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"I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual."

Henry David Thoreau Inspiring Truth for Teachers





Newsletter | November

AROUND THE STATE Events and News from our 14 Districts


Newsletter | November


• Congratulations to the Mr. Antonie Swain and the Indian Creek Middle School Competition Choir. In April 2018, this chorus participated in the Annual Music Showcase Competition hosted by Music Festivals and Tours, one of the companies that helps to host the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. The choir not only won 1st in the Mixed Chorus division in this competition, but also won the Grand Championship Award by gaining higher scores than any other choral group that participated in this nationally adjudicated festival.

• Thomas FitzStephens and Atlanta-area voice teacher Erin Shepherd Murray have started a non-profit with a mission to make private music lessons available and affordable to anyone, regardless of socio-economic status. At Performing Arts Conservatory of Atlanta (PACA) the belief is that quality, high-stakes arts education is for everyone, not just those who can afford it. PACA provides full and partial scholarships so dedicated students can take private music lessons from excellent teachers. The Performing Arts Conservatory of Atlanta is established to meet the needs of musicians, both student musicians and teachers of music. The Performing Arts Conservatory of Atlanta is so delighted to be part of your music community. Consider getting involved! Additional information is available at




Newsletter | November



• The Alpharetta High School Symphony Strings will be performing a concert at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago on Wednesday, December 19 at 10:30 AM. The program will include works by Arensky, Berlioz, Nielsen, Handel, Bernstein, Balmages, and more. The orchestra will also feature an arrangement of “Down By The Salley Gardens” by GMEA member Jim Palmer, Director of Orchestras at Allatoona High School. The Alpharetta orchestra program is under the direction of Dr. Charles Laux. Guest conductors on the Midwest program will include Michael Walsh, Director of Bands at Alpharetta High School; Ira Jenkins, Associate Director of Bands at Alpharetta High School; David Vandewalker, Coordinator of Performing Arts at Fulton County Schools; and Sheldon Fisher, retired Director of Orchestras at Alpharetta High School. Dr. Laux will also present a session with the AHS Symphony Strings entitled “It's all about the bow! The best strategies for developing a beautiful tone in beginners and beyond” at 3:00 PM on the same day.

• As the first African American to earn a degree at University of Georgia, Mary Frances Early was recently honored with an official UGA portrait to be on display in the Gordon Jones Gallery of the Administration Building. Mrs. Early was also the first African American President of GMEA (19811983). The GMEA Distinguished Career recipient (1992) began her career as a music teacher in Atlanta Public Schools and worked her way to the position of Director of Music for Atlanta Public Schools. In that role, Mrs. Early mentored APS music teachers, while being in charge of the system’s music curriculum, textbooks, and budget. After her retirement from public schools in 1994, Mrs. Early has been on the faculty of Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse University, and Spelman College.




Newsletter | November

• The Chattahoochee High School Marching Band has had a particularly successful season this year. With notable growth in size and, more importantly, the higher level of musicianship demonstrated by our entering freshmen, there is a definite buzz and excitement in the community. The enrollment for the band program is at the highest in its existence with approximately 250 members disbursed into two concert bands, mastery band, a percussion ensemble and color guard course and of course, the marching band after school.



a challenge, Mr. Garofalo was extremely pleased with the arrangements created by Michael Terry because his music perfectly aligned with the band’s goals.

At the end of the last year’s season, the Chattahoochee director and staff reevaluated rehearsal processes to determine if a better format could be instituted. After serious reflection, they decided to have winds on Monday with guard sectionals and move percussion day to Tuesday. Then, members came back together for full ensemble on Wednesday. The changes brought about amazing rehearsal attendance and each section only rehearses two school nights a week. After Thursday off, the band had another full ensemble day every Friday. These practices brought about additional focus for the winds and percussion, because they each to have the practice field separately for a rehearsal day not as a sectional day, but as one where the entire show was the focus. Every outdoor practice had a forty-five minute to an hour of music rehearsal without moving to dots and forms. Stress level dropped throughout the entire ensemble. By limiting the quantity of rehearsal and enhancing the quality, director and staff saw immediate and remarkable gains.

