VMEA State Report
State Report, Eastern Division Fall Meeting November 2015 What's New
• On October 11th and 12th, we had our annual VMEA and VT- ACDA Music Conference which was held at the Killington Grand Hotel. This year we had new leaders that headed the conference and it went very well. We were very excited to host Scott Sheehan as our Keynote speaker, his message was great and our music educators really enjoyed his keynote. This year we recognized all teachers, our VT teacher of the year, new music educator of the year and special recognition. We also introduced the “Give a note” texting campaign during our luncheon.
• Music-Comp just turned 20 years old and at the conference, Executive Director Sandi McLeod showed a video outlining the process over the years and the wonderful opportunities for our Vermont students. Beginning in 1995, the Vermont MIDI Project fostered a community of music educators, professional composer mentors, music organizations, and pre-service educators who encourage and support music composition for students. Since April 2000, the Opus live performance events have been sponsored by the program held each winter and spring. The power of live performance by professional musicians has become a driving force for students in Music-COMP. Collaborations with performing ensembles that include professional musicians to community and student organizations now commission work from Music-COMP students throughout the year. Since 1996, the project has provided residential summer institutes where educators compose as well as explore current music and technology topics.
News from our districts: ~Music class numbers are rising in some schools which is good, but some are dropping due to new initiatives and/or student schedules around our state. Personalized Learning Plans, Proficiency Based Grading Reports, SBACS, Learning Expectations and many more. We see student numbers dropping in some district festivals but also in our state festivals. ~Many music districts are starting their audition and festival season with different conductors from here in Vermont as well as out of state. The 2016 Vermont All-State Festival will be at Missisquoi Union High School in Swanton, Vermont May 4th-7th. Gerard Schwartz from the Seattle Symphony will be conducting the Orchestra, Dr. Thomas Toner from the University of Vermont will conduct the band, Dr. Christopher Kiver from Penn State University will conduct Chorus and Don Glasgo from Dartmouth College will conduct the Jazz Band. ~District VI launched an online adjudication system with the assistance of Steffen Parker, our State Manager/State Festival Director, and music teacher Jim Chlebak ~We have a new process to elect our Vermont Music Educators Hall of Fame teachers. Through an online voting process which was
created by Peter and Christina Roach who are in charge of the process. • This year our winners are: • Outstanding New Music Educator: Riley Goodemote/Music Teacher-Leland and Grey Union Middle HS
• Outstanding Music Educator: Eric Bushey/Band Director-B.F.A. St. Albans
• Special Recognition (retired): • Frank Whitcomb/ChoralDirector-Burlington High School • Bruce McRae/Band Director-B.F.A. Fairfax
We are very proud of these Vermont Music Educators! ~It is with sad news that Richard “Dick” Ellis, Honorary VMEA Member, founder of the Ellis Music Company, long-time conductor, musician and music supporter in Vermont died at the age of 91. He will be sadly missed by many. Ongoing Initiatives • We are collecting district reports, agendas and minutes from every music district (six of them), presidents also need to update and collect their music schools information and connect with their elementary teachers. The district reports will be included in our next online journal. We have streamlined our information for the board on a google drive, making access easier and in “one” place.
• We have begun work on our mission statement, the vision of our board and job descriptions. This is so we can start creating a flyer that we can hand out letting our members know what we do. Our goal is to get more music teachers to become NAfME Members and to get more enthusiasm about participating in our organization. Our board has had a great start with new district presidents and members who are really excited about music education in our small state.
• Started the process of contacting the Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Statehouse to see about starting an Advocacy Day. This is proving to be more challenging than expected but it’s a start and my hope is to have something in place for the year 2017-2018. Questions or Concerns
• Our organization is struggling financially because we are so small and it would be great to see more of our board attend NAfME meetings throughout the year~We can’t support our board members financially to travel. Asking a board member to cover over a thousand dollars is just not feasible. I have introduced collecting donations to our board by asking them to see if local businesses in their districts can donate to VMEA. Is there an MEA on the Eastern Division that does some form of raising money for their organization? How can I get this rolling and does anyone have more ideas to become financially sound?
• Would like Help to find ways to make us more visible, accessible and give our music teachers the support they need and want. Have educators understand that we are there for them and not just for middle and high school festivals. Ideas?
Respectfully Submitted, Mary Bauer VMEA President
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