his seventh year as Director of Bands at Riverwatch Middle School in Forsyth County. Previously, he taught at Norcross High School and Jefferson High School, and served as director of the Classic City Community Band. Under his direction, the Riverwatch Band Program has grown from 135 members to include over 500 students. The Riverwatch Symphonic Band has performed at the GMEA In-Service Conference, Music for All National Concert Festival, Southeastern United States Band Clinic, NBA/CBDNA Southern Division Conference, University of Alabama Middle School Honor Band, and UGA Midfest. The Riverwatch Band Program is a recipient of the GMEA Exemplary Performance Award and has commissioned works from several composers, including Donald Grantham and Richard Crosby. Koperniak currently serves GMEA in multiple capacities. He is the State Organizer for Middle School All-State Band Auditions, Ninth District Treasurer, Ninth District Solo & Ensemble Organizer, and is a member of the GMEA All-State Committee. He is also active as a clinician and adjudicator for GMEA-sponsored events. Koperniak is a member of several other organizations, including Phi Beta Mu, the National Band Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He serves on the NBA Young Band Composition Contest Committee and has received the NBA Citation of Excellence. He serves Phi Mu Alpha as a Province Governor (2005-present) and member of the Commission on Standards (2012-2015). He received the “Province Governor of the Year� Award in 2013. Koperniak was also the 2012 Teacher of the Year for Riverwatch Middle School. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Koperniak served as Band Captain and Drum Major of the UGA Redcoat Band. He has been published in Georgia Music News, Music Educators Journal, International Trombone Association Journal, and Tempo! (New Jersey MEA magazine), and has presented music education research at the University of Illinois and Gettysburg College.




spring 2015 / georgia music news

Kim Eason has served as a choral director at the middle school level for the past sixteen years and is currently teaching at North Gwinnett Middle School, where she is a charter faculty member and former chairperson of the Connections department. She earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Education degrees from the University of Georgia, and is a National Board Certified teacher in Music grades 7-12. She is an active member of GMEA, currently organizing All-State auditions for region two and serving as District 13 Choral Chairperson, and organized Large Group Performance Evaluation 2003-2011. She also holds membership in the American Choral Director’s Association, and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, and has served as the Gwinnett County lead teacher for middle school choral directors since 2006. Ms. Eason’s groups consistently receive Superior ratings in both performance and sight-reading at LGPE, and many of her students participate in All-State and Honor Chorus events each year. She has conducted Honor Choruses in Districts 9 and 14, and founded the Gwinnett County Sixth Grade Honor Chorus in 2009. Ms. Eason sings in the adult choir and directs the children’s choir at North Metro First Baptist Church.



georgia music news / spring 2015



Emily Threlkeld is in her 9th year as a K-5 music specialist at Garden Lakes Elementary School in the Floyd County Public Schools System. Mrs. Threlkeld began her teaching career in 1992 in K-12 music in Starkville, Mississippi. In her 22+ years of teaching experience, Mrs. Threlkeld has taught Kindermusik, preschool music, elementary general music, and elementary, middle and high school choruses in both the public and private school settings in Mississippi and Georgia. She has taught as an adjunct voice instructor at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, and maintained a private voice studio for 10 years. Mrs. Threlkeld has also directed children’s and adult church choirs, and is currently the interim youth choir director at Trinity United Methodist Church. She has worked with ArtsNow as a music consultant for three years, traveling to schools in the state of Georgia to help classroom teachers with arts’ integration. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in voice performance from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL, and completed her coursework for education at Shorter University in Rome, GA. Mrs. Threlkeld has completed Levels I, II and III certification in Orff-Schulwerk. Mrs. Threlkeld currently directs the Garden Lakes Elementary Chorus, an extra-curricular group of fourth and fifth graders. The Garden Lakes Elementary Chorus performs regularly in Rome and Floyd County community events, including the Shorter University Feaste of Carols, the Rome Police Department Memorial for Fallen Officers, Homemakers Christmas in November Bazaar, and at Rome Braves Baseball Games. The Garden Lakes Elementary Chorus consistently earns superior ratings at Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) Large Group Performance Evaluation. Members of Mrs. Threlkeld’s chorus participate in the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) Statewide Elementary Honor Chorus, District 7 Honor Chorus, Northwest Georgia Honor Chorus, and the Floyd County Honor Chorus. Mrs. Threlkeld has had the honor of receiving several different teaching awards. In Mississippi she was selected as the Teacher of the Year at Starkville Academy, the Walmart Area Teacher of the Year for community work with her music program, and she was chosen as Star Teacher. More recently she was honored to be the Teacher of the Year at Garden Lakes Elementary School. She is very active with her church, Trinity United Methodist, where she volunteers with children’s and youth programs regularly, serves as a substitute accompanist, plays the keyboard for contemporary services, and sings in the church choir. Mrs. Threlkeld is passionate about her profession, where providing meaningful and authentic musical experiences is essential for every child.

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2015 Award Winners go to page 54


spring 2015 / georgia music news

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.




georgia music news / spring 2015


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spring 2015 / georgia music news



georgia music news / spring 2015




spring 2015 / georgia music news

Samuel R. Hazo resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife and children. In 2003, Mr. Hazo became the first composer in history to be awarded the winner of both composition contests sponsored by the National Band Association. His piece Mountain Thyme was an Honorable Mention for the 2013 CBDNA Composition Contest. He has composed for the professional, university and public school levels in addition to writing original scores for television, radio and the stage. His original symphonic compositions include performances with actors Brooke Shields, James Earl Jones, David Conrad and Richard Kiley. Most recently, Mr. Hazo was asked by the Newtown School District to compose the memorial for the children and women who were lost in the tragedy at their Sandy Hook Elementary School. The result was a major work for Choir, Orchestra and Wind Band combined titled “Glorificare.” It was premiered in May of 2013 by the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and VOCE Singers performing side-by-side with the Newtown High School musicians. Mr. Hazo also composed “Bridges,” which he was requested to write by Virginia Tech University following their tragic shootings. In 2012, two of Mr. Hazo’s compositions were performed at the London Summer Olympic Games. On the Internet, Mr. Hazo’s music has compiled over three million hits on YouTube. His compositions have been performed and recorded world-wide, including performances by the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra (national tour), the Birmingham Symphonic Winds (UK) and the Klavier Wind Project’s recordings with Eugene Migliaro Corporon. Additionally, numerous titles of Mr. Hazo’s works are included in the series “Teaching Music Through Performance in Band.” He has served as composer-in-residence at Craig Kirchhoff’s University of Minnesota Conducting Symposium and has also lectured on music and music education at universities and high schools internationally. In 2004, Mr. Hazo’s compositions were listed in a published national survey of the “Top Twenty Compositions of All Time” for wind band. He is a member of ASCAP and recipient of multiple ASCAPlus Awards. Samuel R. Hazo has been a music teacher at every educational grade level from kindergarten through college, including tenure as a high school and university director. He has been invited to guest conduct over 70 university ensembles and half of the All-State bands in America. Mr. Hazo was twice named “Teacher of Distinction” by the southwestern Pennsylvania Teachers’ Excellence Foundation. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Duquesne University where he served on the Board of Governors and was awarded as Duquesne’s Outstanding Graduate in Music Education. Mr. Hazo serves as a lecturer and clinician for Hal Leonard Corporation.



