MMEA Winter/Early Spring 2019

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Vol. 65, No. 2

Winter/Early Spring 2019


Official Journal of the Maryland Music Educators Association

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Maryland Music Educator

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Inspired Design “It sounds amazing. So clean and natural.� Setting out to design a dynamic new electric violin for performing artists of all skill levels, Yamaha composed six types of wood, a lightweight body and a strikingly beautiful infinity loop design into the award-winning YEV-104 (four string) and YEV-105 (five string). With a natural touch, elegant curves and smooth, organic tones, they allow you to effortlessly move between the YEV and a standard acoustic violin, and between classical and modern music. Try them today at your local Yamaha Strings dealer.

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Majors •

• • • Minors • • • | 301.687.4116 FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodation through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301.687.4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1.800.735.2258. Frostburg State University is a smoke-free campus.


Maryland Music Educator

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Maryland Music Educator Official Journal of the Maryland Music Educators Association

Winter/Early Spring 2019 Volume 65, Number 2


20 22

Music Festival Participation for Elementary Instrumental Ensembles by Brian Thompson, Carroll County Cultivating Relationships Through Trust = SUPPORT by Marcia Neel, Music Education Consultants, Inc.; and Yamaha Band and Orchestral Division

Contents… 06 MMEA Executive Board Directory, Presidents 07 Hall of Fame,, Award Recipients, Executive Directors, Editors 12 MMEA 2019 All State Photos 16 Awards for Excellence Ceremony

Maryland Music Educator Issue

Submission Deadline

Fall 2019

August 1, 2019

Winter 2019-2020

October 1, 2019

Spring 2020

January 2, 2020

Summer 2020

March 15, 2020

17 Executive Director’s Page: MMEA Goes Virtual! 18 General Music Teachers News 19 Calendar of Events, Spring 2019 21 MMEA Board Member Elections 24 MMEA/NAfME Membership

Please send submissions to: Felicia B. Johnston, Editor Advertising information at:

Advertisers Index American College of Musicians............18 Choral Arts Society of Frederick ..........19 Frostburg State Univ. Dept. of Music.....4 George Mason Univ. School of Music ..... .................................................................6 Ithaca College School of Music............11 James Madison University ......................8 James Madison University Auditions .....9 Lebanon Valley College ........................16 Loyola University Maryland .................23 Menchey Bowed String Gallery ..............7 Menchey Music Service........................14 Musicale, Spectrum of Richmond ........10 Univ. of MD Baltimore Co. ..................15 Univ. of Maryland School of Music ................................................(Cover 2) 2 Yamaha Band & Orchestra......................3

The Maryland Music Educator is published for the members of the Maryland Music Educators Association, Inc., a federated state unit of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and music teachers in Maryland four times annually in the months of September, January/February, late March, and May. Articles for publication must be submitted to the editor by August 1, October 1, January 2, and March 15, respectively. Publication dates, advertising rates, and closing dates may be found on the MMEA web page,, under “Resources/Publications”. A PDF of Maryland Music Educator will be distributed digitally to all Maryland music teachers and all MMEA members. It will also be posted on the MMEA website at (MMEA Executive Board decision, June 8, 2018). Send change of address promptly to the editor and to NAfME, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 22091, or use the web address: Editor: Felicia Burger Johnston, P. O. Box 3362, Cumberland, MD 21504-3362



Maryland Music Educators Association (MMEA) is the professional association for the school music teachers of Maryland. MMEA is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit association incorporated in the State of Maryland. MMEA's mission is to advance music education in Maryland schools. We do this by providing professional development for music teachers, involving students and teachers in opportunities for excellence through state-wide music activities and events, and serving as an advocate for music education.

The Maryland Music Educators Association is supported by a grant from the MD State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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MMEA Executive Board Directory Elected Officers

Appointed Officers

President Angela Adams Anne Arundel County

Advocacy Chair Ronald P. Frezzo Montgomery County (retired)

President-Elect Paul Dembowski Anne Arundel County

Collegiate Membership Advisor Melissa McCabe Towson University

Immediate Past President Katherine A. Murphy Montgomery County

Collegiate Representative Shefali Shah Frostburg State University

Recording Secretary Emily Hill, Urbana Middle School Frederick County

Composition Projects Chair Dr. Richard A. Disharoon Baltimore County (retired)

Member At Large Ashley Ashman Montgomery County

Conference Exhibits Chair Jan Strevig Baltimore County (retired)

Component Association Presidents

Membership Chair Janet Gross Calvert County

Band Directors (MBDA) John R. Stevenson Carroll County Choral Directors (MCEA) Michelle Searle Kim Montgomery County Orchestra Directors (MODA) Jennifer Murray Prince George’s County General Music Teachers (MGMTA) Jennifer Kauffman Anne Arundel County College Music Educators (MSMTE) Stephanie Prichard University of Maryland


Research Chair Brian Schneckenburger Baltimore County State Dept. of Education Representative Alysia Lee Maryland State Department of Education Technology Chair Theresa Iacarino Baltimore County Tri-M Chair Charlie Doherty Montgomery County Publications Directors E-Mail:

Membership Development Chair Judith Hawkins Prince George’s County Music Industry Chair Zach Viccica Music & Arts Centers, Inc.

