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GeorgIa music news Be a Finalist Dr. Lyn Schenbeck

Building Momentum in Rehearsal Kenneth Goff

Teaching Concert Etiquette Tom Sabatino







A NAfME MEMBERSHIP Congratulations! NAfME Collegiate members are eligible to receive up to a 50% DISCOUNT on dues when you become a full active member. This offer is only valid for one year after you graduate. Act now. Become a member and we’ll do everything in our power to make sure you get the career you want. For as long as you want it. From professional development to networking opportunities, advocacy tools to lesson plans and webinars. And when you join NAfME, you also become a member of your state’s music education association with even more resources at the local level. Deadline: Offer extends from June 30 of your graduation year until June 30 of the following year. Visit: Collegiate fall 2017 // georgia music news



Percussion Series Sound. Quality. Design.

At Yamaha, we believe that the first instrument in one's musical journey must provide excellent quality and tuning consistency. With that in mind, the new YX-230 xylophone is designed for the beginning percussion student. Featuring professionally tuned Padauk wood bars, this instrument produces a beautiful Yamaha sound that has been familiar to music educators for over 30 years. Weighting only 22 lbs. and just over 45" in length, this xylophone offers a 3 octave range (C52-C88) with 1-1/2" wide bars. A pair of ME-103 mallets are included along with a cover to protect the instrument from dust and scratches. An optional stand (YGS-70) and soft case (PCS-YX230) are sold separately.

YX-230 Xylophone

Visit for complete details


georgia music news // fall 2017


GMEA BOARD OF DIRECTORS District Chairs 1 - Kenza Murray 2 - Andrew C. Bell 3 - Jonathan Carmack 4 - D. Alan Fowler 5 - Stephen Lawrence 6 - Samuel Miller 7 - Blair Callaway 8 - Alan Carter 9 - Pat Gallagher 10 - Gene Hundley 11 - Todd Howell 12 - Paula Krupiczewicz 13 - Erik Mason 14 - Dion Muldrow

President Evelyn Champion Immediate Past President Dr. John Odom Vice-President for All State Events Amy Clement Vice-President for Performance Evaluation Events Jon Cotton











Past Presidents’ Representative Frank Folds

Editor, Georgia Music News Victoria Enloe

Executive Director Cecil Wilder

For the complete list of Board Members please visit:

Band Division Chair Dr. Matt Koperniak Choral Division Chair Kim Eason

GMEA Staff Aleta Womack Brandie Barbee Ryan Barbee

College Division Chair Dr. Keith Matthews Elementary Division Chair Emily Threlkeld Orchestra Division Chair Dr. Bernadette Scruggs

GMN Advertising/Exhibitors Cindy Reed








© Copyright 2017 by the Georgia Music Educators Association


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

fall 2017 // georgia music news




Greetings, colleagues! I am grateful and honored to be serving as President of the Georgia Music Educators Association for the next two years. This summer I attended the NAfME National Assembly, where delegates from each state meet in Washington, D.C. for information, planning, collaboration, and lobbying. I gained national perspective in our organization, and I am proud to report that Georgia is one of the strongest state affiliates in the United States. With a solid governance structure, all divisions represented and participating in GMEA events, an incredible office staff, and OPUS….we are set up for success in Georgia! Our strength is in our unity, and our association is driven by the countless volunteers who hold office at the state or district level, organize or host events, or regularly participate in all the outstanding opportunities afforded our members. Thank you for attending your fall GMEA meeting, and to the fourteen District Chairs and hosts for facilitating them. The Executive Committee and Division Chairs have already been hard at work on behalf of our association. Please take a moment to review the GMEA Board of Directors under Member Information in OPUS. These are the leaders who can help you should you ever have a question, suggestion, or issue. We have recently hired Dr. Bernadette Scruggs as our first Communications Liaison. This office staff position will greatly improve our social media presence, accessibility, and dissemination of time-sensitive information such as deadline reminders. We will have an electronic newsletter and an “Ask a Veteran” program. If

you need advice, or just to hear you are not alone in your profession, click the button to submit your concern, and you’ll hear back promptly from GMEA members with the experience and expertise to help you! October 24 is the deadline for Recognition & Awards Program Nominations and the Service to Music Education award. November 1 is the deadline for Music Program of the Year applications. Be sure to contribute to our association by submitting nominations, voting on the proposed constitutional amendment regarding term limits, and voting for the President-Elect when the ballot is opened. Comradery, collaboration, and fun in Athens are in store for you at the 2018 In-Service Conference! Please plan on attending the Opening Session on Thursday, January 25 at 11:00 a.m. in the Classic Center Theater. Scott Lang will be our keynote speaker, and many music educators and programs will be honored. This year we are holding a leadership conference on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning for teachers with less than seven years’ experience who would like to be more involved in GMEA. If you would like to participate, please speak with your District Chair. Nominations are due to Frank Folds by November 1. Lobby group applications are due October 10. As we get further into another school year, we all feel the stress and pressure of our demanding careers. Take just a moment to thank the music educator that inspired you, reach out to a colleague for collaboration, or offer to help a newcomer in your district. While we may be the only person in our school building teaching our subject, we can rely on our colleagues for support throughout the year. If I can help you in any way this year, please contact me at Respectfully submitted, Evelyn Champion





georgia music news // fall 2017


We Don’t Just Put on a Music Festival…

we make the kind of memories your kids deserve. April 26-28 & May 10-12 2018 $POUBDU#VEEZ8JMLFT1IPOF  tCVEEZ!QBOBNBDJUZCFBDINVTJDGFTUJWBMDPN fall 2017 // georgia music news


ASSOCIATIONNEWS Georgia Music Educators Association



Section 5

The meeting was called to order by President John Odom at 10:02 AM

Duplications: No person may hold two offices simultaneously at the district or state levels.

The following members were present: Vice President for All State Events Tracy Wright, Vice President for Performance Evaluations Richard Prouty, President-Elect Evelyn Champion, Past Presidents’ Council Representative Bernadette Scruggs, Choral Division Chair Wes Stoner, College Division Chair Laura Stambaugh, Elementary Division Chair Vickie Knowles, Orchestra Division Chair Sarah Black, District One Chair Kenza Murray, District Two Chair Andy Bell, district Three Chair Jon Carmack, District Four Chair Alan Fowler, District Five Chair Steve Lawrence, District Six Chair Samuel Miller, District Seven Chair Blair Calloway, District Eight Chair Alan Carter, District Ten Chair Gene Hundley, District Eleven Chair Todd Howell, District Twelve Chair Paula Krupiczewicz, District Thirteen Vice Chair William Owens for Chair Eric Mason, Member-at-Large Skip Taylor, Member-at-Large Sue McDonald, Georgia Music News Editor Victoria Enloe, and CNAfME State Advisor Mary Land.


Those present constituted a quorum.


The following guests were present: incoming Past Presidents’ Council Representative Frank Folds, incoming Vice President for Performance Evaluations Jon Cotton, incoming Vice President for All State Events Amy Clement, and incoming Elementary Division Chair Emily Threlkeld.


The voting procedure was explained by President Odom.


The minutes from May 14, 2016 as emailed to members and published in the Georgia Music News were unanimously approved.


ACTION ITEMS a. Proposal from the Executive Committee to propose to the membership an amendment the GMEA By Laws. Article IX, as follows (changes appear in red).

It was noted by Executive Committee members that the reasoning behind this proposal had to do with giving those wishing to serve, especially younger members who might later be able and qualified to serve in state office, this opportunity an opening to do so. It was further noted that having fresh points of view on the board and the division councils would be a healthy thing for the well-being of the association. After it was pointed out by several current members that some districts would probably have some difficulty securing candidates to run for and serve in these offices given those restrictions and discussion of what might be done to alleviate that problem, the proposal was passed unanimously. The ballot will be sent out via email through the Opus software immediately following the last 2017 fall district meeting. This will give the members in each district an opportunity to discuss the proposal and to ask question of the executive committee member who will be at each of those meetings. b. Proposal from the Choral Division to amend the dress code for All State Chorus and Sixth Grade Statewide Honor Chorus as follows: 1. Ladies will wear a floor-length black dress with sleeves or jacket, OR floor-length black skirt and black blouse with sleeves or jacket, OR floor-length black pants and black blouse with sleeves or jacket. Blouses will hang below the waist of a skirt or pants by 3 inches. Also, all ladies are to wear black shoes that completely encompass the foot. Flip flops or sandals of any kind present a safety issue when maneuvering steps or risers, and are not acceptable attire. 2. Gentlemen will wear a black, long-sleeved dress shirt, black pants, black socks, and black shoes that completely encompass the foot. Flip flops or sandals of any kind present a safety issue when maneuvering steps or risers, and are not acceptable attire.

