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Carl Hancock AMEA President My fellow music educators,

Now, let’s begin planning for next year! learn from and enjoy.

I am deeply honored to have an opportunity to share my thoughts with you. I know this is a standard statement for persons in leadership, but for me it has the added virtue of being true. We are coming off of a well-executed conference to the credit of our division officers, clinicians, conductors, and the organizational brilliance of our executive director, Garry Taylor, and while the conference was far from perfect, we can take comfort in knowing that many of the initiatives we implemented this year were well-received (See August 2014 or February/March 2015 President’s column). This was by all measures a successful conference.

First, it was one of the largest events we have hosted since 1973. Conference records were surpassed for the number of conference registrations, exhibitor booths, college attendees, FAME participants, clinic sessions, and even the number of research posters presented. To my surprise, the conference was attended by 67% of the entire association! To place this in perspective, I looked at the conference attendance reported in 2010, just prior to our move to Montgomery, and learned attendance is up by over 20% with this year being the largest since our move! This is an impressive amount of growth for a state conference, and we need to share this with potential exhibitors, clinicians, and the ALSDE. Thank you for attending the conference and investing in your professional growth as a music educator.

Second, the feedback we received indicates most of our members were very pleased with the conference and the clinics. Seventy-two percent of attendees rated the conference as Excellent or Very Good (Excellent – 39%, Very Good – 33%, Good – 19%, Fair – 9%, Poor – 0%) and another seventy percent rated the clinics as Excellent or Very Good (Excellent – 34%, Very Good – 36%, Good – 18%, Average – 9%, and Poor –

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3%). Although these assessments are encouraging, we will endeavor to improve our conference because your time is valuable, and our mission to help the students of Alabama is too important. By the way, I want to thank those of you who freely gave your feedback online and in person to any member of the AMEA Governing Board. We deeply appreciate your compliments, suggestions, and candid conversations.

And third, any successful conference generates a multitude of interesting ideas and suggestions. One idea is the desire of AMEA members to hear from successful new and veteran teachers. As many of you know, I recently went through all of the conference programs from 1984 to 2014 and carefully looked at the names of the session presenters. I was surprised by the list of accomplished teachers in our state who have never presented at our conference before. I want to encourage you to find persons you would like to present and convince them to submit a session proposal for the 2016 In-Service Conference. If you do not feel ready to present a full-session or if you think someone has a great idea they need to share, then you might be interested in submitting a proposal to present in our first ever Lightning Round Session. The Lightning Round Session will consists of six to ten speakers who will each present one great idea in under six minutes. The goal is to provide information quickly and efficiently. If you’ve ever watched a TED Talk online, then you will have the general idea. If you’ve never presented before at AMEA, this is a great way to get your feet wet.

On behalf of the AMEA, I’d like to extend my sincerest congratulations to the performing groups and presenters on a job well done. In addition, I’d like to thank everyone who presided over sessions and provided assistance throughout the conference. Leadership comes in many forms. Thank you for modeling selfless service to our profession and for preparing sessions and concerts for us to

Great Conference!

Finally, it has been said by many of our past-presidents that the success of the AMEA In-Service Conference lies in the hard work put in by the members of the Governing Board and the leaders of our various divisions. The AMEA is most fortunate to have the leadership of these fine music educators.

Garry Taylor, Executive Director Susan Smith, AMEA President-Elect Sara Womack, AMEA Immediate Past President Pat Stegall, Treasurer/Registrar Carla Gallahan, Recording Secretary Rusty Courson, Alabama Bandmasters Association President Sarah Schrader, Alabama Orchestra Association President Carl Davis, Alabama Vocal Association President

Karla Hodges, Elementary/General Division President

James Zingara, Higher Education Division President Ted Hoffman, Collegiate Advisor Stacy Daniels, Collegiate President Becky Lightfoot, Industry Membership Representative

Three of our governing board members are serving their final semester with us and I’d like to thank them for their service. Thank you to Karla Hodges, Rusty Courson, and Stacy Daniels. Good luck to all of you on your future endeavors.

I wish everyone good luck as you prepare for spring concerts, festivals, assessments, and all-state events. If there is anything we can do to help you, please feel free to contact me directly. I would love to hear your ideas and answer any questions you might have about the future of our association.

Carl 7

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