Guy Harrison- President, Alabama Orchestra Association

What a Great Year It Has Been!

Only a few short weeks remain before school lets out for the summer break. A chance for us all to hopefully relax and unwind… and start preparing for another jam-packed school year! As you begin to reflect on your successes and those moments that didn’t quite go as planned, consider sharing your knowledge with our membership by submitting a session proposal for the 2020 AMEA Conference. We know that our teachers have different perspectives and unique areas of interest and we would love to see your insights shared with our membership! While you’re at it, also consider applying to have your ensemble represent the AOA as one of our lobby performance groups and help us increase the orchestra presence in our state.

As of the writing of this article, the AOA has concluded its activities for the year with another wonderful All- State Orchestra Festival and our 4th stand-alone Music Performance Assessment event. Our 2019 All-State Orchestra Festival was held at the University of Alabama from February 7-10. We had almost 250 students across 3 ensembles successfully audition for the opportunity to work with our fabulous clinicians – Dr. Raphael Jimenez (Oberlin College), Mr. Bryan Buffaloe (Clear Lake HS, TX), and Dr. Gail Barnes (USC). Each year, the AOA holds a composition contest that is open to both domestic and international composers. The winner’s work is then premiered by our Festival Orchestra. This year we premiered

Discord by Nabil Abad. Mr. Abad is an up-and-coming composer who is currently studying at Baldwin Wallace University. His work was chosen from more than 30 entries from all over the world. It is always interesting to hear student’s perspectives on these works as it is, for some of them, their first exposure to modern orchestral music. Some don’t like it at the first read- through and their opinion does not change even as they become more familiar with the work. Others absolutely love it from the get go, and some grow to like it as they spend more time with it. It always helps to hear from the composer both during rehearsals and at our dedicated Meet the Composer session. I would like to thank the AOA Board, our Executive Director – Julie Hornstein, our District


May/June 2019

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