Section 3 District Officers: District officers shall be elected in even years and serve for a period of two years.

The proposal passed unanimously. c. Approval of the 2017-2018 statewide calendar as submitted

Section 4 No elected district officer may serve for more than two consecutive terms in the same capacity. This includes the district chair, district vice chair, district secretary and district division chairs (band, choral, college, elementary, orchestra) but does not include district treasurers.

The calendar was accepted unanimously. 8.

The following items not requiring a vote of the board were presented for information only. a. As per a vote of the executive committee, beginning next year, for district LGPE events without a sufficient number of entries to justify a single full day of judging, judges will


georgia music news // fall 2017

be paid a minimum stipend equal to 7 judging hours. This amounts to $245 for regular judges and $350 for head judges. This only applies to situations where the event in question is the only one in that division (band, chorus, orchestra) for that district and does not apply to events that could be done in one 7.5 hour day but where the district chooses to spread the event over two or more partial days. b. In response to a district with low LGPE participation in a fairly isolated part of the state that indicated that they sometimes have difficulty acquiring LGPE judges, the office will, at the written request of the district chair, acquire judges for a district. This will be done by the executive director and the written request must be made prior to September 1, or immediately following their fall district meeting and will be done for that year only unless the request is made in subsequent years. c. At the recommendation of the executive committee, a statement will be placed in the GMEA handbook that strongly recommends that districts return no more than one judge each year from the preceding year’s LGPE judging panel within a division. d. This summer we will hire a new part time employee in the GMEA office (finances permitting). This person will have the job title of “Director of Information Services”. They will be responsible for managing our social media presence, soliciting material for and managing an on-line newsletter that we will publish between issues of the Georgia Music News, and serving as a liaison between district officers and volunteers and the state office and state officers. This addition to the staff has been made possible largely due to the cost savings efforts by the office staff in the areas of printing, record collection and management, and bookkeeping. e. Please be reminded that next year will be the initial year for the new Music Program of the Year Awards. Information on the program can be found on pages 73-74 of the handbook and executive committee members will be available for questions at your fall district meetings. f. Executive director Cecil Wilder will bring information concerning an initiative from the governor’s office about protecting students’ hearing and how it relates to music classes and rehearsals. g. Financial report from the executive director. 9.

The following was presented for board discussion with no vote being taken. a. From Richard Prouty, Vice President for Performance Evaluations: This year has seen some challenges with LGPE events. Richard discusse possible changes to some of our

policies and procedures that we hope will help these events run more smoothly and uniformly among divisions. The challenges had to do with situations where directors had chosen selections for performance at an LGPE event which did not meet the requirements due to not being on the most current music list for that division. It was pointed out that since the problems occurred steps have been taken within the division structure to stabilize the lists. Also it was noted by Executive Director Cecil Wilder that the GMEA office will be conducting a survey of all LGPE judges on the three division lists verifying the accuracy of their contact information and whether they wish to remain on the list. Those not returning the survey ans those who indicate that they do not wish to continue on the list will be removed. 10. Reports were presented, either in writing or verbally for those

wishing to do so. Those reports presented verbally are available on the digital recording made of the meeting.


The following items were discussed as new business. No vote was taken. Vice President Tracy Wright posed the idea of streaming our all state concerts live on the internet. The discussion centered around possible legal issues involving copyright clearances and mechanical licenses and what value might accrue to the association from streaming these events. It was also pointed out by Executive Director Cecil Wilder that a survey had been conducted recently of executive directors of the various state MEAs and that none of them indicated that they had begun this. Legal and logistical issues were the reasons given as to why they had not. Inquiries as to the possibility and advisability of conducting virtual spring district meetings, either as an alternative for those not able to attend in person or as the sole format for the meeting. It was pointed out that there is nothing in the constitution and by-laws or the GMEA handbook that prohibits districts from doing either of these things if the members of the district agree to do so. No one seemed to have suggestions as to what format might be used to accomplish this, although Google Docs was mentioned as a possibility. This discussion was prompted by the fact that, in some of the larger districts in terms of geographical distances, members must travel great distances in order to attend these meetings.

12. Certificates and commemorative pins were presented to

outgoing board members with the exception of President John Odom. Dr. Odom was presented with a plaque and past president’s pin.

13. The meeting was adjourned at 1:45 PM.

Respectfullly submitted, Cecil Wilder, Executive Director

fall 2017 // georgia music news


ASSOCIATIONNEWS Georgia Music Educators Association



Actual FY 2017 Non-Program Revenue

All State Revenue


396.84 $

59,400.00 $

400.00 $

Interest revenue



-367.97 $

2,000.00 $

(500.00) $


Awards revenue



-250.00 $



(700.00) $




2,300.00 $

7,000.00 $

1,800.00 $





-45.26 $

2,000.00 $


Plaque and Medal revenue



-12,728.78 $

Georgia Music News revenue Total non-program revenue $

14,615.50 173,320.33


14,000.00 183,680.00 -$



90,000.00 $

(10,000.00) $


615.50 $ 10,359.67 $

15,000.00 $ 175,400.00 $

1,000.00 $ (8,280.00) $

384.50 2,079.67

320,000.00 $

70,000.00 $



1,560.00 $


193,000.00 $

35,000.00 $


All State Band



9,891.49 $

All State Jazz Ensemble



-60.00 $

All State Chorus



3,508.00 $


All College Chorus



-690.00 $



(690.00) $

AllStatewide State Sight Reading Chorus Elementary Honor Statewide Sixth GradeChorus Honor



3,413.72 $



4,750.00 $ 700.00 $




550.00 $






-3,145.00 $






All State Orch



1,953.22 $



11,000.00 $


All State Piano/Piano Concerto





1,900.00 534,751.43


8,000.00 522,750.00




-6,100.00 $ 12,001.43 $

2,000.00 $ 633,670.00 $

(6,000.00) $ 110,920.00 $

100.00 98,918.57

Registration revenue



2,795.22 $

195,000.00 $

10,000.00 $


Exhibit revenue



-1,166.00 $

124,500.00 $




Program ad revenue Total ISC total revenue $

10,700.00 321,829.22


10,000.00 319,500.00


700.00 $ 2,329.22 $

10,700.00 $ 330,200.00 $

700.00 $ 10,700.00 $


7,096.60 $

Band $





197,435.00 $

12,075.00 $


Chorus $







188,597.00 $

13,072.00 $


Orchestra $ Total LGPE revenue $

71,377.67 451,235.95

$ $

69,500.00 430,385.00

$ $

1,382.67 20,355.95

$ $

72,697.00 $ 458,729.00 $

3,197.00 $


28,344.00 $


40,695.00 $

(3,255.00) $

wind and percussion $

Grand Total Revenue

georgia music news // fall 2017


Non GMEA event Appliciations

Total S&E revenue


increase/ decrease from 2017 actual


LGPE Revenue

solo ensemble revenue

Budgeted 2018

increase/ decrease from 2017 budgeted

Membership Dues revenue

AS Booth revenue Total All State Revenue $ In Service Conference revenue

Budgeted 2017

over/under Budget 2017

40,692.54 $

43,950.00 $

jazz $



4,680.00 -$

strings $




vocal $




piano $ $

745.00 59,571.60

$ $



(3,257.46) $




4,550.00 $

(130.00) $





11,240.00 $

1,990.00 $





2,328.00 $

553.00 $

972.00 -$ 60,627.00 -$

227.00 1,055.40




$ 1,517,242.00


58,813.00 $ 1,656,812.00 $

(1,814.00) $ 139,870.00 $

(758.60) 116,103.47



Payroll Expenses Awards expense office expense

Advocacy executive director travel expense

Solo Ensemble Expense Summary

Budgeted 2018 $ 291,351.93 $ 1,500.00 $ 15,500.00 $ 22,500.00 $ 2,700.00 $ 2,500.00 $ 20,000.00 $ 250.00 $ 5,100.00 $ 700.00 $ 500.00 $ 4,500.00 $ 7,700.00 $ 8,200.00 $ 300.00 $ 26,000.00 $ 250.00 $ 500.00 $ 3,500.00 $ 3,900.00 $ 24,000.00 $ 7,300.00 $ 155,900.00 $ 6,000.00 $ 6,850.00 $ 1,000.00 $ 500.00 $ 1,500.00 $ 19,000.00 $ 75,000.00 $ 28,250.00 $ 1,000.00 $ 130,100.00 $ 9,750.00 $ 130,200.00 $ 9,150.00 $ 26,970.00 $ 26,720.00 $ 5,700.00 $ 61,550.00