For the band membership, particular effort was made to focus on show pacing both from a timeline and tempo standpoint- as well as a timbral standpoint. For the first time in over a decade Chattahoochee was able to feature woodwinds in a chorale manner, thus allowing them opportunities to be challenged and achieve musical growth. The shows always are driven with passion and excitement, so another focus was balance and blend on the football field. Efforts were focused on quality tone and players made exceptional strides in that caption. From a competitive standpoint the band’s goal was to receive superiors in captions throughout the season and, to date, they have been successful. This is largely due to band members’ intrinsic motivation and the wonderful support instructors working with the program. The students in Chattahoochee’s band program had great educators helping them through their journey. Chattahoochee’s director and instructors are extremely thankful for Brandon Soloff and Angela Reynolds at Taylor Road Middle School and are appreciative of both their class act and commitment to the betterment of music education.

While going through the design process for this year’s production, director Nick Garofalo felt it extremely important to execute some key elements in Chattahoochee’s presentation, Expressions of One, in a manner that made the show both comprehensible and emotionally relatable to the members of the ensemble and their audiences. Though blending popular music into an arrangement that allows for musicality is always


Newsletter | November




DISTRICT SIX The vocal group was organized under the leadership of Dr. Jimmy Cheek, choral director and assisted by Mr. Anthony Liggins, advisor.

• Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS) is proud to announce that the Singing Brothers of Stilwell were selected to be the opening performance during the 2018 National Association of Music Education’s National Conference’s (NAfME) Keynote Session! The Conference will be held in Grapevine, Texas on November 11-14, 2018.

Since its inception, the group has performed for major events in the Clayton County Public School District and throughout Georgia. They received all superior ratings at the 2018 Georgia Music Educators Association’s Large Group Performance Evaluation and the Southern Star Music Festival at Six Flags. The group includes members that have performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Spivey Hall, and participated in GMEA All-State Chorus and GMEA All-State Reading Chorus. Additional accomplishments include performing with the Peach State Opera Company, selected as finalists for the Georgia Governors Honors Program, and selected as the

The Singing Brothers of Stilwell was established in August 2017 at Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts in Jonesboro, Georgia. The group serves as an extra-curricular organization that seeks to provide male students enrolled in instrumental, vocal music, theater and visual arts courses with the opportunity to experience brotherhood, team building and enhanced musicianship through choral music performance.


Newsletter | November



2018 winners of the quartet and solo division at the Georgia High School Athletic Associations Literary State Championship.

advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers.

“Being selected to perform at the national conference for music educators is quite an accomplishment and among the greatest honors that a choral group and director could aspire to achieve,” said Cheek.

Please join us as we congratulate the Singing Brothers of Stilwell for earning this outstanding opportunity and wish this group the best of luck as it prepares to represent Clayton County and this great State of Georgia at the 2018 NAfME National Conference.

Among the world’s largest arts education organizations, NAfME is the only professional organization for music educators that addresses all aspects of music education. Since 1907, NAfME has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. In addition, NAfME


Newsletter | November


DISTRICT SIX(continued)


• The Ola High School Marching Band has just completed a successful 2018 fall marching band season with their audience-engaging 2018 marching band show entitled “Chameleon”. In mid-October, the marching band traveled to Canton, Ohio to perform at the Bands of America Northeastern regional at Tom Benson Pro Football Hall of Fame stadium. The marching band was a regional finalist and finished in 6th place overall at the competition. The Ola Marching Band was also named overall Grand Champions at two other GMEA-sanctioned marching band competitions: the Stateline Showdown, hosted by Heard County High School, and the North Georgia Marching Band Competition, hosted by South Forsyth High School.

• Frank McKinney’s composition, Data Drive, was highly recommended under New Music Reviews in the October, 2018 issue of The Instrumentalist. Frank writes for Eighth Note Publications, distributed by Alfred Music. Here is an excerpt: "This interesting work uses minimalism, a compositional style developed in the 1960s and characterized by the limited use of musical materials. Composers Phillip Glass and later John

• Kerry Bryant, who retired in September 2018 from Adairsville High School (Bartow County) after more than 30 years of teaching, has assumed the position of Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at Young Harris College in Young Harris, GA.




Newsletter | November

DISTRICT ELEVEN • The Orchestra teachers of District XI held their inaugural Honor Orchestra October 19 and 20 at Howard High School in Macon. Mrs. Natalie Colbert was our middle school clinician and Dr. Bernadette Scruggs was the high school clinician. The students from the district thoroughly enjoyed the weekend of learning and stretching themselves with these two veteran powerhouse educators. Observing them working with the students was wonderful professional development for our teachers as well. The energy and enthusiasm of our clinicians was contagious to everyone involved. We were also thrilled to have an elementary orchestra perform on the concert. Vineville Academy is an elementary fine arts school in Macon. Their orchestra, the Panda Philharmonic, directed by Mrs. Patricia Baser opened the concert. Participating District XI teachers were Patricia Baser, Rachael Smith, Kuei-Fan Chen, Rachel LaRocca, Jaris Tobler, and John Sweat, organizer. Thank you to all of the teachers and clinicians for making this premiere event a huge success.