Business Manager Thomas W. Fugate Frederick County (retired) Publications Editor Felicia Burger Johnston Upshur County, WV (retired) Staff Members

Music Supervisors Representative Amy Cohn Baltimore County Private Schools Chair Joseph Shortall Private School

Public Relations Chair Deborah Turner Anne Arundel County

Executive Director Mariama Boney, LMSW, CAE E-Mail: PMB#472 6710 F Ritchie Highway 410-981-9662 Glen Burnie, MD 21061 Business Operations/Project Assistant Aminata Hacko

Maryland Music Educator

MMEA Presidents 1941-43 – Robert S. Bolles 1943-45 – C. James Velie 1945-47 – Frances Jackman Civis 1947-49 – Miriam Hoffman 1949-51 – Mary M. Hunter 1951-53 – Mary de Vermond 1953-55 – Thomas R. Lawrence 1955-57 – Blanche F. Bowlsbey 1957-59 – Mildred B. Trevvett 1959-61 – Emil H. Serposs 1961-63 – Chester J. Petranek 1963-64 – Ward K. Cole 1964-65 – Chester J. Petranek 1965-67 – Donald Regier 1967-69 – Nicholas Geriak 1969-71 – Alice S. Beer 1971-73 – Joseph Chalker 1973-75 – Bert L. Damron 1975-77 – Robert E. Kersey 1977-79 – David Marchand 1979-81 – Thomas E. Silliman 1981-83 – Thomas W. Fugate 1983-85 – Clarence T. Rogers 1985-87 – John E. Wakefield 1987-89 – R. Bruce Horner 1989-91 – Patricia W. Teske 1991-93 – Phyllis R. Kaplan 1993-95 – Roger J. Folstrom 1995-97 – Barbara F. King 1997-99 – Richard A. Disharoon 1999-01 – Michael L. Mark 2001-03 – Michael L. Mark 2003-05 – Ann Vaughn 2005-07 – Amy Cohn 2007-09 – Chrystie Adams 2009-11 – Carol Howell 2011-13 – Ginny Flynn 2013-15 – Stephen W. Miles 2015-17 – Katherine A. Murphy 2017- – Angela Adams

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MMEA Hall of Fame 1988 – Margaret Black 1988 – Robert S. Bolles 1988 – David Burchuck 1988 – Frances Jackman Civis 1988 – John Cole 1988 – Mary G. Cross 1988 – John Denues 1988 – Nicholas Geriak 1988 – Thomas L. Gibson 1988 – Rose Marie Grentzer 1988 – S. Fenton Harris 1988 – Miriam Hoffman 1988 – Mary M. Hunter 1988 – John Itzel 1988 – Henrietta Baker Low 1988 – Otto Ortmann 1988 – Philip S. Royer 1988 – Osmar Steinwald 1988 – Charles C. T. Stull 1988 – Eugene W. Troth 1988 – Homer Ulrich 1988 – C. James Velie 1988 – Levi Wilder 1988 – Dorothy Willison 1988 – William Llewelyn Wilson 1989 – Alice S. Beer 1989 – Thomas R. Lawrence 1989 – Corwin H. Taylor 1990 – Robert E. Kersey 1990 – Dorothy S. Pickard 1991 – John Fignar, Jr. 1992 – Blanche F. Bowlsbey 1992 – Joseph F. Chalker 1992 – James L. Fisher 1993 – Thomas W. Fugate 1993 – C. William Johnson 1993 – Michael Pastelak 1994 – Mildred R. Reiner 1994 – Shirley J. Shelley 1994 – Donald Regier 1995 – David Marchand 1995 – W. Warren Sprouse 1996 – James H. Avampato 1996 – Carmelo J. Palazzo 1997 – Clarence T. Rogers 1998 – Maurice R. Feldman 1999 – Sr. Mary Theresine Staub S.S.N.D. 1999 – Nancy M. Cook 2000 – Mildred B. Trevvett 2003 – Leroy Battle 2003 – Glenn Patterson 2004 – Roger J. Folstrom 2004 – Phyllis R. Kaplan 2005 – Barbara F. King 2005 – Michael L. Mark 2006 – Mary Ellen Cohn 2006 – John Wakefield 2007 – Olivia W. Gutoff 2008 – Richard A. Disharoon 2008 – James L. Tucker, Jr. 2009 – Leone Y. Woodall 2010 – Bruce D. Wilson 2011 – Lee Stevens 2012 – C. Scott Sharnetzka 2012 – Cherie Stellaccio 2013 – Ray Danner 2014 – Dana Rothlisberger 2018 – Gilbert A. Brungardt (Posthumous) 2019 – Chris Vadala (Posthumously) Rosemary & James Walters Service Award 2002 – Thomas W. Fugate 2003 – Chrystie L. Adams 2004 – Richard A. Disharoon 2010 – Mabel Leonore Sawhill 2011 – Howard L. Miskimon 2011 – Sabra C. Steward 2012 – Deborah Turner 2013 – Jan Strevig 2014 – James L. Turk 2015 – Sally Wagner 2017 – Ginny Flynn