increase/ decrease from 2017 budget $ 33,187.93 $ 900.00 $ 1,500.00 $ 6,500.00 $ (3,900.00) $ (7,500.00) $ (25,000.00) $ $ (100.00) $ (50.00) $ 5.00 $ 1,900.00 $ 2,700.00 $ 2,200.00 $ 150.00 $ (12,400.00) $ $ (1,500.00) $ $ 400.00 $ 6,000.00 $ 300.00 $ (28,795.00) $ (4,000.00) $ 5,800.00 $ $ $ $ 3,650.00 $ $ (2,975.05) $ (500.00) $ 12,300.00 $ 1,050.00 $ (4,479.11) $ (500.00) $ (630.00) $ (880.00) $ 150.00 $ 4,300.00

increase / decrease from 2017 actual $ 33,680.36 $ (109.39) $ (11,283.15) $ 221.54 $ (4.20) $ (358.87) $ 9,895.59 $ 150.00 $ (87.00) $ $ (432.00) $ (460.66) $ 0.31 $ (0.75) $ 6.41 $ (5,756.13) $ 250.00 $ 125.00 $ (228.33) $ (44.71) $ 54.83 $ (83.99) $ (8,036.11) $ 196.21 $ 17.20 $ (447.28) $ 128.23 $ (319.05) $ 950.41 $ (7,343.71) $ 2,967.59 $ 1,000.00 $ 2,929.77 $ 464.35 $ (1,618.88) $ 1,573.01 $ (10,229.90) $ (10,713.70) $ (236.10) $ 2,615.16

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

(18,437.34) (10,182.20) 638.65 1.87 27.22 667.74 16.31 1.79 0.62

(4,768.41) $ 42,900.07 $

(408.41) (5,356.70)

Band Chorus Orchestra Total LGPE Expense Wind and Percussion Jazz Vocal Piano Total S&E Expense Total Expenditures

Actual FY 2017 Budgeted 2017 $ 257,671.57 $ 258,164.00 1,609.39 600.00 26,783.15 14,000.00 22,278.46 16,000.00 2,704.20 6,600.00 2,858.87 10,000.00 10,104.41 45,000.00 100.00 250.00 5,187.00 5,200.00 700.00 750.00 932.00 495.00 4,960.66 2,600.00 7,699.69 5,000.00 8,200.75 6,000.00 293.59 150.00 31,756.13 38,400.00 250.00 375.00 2,000.00 3,728.33 3,500.00 3,944.71 3,500.00 23,945.17 18,000.00 7,383.99 7,000.00 $ 163,936.11 $ 184,695.00 5,803.79 10,000.00 6,832.80 1,050.00 1,447.28 1,000.00 371.77 500.00 $ 1,819.05 $ 1,500.00 $ 18,049.59 $ 15,350.00 82,343.71 75,000.00 $ 25,282.41 $ 31,225.05 0.00 1,500.00 $ 127,170.23 $ 117,800.00 $ 9,285.65 $ 8,700.00 $ 131,818.88 $ 134,679.11 $ 7,576.99 $ 9,650.00 $ 37,199.90 $ 27,600.00 $ 37,433.70 $ 27,600.00 $ 5,936.10 $ 5,550.00 $ 58,934.84 $ 57,250.00 $ 3,221.05 $ 4,449.68 $ 418,577.34 $ 393,278.79 $ 264,432.20 $ 253,395.00 $ 165,361.35 $ 150,250.32 $ 93,373.13 $ 81,163.63 $ 60,472.78 $ 57,276.66 $ 319,207.26 $ 288,690.61 $ 20,983.69 $ 23,119.12 $ 2,898.21 $ 3,275.20 $ 559.38 $ 1,063.94 $ 429.20 $ 1,164.76 $ 29,793.41 $ 34,153.41 $1,595,358.63 $ 1,547,101.86

Revenue Surplus/deficit

$1,540,708.53 $ 1,517,242.00 $ 23,466.53 $ 1,656,812.00 $ 139,570.00 $ 116,103.47 $ (54,650.10) $ (29,859.86) $(24,790.24) $ 66,810.07 $ 96,669.93 $ 121,460.17

accounting & Legal Bank Charges credit card charges Computer exp Opus software development and support Donations & Contributions Insurance-General Insurance-workmans Comp Dues & Subscriptions Outside Services Operating exp Postage Taxes & Licenses Rent Repairs & Maintenance Staff Development Telephone Utilities Internet Service/Tech Support Copier Lease and Supplies Total Office Expense Medical_ER 411.8 Exec Dir travel Exec Dir travel exp411.9 lodging/meals exp travel

Executive Director Travel expense Board/Exec. Comm./Div. Council expense Plaque and Medal exp GMN expense summary Archives/Historian All State Expense summary

ISC expense summary LGPE Expense Summary

over/under Budget 2017 -$ 492.43 1,009.39 12,783.15 6,278.46 -3,895.80 -7,141.13 -34,895.59 -150.00 -13.00 -50.00 437.00 2,360.66 2,699.69 2,200.75 143.59 -6,643.87 -250.00 -1,625.00 228.33 444.71 5,945.17 383.99 -$20,758.89 -4,196.21 5,782.80 447.28 -128.23 $ 319.05 $ 2,699.59 7,343.71 -$ 5,942.64 -1,500.00 $ 9,370.23 $ 585.65 $ (2,860.23) $ (2,073.01) $ 9,599.90 $ 9,833.70 $ 386.10 $ 1,684.84 $ (1,228.63) $ 25,298.55 $ 11,037.20 $ 15,111.03 $ 12,209.50 $ 3,196.12 $ 30,516.65 $ (2,135.43) $ (376.99) $ (504.56) $ (735.56) $ (4,360.00) $ 48,256.77

All State Band All state Jazz Ensemble All State Chorus All State SR Chorus SEHC 6th Grade HC All College Chorus All State Orchestra All State Piano Total All State Expense

400,140.00 254,250.00 166,000.00 93,375.00 60,500.00 319,875.00 21,000.00 2,900.00 560.00

$ 29,385.00 $ $ 1,590,001.93 $

6,861.21 855.00 15,749.68 12,211.37 3,223.34 31,184.39 (2,119.12) (375.20) (503.94)

fall 2017 // georgia music news


ASSOCIATIONNEWS Georgia Music Educators Association






All State

All State Band All State Jazz Ensemble All State Chorus All College Chorus All State Sight Reading Chorus SEHC 6th G HC All State Orch All State Piano/Piano Concerto AS Booth revenue Totals


Band $ Chorus $ Orchestra $ $

Totals Solo ensemble


Wind and Percussion Jazz Strings Vocal Piano

In Service Conference Grand Totals


georgia music news // fall 2017

Revenue 2017 $ 259,891.49 $ 7,140.00 $ 161,508.00 $ 3,960.00 $ 10,163.72 $ 16,300.00 $ 15,855.00 $ 49,953.22 $ 8,080.00 $ 1,900.00 $ 534,751.43

$ $ $ $ $ $

Expense 2017 $ 127,170.23 $ 9,285.65 $ 131,818.88 $ 5,936.10 $ 7,576.99 $ 37,199.90 $ 37,433.70 $ 58,934.84 $ 3,221.05 $

surplus/deficit $ 132,721.26 $ (2,145.65) $ 29,689.12 $ (1,976.10) $ 2,586.73 $ (20,899.90) $ (21,578.70) $ (8,981.62) $ 4,858.95 $ 1,900.00 418,577.34 $ 116,174.09

192,456.60 187,401.68 71,377.67 451,235.95

$ $ $ $

165,361.35 93,373.13 60,472.78 319,207.26

$ $ $ $

27,095.25 94,028.55 10,904.89 132,028.69

40,692.54 4,556.06 11,250.00 2,328.00 745.00 59,571.60

$ $ $ $ $ $

20,983.69 2,898.21 4,922.93 559.38 429.20 29,793.41

$ $ $ $ $ $

19,708.85 1,657.85 6,327.07 1,768.62 315.80 29,778.19


321,829.22 $

264,432.20 $



1,367,388.20 $

1,032,010.21 $


GMEA HISTORY GMEA: IT'S YOUR THANG HISTORIAN Derik Clackum Historically speaking, GMEA was created by members, for members, and run by members. It still is run by members today. Over the years, our name has changed and we have added a professional staff, but our purpose has remained steady: To meet the needs of our members. We began life in 1922 as the Department of Public School Music in the Georgia Education Association. As we grew steadily in the 20’s, we saw the need to reorganize, and in 1930 we became the Association of Public School Music Teachers. As our membership continued to grow, we widened our base by reorganizing again in 1930 under a new constitution as the Georgia Music Educators Association. After a slow period of growth during WWII, we experienced a new infusion of members in the late 40’s and the 50’s. In addition, during the 50’s, the GMEA felt it needed to break away from the GEA, in order to have full control over our destiny. This desire for independence was finalized in 1963 with our first independent GMEA Convention (now called In-Service Conference). Then, on some financially shaky legs, our newly independent organization took on a life of it’s own as we continued to grow and expand our services to members. The early years of GMEA were marked by what was jokingly called, “The Cardboard Box” system, as it was the custom of each outgoing officer to hand their replacement a cardboard box full of records and files. But as the membership began to mushroom in the 60’s, our elected officers became overwhelmed with the sheer volume of paperwork. They realized that we needed to stop passing cardboard boxes around and establish a Professional Office Staff in a central office. And so, in 1979, we began hiring a profession staff to handle the paperwork. The elected officers promptly celebrated by bringing all their cardboard boxes to our new GMEA Office and leaving them there. For the first time in decades, our elected officers got to do what they were elected for, to lead, instead of shuffling paperwork. Still, through all these changes, GMEA has remained true to it’s roots as a member based organization.