Adams have been recognized as proponents in this approach. The work begins with a short recurring rhythmic pattern set in alternating 6/8 and 3/4 meters and marked 'Allegro.' As the work unfolds, new ideas are introduced, usually with a new meter (3/4, 6/8, 4/4). These ideas evolve and grow but the tempo remains the same throughout. The work employs frequent repetitions of those short musical ideas and motif, combining them in varied ways to create its unique contrapuntal texture. If you take the time to teach your students about compositional techniques, it could serve as an insightful look into one of the most significant musical movements of the late 20th Century." After graduating from the Florida State University School of Music in 1976, Frank McKinney taught middle and high school band for thirty-eight years in Florida and Georgia. He is an active local musician, playing alto saxophone for the Georgia Wind Symphony and the Young Harris College Community Band, is the pianist for Hayesville First United Methodist Church, and leader of the jazz combo, The Swing Set. Frank is a member of the National Association of Music Educators, the Florida Music Educators Association, the Florida Bandmasters Association and the Georgia Music Educators Association. He and his wife, Cara, lives near Blairsville where they enjoy the outdoors with their cat, Howdy.


Newsletter | November



• Dr. Christian Kim, pianist and composer, joined Middle Georgia State University as Assistant Professor of Music beginning August 2018. He is a versatile pianist who performs and composes works in various musical genres such as jazz, Latin, classical, pop, gospel, and more. Since completing an intense study of traditional folk music where he traveled to more than sixty countries over the course of three years, Dr. Kim now utilizes folk musical elements as the basic premise of many of his musical compositions. Dr. Kim studied under the world renowned jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis, Jr., and has performed with Charlie Haden, Frank Morgan, Darek Oleszkiewicz, Joe LaBarbera, and Larry Ridley to name a few. He released an album at Universal Music in 2008 and worked as a producer in numerous recording albums. Prior to his appointment at Middle Georgia, Dr. Kim served as the Program Coordinator of Music and Assistant Professor of Music at Atlanta Metropolitan State College from 2014 to 2018.

• Join Georgia College at the GMEA 2019 In-Service Conference: - Dr. Cliff Towner Beginning with the end in mind: Assessing and improving you concert programs - Dr. Tina Holmes-Davis (class of 2000) If music is for everyone, why not me? Accessibility in Music Education - Mr. Jay Davis (class of 2000) A Force to Be Reckoned with: Strategies for Success in Small Band Programs - Mrs. Mandy Gunter (class of 2003) with Mrs. Tiffany English Intro to Orff Schulwerk - GC Friends and Family Reception & Jazz Jam Friday 12:00-2:00 at the Graduate-Athens Pavilion Stop by campus for more: - Terry Endowed Concert Series concert Feb. 8, 2019 featuring Dvorak Opus 46 - Day of Percussion Feb. 2, 2019


- String’s Day at Georgia College March 11, 2019

• The Allatoona High School Marching Band won Class AA at the 2018 Western Carolina University Tournament of Champions.

- Center for Music Education at Georgia College - Student matinee concert series (RSVP )

• The Harrison HS Marching Band was class AAA Champion and was awarded outstanding music performance, outstanding visual performance, and outstanding general effect at the Bands of America Powder Springs Regional and Second Place overall.

- Jazz Band, March 7, 11:15 am- 12:15 pm - Wind Symphony, April 3, 11:15 am- 12:15 pm - Jazz Fest, May 4, 2019

• The Hillgrove Marching band presented their show “What the World Needs Now, Love-not likes” at three competitions this year. At the BOA Regional in Jacksonville, the band won Second in Class AAAA, High GE in Class AAAA and was named finalist. Overall placement was ninth place. Later, at the Georgia State Band

- Educational Outreach: - Intro to Orff- Feb. 16, 12-3pm - Intro to Suzuki- Feb. 23, 12-3pm - Instructional Assessment- March 2, 12-3pm


Newsletter | November

Championship, the band placed Fourth overall and awarded Best Percussion. Trumpet Soloist, Alex Skelton, was named outstanding soloist, winning a trip to the Conn-Selmer factory in Elkhart Indiana. Finally, at the Bands of America Regional in Powder Springs, the band placed Third in Class AAAA and named a finalist with an overall placement of Eighth. celebration and salute to community spirit, service, and a love of pageantry. The Rose Parade is marked by five-and-a-half-mile parade route along Colorado Boulevard through Pasadena, for an overwhelming one million local spectators. The worldwide television audience is estimated at 60 million viewers in over 80 countries.