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Corwin Taylor Music Education Leadership Award 1994 – Karen Douglas 1995 – Rosa Fletcher Crocker 1996 – Mary Ann Mears 1997 – James L. Tucker, Jr. 1998 – Roger J. Folstrom 1998 – Phyllis T. Kaplan 1999 – Barbara F. King 2002 – Mary Ellen Cohn 2004 – Chris Tuel 2005 – Linda Patton 2006 – Gary Beauchamp 2009 – Joan Orcutt 2010 – Katherine A. Rodeffer 2011 – Richard J. Deasy 2012 – C. Nelson Fritts 2013 – Nancy S. Grasmick 2017 – Anita Lambert 2018 – Michael L. Mark 2019 – Scott Herman

Maryland Music Educator

Executive Directors Maryland Music Educators Association 1998-2018 – Mary Ellen Cohn 2018– Mariama Boney Editors, Maryland Music Educator 1954-57 – Homer Ulrich 1957-61 – Corwin H. Taylor 1961-65 – James L. Fisher 1965-67 – Robert E. Kersey 1967-73 – W. Warren Sprouse 1973-84 – James H. Avampato 1984-86 – W. Warren Sprouse 1987-96 – Thomas W. Fugate 1996-01 – Ray H. Zeigler 2001-08 – Thomas W. Fugate 2008-09 – Dawn Farmer 2008-09 – Felicia Burger Johnston


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November 5, January 26, February 9, February 18


School of Music Admissions MSC 7301 Harrisonbur Harrisonburg, g, VA VA 22807 540.568.3851

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THE JMU AUDITION CLINIC FOR SOPHOMORES AND JUNIORS SATU R DAY, APRIL 13, 2019 Students thinking about applying to study music at a university won’t want to miss this free, one-day event featuring mock auditions in a friendly, non-threatening environment. Students will have an opportunity to gain insight into what it is like to audition at a university music school. They will have the chance to perform a short practice audition for university music professors. Following the audition, faculty members will provide feedback on students’ strengths and areas for improvement, and share strategies for preparing for a college audition. Students will also learn about what to expect as a collegiate music major, including a typical day/week/year, workload, courses and potential career paths.


School of Music Admissions MSC 7301 Harrisonburg, VA 22807 540.568.3851


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DECEMBER 8, 2018 JANUARY 26, 2019 FEBRUARY 2, 2019 FEBRUARY 9, 2019

Dallas, TX Boston, MA Los Angeles, CA Chicago, IL

JANUARY 19, 2019 JANUARY 20, 2019 JANUARY 20, 2019 JANUARY 21, 2019

Application Deadline: DECEMBER 1

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MMEA 2019 All State Concerts MMEA sponsors eight All State groups annually More All State photos on MMEA’s Facebook page. This page, top to bottom: All State Jazz Band, directed by Rick Hirsch. Photo by Charlie Doherty. All State Senior Band, directed by Timothy J. Holtan. Photo by Melissa McCabe. Next page, top to bottom: All State Senior Orchestra, directed by Soo Han. Two photos by Melissa McCabe. All State Junior Band, directed by Sally S. Wagner. Photo by Melissa McCabe.


