Are you beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel that is the
2012-2013 school year? I am! It has been a wonderful year for me and I
hope it has been a great year for you!
All State 2013 in Huntsville was a wonderful success and I have so many
people to thank. David Raney did a wonderful job of putting information
online. This saved the ABA a considerable amount of money and I think
made it so much easier for everyone. Dr. David Ragsdale and the staff
and students at the University of Alabama in Huntsville did a superb job
of hosting the State Solo Festival. It was great to be back on a college
campus for this event. Emily Parker and the volunteers and staff at
First Baptist Huntsville were so gracious and helpful in opening their
facilities to our 600+ students, 100+ directors, and many parents for
the chair audition process. We have probably come to take for granted
the great job that Doug Farris does every year in preparing for the
auditions and tabulations. Our band hosts (James Ed Champion, Damon
McAllister, Heather Henson, and Connie Hammond) do more than you can
imagine in preparing for both the 160 students in the band and their
guest clinician. They all did a fantastic job! We can’t thank enough the
schools that provide percussion (Sparkman High School, David Raney and
Jack Albert, James Clemens High School, Keith Anderson, and Huntsville
High School, David Spencer). This is a much bigger job that you might
I also want to thank the District One directors who were able to help
with the percussion moves (and I’ll expect to see more of you next
time!). And of course, we should thank the University of Alabama Wind
Ensemble and Dr. Ken Ozzello for the wonderful concert on Friday night.
I hope I have not forgotten anyone, but the list is so long to make an
event like this run smoothly that I’m sure I have not thanked everyone
that I should. I also want to thank each member of the Alabama
Bandmasters Association for allowing me to serve as your president. When
I received the call four years ago inquiring as to my interest and
willingness to serve, I must confess it was a shock. It was never my
goal or ambition to fill this capacity, but I have been happy to serve.
It can be a difficult job, but the best part was getting to work with
the other Board members. I am thankful for the opportunity to get to
know those fine directors from every part of the state.
I believe that what we do each day is vitally important to the lives of
our students. I believe that the pursuit of musical excellence provides
the skills to be academically, socially, physically, and psychologically
better students and adults. Our students are cheated to the extent that
we “forget” this as an educational culture. We must redouble our efforts
to inspire our students with a passion for music!