Doug Farris - President, Alabama Bandmasters Association



This year’s conference was outstanding with so many opportunities for professional development. Wednesday began with the AMEA board and ABA board meeting to finalize the conference and planning for the future. Thursday’s concert schedule was a great view into the instrumental education in Alabama. The day started on a spectacular note with the Liberty Park 7th & 8th Middle School Band and Oak Mountain High School Symphonic Band. The concerts from Muscle Shoals High School Wind Ensemble and Thompson High School Wind Ensemble were both amazing glimpses into what our bands can achieve. The night continued with the UAB Wind Symphony which was outstanding. A new event with the 10 pm concert featured the Alabama Winds. Their concert included “In My Father’s Eyes” by Julie Giroux. It is dedicated to the 1963 bombing victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church. It featured the choir from the 16th St. Baptist Church. It was a moment none of us will soon forget. Friday’s concerts with Fairhope Middle School Symphonic Band and Spain Park High Symphonic Winds were equally as great. Thanks to these directors and students for your hard work and dedication to your programs. So many of the clinics were done by our own members. Many thanks to all the clinicians for sharing your wonderful talents. As you begin preparing for MPA consider applying to perform next year. We have great bands in this state at all levels. Bite the bullet and apply to perform.

As we have just finished all districts all-state auditions, we must learn the process to benefit our students. For any ABA event, read the handbook on that section. The most recent edition can be found on When you don’t prepare, it’s your students that suffer. It also causes stress on the chairmen and people organizing the event.

MPA is our next event. As you prepare, remember everyone cannot perform at 11:00 am on the last day. Be flexible and cooperate so when the adjudication starts it is as stress-free as it can be.

An educational festival for elementary, middle, and high school students in band, choir, and orchestra

2019 dates: April 12 April 26

May 3

2020 dates: April 3 April 7 April 24 or call:1-855-766-3008


The solo festival will register online this year. The link will be emailed and posted on the website.

Everyone deserves our full professional attention. At All-State we will discuss and vote on the following legislation: 2019-1

Currently: Article XVI, Section 3 c. No electronic instruments may be used unless included in the score by the composer. Any other exceptions to must be presented to the Chairman of the Music Selection Committee (Vice-President) for approval.

Change to/Add: Article XVI, Section 3 Electronic instruments may be used if they are included in the score by the composer or with approval from the Chairman of the Music Selection Committee (Vice President). An electronic piano and necessary hardware, provided by the band performing, will be allowed to be used to substitute for a piano part that is included in the score by the composer.

Rationale: There are many publications that require a piano part. This change to the bylaws will allow directors to choose to perform on an acoustic piano (if available) or an electronic piano. The main advantages to the electronic piano are the student can prepare for assessment on the instrument they will perform on and you can ensure that it is in tune

2019-2 Article XX. Non-Traditional Students

This article outlines the process to allow non-traditional students to participate in a band with Alabama Bandmaster Association member public schools. The guidelines below outline participation for all activities sponsored by the Alabama Bandmasters Association.

Section 1. Home School Guidelines a. Enrollment

1) Students must enroll in a member public school in order to

participate in a band performance or practice. 2) Must be enrolled at the member public school that serves


out all information and print the last page of the receipt email. The band director, student, and parent must sign this page before mailing with payment to Harry McAfee.

Directors are so passionate about their students. When we are involved in ABA events they are all our students.

the area in which the student’s guardians reside. 3) Must be enrolled within the first 20 days of the semester in

the school they are zoned to attend. 4) All home school students are eligible once enrolled based

on local board policy. b. Academic Accountability school.

1) Must be enrolled and attend two electives offered by the i. One of these electives is required to be the band class the

student participates with at performances. ii. The other elective class can be taken on campus or through

the school ’s virtual program. iii. The ABA recommends that the other elective is not an

additional band class or private lessons class. February/March 2019

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