Maryland Music Educator

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Winter/Early Spring 2019

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Maryland Music Educator

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Winter/Early Spring 2019

Maryland Music Educator


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MMEA 2019 Awards for Excellence Ceremony and Luncheon April 13, 2019 Turf Valley Resort Ellicott City, Maryland For further information and featured recipients, see:



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Updates, news, and more at:

Band, Choral, and Orchestra Music Review/Submission Forms are posted online at


Maryland Music Educator

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Mariama Boney, LMSW, CAE

The Executive Director’s Page ====================================================================

MMEA Goes Virtual!


he MMEA Executive Office now operates virtually with our Executive Director and one part-time staff employee. We work closely with over 150 volunteer leaders who are full-time music teachers serving on one of the 5 component association boards (MBDA, MCEA, MGMTA, MODA, MSMTE); serving on a committee or workgroup; or serving in a volunteer manager/coordinator role. The MMEA Executive Office works in collaboration with the MMEA Board and component association boards, teachers, parents, sponsors, arts organizations, community organizations, and contractors throughout Maryland. We ensure that the operational infrastructure, financial forecasting, public relations, meeting and event logistics, and resource development aspects of the association are maintained. The contact information is listed below. We appreciate the ongoing support and partnership! • Email:; Phone/Voicemail: 410-981-9662 • Mailing Address: PMB#472, 6710 F Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, MD 21061 • Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. To preserve the privacy and safety of students, all student communication is facilitated through the school music teacher. MMEA staff can assist with information that exists on the website and will direct you to the best contacts. Engage You can access the MMEA Executive Office via phone and email. We aim for a reply within two-four business days. This does not

Follow MMEA on Twitter! @MMEA_Maryland

apply during meetings, high event season, travel, holidays, and vacations. During high event season, responses will be slow or significantly delayed. In these cases, review the MMEA website for event updates. One week prior to an event and several days after, the MMEA Executive Office staff team is preparing, coordinating and managing pre-event, onsite, and post-event logistics. Thus, the office is usually closed. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. We are striving to do our best with the time and resources available. MMEA acknowledges and is closed on Thanksgiving Day; Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas Eve; Christmas Day; New Year’s Day; Inauguration Day; Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday; Washington’s Birthday or Presidents Day; Easter; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Good Friday; Veteran’s Day; and Columbus Day. The MMEA Office will be closed between Christmas and New Year. Operational Vision In partnership with the MMEA Executive Board and strategic plan, the MMEA Executive Office aims to: • Grow the use of technology and go digital; • Realign the value of volunteer leaders; • Promote professional learning; • Maximize member engagement; • Make the member value visible; and • Diversify revenue via new opportunities, constituents, products, or services.

Join MMEA on Facebook!

Event Updates, Photos, Calendar, Forms, Maryland Music Literature Lists, and more:

2019-2020 MMEA Professional Development Events Save the dates! October 18, 2019

March 13 & 14, 2020

Fall In-Service Day

Annual Conference

Winter/Early Spring 2019

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Maryland General Music Teachers Association

Jennifer Kauffman, President




re you ready for spring? Our advisory board recently shared some suggestions to move through these transitional temperatures. Engage Students: Five Suggestions to Keep Students Moving: 1. Incorporate a lot of movement in your lessons. Teach movements that address or reinforce an element of music. Allow students creativity in which they can incorporate their movement ideas into a given lesson. 2. Use movement activities like freeze dance, free dance, scarves, and bean bag games for balance. 3. Offer a rehearsal or sectional during indoor recess times. 4. Meet the many styles of learners through varied activities. 5. Try “GoNoodle” or YouTube for many "Just Dance" videos that help keep the stu-

dents moving and engaged in appropriate songs and movements that can reinforce a concept. Just preview the entire video and paste the link into for commercial-free watching. Gain Balance: Five Ideas for Balancing Work and Personal Life: 1. Take time for yourself daily. Make a healthy balance between work and personal life. 2. Don’t bring any work home. It allows you to be present when you’re at home. 3. Set a time when you will stop working no matter what! If you must stay late pick one night a week to stay late. Balance it out by picking another day to leave on time and spend extra time with family/spouse/partner, etc. 4. Make sure you get a chance to be a musician…not just a music teacher. Join a community music group and get involved.

5. Make time to meet with other teachers outside of the school day to have some fun! Stay Healthy: Five Tips to Prepare for the Spring. 1. Drink your vitamin C, wash your hands, open the blinds to let in the natural light, and pump up the jams on your way to and from work. 2. Get regular exercise in each week. Getting your body active is a great way to forget about the worries. 3. Incorporate some sort of mediation or quiet time to stay centered and focused. 4. Listen to podcasts during your commute. 5. Keep busy with current and upcoming festivals! Do you have some more tips and suggestions? Share with us on Twitter @MMEA_Maryland!

Information about the 2018-2019 Young Composers Project submissions is posted on the MMEA website, All submissions must be received by May 1, 2019 at 11:59 PM.


