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That night the National High School Music Ensembles presented a wonderful concert held in the Kennedy Center to conclude the Academy. The orchestra conducted by Ryan McAdams played Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in its entirety. The band performed works by Mennin, Spittal, Duffy and Fillmore under the baton of Thomas Duffy .The choir was led by Dr. Elena Sharpova whose energy was contagious and her immigration story from Russia, inspirational. They performed works by Vaughan Williams, Palestrina, McGlynn, Mechem, Brunner and Wilberg. The evening concluded with the United States Army Brass Quintet playing original student compositions as well as the Carnival of Venice variations and a Forster Horn Concerto. The final performance of the week on Monday was the MENC National Jazz Band conducted by Fred Irby III, and the U.S. Army Blues Band. A reception followed the concert.

In order to be successful in changing times, music educators need to continue on their own individual education continuum. Attending conferences at the state and national level is an opportunity to experience the latest developments, research and exhibitors’ products. At the state level it is always exciting to make connections with people you know, but the national level offers insight from all over the country. As soon as I returned from DC, I implemented my new knowledge. I used the Boston Crusaders tuning technique in my jazz band, practiced teaching a Figure-8 exercise to a small marching group, and began to formulate ideas for in-servicing music teachers K-12 in our district on 21st

Century skills. Each

conference attended will sharpen our skills and allow us to inspire our students. When we are excited about our careers, we are ambassadors to the future of our profession.


MENC, the National Association for Music Education. (2011) National Standards for Marching Music. Retrieved from http:// standards-for-marching-music.

Partnership for 21st Framework for 21st

Century Skills. (2011) Century Learning.

Retrieved from documents/1.__p21_framework_2- pager.pdf.

Shuler, S., (2011). The three artistic processes: Paths to lifelong 21st


skills through music. Music Educators Journal, 97(4), 9-13.

Johanne Ray-Hepp is a band director at Northville High School in Northville, MI. She received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Music Education from Wayne State University. n

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