GMEA has always been organized into two levels that complement each other, the State level and the District level, with officers elected by the membership for both levels, but with decidedly different jobs. At first, we only had 10 Districts, but as membership grew and populations shifted, we eventually expanded to 12 Districts, then 13, and now we have 14 Districts. The District Officers are primarily involved with organizing and implementing district events, but the District Chairs are also on the State Board of Directors, thus maintaining the grassroots connection to the State level. In the early years of GMEA, the State level officers jobs were different than they are today. Originally, we had a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. But over the years, we have reorganized our officers to better serve the changing demands of the membership. While the President’s duties remain basically the same, our Professional Office Staff now does the Bookkeeping and Record Keeping, thus eliminating the need for an elected Secretary or Treasurer. The original Vice President’s job was to do whatever the President asked them to do. With our most recent re-organization, we split our Vice President position into two positions and gave them designated responsibilities. Now we have a Vice President for Performance Evaluations, and a Vice President for All-State Events, two of the most challenging positions in our organization. The job of organizing and implementing the annual In-Service Conference was for many years, totally on the shoulders of the Elected State Officers. No small task for someone already holding down a fulltime teaching position. Today, we have a Professional Office Staff to assist our State Officers. As a result, our In-Service Conferences have been both well attended and educationally fulfilling, drawing praise from our members as well as visitors. And so, as we launch the 2017-2018 school year, we welcome back our veteran members and set out a big welcome mat to our newest members. Welcome to all into the new and improved Georgia Music Educators Association, which, by the way is one of the finest organizations for the promotion of music in the nation.

fall 2017 // georgia music news


DIVISION NEWS BAND DIVISION Dr. Matt Koperniak Fall is an exhilarating time of year for the Band Division! Football games and marching competitions, first sounds in beginning band, All-State Jazz auditions, fall concerts, fundraisers, and the list goes on and on. During this exciting and busy season, take time to make your plans for our GMEA In-Service Conference, January 25-27, 2018, in Athens, GA. We have an outstanding program of concerts, clinics, and exhibitors, along with networking and sharing ideas with band directors from around our state. Work with your administration now to secure leave for our annual, statewide professional learning. Align the clinics and concerts you plan to attend with TKES standards, and show your administrator the value of our conference to you and your students. We are excited to recognize our first-year band directors during our Thursday evening concerts. During the Friday evening concerts, we will recognize our recently-retired band directors and thank them for their service. Stay tuned for more information later this semester regarding these recognitions. During the fall, we complete registrations for major events later this year. Make sure your member information is up-to-date on OPUS, and keep your GMEA membership current. Avoid waiting until the last minute to complete All-State and Large Group Performance Evaluation registrations. Reach out to new band directors. Make sure they are receiving GMEA emails, and that they register before deadlines. Please note, the Band LGPE Music List is published in a new format on the GMEA website. The Band Division no longer uses an Excel spreadsheet for our LGPE Music List. All Excel spreadsheet versions of the list are out-of-date. When considering LGPE repertoire, do not refer to any old Excel spreadsheets that you have saved or printed. By now, the day-to-day routine of the school year has settled in for many of us. Mix up your band classes with something different, such as sight-reading, chamber music, or “Free Seating Friday.” All of these can contribute positively to student engagement and musical education, and make it more interesting for you as well. As we settle into the year, perhaps there is something at your school that you feel makes your job harder—morning duty, a new bookkeeping policy, an irregular class schedule, etc. Resist the temptation to think, “the grass is greener on the other side.” Every school has its own policies and procedures, and no school is perfect. To quote a clinician I once heard who had successfully taught over 30 years: “I have quit my job 1,000 times …


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in my head, driving home each day.” Whatever might be distracting you during this hectic time of the year, shake it off and move on. Focus on what is important—teaching and making music with our students. In my summer column, I highlighted a new teacher and will do so each issue. I close this column by highlighting Adam Youngman, who just finished his first year teaching in Canton, GA, assisting at both a middle and high school program. The band directors at Teasley Middle School and Cherokee High School share Adam, where he works with the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands, as well as teaching concert and marching bands at the high school. Each day, he works with over 800 band students between the two programs. The energy and excitement new teachers bring to our profession is infectious, and Adam is no different. Despite the large number of students and multiple responsibilities, he is grateful for the opportunity to teach the entire spectrum, from beginning instrument pedagogy to advanced high school repertoire. He supports the work of the middle and high school directors to foster a strong relationship between the two programs, an important goal for all band programs. Let us continue to support and mentor new teachers throughout this year. Support them in their challenges, and celebrate their successes. Best wishes to all for a positive and productive semester!

CHORAL DIVISION Kim Eason Welcome back! It is hard to believe that another summer is in the books and a fresh, new school year has started. Many of our members have spent their summer taking part in course work toward an advanced degree, participating in conducting institutes and workshops, and leading local and outof-town music camps, as well as travelling to the beach, the mountains, and Disney World! However you spent your summer, I hope that you found time to rest, recharge and reflect over the summer. I find that difficult sometimes during the school year, but taking time to reflect is so important. What did you do in your classroom last year that was worth repeating? What did you do last year that you would rather forget? We all have both of these experiences, and a lot that fall in between as well. I encourage you to always look for new ideas and embrace change, as that is where a huge amount of personal and professional growth occurs. I’m excited to hear what you and your singers can achieve this year! Much work has already gone into preparing for this year’s choral events, including All-State Chorus, All-State Reading Chorus, Statewide Sixth Grade Honor Chorus, and the performances and sessions at the 2018 In-Service Conference in Athens. I am excited about the knowledge, passion, and talent we have in the state of Georgia and can’t wait to share them with you. I’m also so thankful for our choral council and our standing committees for all their assistance, and I know you and your students will benefit from their expertise as you participate in these events throughout the year. It truly takes a village, and I’m blessed to be working alongside these outstanding teachers and friends!

The 2017 Senior Mixed All-State Choir takes the stage at The Classic Center in Athens.

As you get your year started, don’t forget to check OPUS to identify deadlines and other important dates as well as remembering to renew your membership on time. Also, and I know you are told every year, but it’s so important…please read your handbook. Make sure you familiarize yourself (again) with the All-State Chorus audition rules and regulations, LGPE rules and regulations, and any changes that have been made. All changes will be in red print in the handbook. Choral items of note include changes to the All-State/Statewide dates and uniforms, as well as training sessions offered for current LGPE adjudicators and revisions to the LGPE repertoire list. It is an honor to represent the choral division, and please feel free to contact me any time with questions, concerns, or ideas! I wish you all the best as you begin this new school year, and I look forward to seeing you all in January and February!

COLLEGE DIVISION Dr. Keith Matthews Greetings! It is an honor to serve as your newly appointed College Division Chair. I have been involved in GMEA activities for many years as a public school music teacher, and it is exciting for me to serve in this new capacity and in my home state. I hope you all have a great start in the coming weeks. A new academic year begins, a time when we must focus on the important details and the short-term goals for our music programs. As we dive into those first days, I urge you to take a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture. Consider all of the people directly and indirectly involved in Music Education beyond the walls of our schools. I am referring to people like private piano teachers for pre-K children, church music leaders, and community ensemble directors, just to name a few. And don’t forget our friends of music such as parents, patrons, and legislators. These are all people who have a significant impact on Music in young people’s lives and are often the lifeline of our school music programs. In these volatile times, it has become increasingly more important to recognize and connect with all those who understand Music’s role in our society so that we continue to expand music advocacy and outreach. There are so many people who can help you with your music program endeavors who also see the long-term benefits of Music Education. Recognize and stay in contact with all our friends in Music as we strive to make music a lifelong endeavor for everyone. Again, let me welcome everyone to the start of a new academic year. I am more than happy to help you and your students in any way. Dr. Keith Matthews Columbus State University