ALL STATE georgia music news / spring 2015



Robert Tyrome Herrings, III is entering his twelfth year of teaching and has been teaching at Henry Middle School in Leander ISD since 2004. Prior to coming to Leander ISD, he was the Director of Bands at Rockdale Junior High in Rockdale, Texas. In 2003, Mr. Herrings received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he studied under Michael Haithcock, Jeff Grogan, Dr. Kevin Sedatole and Barry Hopper. While in college, Mr. Herrings was a member of the Baylor University performing wind bands, as well as a member of the Baylor University Golden Wave Band. At Henry Middle School, Mr. Herrings conducts the Honors Band, assists with the Symphonic Band, Concert Band and beginning trombone class. He also teaches beginning flute and trumpet. Mr. Herrings’ bands have consistently received UIL Sweepstakes ratings, as well as unanimous first division ratings, Best In Class, and Overall Outstanding Band honors at festivals around the state. In 2009-2014, the program at Henry earned distinction as a National Wind Band Honors Class AA winner, and in 2009 and 2013, the Henry Middle School Honors Band was selected to perform at the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, Washington. The program was named the 2010 and 2014 TMEA Class CCC Honor Band and was also selected to perform at the 2010 and 2012 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. In June 2011, Mr. Herrings and his program were awarded the prestigious John Philip Sousa Foundation Sudler Silver Cup Award, and in July of the same year, Mr. Herrings was named the Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Young Bandmaster of the Year. Most recently, the Percussion Ensemble at Henry Middle School was selected to perform at the 2014 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. An active clinician and adjudicator around the state, Mr. Herrings is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, Texas Bandmasters Association and the Texas Music Adjudicators Association. He is also a mentor to new-to-profession teachers at Henry Middle School. Mr. Herrings enjoys motivating young musicians to achieve the highest level of performance by sharing his extreme love and passion for music with them on a daily basis. He feels honored, privileged and extremely blessed to have a loving mother and grandmother, many great mentors, band directors and close friends who have influenced his career thus far. Above all, his students have been his greatest inspiration!




spring 2015 / georgia music news

Greg Bimm has been Director of Bands at Marian Catholic High School since 1977. Under his direction, the Marian Band has grown from 70 to over 280 members, has earned over 600 awards and honors, and has become one of the premier high school band programs in the United States. Mr. Bimm’s history with Bands of America dates back to 1981 when the Marian Catholic marching band came to the BOA Summer Workshop/Festival (now the Summer Symposium) to serve as the “lab band.” Directors enrolled in the Directors Workshops observed marching teaching theory in practice with the Workshop faculty and the Marian Catholic Band. Since then, the Marian Catholic bands are among the most honored in BOA history. Marian has been named the BOA Grand National Champions seven times and is the only marching band to win the Grand National Champion title three consecutive years. They have participated in 21 consecutive Grand Nationals, numerous Regional Championships and the BOA Summer Nationals held in the 1980s, winning five Summer National titles. The Marian Catholic Symphonic Band was one of only eight bands invited to perform at the first National Concert Band Festival in 1992, held at Northwestern University and has performed again in 1995 and 1998. Mr. Bimm is a member of the 2005 Summer Symposium faculty. Most recently, Mr. Bimm was part of the teaching staff for the Bands of America Honor Band that appeared in the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade. Mr. Bimm is a current member and past chairman of the Bands of America Advisory Board and has served several terms on BOA advisory bodies. His input and expertise have been instrumental in guiding the direction of Bands of America programming. “Greg and the Marian Catholic band program serve as an inspiration and model for band directors across the nation,” says Scott McCormick, MFA President and CEO. Mr. Bimm has received five National Band Association Citations of Excellence and the NBA Certificate of Merit, was named the 1983 national winner of the ASBDA Stanbury award for young band directors, and received the Sudler Order of Merit from the John Philip Sousa Foundation in 1991 and 1997. In 1999, Mr. Bimm was among the first to be awarded the “Mary Hoffman” Award of Excellence by the Illinois Music Educator’s Association and in 2000 was recognized for contribution and support to art education by the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education. In 1994, Bimm was elected to membership in the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. Mr. Bimm holds degrees from Illinois State and Western Illinois Universities. His professional affiliations include ABA, ASBDA, IMEA, NAfME, NCBA, NBA, Phi Beta Mu, and Phi Mu Alpha. He has served on the Illinois High School Association Music Advisory Committee, and has served as Band Division chairman, District I and state equipment manager for IMEA. In constant demand, Mr. Bimm has performed as conductor, clinician, adjudicator, drill writer, or music arranger throughout the United States and Canada.



ALL STATE georgia music news / spring 2015



Mr. Alfred L. Watkins is former Director of Bands at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia. He served at Lassiter from 1982 to 2013. He has established a fine reputation as an adjudicator, clinician, lecturer and guest conductor throughout the United States. Under his leadership, the Lassiter Band grew from its original seventy-eight members to over 300 students. His band program included four symphonic bands, a 250-member marching band, two jazz bands, three percussion ensembles, two winter guards and numerous chamber ensembles. The Lassiter Flute Choir, Clarinet Choir, Trombone Choir, Trumpet Choir and Percussion Ensemble have all performed at national level events. Mr. Watkins, a native of Jackson, Georgia, received his Bachelor of Music Education in from Florida A & M University in 1976, where he was a conducting student of Dr. William P. Foster and Dr. Julian E. White. Prior to his arrival at Lassiter, he served for six years as Director of Bands at Murphy High School in the Atlanta Public School System where his bands earned consistent superior ratings in both marching and concert events. As much a teacher as he is a musician, Mr. Watkins was named “Teacher of the Year” in 1978 and has been named STAR TEACHER six times. Under Mr. Watkins’ baton, the Lassiter Symphonic Band acquired a fine reputation of musical excellence. In 1997, the Sousa Foundation listed the Lassiter Symphonic Band in the HISTORIC ROLL OF HONOR OF DISTINGUISHED HIGH SCHOOL CONCERT BANDS IN AMERICA, 1920-1997. In 1987, Mr. Watkins pioneered the concept of the Symphonic Band Camp, a three-day post-marching season intensive study of symphonic literature. The camp concept has been expanded to include a middle school and jazz component and is currently implemented by thousands of school band programs throughout the country. In 1988, the band earned the prestigious Sudler Flag of Honor, presented by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, presented to outstanding concert bands in America. Under his direction, the Lassiter Symphonic Band has performed at some of the finest concert events in America including, the 1986, 1996 and 2011 Georgia Music Educators Association Convention, 1988 National Band Association Biennial Conference, 1989 Black Music Caucus Convention and the 1995 and 1997 Atlanta International Band and Orchestra Clinic. It also performed in symposiums on the campuses of the University of Southern Mississippi (1985), Florida State University (1987), University of Georgia JanFest (1990, 1997 and 2010), Troy State University (1990) and at the University of South Carolina (1992). In 1993, 1995, and in 2002, Lassiter’s top two symphonic bands performed as Premiere Bands at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival. In 1989, and again in 1996, the Lassiter Symphonic Band performed at the prestigious Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic. In 2005 and again in 2011, the Lassiter Percussion Ensemble performed at the Midwest Clinic, and in 2007, the ensemble performed at Percussive Arts Society International Convention. The Lassiter Marching Trojan Band has won Championships Awards in 106 of 112 contest entered, earning Best Music Awards in over 100 of those contests. The Trojan Band won the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP at the 1998 and 2002 Bands of America (BOA) Grand National Championships. Under his direction, the band won BOA Regional Championships in 1995, 1997, 1998 (twice), 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2009. The marching band has participated in the 1986 and 1996 Orange Bowl Parade, 1997 Citrus Bowl Parade, 1999, 2004 and 2010 Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the 1988, 2001, 2005 and 2013 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. In 1999, the Marching Trojan Band received the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Shield, recognizing outstanding high school marching bands in America. Coupled with earning the Sudler Flag, the Lassiter Band is one of only 14 high school bands in America to have earned both high school Sudler music awards. Mr. Watkins is Co-Founder, Musical Director and Conductor of the 110-member Cobb Wind Symphony, an all-adult community band based in the Metro Atlanta area. Formed in the fall of 1999, The Cobb Wind Symphony has performed in the 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2013 Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference, the 2004 and 2011 Midwest Clinic and the 2006 and 2008 NBA/CBDNA Southern Division Conventions. The Cobb Wind Symphony earned the prestigious Sudler Silver Scroll Award, which recognizes community bandsthat have demonstrated particularly high standards of excellence in concert activities over a period of several years, and which have played a significant and leading role in the cultural and musical environment in their respective communities. Mr. Watkins is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity, National Band Association, Minority Band Directors National Association, Phi Beta Mu National School Bandmaster Fraternity, Music Educators National Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association and the NAACP. He has received 14 Certificates of Excellence from the National Band Association, the Sudler Order of Merit from the John Philip Sousa Foundation and the Band World Magazine Legion of Honor, for significant contributions to bands and band music. In 1996, Mr. Watkins was Associate Director for the Atlanta Olympic Marching Band that performed in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. In 2008, Mr. Watkins was nominated to receive the prestigious Turknett Leadership Character Award from the Turknett Leadership Group, a Metro Atlanta Leadership Consultant firm. He was the first public school educator to have been nominated for this award. In 2013, Mr. Watkins was selected by a panel almost a thousand band directors in an online poll as “One of the Admired Band Directors in America.” Mr. Watkins currently serves on the Educational Advisory Board of the Midwest Clinic. In 2001, the $1.5 million Alfred L. Watkins Band Building at Lassiter was named in his honor. He is currently President of the Minority Band Directors National Association, an organization formed in the summer of 2011, whose purpose is to serve, promote, celebrate and mentor minority band directors throughout America. In 2009 and 2010, two doctoral dissertations were written centering their subject matter on his life and his work at Lassiter. They are:Alfred Watkins and the Lassiter High School Band: A Qualitative Study by Sue Samuels, A dissertation submitted to the Graduate Faculty of Auburn University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Auburn, Alabama December 18, 2009 andAlfred L. Watkins: An Historical Narrative of His Musical Life and Work with the Lassiter High School Band by Matthew J. Thomas, A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, The Florida State University, School of Music, Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2010). In 2013, he was a recipient of the Image Awardby the 100 Black Men Organization of North Atlanta and the Flourish Award sponsored by Kennesaw State University. He has been inducted into the Hall of Fames of Florida A&M University and Bands of America, and is a 2005 inductee into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association. In 2013, he was inducted as the 21st member into the Phi Beta Mu Georgia Bandmasters Hall of Fame, and in 2014, Mr. Watkins received the Edwin Franko Goldman Award from the American School Band Directors Association. He and is wife of 31 years, Rita, live in Marietta. They have two sons: Christopher, as trumpet player/bugler in the United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D. C. and Jonathan, a graduate of Auburn University (Finance).




