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Kelli Graham

It was great to see so many of you at the Michi- gan Music Conference. This year proved to be yet another great conference! Our preconfer- ence featured a great day of folk dancing pre- sented by Peter and Mary Alice Amidon. Brian Hiller, our headliner, presented four great ses- sions utilizing the Orff technique. Once again, the young composers at the Honors Composi- tion concert continue to impress the audience with their amazing musical creations. This year also featured a new member breakfast/social hour free to MMEA members. At this session, we were proud to present the following awards to these most deserving recipients:

Colleen Conway, Music Educator of the Year Betty Anne Younker, Award of Merit Lisa DuPrey, Hilda Humphreys Service Award

John Deiter & Rob Spagnuolo (Dewitt Public Schools), Outstanding Administrator Awards

Advocating for music education continues to be a priority for MMEA leadership. Aligning with Music in Our Schools Month, leaders from MMEA, MSBOA, MSVMA, PMEPD, and NAfME Collegiate gathered for the 2nd An- nual Advocacy Day in Lansing. We met with legislators throughout the day highlighting two bills that have been introduced: SB 718 and HB 5281. These two bills would require schools dis- trict in Michigan to provide music class to ALL students in elementary schools providing equal access to a well-rounded education throughout the state. In addition to our meetings, students from Thurston Elementary 5th Grade Choir, a flute soloist from Shepherd High School, an Okemos High School brass quintet, and the Haslett High School Men’s Chorale performed a midday concert in the rotunda for all those at the capital that day. We are hopeful that our presence and legislative tasks will continue to support music education in the schools. Please be on the look out for directives from MMEA on our new website, Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail blasts on how you can support our efforts in this legislative process.

This spring has been a busy season for MMEA. Participation at our Instrumental Clinics re- mains strong as evidenced by the addition of a new site at Belleville. Along with our site at Fowlerville this addition will allow us to serve even more instrumental groups. Our 2nd An-


nual Honors Choir performed to another packed house at DeWitt High School. The number of interested students for this event exploded and they sure sounded great! The Collegiate Confer- ence was held at Grand Valley State University and featured an advocacy panel discussion, in- terest sessions and workshops specifically for collegiate members and student performances. Also, if you have not done so yet, please take time and check out our new website!

As I wrap up this letter, I want to take the time to thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president. I have truly enjoyed the experience and have met so many great members in our state and others. I will look forward to all that MMEA has to offer in the future. Although my term is coming to an end, I will continue to be involved with MMEA and look forward to see- ing you at upcoming MMEA events. See you soon!

Musically yours,

Kelli Graham MMEA President

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President’s Message

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