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Maryland Music Educators Association Calendar for Students and Teachers Spring 2019 HS: High School April April April April

4-7 5 13 18

April 19

MS: Middle School

PMEA/NAfME Eastern Division Conference, Pittsburgh Deadline for all State Solo and Ensemble Applications Awards for Excellence Celebration Luncheon, Turf Valley Resort Deadline for Receipt of State Instrumental S&E Eligibility Forms Deadline: Middle School Band, Chorus, Orchestra Festivals Applications

April 29-May 3

State Band, Chorus and Orchestra Festivals

May 6-10 May 11 May 18

State Middle School Band, Chorus and Orchestra Festivals State String and Vocal Solo and Ensemble Festivals State Wind and Percussion Solo and Ensemble Festival Towson University Fine Arts Building

THE CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY OF FREDERICK CONCERT CONCERT 2: MARCH 1 & 2, 20 2019 19 In the second second c concert oncert of the 7 75 5th Anniv Anniversary ersary c celebration, elebration, the Chor al Arts Society of Fr ederick pr esents a Choral Frederick presents whimsical chor al rreflection eflection on the pas sage of time. time. choral passage Featuring Featuring w works orks by by Erik Esenvalds, Esenvalds, S Stephen tephen Cha Chatman, tman, Shawn Rheinberger well Sha wn Kirchner Kirchner and Josef Rheinber ger as w ell as many man y others, the ways ways in which we we measure measure time are are delivered beautifully deliv ered in song. Friday, March 1 | 7:30 p.m. & Saturday, March 2 | 3 p.m. Jack B. Kussmaul Theater Tickets are available through or at the box office.


CONCERT CONCERT 3: APRIL 26 & 2 27, 7, 2019 2019 T The he Chor Choral al Arts Society of Fr Frederick’s ederick’s 7 75 5th Anniv Anniversary ersary Season c oncludes with a concert concert of hits fr om the concludes from 1940’ s, with gues ts Ho ward Burns and his Big Band 1940’s, guests Howard Band.. Join us as w we e go back in time tto o the sights and sounds 1940’s, celebrating celebrating our beginning in song and of the 1940’s, dance. Following Following the concert, concert, please join us for for a dance. rreception eception as w e thank YO U for for 7 5y ears of support. we YOU 75 years Friday, April 26 | 7:30 p.m. & Saturday, April 27 | 3 p.m. Jack B. Kussmaul Theater Tickets are available through or at the box office.

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Music Festival Participation for Elementary Instrumental Ensembles: Using the Music Festival

Experience to Benefit Your Youngest Musicians

by Brian Thompson, Elementary Instrumental Music Director, Carroll County


f you are like me, some of your best memories from your time in middle or high school instrumental music took place outside of your school building. Whether a day trip to a music festival associated with a local amusement park or an overnight trip further away, these experiences provide students with memorable performance opportunities. However, some do not see these experiences as being appropriate for elementary level students. Can an elementary ensemble really perform at a level to be judged? Is the adjudicator feedback really useful for such a young ensemble? Are the students mature to handle the total experience? I say, “YES!” And while I would not advocate for an overnight trip with a young ensemble, a one-day music festival experience can be beneficial for young musicians. Decide If This Experience Is Right for Your Ensembles While my purpose is to highlight the benefits of the music festival experience, it is important to note that this experience may not be appropriate for all elementary music ensembles. Consider this experience only for your secondyear ensembles and above. When deciding if your group is ready for an adjudication, you will want your ensemble to be past the “correct notes and rhythms” stage. Adjudicators will give you feedback about the same elements provided to secondary ensembles, such as balance, blend, intonation, and musicality, among other areas. If you are going to dedicate time and resources to prepare for an adjudication, you want feedback to be educational and meaningful to you and your students. If your group is not at this point yet, it would be more beneficial to focus time and energy on fundamentals necessary for a strong foundation prior to middle school. 20