spring 2015 / georgia music news

Colonel Michael J. Colburn was the 27th Director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. During his more than twenty years with “The President’s Own,” Col Colburn served as principal euphonium, Assistant Director, and from July 2004-14, the Director who led the Marine Band in its third century. As Director of “The President’s Own,” Col Colburn was music adviser to the White House. He regularly conducted the Marine Band at the Executive Mansion and at all Presidential Inaugurations. He also served as music director of Washington, D.C.’s prestigious Gridiron Club, a position held by every Marine Band Director since John Philip Sousa, and is a member of the Alfalfa Club and the American Bandmaster’s Association. After joining “The President’s Own” in May 1987 as a euphonium player, Col Colburn regularly performed at the White House, in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, and throughout the country during the band’s annual concert tour. He quickly distinguished himself as a featured soloist, and in 1990 was appointed principal euphonium. In addition to his euphonium duties, Col Colburn was active as a conductor for “The President’s Own” chamber music series. In 1996, he was appointed Assistant Director and commissioned a first lieutenant. He accepted the position of Senior Assistant Director and Executive Officer in 2001, and in 2002 was promoted to the rank of major. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel one day before he assumed leadership of “The President’s Own” on July 17, 2004. He was promoted to colonel on July 3, 2007 by President George W. Bush in an Oval Office ceremony and awarded the Legion of Merit on July 11, 2008, the Marine Band’s 210th birthday, by Marine Corps Commandant, General James T. Conway. As Director, Col Colburn attracted prominent guest conductors to the podium of “The President’s Own,” including Leonard Slatkin, José Serebrier, and renowned film composer John Williams. Col Colburn was deeply committed to seeking new works for the Marine Band, and was directly involved in commissions from composers David Rakowski (Ten of a Kind, Sibling Revelry, Cantina), David Chaitkin (Celebration), Melinda Wagner (Scamp), and Jennifer Higdon (Percussion Concerto), and Michael Gandolfi. Col Colburn worked to expand the Marine Band’s educational outreach efforts by increasing master classes at schools throughout the nation during the band’s annual concert tour, and by initiating Music in the High Schools, a program that sends musicians from “The President’s Own” to perform in Washington, D.C., area high schools. Col Colburn is a native of St. Albans, Vt., where he graduated from Bellows Free Academy in 1982. Following high school he attended the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York in Potsdam for two years. He continued his education at Arizona State University in Tempe, where he studied euphonium with Daniel Perantoni and earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance in 1986. In 1991, Col Colburn earned a master’s degree in conducting from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., where he studied with Anthony Maiello.



ALL STATE georgia music news / spring 2015




Kevin Sedatole serves as Director of Bands, Professor of Music, and Chair of the conducting area at the Michigan State University College of Music. At MSU, Professor Sedatole serves as administrator of the entire band program totaling over 700 students that includes the Wind Symphony, Symphony Band, Concert Band, Chamber Winds, Campus Bands, Spartan Marching Band and Spartan Brass. He also guides the graduate wind-conducting program in addition to conducting the MSU Wind Symphony. Prior to joining MSU, he was director of bands and associate professor of conducting at Baylor University. Previous to his appointment at Baylor he served as associate director of bands at the University of Texas and director of the Longhorn Band, and as associate director of bands at the University of Michigan and Stephen F. Austin State University. Sedatole has conducted performances for the College Band Directors National Association, American Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Educators Association, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, as well as performances in Carnegie Hall. He has conducted across the United States and Europe. Most recently the MSU Wind Symphony, under the direction of Professor Sedatole, has given featured performances at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic held in Chicago, Ill. And at the national convention of the College Band Directors’ National Association held in Austin, Texas. Performances conducted by Professor Sedatole have won accolades from prominent composers including Robert Beaser, John Corigliano, Michael Colgrass, Donald Grantham, David Maslanka, Ricardo Lorenz, Michael Daugherty, John Mackey, Jonathan Newman, Carter Pann, Joel Puckett, Dan Welcher as well as many others. Professor Sedatole also serves on the summer faculty of the Interlochen Music Camp, Board of Directors for the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic and as the vice president of the CBDNA North Central division.



spring 2015 / georgia music news

Robyn Reeves Lana is the Founder, Managing Artistic Director and Conductor of the Cincinnati Children’s Choir (CCC), Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department (CCM). At CCM, she sponsors undergraduate interns and mentors graduate choral conducting students. Under her leadership, CCC has received the Scripps-Corbett Award (Artist Award Category) and earned a gold medal in the 2012 World Choir Games. Recognized for building tone, artistry, and independent musicianship in children and youth, Lana has conducted international, state and regional honor and festival choirs, including Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin, American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Southern Division, and an international children’s festival choir at Carnegie Hall. She has served as conductor/clinician internationally in China, Italy and Malaysia (2015) and is a founding co-director of the Coastal Song Children’s Choir Festival. She has presented workshops for ACDA, American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA) National Conference, Chorus America, the World Choir Games 2012, National Association for Music Education (NAfME) state and regional conventions (Arizona, Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee), Chamber Music America National Convention, and regionally at colleges and universities. Her choirs have performed for State, Regional, and National professional development conferences including ACDA Central Division and the AOSA National Conference. Lana regularly prepares her choirs for collaborations with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops, the Cincinnati May Festival, and CCM choirs and orchestras achieving an extensive list of orchestral and operatic repertoire for children and praise from collaborating conductors including John Adams, Louis Langree, John Morris Russell, Marcus Huber, James Conlon, Earl Rivers and Mark Gibson among others. In July 2015, her choir will be featured for a mass at St. Peters Basilica, Rome and has been asked to represent the USA the World Expo in Milan, performing under the American flag. She has also prepared her singers to perform with a Broadway touring company and regularly prepares them for performance with the CCM Opera Division. In addition to preparing CCC for compact disc releases and regularly recording concerts, Mrs. Lana has prepared them for two Telarc label recordings with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Erich Kunzel. Lana is the editor of a choral series in her name with Santa Barbara Music Publishing. The highly successful series is quickly growing and has become respected throughout national choral community. She has published articles in the ACDA’s Choral Journal, Choristers Guild’s The Chorister, and Chamber Music America’s CMA Matters. She served as an ACDA representative for the 2012 World Choir Games Music Advisory Committee. From 2007-2013, she served ACDA as National Chair for Children’s and Community Youth Choir Repertoire and Standards. In her work for ACDA, she led the national committee into new ways to serve membership by presenting a retreat for children’s and community youth choir directors. The event, organized three times under Lana, is now a biennial conference offered by ACDA. Mrs. Lana is also a member of Chorus America, MENC, AOSA, and IFCM. A founding board member of the Greater Cincinnati Choral Consortium, she has served as president of the board since its inception. She earned both Bachelor and Master degrees in Music Education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and holds Level III Orff-Schulwerk Certification. She earned both Bachelor and Master degrees in Music Education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. With a focus in Choral Conducting, Mrs. Lana earned a Cognate in Voice and has done post-graduate at Butler University. A recent recipient of CCM’s Distinguished Alumna Award, Lana was honored to be the first recognized by current dean Peter Landgren.