fall 2017 // georgia music news


DIVISIONNEWS ELEMENTARY DIVISION Emily Threlkeld “The fact that children can make beautiful music is less significant than the fact that music can make beautiful children.” Cheryl Lavender It is an honor to teach alongside so many wonderful Georgia elementary music specialists, where every day is filled with passion for our students and our art. Maintaining dynamic classroom environments requires much from all of us, including self-care, balance, participating in learning opportunities that refresh and restore, and of course, connecting with fellow educators. January’s In-Service promises to be full of meaningful and memorable experiences for all of our awesome Georgia music educators. Jim Solomon of “D.R.U.M.”, will present several sessions, including an evening drum circle. Author of eight books, National Workshop Clinician, over 30 years’ experience teaching public elementary school Music; Jim is sure to inspire both new and veteran teachers. Cheryl Lavender will also present. She is internationally recognized as a master music educator, composer and clinician. Having taught music for 37 years from elementary through university levels, Cheryl maintains an active writing/speaking schedule through Hal Leonard Corporation. Also on the schedule are the always popular sessions with Quaver and sessions with esteemed fellow Georgia educators, including a session with Rick and Angee McKee on choosing elementary repertoire, sponsored by J.W. Pepper. Craig Hurley will direct the Spivey Hall Young Artists on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. This is going to be a conference with something for everyone! And, don’t forget to make plans to attend the Elementary Statewide Honor Chorus, February 23 and 24, in Athens (Postmark deadline for registration is October 24.). Karen Nicolosi and Craig Denison will serve as our clinicians. Some of you may remember that Mr. Denison conducted our children in 2006, and the experience was amazing. I look forward to seeing everyone in Athens in January! Cheers to a wonderful school year!


georgia music news // fall 2017

GUITAR Brion Kennedy Welcome back to school! For those of you who do not know me, my name is Brion Kennedy and I will have the honor of serving as the GMEA Guitar Chair for the next two years. I have been a guitar educator at St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta since 2010. First and foremost, I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to my predecessor, Dr. Luther Enloe, for the incredible service he has provided to guitar education in Georgia. Alongside our GMEA President, Evelyn Champion, we hope to build on Dr. Enloe's accomplishments and keep raising the bar. As we look forward to the spring, the schedule for the upcoming GMEA In-Service Conference from Jaunary 25th-27th is booked solid with guitar sessions. This year we are trying to focus more on serving our teachers who are new to teaching guitar and in need of best practices and pedagogical material. In addition to our sessions, we are thrilled to have performances on Thursday, January 25th from the Centennial Academy Guitar Ensemble and Duluth Middle School Advanced Guitar Ensemble. The performances run from 7:00 pm to 9:15 pm and will be held in the Oconee room. Be sure to put this on your agenda for the in-service. I look forward to serving all of you over the next two years. Please feel free to contact me with any suggestions, concerns, or ways by which I can help you. Additionally, I would love to hear stories about what you and your students are accomplishing. If I can ever be of assistance, do not hesitate to ask. Keep strumming! Sincerely, Brion Kennedy, M.Ed

ORCHESTRA DIVISION Dr. Bernadette Scruggs Welcome back to school! I will be the GMEA Orchestra Chair for the next two years after accepting the baton (no pun intended) from Sarah Black this summer. Sarah was a terrific state chair and I hope I can maintain much of her practicality, wisdom, and sense of humor as I take over this delightful task. I am best available by email, and I know Sarah would echo me when I ask you to (please) check the handbook for the answer before emailing me at with your question. This summer, a crew of ten outstanding teachers worked on cleaning up errors from and adding to the repertoire on the LGPE Required Music Literature List. When choosing your LGPE program, you should find a few less errors and a number of new selections. The music choices will now remain static until next summer. If you have selections you would like to have considered for addition to the required music list, please send them to me between March and May of 2018. For those teaching level one full orchestra: After purging the list of “Permanently out of Print (POP)” selections, there are not many choices left. If you are interested in adding to the level one FO list, please send me the title of the selection, as well as a link to the score and a recording. Because so little remains available on that list, I’m glad to add to that genre and level only during this school year. Cecil Wilder, our executive director, spent time this spring and summer compiling data with regard to Band, Chorus, and Orchestra

LGPE scoring. At LGPE, 76% of orchestras received a superior, 21% of the orchestras received a score of excellent, one percent received a rating of III (good) and, finally, 0.3% receive a rating of IV (fair). By the way, 62% of bands received superiors, 21% received excellent, eight percent received a III, and .05% came away with a IV. Chorus judges gave 57% of groups superiors, 33% of groups received a rating of excellent, seven percent received a rating of good, and one percent of the choruses received a rating of fair. I conducted a small survey of head judges to see how they felt about reducing the spread between a II and a III, and received almost an exact split of those who were for the idea and those who were against. I’m publishing this because I hope judges will think carefully about the necessary delineation between the terms “superior,” “excellent,” and “good”- although, when a group receives a III, I must honestly say that it’s likely that none of the judges would actually describe their performance using that term. If we choose to pilot a score sheet with narrowed margins, less mathematically authentic but easier to for groups to receive a (deserved?) III, this is probably an excellent time for orchestra directors to know that our GMEA judges may hold them to a higher performance standard this year. Lastly, though you are probably aware of this by publication time, the first audition All-State etudes for have been revised for all orchestra levels and instruments. Though some of the adjustments were a necessity, due to new book publications, Sarah and I felt this would be a good time to begin a new rotation of etudes. Scale tempos have also been edited in an effort to contribute to the positive mental health and well-being of the judges who are assigned to hear them. If you have any questions about the recently incorporated etudes, please contact me and I’ll do my best to assist you. I hope each of you has a wonderful beginning to your school year. I remain your humble servant. Dr. Bernadette Scruggs

fall 2017 // georgia music news









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fall 2017 // georgia music news


AROUND THE STATE LEON COLE, JR. 1933-2017 Leon Cole passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 21, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. Leon was born September 25, 1933, in Columbus, Georgia. He graduated from Jordon High School and was a member of the nationally renowned Bob Barr Band. Leon went on to study music at the University of Georgia, and after receiving his Bachelor’s Degree, later did addition degree work at East Carolina University and Florida State University. During his early teaching career, Leon directed successful band programs at Jefferson High School, Bremen High School, and Sandy Springs High School. From 1967 to 1983, Leon was the band director at Milton High School. He completed his band directing career at Haynes Bridge and Crabapple Middle Schools. He was also active in church choir work, directing choirs at Buckhead Baptist Church, Alpharetta First United Methodist Church, and Ebenezer United Methodist Church. Leon will be greatly missed by his family and friends, as well as many in the Georgia music scene.

• The Rockdale High School Band Boosters will proudly host the 40th Annual Greater Atlanta Marching Festival on Saturday, October 14th. This is a monumental accomplishment and we are extremely proud to be one of few marching contests in Georgia to sustain for several decades. • Michael Lloyd has accepted the position of Director of Band at Lithonia High School. • New to District 4 and Newton County: Brian Coats, Band Director at Alcovy High School, Lawrence Rolle, Band Director at Clements Middle School in Newton County, Krista Firkus, Chorus Director at Cousins Middle School, Marie Webb, Band Director of the Newton County Theme School. • James Seda, director of bands at Southwest DeKalb High School, was featured on the most recent cover of The Instrumentalist. (photo courtesy of The Instrumentalist).

James Seda

Back to School Issue


georgia music news // fall 2017

fall 2017 // georgia music news


TRI-M STATE CHAIR Jamez E. Dudley Are you thinking of starting a TRI-M Music Honor Society chapter at your school? It is an excellent way to showcase your students’ leadership, service to the community, and musicianship, all much needed skills of a successful musician and citizen. A NAfME sponsored program, TRI-M is open to middle schools (Junior Division) and high schools (Senior Division). The fee for starting and maintaining the program annually is $100 and is, by far, the most important check that comes out of my budget annually. I became acquainted with TRI-M in high school and it shaped me as a musician, scholar, and educator. I was awed by the opportunity, service concept, and caliber of individuals within it. In high school, I came to school each day to be in choir, to participate in what was being offered in that program, and TRI-M deeply enriched my experience. In approximately ten years of teaching, I have found that my students, in much the same way, are looking for outlets beyond their music ensemble classes. While the idea of adding TRI-M to your already busy schedule may seem overwhelming, it is something for which our musician scholars enthusiastically reach. It can also aid us in guiding students along their path to becoming successful in academic communities, as musicians, and in life. Below are just a few ideas for activities that could be implemented with a TRI-M chapter. Teaching in College Park, Georgia, as I do now, is a much different experience than my six years teaching in rural South Carolina, and my current position has made me appreciate TRI-M even more. In a community where poverty and crime permeate every aspect of life, TRI-M draws the best music students together to participate in to a world of positive experiences beyond their usual boundaries. Prior to TRI-M membership, many of my students have never experienced live performances, taken private lessons, participated in community service, or excelled in class. With the addition of TRI-M, they have evolved in ways that benefit my