Communicate Early and Often with Your Families This will likely be a field trip unlike any other that your students have attended. Even though your performance may take place in the Spring, consider sending home your first piece of communication in the beginning of the school year. Communicate your trip date, a rough outline of the itinerary, a ballpark range of cost, and information about fundraising opportunities. Continuously follow up throughout the year with letters or emails as more information becomes available. When you have your performance times, put together a detailed schedule of the day. Of course, keep your administration in the loop with these details as well. What Should be Performed? Most festivals require two adjudicated pieces with the option for a warm up piece to be performed. Always consider taking advantage of performing the warm up piece. This will be an opportunity to get used to performing in a different venue. This is especially important for percussionists, as they will be playing on instruments such as the bass drum, timpani, and mallet instruments, that may feel different than what they use at school. Considering the purpose of the warm up piece, always choose something easier than your adjudicated pieces. For adjudicated pieces, pick music that is challenging, yet achievable. Music that is too easy results in complacency, and that which is too difficult results in frustration. Neither results in learning. Select music in which your students have an opportunity to demonstrate a variety of tempi, dynamics, styles, rhythms, etc. There are many publisher grade 1 or 1.5 pieces that incorporate Maryland Music Educator

these various musical elements. Give the adjudicators an opportunity to comment about what the ensemble does well beyond the notes and rhythms, and what your students’ next steps are in their development. Rehearse Your Performance Preparing your students to perform the music well is an important part of preparing for any performance. However, it is beneficial to consider the variables of a performance in a different venue with judges observing. This is why it is good to rehearse the performance, not just the music. In your final rehearsals, make time to do full run-throughs of your entire performance. This includes coming onto the stage, setting up percussion, reading the introductory announcement prior to your performance, and practicing any equipment and seating changes that may take place between pieces. This is a great time to reinforce stage etiquette. Even consider bringing in adults to pretend to be judges in the back of the auditorium. This process creates a routine for your performance. Your Warm Up and Adjudicated Performance Most music festivals allow twenty to thirty minutes of warm up time prior to your performance. This warm up time should be used to get the students comfortable, confident, and playing well. This is NOT the time to rehearse minutia or run through your entire program. Get the lips/fingers/hands moving, tune, and play through some segments to get their heads in the game. Pick segments that your students like and are comfortable with, and then pick a few segments that have been challenges throughout your preparation. Play enough to play well, but don’t play so much that focus is lost and Winter/Early Spring 2019

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fatigue sets in before your performance. When it is performance time, the stage is yours! You will likely be allowed approximately thirty minutes of performance time. With three pieces of elementary level music, you will likely not use that entire time. Consider having your percussion go on stage first to set up and get acquainted with the instruments. Once percussion is set, then have the rest of the ensemble take the stage. And then...just perform! Nothing should be different than your preparation. Yes, there are some variables with a different stage, a different auditorium, and different percussion equipment, but a well prepared ensemble will not let these be a hindrance. Don’t feel rushed, make sure your students are ready to go before you start each piece, and have fun! Benefits to Your Students and Program Such a performance experience can go a long way toward preparing your students to continue performing beyond elementary school. Your students will receive feedback similar to what they will receive as middle school students. They will understand early on that just focusing on correct notes will not be enough, and that they now have to perform deeper than that. And even if these skills aren’t fully mastered yet, the early exposure will better prepare the students for their middle school experience. Success in an adjudicated music festival performance can also contribute to your instrumental program’s future growth and improvement. It will set a standard for your instrumental music program and serve as an example for students in future years. Students will become more self-motivated to become better musicians, and this will translate to improved ensembles. You may also see improved instrumental music participation in your school. Prior to our festival participation, approximately 50% of 4th and 5th grade students were enrolled annually in instrumental music in my school. As of December 2018, instrumental music enrollment at my school was at 68%. Finally, an instrumental music program’s success is something that our entire school can share. Your award-winning instrumental music program can be one of the highlights of your school. You may find administrators, teachers, and parents taking a more genuine interest in your instrumental music program. Your program’s success will solidify its place in your school’s culture and environment. Winter/Early Spring 2019

...while it’s easy to take a comment on an aspect of your performance that needs improvement and think, “There’s no way we can do that as an elementary ensemble,” challenge yourself to find a way to improve the way you teach that concept in the future.

Final Thoughts Prepare to be flexible. Festivals may run ahead or behind. If it is running ahead, you usually have the choice to keep your performance time as scheduled. However, if you think you’ve gotten all you want out of your warm up and you’re ready to go, it’s not worth sitting around just for the sake of keeping a performance time. Also, be ready to make stage adjustments after you get on stage. If something is not set up correctly, fix it as efficiently as you can. If something breaks, make it work the best you can. Take spare school instruments with you as backups. Sometimes, a plan is something from which you deviate. While we all want that Superior rating, that is hard to achieve with a group of students who have only been playing for two or three years and have had minimal full ensemble experience. Your festival performance is not a destination for your students. Rather, it’s a point at the beginning of a long musical journey still ahead of them. Set your sights high, but don’t lose sight of where your students were, are, and have the potential to go. Finally, any activity in which your students participate should result in musical learning and growth. However, your students do not

have to be the only ones who grow. Use the judges’ commentary for your personal growth as a teacher as well. This is the type of feedback that elementary directors often do not receive by not participating in district band and orchestra assessments. And while it’s easy to take a comment on an aspect of your performance that needs improvement and think, “There’s no way we can do that as an elementary ensemble,” challenge yourself to find a way to improve the way you teach that concept in the future. Take this opportunity to grow with your students.