ALL STATE georgia music news / spring 2015



Rollo Dilworth is Professor of Choral Music Education and Chair of the Department of Music Education and Therapy at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia, PA. He has served on the faculty since 2009. Prior to his position with Boyer College, he taught music education and was the director of choral activities for 13 years at North Park University in Chicago, where he prepared and conducted numerous extended and choral-orchestral works. Before teaching at the college level, Dilworth also taught choral and general music at the middle school level in his hometown of St. Louis, MO. Dilworth holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH), a Master of Education degree in Secondary Education and Music from the University of Missouri-St. Louis (St. Louis, MO) and a Doctor of Music degree in Conducting Performance from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). During his doctoral program at Northwestern University, Dilworth was accepted into the composition studios of Robert Harris, Pauline Oliveros, and Marta Ptaszynska. Throughout his career, he has written or arranged African American spirituals, gospel songs, Broadway selections, art songs, vocal exercises, and a musical—all of which are frequently performed by school, church, community, university and professional choirs in the United States and abroad. The majority of Dilworth’s choral scores are works commissioned by community and professional ensembles. In 2009, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and IN UNISON® Chorus commissioned and premiered his choral-orchestral work entitledFreedom’s Plow, which is based on the text of a Langston Hughes poem bearing the same title. In 2011, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia commissioned a three-movement choral-orchestral work entitled Rain Sequence, featuring the writings of Langston Hughes and Paul Laurence Dunbar. Over 150 of Dilworth’s choral compositions and arrangements have been published, and many are part of the Henry Leck Creating Artistry Choral Series with the Hal Leonard Corporation. He is also an established author and contributor for the Essential Elements for Choir and the Experiencing Choral Music textbook series. He has authored 3 books of choral warm up exercises intended for elementary and secondary choral ensembles, entitled Choir Builders: Fundamental Vocal Techniques for General and Classroom Use (2006); Choir Builders for Growing Voices (2009); and Choir Builders for Growing Voices 2 (2014). In addition, Dilworth has conducted 36 all-state choirs ranging across various levels, 6 regional honor choirs, and 4 national honor choirs. For the 20142015 season, Dilworth has been invited to conduct all-state choirs in Nebraska, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia and Massachusetts. International festival invitations include Australia, Canada, Taiwan, Ireland, and China. Dilworth is currently National Board Chair for Chorus America. He is an active life member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). He also holds memberships with several other organizations, including the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM) and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).




spring 2015 / georgia music news

Tim Sharp is Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association, the world’s largest association of choral conductors, students, scholars, composers, and choral industry representatives. Dr. Sharp has pursued an aggressive agenda of strategic planning and progressive initiatives to keep the American Choral Directors Association energized and relevant in the 21st century. He represents choral activity in the United States to the International Federation for Choral Music, and appears regularly as guest conductor and clinician throughout the world. Tim is in his sixth season as Artistic Director of the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, Tulsa, OK, where critics have characterized his performances as having “stunning power” and “great passion and precision”. In 2011, Sharp served as Principal Guest Conductor at the International Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece, where the TOC was the featured chorus in the production of Verdi’s La Traviata, and performed Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Tim returned to Carnegie Hall in November of 2012 for the fifth time conducting Vaughan Williams’ Hodie in a choral concert with John Rutter. He made his Alice Tully Hall debut in 2014 conducting Handel’sMessiah. Before coming to ACDA, Sharp was Dean of Fine Arts at Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, where he conducted the Rhodes Singers and MasterSingers Chorale. In 2003, Sharp’s production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi won an Ostrander Award, Memphis’ annual award for excellence in theater. Prior to his position in Memphis, he conducted the Belmont University Chorale and Oratorio Chorus, Nashville, TN, where he received choral credits on the Grammy Nominated and Dove Award winning recording, A Glen Campbell Christmas. Dr. Sharp’s publications include Mentoring in the Ensemble Arts, Precision Conducting, Up Front! Becoming the Complete Choral Conductor,Achieving Choral Blend and Balance, Memphis Music Before the Blues, Nashville Music Before Country, Jubilate! Amen!, The German Songbook in the 19th Century, A Short History of the American Choral Directors Association, Collaborative Creativity, and a wide variety of published articles, essays, and CD liner notes for recordings by Helmuth Rilling, Iona Brown, Neville Marriner, and The King’s Singers. His most recent book publications include the historical-critical editionJohannes Herbst: Hymns to be Sung at the Pianoforte, published by Steglein, and Collaborating in the Ensemble Arts: Working and Playing Well With Others, published by GIA. Dr. Sharp’s choral compositions and arrangements exhibit his interest in conceptual programming as exemplified by the choral collection Salvation is Created, An Early American Service of Lessons and Carols, the young voices series including Christmas Messiah for Young Voices and Vivaldi’s Gloria for Young Voices, his own choral series through Gentry Publications, and his self-published bluegrass mass, co-created with Wes Ramsay, Come Away to the Skies: A High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass. Tim received his education at Belmont University (BM); The School of Church Music, Louisville, KY (MCM; DMA); and studied further at the Aspen Music School, Aspen, CO; the NEH Medieval Studies program at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; throughout Belgium on a Rotary Scholarship; and at Cambridge University (UK), where he is a Clare Hall Life Fellow.



ALL STATE georgia music news / spring 2015



Lori Hetzel is the Associate Director of the School of Music, Associate Director of Choral Activities and Full Professor of Choral Music Education at the University of Kentucky where she conducts the UK Women’s Choir and the ever-popular a cappella group “Paws and Listen”. In addition to her conducting duties, Dr. Hetzel supervises student teachers and teaches undergraduate methods and choral conducting courses where she has pioneered a unique partnership program with area high schools and middle schools allowing undergraduate students to begin classroom teaching early in their curriculum and gain true ‘hands on’ experience. Hetzel is a contributing author to the new textbook Conducting Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success. Among her many academic accomplishments, she was the recipient of the University of Kentucky “Great Teacher of the Year” award in 2000, a finalist for the Provost Awards for Outstanding Teaching in both 2009 and 2010, and the winner of the Robert K. Baar Choral Award in 2011 ¾ “given to one choral director in the state who exhibits outstanding leadership in choral music and promotes music education in the state of Kentucky.” Lori Hetzel received the Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin/Green Bay, the Master of Music from the University of Missouri/Kansas City and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University. Outside of the university, Dr. Hetzel serves as Artistic Director of the Lexington Singers Children’s Choir and conducts the LSCC Chamber Choir. The Lexington Singers Children’s Choir was formed to provide specialized choral opportunities for the children of central Kentucky and now offers four select choirs in which children can participate. The group performs not only in the greater Lexington area but has also presented concerts with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir – Kantorie, the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir (Atlanta), the Central Illinois Children’s Choir, the Vanderbilt Children’s Choir, and at the Kennedy Center as part of the Our Lincoln concert presented by the Kentucky Arts Council. They are often seen in collaboration with other area musical groups including The Lexington Singers, Lexington Philharmonic, UK Opera Theater and the UK Choirs. This year the Chamber Choir has been invited to perform at the American Choral Directors Association Southern Division Convention in Jacksonville, FL.


Hailed by The Oregonian for providing “the finest choral concerts in Portland in recent memory,” Ethan Sperry is in his fifth year as Director of Choral Activities at Portland State University, where he conducts the world-renowned Chamber Choir and Man Choir and leads undergraduate and graduate programs in conducting. He is also the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Oregon Repertory Singers, one of Oregon’s most distinguished adult choruses. Sperry’s choirs have won over two dozen awards at International Competitions in North America and Europe including being the first American choir in 52 years to win the Grand Prix at the Seghizzi Competition in Italy. Born in New York City in 1971, Sperry began studying conducting at the age of eight, cello at the age of twelve, and singing at the age of eighteen. He has earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Harvard College and Masters and Doctoral degrees in Choral Conducting from the University of Southern California. Ensembles under his direction have toured to Bermuda, Canada, China, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guadeloupe, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Puerto Rico, Russia, and Taiwan, and have performed at major venues in the United States including The Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center, The Washington National Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, The Nassau Coliseum, Cincinnati’s Music Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and the United Nations. A prolific arranger of World Music for choirs, Dr. Sperry is the editor of the Global Rhythms series for Earthsongs Music, one of the best-selling choral series in the country. Sperry is also a frequent collaborator with film composer AR Rahman and has appeared as a guest conductor for him numerous times including at Bollywood Night at the Hollywood Bowl and the 2008 Filmfare Awards, the Indian equivalent of the Oscars. He also serves as a consultant for the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, the first classical music school in India, which opened in 2009. Prior to moving to Oregon, Sperry served for 10 years on the faculty of Miami University in Ohio where he conducted the Men’s Glee Club, Collegiate Chorale, and Global Rhythms Ensemble. He has also served as Artistic Administrator of the Arad Philharmonic Chorus in Romania and Conductor of the Coeur Regional de Guadeloupe, the only Symphonic Chorus in the French West Indies.




