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Carl Hancock AMEA President


The 2015-2016 AMEA Governing Board, resolute to put more professionalinto professional development.


organization. I hope you will join me in welcoming the Boston Brass to Montgomery.


Dear Friends and Colleagues,


It’s hard for me to contain my enthusiasm about our upcoming Professional Development Conference. Since joining the National Association for Music Education as a college student 27 years ago, I’ve participated in conferences as a learner, panelist, clinician, and speaker. Whatever my role, I leave conferences primed, connected, and knowledgeable of the remarkable strides our profession has made. So, my excitement for the 2016 AMEA Professional Development Conference (January 21-23, 2016 in Montgomery, Alabama) should not come as a surprise, especially in my current role as president.


So let’s get started talking about our upcoming conference!


Highlights of the 2016 Professional Development Conference, “We are all teachers, we are all students!”


Alabama’s Music Educators are renowned for participating in professional development. Whether attending organized clinics or participating in informal dialog, we have a thirst for learning and collegiality, which is why, at our 2016 conference, we are inviting everyone to celebrate the 70th


anniversary of the Alabama


Music Educators Association! There has never been a better time to reach out to your colleagues, especially those who have not been to the conference in a while. The AMEA has changed significantly, and this conference will highlight the direction our organization is headed in while honoring our past accomplishments.


Professional Performances. The world- renowned professional brass quintet, the Boston Brass, will headline our conference. On Thursday (January 21), they will dazzle us with an opening-night concert. Registered conference attendees will receive a ticket for the performance with extra tickets available to schools and other organizations. On Friday (January 22), they will present a clinic and return to the stage as guest performers with the Oak Mountain High School Band and Alabama Wind Ensemble. Hosting our first world-class professional ensemble at our state conference is a testament to the growth of our


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Keynote Speakers.By your request, we invited two keynote speakers. On Thursday morning, you will experience the entertaining insights of the legendary “Dr. Tim” Lautzenheiser. If you have ever had even a moment of doubt about being a music educator or need a reminder of the joys of teaching music, he can easily reignite your passion and purpose. On Friday morning, political and advocacy guru, Christopher Woodside, from the National Association for Music Education, will “walk us through” the brilliance of NAfME’s Broader Minded™ music advocacy campaign and present an update on our progress with lawmakers in Washington DC.


New Music.Our second publisher-sponsored reading band will return this year under the baton of composer Brian Balmages, who will also meet with winners of our Young Composers Competition and present a session on selecting literature for bands and orchestras. FJH, Inc. will again sponsor the sessions, and a drawing for audience members to “pick a tune” to take home at the end of the session will add to the excitement. Speaking of excitement, I am excited to announce that the AOA arranged for a publisher-sponsored reading orchestra with FJH, which will be conducted by noted composer, pianist, actress, and conductor Soon Hee-Newbold.


Featured Clinicians. In addition to these spotlights, our division presidents invited clinicians from across the country to participate in our conference. Some of the names include Dr. Jeffrey Benson, Director of Choral Activities at San José State University; renowned Canadian music specialist, Denise Gagné; and former AMEA President and legendary band director, Becky Rodgers Warren.


Moreover, that is just a snapshot of the many events we planned for 2016. Many of our friends and colleagues are preparing sessions and performances that will make you proud to be a music educator. I encourage you to take a moment to read the conference schedule in this issue and make plans to attend the 2016 Professional Development Conference. Online registration is conveniently located on our website. Visit http://www.alabamamea.org for more information.


For your consideration…a new AMEA position, the AssistantExecutive Director.


As I peruse this issue of the Ala Breve, I cannot help but feel a sense of pride about the pages stitched together especially for you, the committed music educators of Alabama. From the stimulating original articles to informative division announcements to the exciting conference preview, every page represents our values and aspirations as an organization. The quarterly publication of the Ala Breve is a part of our culture and heritage. Not long ago, I decided to read past issues from as far back as 1984, and it is clear to me that throughout our journey as a profession, the Ala Breve has been there to chronicle our progress and forecast upcoming challenges. It is a valuable resource that can be used to inform our present-day decisions. When you think about the hours of labor that go into producing the pages found in just one issue of the Ala Breve, it is easy to overlook the fact that this quality publication has been compiled by one person, our Executive Director and Editor, Garry Taylor.


Background.Our association has not always enjoyed the privilege of a dedicated Executive. In the 1980s, the AMEA struggled with the notion that we needed an employee to assist our organization; after all, music teachers are renowned for putting in extra hours. At the time, we were a small association struggling with the growing pains of exploding membership and demands from members for superior professional development. Also, we were directly involved in significant legislative efforts in Montgomery. Our forbearers realized that while our elected AMEA officers were excellent leaders, as full-time educators, they needed someone to attend to the daily needs of our association in order to truly achieve the organization’s goals. So, they consulted with other state music education organizations across the country, especially in the South, and found kindred groups that were experiencing similar growing pains. Many decided to employ a staff dedicated to carrying out logistical demands. Many more decided to employ a full- time executive manager. After much debate, and assurances from the AMEA leadership, we decided to employ a part-time Executive Secretary, which, in the 1990s, transformed into our present-day, part-time, position known as the Executive Director. The ED serves to carry out the duties assigned by the Governing Board, facilitates the preparation of our professional development conference, administers the business affairs of our organization, and serves as the “go-to” person for all members of our association.


October/November 2015


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