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choral program, our school, and the overall quality of life for each individual. In the first year of my program at North Clayton Middle School, TRI-M scholars were able to attend a dress rehearsal at the Atlanta Opera and a mid-day performance by Atlanta Symphony. Through a generous field trip grant from the Target Corporation, they were also able to see Phantom of the Opera live at the Fox Theatre. These are just a few opportunities our TRI-M chapter has afforded them. There are many more free events in our communities and many performing arts organizations eagerly look to support educators- TRI-M has helped me to attract the musician scholars these groups seek to inspire. Community service, one of TRI-M’s main components, is another aspect of the honor society my students have enthusiastically embraced. Last year, they started the year with a school beautification program, completed a school-wide canned food drive that served scholars in our school and local community; participated in a community coat drive where twelve coats were purchased for needy students in our building, made baggies to be handed out to homeless individuals in mid-town Atlanta, and conducted trash pick-ups in an effort to be stewards and examples in the surrounding community. Each of these student-planned and implemented service projects have also showcased outstanding student leadership. Our TRI-M chapter also funds an annual scholarship competition for members. Each year, students who are able to, pay dues of twenty-five dollars, which goes into a fund for the scholarship. Students who wish to be considered for the scholarship must have a 3.6GPA or higher and complete out an application along with three teacher recommendations. In addition, they must perform in an adjudicated recital. Lastly, students compose a paper about their experience in TRI-M and the effects that the program has had on their lives. The TRI-M chapter at my school has afforded members a variety of community service, musical, and leadership opportunities that appeal to students and parents. I encourage you to consider the possibilities with TRI-M at your school that might enrich your musical scholars and program. Don’t wait…partake!

fall 2017 // georgia music news


AROUND THE STATE Georgia Music Educators Association

RECOGNITION & AWARDS PROGRAM "The recognition of excellence in one strengthens us all. The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." PHIL JACKSON

The GMEA Recognition and Awards Program is a comprehensive effort to recognize excellence in achievement by members and those whom GMEA serves. Purposes of the program are to: • focus attention on exemplary achievements in music education in Georgia • increase awareness of the quality of the diverse activities of music education in our state • foster professional and public recognition of the commitment and achievement of music educators and students.


Active, retired or deceased members of GMEA are eligible for this award which recognizes significant career achievement by individuals who have provided outstanding contributions to education through music.


GMEA Administrative Leadership Award Administrators who are professionally active in Georgia education are eligible for this award which recognizes leadership by system or school level administrators in support of music education. Ongoing encouragement and support of music education for all students merits consideration for this award.


Active members of GMEA are eligible for this award which recognizes outstanding merit in teaching and/or administration by music educators whose service to students, the community, and the profession is exemplary


Persons who are not included in the categories above who have significantly contributed to the furtherance of music education in Georgia are eligible for this award. This would include, but not be limited to, local and state government officials, officers of other educational associations, and business and community leaders.


GMEA members who have served as organizers and district and state officers consistently over a long period of time will be eligible for this award. District nominations are essential since district leaders and officers are in the best position to identify those members who have gone above and beyond in their volunteer work for the association. In addition to being recognized at the conference and having their names placed on the office plaque, the winner of this award will receive complimentary registration and a complimentary hotel room for Thursday and Friday nights at the In-Service Conference in the year following their award.





georgia music news // fall 2017

fall 2017 // georgia music news







hink about why you went into music teaching. For most of us it was passion for kids and music. None of us could imagine doing anything else with our lives. So we teach, learn, compose, perform, inspire, study, and work with music very hard every day. Nicole Thompson is a star teacher. Her personal and professional philosophies, love of students, ability to inspire students and to be inspired by them as well, excellence as a musician, performer, role model, passion, dedication to the art, psychology, science, and musical aesthetic demonstrates why she was a finalist for the fourth annual Music Educator Award, presented by The Recording Academy during GRAMMY Week 2017. When asked about her nomination for the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy, Thompson said, “I was completely surprised by the nomination. I've been honored and humbled by each step of the process. I was not aware of the award and I think it is incredible. By recognizing a teacher, The Recording Academy is giving back and encouraging music education.” The Recording Academy Music Educator Award, created in 2013, recognizes the significant role teachers play in shaping their students' musical experiences. Nominations are open to current U.S. music teachers in grade kindergarten through college, and who are employed full-time. (Private studio teachers and those in after-school programs are not eligible.) Anyone can nominate a teacher. Once The Recording Academy has received the nominations and determines who is eligible, the nominee is notified and asked for further materials, including contact information, a resumé, and either two essays or two videos that answer a variety of questions regarding dedication to teaching, to music education advocacy, and teaching methodology and philosophy. 24

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They also must provide a video of themselves teaching in their classrooms. This can be an ensemble rehearsal an academic class, or general music lesson. Once The Recording Academy received these materials, the individual becomes a formal nominee. All of the formal nominees are then considered and rated by Recording Academy personnel and the number of nominees is paired down to about 300. Materials are then distributed to a committee each of whom rates 30-35 applications and returns results to The Recording Academy. The list of nominees is then reduced to 35 names (quarter finalists). A committee is chosen to rate those 35 people and reduce the number to 25 (semi-finalists). A Blue Ribbon committee is selected and chooses ten finalists and the winner. The various committees consist of music educators, music industry professionals, and Recording Academy administrators. All of this is done highly confidentially. When I first entered Nicole Thompson’s middle-school classroom, I was impressed with the atmosphere. I felt a high level of energy from students as each went about getting an instrument, unpacking, and taking a seat. They couldn’t wait to begin rehearsal. Looking around the room I noticed that most of the wall space was occupied by a photographs of every student in Nicole’s classes. Each had written several sentences describing family background and passions. It was obviously a student-centered room. Students chatted with one another until Nicole began class. The moment she stood at the podium the class immediately quieted down and you could see by each one’s demeanor that all were ready to work. There was an air of anticipation and excitement. When rehearsal began every student sat up and paid close attention. Throughout the class period, Nicole focused hard on each student and on the music. When necessary, she went into a section,

borrowed one of the student’s instruments, and demonstrated a correct bowing pattern or new fingering. It was obvious that she has expertise in each of the string instruments.

2000 Nicole became the Director of Orchestras at Taylor Road Middle School in Fulton County and has remained there ever since. Nicole describes her program this way:

I also had the pleasure of watching Nicole’s students perform and sight read at the GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation. She demonstrated her years of teaching experience by her cool, calm attitude, and the techniques she used to prepare her students to sight-read. They did exceptionally well! Nicole Thompson is a truly passionate teacher, who has spent her lifetime preparing, learning, teaching, and loving every one of her students!

“Sixth grade is the first opportunity in Fulton County for children to learn an instrument. I teach two classes of beginning students in sixth grade. Each year, I have a few students in the beginning classes that already have experience playing their instrument. I have other opportunities available to challenge them, such as intermediate or advanced orchestra. Another group I developed to challenge students is the fiddle group, in which we study fiddle and pop music. It is all-inclusive and meets on Friday mornings. Students with any level of ability can be members as long as they commit to attend weekly rehearsals. This year, we have over 75 students in fiddle group and really enjoy making music together. We have so much fun. The kids love the selections we play and often we have flash mobs around the school to share our music with others.”

The best example of Nicole’s passion for students extends well beyond the classroom. Recently, the parents and younger brother of one of her students were all killed in a car accident. Nicole and her husband adopted the devastated survivor and are raising him as their own son, while helping him keep the memories of his family alive. Nicole’s students have wonderful comments about her as well. According to Sarah Islam “Not only does she teach, she teaches with care and love.” Zoe Grunwald said, “Our teacher, she’s also a great friend and she’s always there to talk to.” “Mrs. Thompson doesn’t give up easily and if we mess up she gives us tips or tricks on how to improve,” remarked Doyean Kim from grade 7. Bhargav Koshti believes that “Mrs. Thompson is a wonderful teacher that definitely deserves the award and recognition that she has earned.” According to Nicole, “I was first drawn to music by my mother. She loved music and sang all the time when I was young.” Nicole began her violin lessons at the age of 11, in the 6th grade at Dickerson Middle School in Cobb County, studying with Joe Tarentino, whom she credits with her first inspiration. Conductor Betty Sherman Bennett of the Cobb Symphony Orchestra accepted Nicole into the violin section at the age of 15. Nicole played in what is now the Georgia Symphony Orchestra for ten years. Thompson earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree at Georgia State University. She went on to earn Master of Music Education and Specialist degrees at the University of Georgia. Her professional career began in 1996 when she was chosen as the Music Director for Faith Lutheran School in Marietta. She taught both band and chorus. In

“The orchestra program includes 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. There are four orchestras- Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Fiddle. Students meet 50 minutes daily with their respective grade level and rehearse one day per week outside of the school day. We study basic technique and level II-IV literature in the intermediate and advanced orchestra classes each day. Within the ensembles, I carefully select partners for each student so they can help and mentor each other. Often, we take time to go to different classrooms to perform happy birthday when a teacher or staff member has a birthday. I believe these performances within the school are critical for sharing our talent and using our music to give to others.” Nicole also believes that the National Association for Music Education is an important professional organization. The professional development and networking opportunities are crucial to every career in music education. She really enjoys being a member of GMEA as well!