spring 2015 / georgia music news

Timothy Seelig (b. 1951) has been making music as a conductor, singer, teacher for 35 years. He is currently the Director of Art for Peace & Justice, Artistic Director in Residence for GALA Choruses and has been on the adjunct music faculty at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts since 1996. In addition, he continues an extremely busy guest-conducting schedule throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. He is the Conductor Emeritus of the Turtle Creek Chorale which he conducted for 20 years. He recently joined the executive staff of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as Artistic Director and Conductor. Dr. Seelig holds four degrees, including the DMA from the University of North Texas and the Diploma from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He has four books and two DVDs on choral technique including the best-sellers The Perfect Blend and The Perfect Rehearsal. The fifth, The Music Within, was released in 2010. Dr. Seelig’s early training was as a singer. He made his European operatic debut at the Staatsoper in St. Gallen, Switzerland and his solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall. He also created roles in world premiers of world renowned composers including John Corigliano, Conrad Susa and Peter Schikele (P.D.Q. Bach). In 2009, Dr. Seelig conducted his 5th appearance at Carnegie Hall celebrating the 70th anniversary of Shawnee Press and the European Premier of Sing for the Cure at Royal Festival Hall in London. In 2010, he conducted the 10th Anniversary of Sing for the Cure at Carnegie Hall and the Winspear Opera House. Known for his enthusiasm and sense of humor, Grammy Magazine says, “”Dr. Seelig takes eclecticism to new heights.”” Fanfare Magazine says he raises singers from “”the ranks of amateur choir to one receiving wide recognition for excellent performances of appealing, fresh repertoire.”” The New York Times calls Seelig an “expressive performer,” and the Fort Worth Star Telegram quips, “Seelig slices a thick cut of ham.” He is the proud father of two wonderful children and a proud grandfather.



georgia music news / spring 2015


ALL STATE ORCHESTRA Susan Ellington is the recently retired director of orchestras for the Goshen Community Schools in Goshen, Indiana, where, during the past eighteen years, the orchestra program rapidly ex-panded under her musical direction. The Goshen orchestras have a reputation of excellence, having consistently received superior ratings and earning top ranking in multiple competitions and fes¬tivals. The Goshen HS Symphonic Orchestra was named to the Indiana State Orchestra Finals for 13 of the 18 years Mrs. Ellington taught at GHS. Top honors included being named one of the top two high school orchestras in the state in 2006 and 2007 and earning placement in the top three orchestras in the state for 2008 and 2009. ISSMA recognizes only the top eight orchestras in Indiana for State Finals. In 1999, Mrs. Ellington was named by the School Band and Orchestra Magazine as one of “Fifty Direc¬tors Making A Difference Across the Nation,” and in 2004 IMEA recognized her as “Indiana’s Outstanding Middle School Orchestra Director.” She was honored at the national level by the American String Teachers Association as the 2008 recipient of the “Elizabeth A. H. Green School Educator Award” presented in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at National Conference. The prestigious award is presented annually to a teacher recognized for contributions to string edu¬cation and their impact on student achievement throughout their career. She was also named “Outstanding Michiana Orchestra Di¬rector” in 2012 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the Indiana Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, in January, 2013. She has been engaged as a clinician for numerous teacher workshops nationwide including the MidWest String Teachers Workshop at Ohio State University, the University of South Carolina String Teachers Conference, and the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. She has conducted the South Carolina Junior All-State String Orchestra, North Carolina Eastern Regional Repertoire Orchestra, the 2003 South Carolina All State Junior High School Full Orchestra, the 2004 Il¬linois MEA Middle School Orchestra and the Indiana ASTA All-Region Middle School Orchestra in 1997 and 2007, and the Cumberland County High School All-County Orchestra in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She has been was one of the driving forces behind the “Save Our Symphony Committee” for the Elkhart County Symphony Orchestra in Indiana, where she is currently serving as Executive Director of the Board. Mrs. Ellington is a native of North Car¬olina, having received her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Elon College and a Master of Arts in Education from Furman University with additional post-graduate studies at Fayetteville State University. She and her late husband, Kenneth, founded the orchestra program in Cumberland County in 1980. The family moved to Indiana in 1992 when Kenneth took a job with the Selmer Corporation as the String Marketing Manager. Their daughter, Carolyn E. Landreau, is the orchestra director at Centennial High School in Fulton County Schools, and their youngest daughter, Kendra E. Nafziger, is a Director with Mary Kay Cosmetics.



Soo Han is the Director of Orchestras at Carmel High in Carmel, Indiana, and also the music director of the New World Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to Carmel and New World, he served as the Orchestra Director at North Central High School in Indianapolis and in Munster, Indiana. Orchestras under his leadership experienced a great deal of success including 2006, 2007, and 2008 Indiana State Music Association (ISSMA) State Championship, and 2003, 2005 Runner-up awards. Han has appeared as conductor for the ASTA All-Region festivals, Carmel Middle School Orchestra Festival, South Bend Youth Orchestra, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra (IL), Northwest Indiana Youth Orchestra, and various summer orchestras. He has also served on the staff with Bands of America – Orchestra Division Summer Symposium and is an active adjudicator and a clinician throughout the state. Han lectures frequently to beginning teachers and string education majors at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has served as the Indiana American String Teachers Association’s All-State Orchestra Coordinator, and is the association’s current state treasurer. He serves on committees and the advisory board for IMEA and ISSMA. In 2007, he was named a finalist for the Minority Leadership Achievement Award in the field of education by the Indiana Center for Leadership and Development. His early teachers have included Alma West, Ann Hillegass, and Jeffery Hackenberger. He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. While at IU, he studied piano with Christopher Harding and Edward Auer, and horn with Lisa Bergman. Han has studied conducting with Kenneth Keisler at the Conductors Summer Retreat at Camp Medomak in Maine. His other interests include playing board games, cooking, playing with dogs, and he is an avid fan of Food Network.


spring 2015 / georgia music news

Jeremy Woolstenhulme received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Brigham Young University in 2000, and a Master of Arts degree in cello Performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2005. Mr. Woolstenhulme currently serves as the orchestra director at Hyde Park Middle School in the Clark County School District of Las Vegas, Nevada, where he teaches 400 students daily. He has traveled with his orchestras to London, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Diego, and New York. His orchestra was selected to play at the 2008 Midwest Clinic and in 2010 and 2011 at the National ASTA Conference. Woolstenhulme is a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, cellist for the Seasons String Quartet, and he performs as a freelance musician at many entertainment venues in Las Vegas. Jeremy Woolstenhulme is a commissioned and published composer with a number of original works for string orchestra to his credit, many of which have been performed across the United States and abroad. He and his wife Taryn live in Las Vegas with their three children, Cadence Belle, Coda Blake, and Canon Thomas.



georgia music news / spring 2015


ALL STATE ORCHESTRA Dr. Marilyn Seelman received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Miami-Coral Gables, Florida, her Master of Music in Viola from Boston University, and her Bachelor of Music from California State University-Humboldt. Fort twenty years she served as Conductor and Music Director of The Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra of Atlanta (MYSO), retiring in Spring 2014. Under her leadership MYSO performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Costa Rica, Mid-West Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, and twice at the Georgia Music Educators’ Conference in Savannah. In addition, in 2006 at the invitation of the US-China Cultural Foundation, MYSO performed in Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai, and in 2008 gave performances in Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. She has held the position of Director of Orchestras and violist at Trinity University in San Antonio, The University of New Mexico-Albuquerque, and Georgia State University. From 1999 to 2003 she was Music Director and Conductor of the Georgia Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra, a fully professional chamber orchestra made up of leading performers in the greater Atlanta area. Dr. Seelman has served as an All-State Conductor in Georgia, Tennessee, Alaska, Colorado and Florida, and was on the conducting faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp in 2009 and 2010. She has presented viola master classes at The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, The University of Colorado-Boulder, Vanderbilt University, American String Teachers’ Association National Conventions, and in Nanjing, China, along with presenting sessions on viola pedagogy and string pedagogy at many professional meetings. Her private viola studio has produced prize-winning students who attend major conservatories and schools of music including The Curtis Institute, The Juilliard School, The New England Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music. Dr. Seelman is a Past-President of the Georgia Chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and served for four years on the National Board of ASTA as Publications Chair and the 2011 National Solo Competition Chair. She is also on the advisory board of the El Sistema based program, The Atlanta Music Project. Dr. Seelman taught music education at Georgia State University for seven years and is now on the faculty of Clayton State University. She conducts, maintains an active viola studio, adjudicate festivals, and gives clinics throughout the United States and abroad.