More important was Hillgrove’s fulfillment of their mission off the field. The band committed themselves to the message of the show by serving the community. The students packed 3500 meals for the needy in our community, delivering them to Compton Elementary School and planning to ship several boxes to Cusco Peru to a cooperative center there. Also, the members are selling special edition T Shirts, the proceeds from which will go to benefit Love Beyond Walls ministry to help Atlanta’s homeless population.

• The Sprayberry High School Marching Band competed twice this year. Performing their show “Running out of Heroes,” the Band earned Superior Ratings in All Captions and earned a number of awards. At the North Georgia Marching Band Championships at South Forsyth High School, the Band placed First in Class AAAA in Drum Major, Guard, Percussion and Band, earned the High Percussion and High Music awards for the Day, and was named the Grand Champion Runner Up. Competing in the Blue Ridge Marching Championships at Fannin County, the Band placed First in Class AAAA in Guard, Percussion and Band and were also awarded the Grand Champion Runner Up Award. In addition, the Sprayberry Marching Band performed at all Football Games and also in their community in support of various activities and events.

• The Kennesaw Mountain High School Marching Band took Second Place in class AAA at the Bands of America Powder Springs Regional and Third Place overall. •The Lassiter High School Marching Trojan Band will perform in the 130th annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. The invitation to perform at this event was extended to only thirteen bands from across the globe after a rigorous application process. This marks an unprecedented fifth invitation extended to the Lassiter Band Program to perform in America’s New Year Celebration. The Lassiter Band program has gained national notoriety for its high level of achievement over the years. The fast-paced, musically and visually challenging marching programs are a testament to an uncompromising commitment to excellence by our students, staff, and directors.

• The Walton High School Marching Band was named Open Class Champions as well as receiving awards for the Most Outstanding Auxiliaries, Most Outstanding Percussion, Most Outstanding Marching, Most Outstanding Music, Most Outstanding General Effect, Barry Morgan Award for Visual Excellence, Dan Martin Award for Music Achievement, Freddy Martin Award for General Effect of the Southern Invitational

The Tournament of Roses Parade is an annual occurrence held on New Year’s Day in southern California since 1890. The tournament is a


Newsletter | November





at Sprayberry High School. The Walton High School Marching Band also performed in the Bands of America St. Louis Super Regional and was 16th place overall in a slate of 74 bands. • Georgia Music Educators Association District XII Elementary Division presented the twenty-seventh Elementary Honor Chorus on Friday, October 19, 2018.


Elementary Honor Chorus rewards and challenges exceptional fifth grade students. The event allows advanced singers to experience being part of a select mass choir, and to benefit from instruction by an exceptional choral director.

• Congratulations to the Brookwood Bronco Marching Band under the direction of Dr. Laura Moates Stanley and Jack Jean. On October 13, 2018, the Bronco Marching Band competed at the Legacy of Champions in Carrollton, Georgia and received all Superiors ratings. Drum Majors were First Overall with Percussion Second Overall. The Guard placed Second in Class in Class AAAAA. The band came in fourth overall for the event.

• Forty-eight schools in Cobb County selected up to eight singers per school to participate in Elementary Honor Chorus. Around 350 fifth graders learned to sing advanced repertoire on their own, and with the help of their local teachers, several weeks before the event.

One week later, Brookwood’s Bronco Marching Band competed at the Marching Mustang Invitational in Effingham, Georgia, where again they received all superior ratings. Brookwood’s drum majors, percussion, and guard all placed first overall. The Band was named Grand Champions and received the High Music and High Overall Effect Awards.

On Friday, October 19th, Barbara Sletto, founder and artistic director of Heartland Youth Choir in Iowa, led students in a full day of rehearsal in preparation for the evening concert. There were snack and meal breaks, as well as activity and movement time. The choir from McEachern High School presented an excellent performance for the younger singers. All 338 fifth grade singers performed a concert for the community at 6:00 at Mount Paran North Church of God. School leaders were present, including a Cobb County School District Board member and several school principals. Events like Elementary Honor Chorus bring students from different schools and families together and allow them to learn and sing challenging music. Singers worked together to create beauty, in an experience that they will remember for the future.