Dr. Lyn Schenbeck is Director Emeritus of the Music Business, Performance, Medicine, and Technology Program, Coweta County Schools, Central Educational Center, Newnan Georgia. She is also the Secretary of The Recording Academy Atlanta Chapter Board of Governors.

Department of Human Services Commission for Hearing Impaired and Deaf Persons Visit this link for an important message from the Chair of the Commission for Hearing Impaired and Deaf Persons. fall 2017 // georgia music news




© Reprinted with permission from ArkMEA Journal, February 2017, Op. 38, No. 2


ne of the worst feelings a director can have in a rehearsal is to realize that the students are having as much fun as they would have in a dentist chair. I’d be lying if I said every rehearsal that I have had was productive, energetic, and engaging to my ensemble, and I would dare to say each one of us have had at least one of these rehearsals. What should we do when we can feel the energy of our ensemble faltering like your New Year’s resolution? (Did you go to the gym today? Yeah, me neither.) Here are five potential strategies to energize a rehearsal:

STARTING THE CLASS The first few moments of any class are vital to the flow and energy of that class time. The beginning of rehearsal is where the students are most engaged, and if it’’s boring and lacking momentum from the start, it will only deteriorate from there. Typically, there is no need to start rehearsal with a speech or pep talk, the students want to play and want to be challenged musically as soon as possible. Like many other aspects of the classroom structure, the beginning of class should have a procedure, as the start of class is critical for creating expectations for your rehearsal. Establishing a structured routine is imperative to a positive class environment. Lack of structure may be detrimental to the initial flow and the start of class. Often, precious time is lost within the first few minutes of rehearsal during the “getting ready” moments, when the most off-task behavior occurs. A student walking into a disorganized class may feel uneasy and anxious. Students entering a class that is disorderly may take the class less seriously or view the class as unimportant.


georgia music news // fall 2017

A signal to show that class is starting could be an array of cues such as: stepping on the podium, four “clicks” of a metronome, call and response of a rhythm (I say, you say), a raised hand, or a shut door. Regardless of the educator’s’s signal, this signal should be used daily so that acceptable behaviors are reinforced. Nonverbal signals, over time, can be very effective in starting class. During these initial moments of class, it is vital to get the students involved in a musical activity. Save announcements or nonmusical related items like fundraisers for the end of class if at all possible.

TALK LESS, SMILE MORE Research demonstrates that students are more off-task when teachers are talking, and some research has indicated that excessive teacher talk has a negative impact on ensemble attitude (Napoles, 2007; Spradling, 1985). The majority of the students in ensembles would much rather rehearse then to hear us talk. (Shocking, I know!) I am not suggesting that directors should never tell stories or supply humorous anecdotes but as a whole, we talk too much! Stories and frequent interjections can stall a rehearsal’s momentum. A general rule of thumb that I tell my music education students is if you cannot say it in eight-seconds or less, the students are no longer listening. When rehearsing an ensemble, diagnose one problem, prescribe the solution, and then listen again as you replay the section. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon during class to find a director citing a list of errors that need to be addressed. However, it is best to rehearse one concept at a time, allowing the students to focus intently on that one issue. As students begin to focus on one area to improve, often other non-addressed

problems are fixed without the need to point them out to the ensemble. For example, when addressing a rhythm problem, tempo, articulation, and note accuracy may improve while working toward the correct rhythm. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, isolating single issues will save more time than trying to tackle multiple problems at once.

SIGHT READ An often overlooked but important method of keeping students engaged is sight-reading. Sight reading requires students to engage in a task-oriented behavior, and can be an effective and educational approach to keeping students on-task. As a music educator, it is important to teach a method to the sight-reading process to optimize efficiency. Once a sight-reading method is established, many music educators sight-read daily to emphasize educational concepts. It provides a focused musical activity for the students, and on-task behavior will be increased. Sightreading does not need to take much rehearsal time but should be done daily. It does not always need to be a long song or piece but can be a simple rhythm exercise or chorale to heighten the students’ focus. In a study by Armstrong (2001), ensembles that frequently sight-read spent less time rehearsing individual sections during class time. Members of these ensembles also indicated a preference for classical music, students were less talkative during rehearsal, and students tended to be more focused on the score, even when their part contained rests. It may be advisable to have a sight-reading exercise accessible at all times to break up the monotony of a rehearsal or to bring the class into focus.

SELECT APPROPRIATE LITERATURE It is not uncommon for directors to get overzealous with a group and attempt to conquer a work that “will force my ensemble to practice” (perhaps Stravinsky is not the best idea for 6th graders). Research suggests that students can be successful as long as the students are presented with concepts they understand with minimal new concepts. One study demonstrated that students found the most success when their understanding ranged from 70 to 93% of the material (Burns and Dean, 2005). Should you select literature that has too many new concepts or performance demands, frustration and off-task behavior may take place. Conversely, should a piece be too easy, frustration due to boredom can also emerge. There are countless resources that can help a director select appropriate literature for their ensemble: state music lists, festival programs, repertoire websites, and experienced colleagues are all valuable references. If a poor musical selection is made, admit the mistake and change it. Your students will be thankful. Be prepared The old adage “A good offense is a good defense” comes to mind when I think of rehearsing. Preparation is key to any successful rehearsal. Someone much wiser than

me once said, “rehearse your group like you would an honor band.” When I step into a rehearsal prepared and with that attitude, the chances of great things happening seem to increase. Do not expect your students to have an understanding of a piece if you are not prepared to teach and rehearse it. Author of, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People””, Steve Covey, said, “All things are created twice; first mentally; then physically. The key to creativity is to begin with the end in mind, with a vision and a blueprint of the desired result.” To show your students your “blueprint”, you must guide them in a sequence them through exercises and warmups. Selecting or writing chorales that follow the chord progression of a piece you are rehearsing is one way to lead your ensemble to success. Write a unison exercise for that tricky trumpet part so the entire ensemble can be engaged while you rehearse – it will help maintain effective engagement and pacing. Carefully planning sight-reading or a rhythm drill that logically sequences into the work you are rehearsing is often effective in conducting great rehearsals. Over-preparing a score will provide you with the knowledge to effectively maintain energy in a rehearsal. Regardless of your experience as a music educator these suggestions can provide a framework to help build a more a more effective rehearsal atmosphere and structure. These techniques are reminders of ways to

maintain effective rehearsal energy. Engaging as many students as possible throughout rehearsal should be a huge focus of what we do as music educators.


Armstrong, M. (2001). Adjudicated sight-reading for the choral ensemble: An incentive for musical literacy. The Choral Journal, 41(10), 21-30. Burns, M. K. & Dean, V. J. (2005). Effect of acquisition rates on off-task behavior with children identified as having learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly. 28(4). 273-281. Doi: 10.2307/4126966 Nápoles, J. (2007). The effect of duration of teacher talk on the attitude, attentiveness, and performance achievement of high school choral students. Research Perspectives in Music Education, 11, 22-2

Kenneth Goff

is the new Director of Bands at University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

fall 2017 // georgia music news


“We are so proud of the faculty we’ve assembled here. These four people are world-class educators and performers, and they are strong additions to the University of Georgia and the School of Music.”

DALE MONSON Director, Hugh Hodgson School of Music


Assistant Professor Music Education


Assistant Professor Piano


Assistant Professor Composition & Theory

LIZA STEPANOVA Assistant Professor Piano

The Hugh Hodgson School of Music welcomes four educators to its tenure-track faculty! Full story at


georgia music news // fall 2017


A Christ-centered university in southeast Tennessee with faculty, curriculum, facilities, and opportunities to prepare you for your goals as tomorrow’s musician. Audition Dates: NOV. | JAN. | FEB.