Kirt Mosier, director of orchestras at Lee’s Summit West High School in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, has also taught orchestration and arranging as an adjunct professor at UMKC Conservatory of Music in Kansas City, Missouri. Not only is he a sought after composer, but also has twice won national composition awards. In 1993, his original work, “Baltic Dance,” won the National School Orchestra Association Composition Contest and in 2004; “Ameri¬can Reel” won the 2004 Merle J. Isaac national composition con¬test. In 2010, the Portland Ballet Company of Portland, Maine, commissioned Mr. Mosier to write an original score to their pro-duction of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In 2014, Mr. Mosier was invited to conduct the National Junior Honors Orchestra in their debut performance at Carnegie Hall. From 1990 to present, Kirt Mosier has conducted numerous honor and all state performances throughout the United States. In addition, he has frequently been utilized as a keynote speaker at various conferences and events.


spring 2015 / georgia music news

Dr. James Mick is an assistant professor of music education at Ithaca College in upstate New York. He teaches courses in string pedagogy, orchestral rehearsal techniques, instrumental conducting, and contemporary ensembles in the public schools. Additionally, he teaches and oversees all Ithaca College underclassmen music education majors through the Introductory Music Education Sequence. An active clinician, Dr. Mick has recently presented at many local and national conferences including the National American String Teachers Association Conference (ASTA), the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic, the New York State School Music Association Summer and Winter Conferences (NYSSMA), and the Florida Music Educators Association Conferences (FMEA). He has also been an invited guest speaker at a variety of institutions of higher education including recent visits to Cornell University, the University of Kentucky, and Hartwick College. In addition to his guest presentation opportunities, Dr. Mick is a passionate music educator and supporter of the public school music systems. He is currently President-Elect of the New York American String Teachers Association and he frequently works with public school students of all ages. Guest conducting engagements include frequent all-county and area all-state orchestras throughout New York, and upcoming engagements in Alabama, Georgia, and Texas. Dr. Mick is also the Music Director of the Ithaca Community Orchestra. An active performer, Dr. Mick has performed double bass with a wide array of ensembles throughout the country including Symphoria in Syracuse, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, Lone Star Wind Symphony, Central New York Winds, Galen Jeter Big Band, Johnny Case Trio, and even a rock band that performed on Austin’s 6th Street during the famed South by Southwest music festival. As a soloist, Dr. Mick has performed for Gary Karr, Paul Ellison, Jeff Bradetich, Hal Robinson, David Murray, and Joel Quarrington. Originally a native of Kansas, Dr. Mick has taught elementary and middle school orchestra in Texas, and high school orchestra and jazz in New York. Dr. Mick holds degrees in Music Education from Florida State University (Ph.D.), Ithaca College (M.M.), and Texas Christian University (B.M.E.). His research interests include string instrument vibrato, music preferences, and performance perceptions. He has most recently published articles in the String Research Journal, The Bridge, and the Florida Music Director. In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Mick enjoys spending time outdoors. He is an avid bicyclist, enjoys camping, and loves to travel.






HONOR CHORUS georgia music news / spring 2015

Sally K. Albrecht is a popular choral composer, conductor, and clinician, especially known for her work with choral movement. An annual recipient of the ASCAP Special Music Award since 1987, Sally has more than 450 popular choral publications in print, over 65 larger elementary songbooks and musicals, plus 16 choral movement instructional DVDs. Sally has directed and staged the halftime show singers performing during two Florida Citrus Bowls, and has conducted hundreds of honor choir events, including festivals at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and The Kennedy Center. For over three decades, she was the Director of School Choral Publications for two major educational music publishing companies. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Sally received a B.A. Degree from Rollins College (FL) with a double major in Music and Theater. From there she moved to the University of Miami, where she received both an M.A. in Drama and an M.M. in Accompanying. She was an accompanist for Fred Waring and taught in the music departments at Oakland University (MI) and Jersey City State College (NJ). Sally has worked with literally thousands of teachers, presenting sessions at music conventions and workshops in over 40 states, Canada, Singapore, and Australia. Sally and her husband, composer/arranger Jay Althouse, currently enjoy living in Raleigh, North Carolina. They were thrilled and honored to have their composition “I Hear America Singing!” performed during the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies. Sally currently serves as a Foundation Trustee of the Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society and is a proud recipient of their 2014 “Pillar of Leadership” award.


Caroline Crocker is the Director of Youth Education for the Fairfax Choral Society (Fairfax, VA), as well as Director of Lyric and Treble choirs for this organization. Under her leadership, the Youth Education program received the 2013 Ovation Award for Choral Excellence in Education Outreach. This program facilitates over 200 pre-school and school-aged singers to further their music education through music literacy and ear training. The program now spans three campuses in the Northern Virginia area. Mrs. Crocker teaches choral conducting with the Kodály program at George Mason University (Fairfax, VA). She has served with the American Kodály Institute as Adjunct Professor of Graduate Conducting at Loyola University Maryland, and with Children’s Chorus of Maryland as Satellite Program Director and musicianship teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education in Instrumental music from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, and a Master of Arts in Music Education in Choral Studies from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. In addition to Kodály study, Mrs. Crocker holds levels in the Dalcroze and Orff philosophies of music education. Mrs. Crocker is a past national board member of the Organization of American Kodály Educators, as well as Virginia state president. Her choirs have sung at Carnegie Hall, the U.S. Capitol, Jamestown, Virginia, RFK Stadium, and at the Organization of American Kodály Educators national and regional conferences. They have performed for PBS’ “A Capitol Fourth”, as well as with Sir David Willcocks. Mrs. Crocker enjoys working with young people and conducting choir festivals throughout the eastern U.S.


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georgia music news / spring 2015


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Robin L. Christian

is the Director of Bands at Ringgold High School, leading the RHS Concert, Marching, and Jazz Bands to numerous top honors and superior ratings during his 27 years as director. A comprehensive music program, Ringgold offers two Symphonic Bands, a 175-piece marching band, two

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jazz ensembles, and a percussion ensemble. During Mr. Christian’s time as director, the Band program’s membership at Ringgold has grown from 85 students to more than 200. Mr. Christian has conducted the RHS Band at the Southeastern United States Band Conference at Troy State University, at the Georgia Music Educators/ Southern Division MENC Conference and in the Grand Bahama Islands. The Band has also marched in prestigious national parades, including the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago (2011), and in the Veterans’ Day Parade in New York City (2006 & 2012). A 1981 Ringgold High School alumnus, Mr. Christian attended Jacksonville State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. While attending JSU, Mr. Christian studied saxophone with Dr. Ronald C. Attinger and was a member of the Marching Southerners, the JSU Jazz Ensemble, the Wind Ensemble, the Saxophone Choir, and the A Cappella Choir. In 2003, Mr. Christian was presented a Citation of Excellence by the National Band Association for outstanding contribution to bands and band music. In 2006, he was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu International School Bandmaster Fraternity. He served as the GMEA Instrumental Band Chair for District VII from 2006 – 2008. In 2010, Mr. Christian was named the Catoosa County Schools STAR teacher. Recently, Mr. Christian served as the GMEA State Band Division Chair for the 2011-2014 term. He also serves as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the southeastern United States. As a performer, Mr. Christian is a member of the Chattanooga Concert Band, the Clock Tower Jazz Ensemble, and The Georgians Big Band. He is also a member of several professional music organizations, including the Georgia Music Educators Association, the Music Educators National Conference, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, the Percussive Arts Society and the Jazz Education Network.



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. While teaching in Clayton County, Dr. Scruggs was a director of the Clayton County Honor Orchestra. Under her direction, this middle school group performed at the Southern Division Music Educator’s National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Scruggs has also been a director for the Clayton County Youth Symphony, which was invited to perform for the Georgia Music Association Educators Conference. At Pointe South Middle School, where Dr. Scruggs taught for eleven years, the orchestra performed at several festivals, receiving First Place Awards. Five of Dr. Scruggs’s groups have been invited to perform at the Georgia Music Educators Association 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 Peachtree Ridge High School faculty. While a Gwinnett County orchestra teacher, Dr. Scruggs was a director of the Kendall Honor Orchestra. She is now one of the directors of the Gwinnett County Youth Symphony. Dr. Scruggs has served as state secretary for the Georgia chapter of the American String Teachers Association and as both the Vice President of Performance Evaluations and President for the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA). She currently holds the position of GMEA Past Presidents’ Representative on the Executive Board and is the Orchestra Division Chair-Elect for 2017-2018.