About the Author: Brian Thompson is the instrumental music director at Westminster Elementary School in Carroll County. Under his direction, Westminster Elementary School instrumental ensembles have consistently received Superior and Excellent ratings in adjudicated performances. He also serves as Carroll County’s All-County Ensemble Audition Coordinator and District Solo and Ensemble Festival Coordinator. In addition, Brian is an adjunct music instructor at Stevenson University, and is the music arranger and designer for 2018 Tournament of Bands Group III Open Atlantic Coast Champion Liberty High School Marching Band. He is a former brass instructor with the Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps, where he was part of two Drum Corps Associates World Championships. Brian was a 2017 finalist for Carroll County’s Teacher of the Year Award. He can be contacted at

2019 MMEA Electronic Board Elections 2019 Board Member Elections electronic ballots have been emailed to all MMEA members. Elections for the positions of President-Elect of MMEA, MCEA (Choral Educators) , and MODA (Orchestra Directors) are open through April 15, 2019. All MMEA members may cast a ballot for MMEA President-Elect. Only choral educators and orchestra directors may vote within their component area. The Presidents-Elect serve a two-year term and then become Presidents of their respective boards. Maryland Music Educator


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Cultivating Relationships Through Trust = SUPPORT by Marcia Neel, President, Music Education Consultants, Inc.; Senior Director of Education, Yamaha Band and Orchestral Division Previously published in School Band and Orchestra, February 2018; reprinted with permission


easoned music educators know that networking within the school is something that must be cultivated over the long term. Networking leads to building quality relationships and those relationships lead to the establishment of trust and, ultimately, support. Once trust is in place, you have put others at ease and in doing so, they become more open to all that you represent - your students, your programs, your ideas and more. Once this happens, the job of negotiating the many nooks and crannies of program support becomes much less of a cumbersome task. So, how do we accomplish this? Must we possess an outgoing personality? Do we just start talking with people? If I were new to a school, I might feel a little reserved about making the “first move” with the principal/supervisor. Yes, you met the principal at the interview and established a preliminary, more formal, relationship, but now it’s time to advance that relationship to the next level. It’s important to understand that people who engender trust exhibit common characteristics. Manchester, Inc., of Philadelphia performed a survey with over 200 companies to discover the best ways to build trust and the responses apply to the school culture as well as to the business environment. The beauty is that in demonstrating these traits to others, they will be demonstrated back to you in return. 1. Maintain integrity. The Oxford Dictionary defines integrity is as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. The best way for us to demonstrate integrity is to keep our word, and this is shown in everything that we do from completing paperwork on time to following through on promises made. Being reli22

able also means that we hold ourselves accountable to be on time, to respond to people in a timely fashion, and requires organization. Having a system for completing paperwork and correspondence is a must. Also, a no-surprises approach shows supervisors that you want them to be successful as well, so make sure to give your principal a heads-up if a call is going to be received from an unhappy parent or frustrated colleague. 2. Openly communicate vision and values. Being able to communicate our purpose and beliefs and remaining true to these as our core values allows everyone we work with to understand our purpose. If our purpose is to serve the students and the school, then the outcomes of our decision-making must be based on what is best for these two constituencies. It is much easier to defend our positions on everything - from budgets to curriculum to pulling students out of school for an activity - if our actions stem from these values. A relationship built on an established vision and value also clears the path for open dialogue and honest exchange since a starting point is already in place. 3. Show respect for employees as equal partners. We all know the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”, and this is easily evidenced in the school community. From the principal to the counselor to the custodian to the teaching staff and everyone in between, everyone wants to feel valued, so take an interest in people as individuals. Find out which teams they follow or what music/artists they like or what books they read and then establish common ground. In considering the big picture, you might seek how to increase the ways in which the music program could make a positive impact on the staff. Maryland Music Educator