Newsletter | November

• Joelle Choi, a junior in the Peachtree Ridge High School Chorus, has been accepted in to the NAfME’s All National Honor Choir. This will be Joelle’s second consecutive year being selected to participate in this national group. She will travel to Disney World in Orlando, FL, in November to be a part of this event. The Peachtree Ridge ChorusProgram is under the direction of Kathryn Wyatt.

the versatility of the concert was exceptional. A number of family and friends attended the concert, but New Yorkers we in attendance as well. Each student had a phenomenal performance, sharing pieces that were played on the piano, guitar, and violin. The show concluded with Grammy Award Winning Artist, Bobby Sparks, and a teacher at the Lawrenceville-Suwanee School of Music, D’Nessa Perry, taking the stage.

• The Lawrenceville-Suwanee School of Music, a school specializing in music instruction for students of all ages, took the stage at the iconic music venue, Carnegie Hall, in New York City. Bobby Sparks, a nine-time Grammy Award Winning Artist, was a guest performer for the sold-out event. From elementary-aged students performing, to the performing teenagers,



Newsletter | November


Dr. Kerry Bryant retired from the position of Director of Bands at

Adairsville High School (GA), and has accepted the position as Assistant Professor and Director of Bands at Young Harris College in Young Harris, GA. He has served as Adjunct Professor of Music Education at Reinhardt University in Waleska, GA. He has been the Director of Bands at Buford HS (GA), Winder-Barrow HS (GA), Jonesboro HS (GA), Forest Park HS (GA), Irmo HS (SC), and Riverdale HS (GA). He has also taught elementary general music at Statham Elementary (GA), and served for three years as the Coordinator of Fine Arts for the Barrow County Schools (GA). His music education experience totals over 30 years and spans all grade levels, kindergarten through graduate music courses.


Newsletter | November


Dr. Kerry Bryant Dr. Bryant’s symphonic bands have been invited to perform at many college band clinics, conventions and symposia, including: the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference, the University of Georgia Band Clinic, the University of South Carolina Band Clinic, the Florida State University Tri-State Band Clinic, the Troy State University Southeastern Band Clinic, and the University of Southern Mississippi All-South Band Clinic. He has performed at the Mid-West International Band Clinic two times as a charter member of Tara Winds. He has numerous arrangements, transcriptions and editions of concert band works in various private and school libraries and catalogs, including Schirmer Rental and Arrangers Publishing. Dr. Bryant maintains an active travel schedule throughout the southeastern U.S. with guest conducting, evaluation, and clinician services for many band programs and state music associations. He has presented at: ASTA, SE-ESOL, KMEA, SCMEA, TMEA and numerous GMEA conferences.

sion Chair, All-State Jazz Chair, District 6 Chair, Districts 6 and 13 Band Chair, and Future Music Educators Colloquium Co-Chair. He has been President, Georgia Chapter of the National Band Association. He has been awarded the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence three times. He was named an honorary member of the Kappa Kappa Psi at the University of South Carolina and was elected to Phi Beta Mu National Honorary Bandmasters fraternity, Zeta (Georgia) chapter in 1998. He has served on the editorial board for the Music Educators Journal, on the advisory boards for the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center, ArtsNOW, Inc., and the Arts Development Council of Georgia. He has served as an instrumental music education standards writer and reviewer for the Georgia Department of Education, and on the state textbook review and adoption committee in music and fine arts. Dr. Bryant has degrees from the University of Kentucky (BME, 1986), University of South Carolina (MME, 1993), Lincoln Memorial University (Ed.S, Administration and Supervision, 2005) and Liberty University (Ed.D., Education Leadership, 2012). He lives in Waleska, GA, with his wife Kelly, a professional flutist in the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (on call), and adjunct Professor of Flute at Reinhardt and Kennesaw State Universities. They have two children, Jack, aged 20, and Helen, aged 17.

Dr. Bryant was awarded Music Educator of the Year in 2016 by the Georgia Music Educators Association. He was also selected as a 2011 Honoree for the Woodruff Arts Center (Atlanta, GA) Salutes Georgia Arts in Education Leaders, based in part on his fostering of many notable fine arts initiatives within the Barrow County School system while serving as Fine Arts Coordinator. For the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA), he has served as Vice-President, Band Divi-


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"We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better." JK ROWLING


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Are You for Conf Need help getting professional time off ? Letter to Principal


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Ready ference? Professional Development Certification Hotels

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Profile for Georgia Music Educators Association

2018 GMEA Newsletter | November  

2018 GMEA Newsletter | November