Mrs. Reese graduated from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, with an undergraduate degree in elementary education. She continued her education and earned a M.Ed. from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, and an Ed.S. in administration and supervision from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Mrs. Reese has served as chairperson of Northwest Georgia RESA, she is on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and she is a past president of the Ringgold Rotary Club. Superintendent Reese received the GSSA (Georgia School Superintendent’s Association) President’s Award in 2012 for leadership. She currently serves as a GSSA coach and mentor to new superintendents, and she has been selected by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators to participate in a national superintendent’s network.

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has worked in Catoosa County Public Schools since 1984. Mrs. Reese was a teacher and an administrator at Graysville Elementary School before becoming Superintendent. She taught four years, served as assistant principal for six years, and principal for 11 years. Mrs. Reese has served as Superintendent of Schools since 2005.


Denia Reese


DR. STAN DEJARNETT THE GEORGIA VISION PROJECT: A VISION FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION Dr. Stan DeJarnett currently serves as the Executive Director for The

Georgia Vision Project: A Vision for Public Education, a collaborative project developed to transform Georgia’s public schools by maximizing potential in two primary areas: 1) student achievement and 2) trust and support for public education in every community. This venture, begun in 2009, has the support of 80% of Georgia’s local school systems, Georgia’s colleges and universities, the business community and the leading educator organizations in Georgia. The Vision Project’s research-based recommendations are being implemented with success in school systems all over Georgia. Other states have begun their own Vision Projects using the Georgia model. Dr. DeJarnett’s career as an educator includes successful tenures as a music educator, principal, curriculum specialist, and district leader. His most recent post prior to leading the Vision Project was as Superintendent of the Morgan County Schools in Madison, Georgia. Morgan County Schools have been recognized regionally and nationally for their innovation and record of student performance. He remains active in many professional organizations, having served on the National Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators and the Executive Board of the Georgia School Superintendents Association. Dr. DeJarnett has also served as President of the Georgia Association of Curriculum and Instructional Supervisors and as an executive board member for the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. He has served as Chair of the Georgia Council of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/AdvancEd. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music Education at Western Carolina University and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Georgia. Dr. DeJarnett is active in community life. He has served twice as Honorary Chair of the Morgan County United Way Campaign and the Morgan County Relay for Life Campaign. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center. He currently serves on the boards of the Morgan County Foundation for Excellence in Public Education, the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, and the Boys & Girls Club of Morgan County. He was selected by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce as a member of the Class of 2001 for Leadership Georgia.


In August, 2001, Larry Volman retired after serving as the first Coordinator of the Clayton County Schools Performing Arts Center located in Jonesboro, Georgia. Mr. Volman served as the administrator of this nationally acclaimed facility from its opening in 1990. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Mr. Volman holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Memphis. Prior to being responsible for opening and subsequently administering the Performing Arts Center, his tenures included Associate Director of Bands at the University of South Carolina, Band Director at Morrow High School in Morrow, Georgia, and Band Director at Briarcrest and Overton High Schools in Memphis.

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Bands under Mr. Volman’s direction received superior ratings at state music festivals for 23 of the 24 years in which he taught. Students in his bands always excelled individually. Each of the high school band programs he directed led their respective states in the number of students selected for All-State honors. His concert, jazz, and marching bands won many competitive events. While Mr. Volman directed the Morrow High School Band, it was invited for appearances throughout the Southeast, including the University of Southern Mississippi. Professional honors for Mr. Volman include being named “Outstanding Young Educator of the Year” by the Memphis Jaycees and “Most Outstanding Band Director” in Tennessee for 1976. He was also honored to serve as President of the Tennessee Music Educators Association. Mr. Volman has served as President of both the Tennessee and Georgia Chapters of Phi Beta Mu Bandmasters Fraternity. On four occasions he received the National Band Association’s “Citation of Excellence”. Mr. Volman is a co-founder of the internationally acclaimed Tara Winds Community Band.


Upon his retirement as an educator, Salem Baptist Church of McDonough, Georgia called Mr. Volman to serve as Minister of Administration for that congregation.



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Music in Our Schools Month observance allows educators to bring focus to the benefits that music provides for students. As educators, we must communicate the good news about these benefits to our audiences on all levels of the educational arena. We should continue to build and maintain quality programs in order for the total benefits to be realized. Through this, everyone will observe the positive impact music provides to students and communities. Learning music results in many benefits. In addition to the inherent benefits of developing musical skills and obtaining the knowledge and content information that music instruction provides, students gain so much more from their musical experiences. Students develop many skills necessary in the 21st Century. They are fostering such skills as creativity, problem solving, collaboration, critical thinking and communication through their participation in musical activities. Music instruction also helps students who lag behind according to Nature, 1996. Over a period of seven months, a group of students who were behind caught up to their fellow students in reading and surpassed their classmates in math by 22 percent. Academic achievement is also evident in standardized tests. According to Journal of Research in Music Education, 2007, “Students in high-quality school music programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district.” By maintaining a quality music program, your program will grow. Most students want to be a part of programs that are successful. Parents want their students to be included in quality instruction and programs that will help their student grow to be the best they can be. Good news travels quickly and the excitement of students spreads across campuses. Quality instruction earns any music educator respect by their administration, county level officials, state

level officials, parents, students as well as their communities. Your music programs will grow as a result. With the growth come larger audiences. It is critical we educate those audiences. Sharing the benefits of being a part of the music program with the audiences and others in the communities is so important. There are many other benefits not mentioned here that are researched and documented. A recent publication from The National Association for Music Education is titled Broader Minded Think Beyond the Bubbles. It includes a lot of valuable information and could be used as support for a powerful and informative presentation to parents and community members. There are many other sources for sure. The point is to remember to educate your audiences as to the benefits of music instruction no matter what level of instruction you provide. DARLENE GUIDA is Lead Elementary Music Teacher for Clayton County Public Schools serving 37 schools, and serves as the Georgia State Chair for Music in Our Schools. Mrs. Guida is a Teacher Support Specialist and is on the Educational Leadership Committee for Clayton State University. She has served as the Sixth District Chair for Georgia Music Educators. She was also the choral conductor of the All County Elementary Honor Chorus for three years in her district. Mrs. Guida holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Georgia State University and a Leadership Degree from West Georgia University. She is also a certified Orff instructor. Mrs. Guida has served as chair for numerous committees in her school as well as in her district. She is currently chair for the total Fine Arts curriculum revision. She has received such awards as Teacher of the Year, Star Teacher Award, P.T.A. Award for Excellent Programming, Who’s Who of Teachers, Who’s Who Among Women; and was nominated for the Disney Teacher’s Award and the Distinguished Music Educator Award. Most recently, in her efforts to further the growth of students in music education in Clayton County, she was instrumental in creating a proposal for the first elementary School of the Arts Magnet Program and currently leads that program, which started in January, 2009, at Jackson Elementary. Her entire career has been spent spreading the love of music and educating others about the benefits of the total development inherent through the disciplines of music.

-Andy Rooney

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“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.�


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Recently the National Association for Music Education (NAFME) adopted a new set of standards known as the National Core Arts Music Standards (NCAMS). The original NAFME standards were adopted in 1994 and were adapted by most states to fit needs particular to that state. Georgia was no exception. This led to the development of the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) through a significant effort by many of this state’s music educators. This article aligns the existing GPS with the new NCAMS to determine how relevant the GPS still are to continue guiding Georgia’s music instruction. Background BACKGROUND Georgia officially approved the offering of band, chorus, and orchestra in 1967. “The curriculum prescribed a music instruction for every elementary, junior high, and high school child, including band, orchestra, and chorus” (McRaney, 1993). As of November 2014, Georgia had no plans to adopt the new National Core Arts Music Standards. The committee that was formed in 2010 to vote on the GPS does not currently exist. Pam Smith, of the Georgia Department of Education, has made the following statement. The State Board of Education reviews and votes on standards for every content area. The Advisory Committees for each Fine Arts area have not been active for several years since we do not have a Fine Arts Program Specialist to manage the program at the state level. When the standards are reviewed for revision, then I expect that a Program Specialist

will be approved to manage the process through a committee of experts (Advisory Committee) from across the state. (P. Smith, personal communication, November 4, 2014) During the 2008-2009 school year, three committees for advising, writing, and reviewing were created for each of the four content areas of Georgia’s fine arts education: dance, music, theatre, and visual arts. The purpose of these committees was to define, draft, and refine Georgia Performance Standards for the fine arts. The Georgia Performance Standards for music were based on the National Standards for Music Education as defined by the then Music Educators National Conference that is now known as NAFME. These national standards outlined what every P-12 student should know and be able to do in the arts. The Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, through a grant administered by NAFME, developed the original standards in 1994. Georgia took all the 1994 national standards and related them to the existing approved music courses for Georgia’s students. The sub elements of each Georgia standard were developed from the requirements of each music course. The result was a set of over arching Georgia standards where the sub elements were unique to each of the approved music courses. It is interesting to note that the GPS are in a slightly different order than the original national standards. This provides some indication of how seriously Georgia music educators considered the National Standards in light of the unique needs of music education in the state.