One successful example might be to host an annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon on or near Valentine’s Day. Students would make and send out invitations to the entire school staff to be their guests. It could be held in the Faculty Lounge or near the school cafeteria. All it would take would be to provide the lunch, assemble some music-themed centerpieces, table cloths and silverware, provide a little live entertainment and there you have it - instant support for your program from the entire staff because of a little extra effort made to show your colleagues that you appreciate them. For many, this could be their first experience in seeing students demonstrating their learned skills and the students will love being able to share their talents with some of their other teachers, so this is a definite win-win. When we show that we value others, we are valued in return - plus it demonstrates to our students that we live what we espouse to them. 4. Focus on shared goals rather than on personal agendas. At his inauguration speech, President John F. Kennedy challenged Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country”. In considering the big picture, what are the initiatives that are the focus point for the current school year and how might you contribute? Does your program address the Vision and Mission of the school? In what way? Are the Vision and Mission Statements on your Music Department letterhead? If literacy is the school-wide initiative, support the initiative in an outward way. Teach vocabulary and expect good spelling in written work. Make the point that learning to read music is a form of literacy as well. Show buy-in and your school leaders will appreciate your support and support you in return. Winter/Early Spring 2019

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5. Do the right thing regardless of personal risk. There are times when we make mistakes BIG ONES - but dealing with them honestly and in a timely fashion can actually help to build trust. During my first year of teaching, I was rehearsing an ensemble in the gym for a performance the following day at a pep rally. The sound equipment was set up so that we would be all ready to go. Everything was going just fine until we heard a loud POP followed by the burning of an extension cord from the outlet all the way to the sound board. The result was an enormous black burn mark extending half-way across the gymnasium floor. I was scared to death and couldn’t even imagine how the basketball coach was going to react, but there was only one thing to do: call my supervisor that very moment, tell him what had happened, and ask what I could do to make it right. Fortunately, the burn did not go all the way down to the wood, but my supervisor had my back by meeting the basketball coach when he arrived at school the next morning. 6. Listen with an open mind. Listening is the first step in establishing open lines of communication. Sometimes it’s a casual conversation about something unrelated to school, but at times, it can be downright confrontational. It’s important to remember that in these cases, that person is frustrated, and venting may be the only solution. Two thoughts to keep in mind are a) never take these confrontations or criticisms personally and b) don’t get emotional. This will allow you to remain calm no matter what. Check your body language and be aware of how you are showing that you are truly listening. If your arms or legs are crossed, you may be distancing people inadvertently. Are your brows furrowed or are you displaying a pleasant demeanor? Are you using eye contact? Maintaining an open posture and appropriate facial expression communicates that you are “all in” to hearing and understanding. 7. Demonstrate compassion. Genuinely caring for others by showing concern lets them know that you are an upstanding person who puts others ahead of self. It’s surprising how a small gesture can endear someone to you. I’ll always remember the chemistry teacher at my school who, just Winter/Early Spring 2019

prior to my returning to school after attending my father’s funeral, had come into my office and turned selected books upside down in my bookcase and strewn dots from a three hole punch all across my desk. Underneath all of those many dots was a very sweet card that expressed a personal sentiment. I’ll never forget it. When he had to take off a week because his wife had to have surgery, he returned to find his office which I had completely TP’d with Charmin’s finest. There are many ways to demonstrate compassion without making a mess, of course, but when we show others how much we care, they show compassion for us in return. 8. Maintain confidences. Keeping secrets is one of life’s challenges, but it’s nice to be known as that one person in the building with whom others can share, knowing that it’s “in the vault.” The nicest thing I ever heard anyone say about someone was that they never heard that person speak an ill word about another. This is the ultimate compliment. It doesn’t take long to discover who the gossips are. Every school has them and they should be avoided at all costs! Music teachers who demonstrate the above traits consistently discover that trust is the glue that bonds everything together as well

as the lubricant that keeps things moving smoothly. It helps others to understand more about what we do and the value that it provides for the students. Stephen M.R. Covey, author of Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, explains that while high trust won’t necessarily rescue a poor strategy, low trust will almost always derail a good one. Exhibiting the above characteristics of trust may not come easily, but they can be learned and cultivated over time. All we need to do is get started. What we give is what we get back in return. About the Author: Marcia Neel is president of Music Education Consultants, Inc., and serves as educational advisor to the Music Achievement Council (MAC). In this capacity, she provides sessions at conferences, district in-service days, and dealer workshops, sharing practical success strategies to help educators with the many and varied elements of the successful music education program. She presented sessions at the February 2019 Maryland Music Educators Association Annual Conference in Baltimore. Marcia also serves as Senior Director of Education for the Yamaha Band and Orchestral Division and was recently appointed to the Percussive Arts Society Board of Directors.


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Maryland Music Educator


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MARYLAND MUSIC EDUCATOR Vol. 65, No. 2 Early Spring 2019 Official Journal of the Maryland Music Educators Association Maryland Music Educators Association, PMB#472, 6710 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, MD 21061 This issue of Maryland Music Educator will be posted at