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fall 2017 // georgia music news



Reprinted with permission from the NAfME website ( Article originally posted on JW Pepper blog (


ne of the most frustrating experiences a music teacher or director can have is a concert audience that is disrespectful. Whether it is cell phones ringing during the performance, shouts from family members to their children on stage, slamming doors or crying infants, all of us have experienced people behaving badly in a concert setting. Not only is this inappropriate behavior demoralizing for the teacher in charge of the concert and the other attendees, but even more so for the students performing. So, is this a cultural issue that we just have to deal with or is there something that can be done to improve behavior? My opinion is that good concert behavior CAN and SHOULD be taught to both students and audience alike. As educators, we should not sit by and simply be observers in this passive-aggressive assault on what was once regarded as “common courtesy.” Just like its cousin “common sense,” we can clearly see that both sense and courtesy are not so common anymore. Appropriate concert etiquette can be taught at every grade level the same way we teach and manage our classrooms. If it’s going to be effective, it should be


georgia music news // fall 2017

taught as part of the curriculum. Yes, you can and should make time for it in your lesson planning. And why wait until you’re in “crunch time” during the concert season? You’re less likely to have time then. Make it part of your lessons early in the school year and reinforce it when concert time comes. Teaching the students first provides positive behaviors for them to model for their often less-informed families. And let’s face it – the students want everyone to pay attention to them during a concert just as much as you do. The performance hall, whether it’s a theater, auditorium, cafeteria or gymnasium, is an extension of YOUR classroom. So good behavior from everyone should be expected. STRATEGIES IN THE CLASSROOM There are more and more lesson plans available on the web. Simply search on “Concert etiquette lesson plans” or “Concert behavior” and you’ll get hits. One notable example is this Audience Etiquette Activity created by the Louisville Orchestra Education Department (used with permission). This is geared more toward elementary/middle school students. For high school students, I typically had conversations regarding appropriate audience behavior integrated into lessons throughout the marking period, and especially during detailed rehearsals about

how to get on and off risers, the stage and into seating assignments for the concert. STRATEGIES AT THE CONCERT I found it helpful to always have all the students involved in the audience, especially when they were not performing. This of course depends on how much room you have in your hall, but this way students can model appropriate audience behavior for parents and family. An administrator or principal best introduces each concert. I always gave them a script whether they wanted one or not, simply because I wanted to make sure they delivered the following information: • “Welcome to our school” or concert, etc. • Introduce the concert and directors to the audience • “The following ensembles will be performing: __________” • “They have all worked very hard to prepare for this concert.” • To that end, “The students and staff would appreciate your cooperation with following items: • Please turn off or silence all electronic devices • Please stay seated during the performance of a song or group • If you need to exit during the concert, please do so at the end of a song • If you need to have a conversation with someone, please feel free to do so outside in the lobby.

• Everyone would love to hear their children’s performances free from nearby talking.” • “The students will be modeling exceptional audience behavior tonight, so we ask your support of their efforts.” If you have a printed program, consider adding a Memo to the Audience on the inside cover of each program. This one is adapted from the NAfME website, and you could also adapt it for your program. There may also be opportunities to guide the audience during the concert. For example, audiences need to know that while it is appropriate to applaud after an instrumental soloist in a jazz band, it is generally not appropriate to applaud after a vocal solo in a choir. Why? Applause after a vocal solo covers the continued singing of the rest of the choir and you’ll likely miss hearing some of the words to the music. When it is explained this way, the audience will appreciate the tip and understand better for

the future. Also, if your instrumental soloist should be applauded during a piece and the audience isn’t sure they should applaud, turning slightly toward the audience and applauding for the soloist yourself will prompt the audience to do likewise. And always thank the audience for their appropriate support and behavior. Everyone appreciates positive reinforcement!


NAfME member Tom Sabatino currently works as Manager of Choral Product Sales, choral clinician and voiceover actor for J.W. Pepper & Son, Inc., the world’s largest sheet music retailer. Prior to working with Pepper, Tom taught general, instrumental, and vocal music in Delaware public schools for 31 years. He also directed the University of Delaware choir Schola Cantorum, was a tenor with the Christ Church Christiana Hundred Choir, and was Director of Music for St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Wilmington, Delaware. He was active in the Delaware Music Educators Association where he served as President and All-State Chorus Chair, and ACDA where he served as chair for High School Standards and Repertoire. Tom holds active memberships in NAfME and ACDA and is a freelance voice actor and narrator through

fall 2017 // georgia music news



VETERAN 10 Questions for Experienced Teachers

Cecil Wilder 1. Please tell us a bit about your musical background and teaching experience. I got bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Auburn University in 1966 and 1970, respectively. My further studies were at West Georgia College, Georgia State University, and Northwestern University. Band Director, Rothschild Jr. High School, Columbus, GA 1967-69 Band and Orchestra Director, Kendrick High School, Columbus, GA 1969-77 Music Director, conductor, and arranger, Miss Georgia Scholarship Pageant 1969-1982 Principal trombonist, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, 1966-1973 Adjunct low brass instructor, Columbus College, Columbus, GA 1971-73 Adjunct assistant professor of brass, Auburn University 1973-77 Director of Bands, Jonesboro Sr. High School, Clayton County Schools 1977-96 Conductor, Clayton County Youth Symphony Orchestra, 1987-96 Lead teacher of instrumental music, Clayton County Schools 1991-1996 Executive Director, GMEA 1996-present


georgia music news // fall 2017

2. What first drew you to music education? I was fortunate enough to have a high school band director who took an interest in me and gave me many wonderful opportunities while I was in high school, including making it possible for me to work as a professional musician from the time I was 15 years old. This put me in contact with many adult musicians from whom I learned more than can possibly be taught in a classroom or rehearsal hall. These experiences gave me a love for quality music in many genres and an understanding of what it takes to excel as a performer. I don’t know that I ever looked back from that and I never considered anything else.

3. Who has been the biggest influence on your teaching career? What lessons did that person teach you? There were several music faculty members at Auburn University who helped me become whatever I am today. Bodie Hinton, the band director, taught me how much more there is to music than notes and rests. Bill Walls, my trombone teacher, taught me to see things the way they are, not the way I want them to be and to never try to fake my way through anything, starting with a trombone lesson. Bob Richardson, a music theory teacher and jazz piano player, helped me develop my ears and understanding of harmony and the details of writing going way beyond the notes and chord changes.

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

7. What wisdom/experience/skills do you hope students gain from their time in your program?

When I started, the teacher was in charge in the classroom and the students, mine at least, respected that and did not question it. For me, at least, that remained pretty much the case until I retired in 1996. Since that time, students and parents seem to have come to expect a lot more and contribute a lot less to the process. There are probably a lot of reasons for that but I largely blame on the following: -The media for unfairly putting the blame for a lot of problems on schools that should really go on to families and the social and economic structure of the country in general -Local school board members who seem to increasingly feel that their first responsibility is to make parents happy without regard for what is best for students and teachers -Politicians who make saving tax money and their own re-election prospects the prime considerations in decision making When I started teaching it was expensive to publish and print a piece of music so publishers paid close attention to quality and durability when making publishing decisions. With today’s technology making publication so cheap, publishers can treat it almost like throwing Jello against the wall to see what sticks. This leaves it to the teachers to make better and more time consuming decisions about what music to buy.

I wanted them to be musically independent so that they could continue enjoying performing and listening to music for the rest of their lives. I wanted them to understand the value of hard work and integrity and to be able to apply that to everything they did. I wanted them to recognize and be sensitive to beauty in all things and all people so that they could have the best life possible and be able to see that there is value to treating everyone with the respect they deserve.

5. How has your teaching philosophy evolved throughout your career? It became increasingly evident to me during my career that quality is the most important factor in selecting music for rehearsal and performance with students. Students learn to recognize quality subliminally and will come to be intolerant of music that does not meet their standards. This has little to do with genre (with a few exceptions) since there is quality music in most genres. There is too much really good music in the world to work on anything else just for the sake of pleasing an audience or, worse, getting a better rating a LGPE. Fortunately, this awareness of quality is transferable to other aspects of life and that makes it even more invaluable.

6. What has been the proudest moment of your teaching career? Every time I saw a former student have success and happiness as an adult I was proud and felt rewarded for my time and effort.

8. Is there a particular musical work or composer to which you feel all students should be exposed? There are too many to name and never enough time to expose students to all of them. I have a particular affinity for Johannes Brahms but Mozart, Beethoven, Duke Ellington, John Philip Sousa, and countless others also make the cut. So much good music, so little time.

9. What advice would you offer teachers beginning careers in music education? Never make anything you do about yourself, always about your students and the music. If you do that, whatever you are seeking in the way of personal aggrandizement will accrue to you without your help.

10. What still inspires you about teaching? There is nothing in life more rewarding or inspiring than to take something of value that was passed on to you by someone and pass it along to someone else. What could be better?




fall 2017 // georgia music news


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2017-2018 GMN Fall Issue  

Georgia Music News | Volume 28 | Number 1: Fall 2017

2017-2018 GMN Fall Issue  

Georgia Music News | Volume 28 | Number 1: Fall 2017