HOW WE ALIGNED THE STANDARDS How We Aligned The Standards Our first concern in aligning the GPS with the new standards was to maintain fidelity to the original classifications of both. That is, we wanted to assure that the original intent of the various categories within the GPS were maintained and we wanted to retain the categories of the new national standards. We tried to keep the categories as separate, standalone entities where their uniqueness was readily apparent. While this sounds simple enough, it was not always so. For example, consider improvisation. Improvisation is usually considered a creative act. However, we could also consider improvisation to be performance because it is an act of performing. It was our decision in the case of improvisation that we would keep it classified under creating. Our reasons were that it maintained the integrity of the original conceptualization of improvisation and that still after two decades since the establishment of the original standards it is still relatively “special” and not widely included in the teaching of musical performance. We found that a number of NCAMS may require actions that involve more than a single GPS. That is, a GPS may align with one or more of the new NCAMS. Because the GPS were developed from the original 1994 standards, they were based upon different requirements so such multiple alignments could be expected. Subcategories of the NCAMS were matched to the GPS sub elements by the language that was used to characterize each. Interestingly, there were no labels provided by NAFME for the subcategories of the new “Connecting” national standard. We employed the language used to describe these subcategories to create labels for them. Without the labels, a match between the NCAMS and the GPS could not be made. In general though, it was the major categories of the NCAMS that were the primary guide for determining what the alignment should be for a GPS.

The keys in aligning GPS with the NCAMS were the musical actions, or sub elements, that were required for each. If the actions matched, this indicated an alignment. The four main categories of actions in the GPS are (1) skills and techniques/performance, (2) creation, (3) critical analysis/investigate, and (4) cultural and historical context. We interpreted these actions to be (1) performing, (2) creating, (3) responding, and (4) connecting in the NCAMS. Support for this interpretation is provided within the language of the sub-elements of each GPS. We did the alignment process for each Georgia music course for which GPS exist (Table 1).




Where Does Georgia WHERE DOES Stand GEORGIA

GRADES 4 – 5 GRADES 6 – 8 GRADES 9 – 12 GRADES P – 5 GRADES 6 – 8 GRADES 9 – 12 GRADES P – 5 GRADES 6 – 8 GRADES 4 – 5 GRADES 6 – 8 GRADES 9 – 12 GRADES 9 – 12 GRADES 9 – 12


The results of our efforts in aligning GPS with the new NCAMS are contained in Table 2. The bold “X” indicates a match between the GPS running along the top of the table and the NCAMS at the left of the table. You will notice that every single GPS is aligned within some aspect of the new standards. That is, when you look at the table from the Georgia perspective we align quite well. However, when you view the table from the new standards perspective there are some noticeable gaps. We have no match in Georgia for the “Select” subcategory of Performing. It is common and accepted practice that the teacher does the majority of the music

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The adoption of Common Core Standards for “core” subjects such as English, math, science, and social studies led to the creation of the new set of national standards for the arts. It is interesting that the writers of the NCAMS wanted to differentiate them from the Common Core that resulted in the label National Core Arts Standards to cover dance, music, theatre, and visual arts. The NCAMS have four main divisions: Creating, Performing, Responding, and Connecting. According to authors of the NCAMS, these standards are voluntary, but “articulate the aspirations of those invested in our schools-students, teachers, administrators, and the community at large” (National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, 2014).



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selection for what will be performed in music courses. Selecting music was not part of the original 1994 national standards. Similarly, there is no match in Georgia for the “Select” subcategory of Responding. Since most music teaching in Georgia is done in fairly large class or ensemble settings, teachers do not have the luxury of allowing individual students to select the music to which they respond or that they perform. At first glance, it appears that Georgia is fairing quite well when we match the GPS to the NCAMS. The only area where we have no match at all is the “Select” subcategory of both Performing and Responding NCAMS categories. This, however, reflects a much deeper change being called for by NAFME. In most parts of the country, music instruction begins formally in elementary school with some form of general music course. As students progress through elementary school, ensemble courses begin to be offered. By middle school, music instruction frequently occurs in ensembles where teachers see large groups of students at once. As a result of these large class sizes, the teacher needs to control the pacing of the music classroom and to select the music covered to match the needs of the majority of students. A case has been made in the past that we make up for the large expenses of music, instruments, and other musical materials by the efficiency we provide in having one teacher meet with many students. The new standards in adopting a “Selecting” subcategory must as a consequence have smaller music classes. This will not be possi-



ble or appropriate for many music classrooms. For instance, reducing a 250 piece marching band to only 25 students so that they can select the music they perform seems just a little far fetched. The NCAMS are asking the profession to make a dramatic change from being an art field where we recreate great works of art by performing pieces of music that are notated and tend to have historical value, to an art field where we create new works of art. Selecting is a path toward greater emphasis on Creating. This is a noble goal, but in today’s music teaching world highly unrealistic. The real problem stems from applying the NCAMS to every music course. A better approach would be to not call these standards, but something like “Desirable Goals.” This would allow us to develop courses where our P-12 students can actually acquire realistic and practical creative skills. Our question would be, “Are we not focusing on the needs of a much smaller student population than we are now?” There have been complaints by some that we only reach 15-20 percent of the high school student population (Steinel, 1984). Even with great expenditures in technology, we would probably be reaching a much smaller percentage of high school students than this if our main focus were on creativity through composition and improvisation. It should be pointed out that most of us were not trained to teach composition or improvisation. Indeed, most music educators receive only four semesters of music theory and no courses in compo-

Using the Classifications USING THE CLASSIFICATIONS There has been no decision or even consideration at the state level to officially adopt the NCAMS. It will thus be up to districts, individual schools, and teachers to decide on these new standards. Table 2 provides our interpretation of how the NCAMS line up with the GPS. This table may be used as an aid in lesson planning, short and long-term goal setting, and reflective practice. By understanding how the GPS fit with the NCAMS, teachers can make informed decisions on how to incorporate the new standards into their existing instructional frameworks.

It is important for Georgia music educators to understand how the work that we do fits within the new National Core Arts Music Standards. There are some very important questions raised by the creation of these new national standards that heavily emphasize composition and the creative process in music rather than the traditional emphasis on the performance of existing works. These new standards also raise questions about whether or not students should take part in the music selection process both as listeners and performers. There is much to ponder and consider in assuring the viability of music in our State’s schools and the best means to optimize our students’ musical growth. It will be important for teachers and districts alike to make their own decision about how to successfully incorporate the new national standards in their own classrooms.

References REFERENCES McRaney, J. (1993). A history of the Georgia Music Educators Association, 1922-1993 (p. 127). National Core Arts Standards. (2014). Retrieved December 17, 2014, from my-classroom/standards/ Shuler, S. C., Norgaard, M., & Blakeslee, M. J. (2014). The new national standards for music educators. Music Educators Journal, 101(1), 41-49. Steinel, D. (Ed.) (1984). Music and music education: Data and information national data review. Reston, VA: Music Educators National Conference.

If a teacher decides to have students play a jazz piece and improvise based upon its chord structure, the teacher will should decide what standards they are meeting in that lesson. This activity falls firmly in standard four of the GPS, Improvisation. Similarly, improvisation clearly meets using the NCAMS Creating standard. If the improvisation were performed for an audience, then it would also fall under the “Present” subcategory of Creating within the NCAMS.






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sition or improvisation before graduating with an undergraduate degree and a certificate for teaching. Adding such courses to the undergraduate curriculum would require the addition of another year of undergraduate study or the removal of many of the courses we now hold dear such as choral, elementary, general music, and instrumental methods. A great amount of in-service would be required to bring our existing music teachers to a level where they feel comfortable teaching composition and improvisation. We do see such movement in the field now with more composition and improvisation sessions at state music educator conferences. However, this will take a long time to bring us all up to the level where we should be. It is interesting that any educational innovation tends to take more than 18 years to implement. The first set of national music standards were produced 20 years ago and we are finally comfortable with them as indicated by the acceptance of guidelines such as the GPS. Note that the GPS were completed in 2010, 16 years after the establishment of the original music standards. The consensus of writers of the GPS we have talked with is that they would like to see Georgia continue to use the performance standards they worked so diligently to create.

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