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Reserve a room at the Hampton Inn and Suites for the Summer Conference - June 24-26, 2014

Rusty Courson, ABA President                                 
Rusty Courson


Wow!!! What an outstanding AMEA In-Service Conference!!! If you didn’t attend this year, consider making plans now to be there in 2015!!! Thanks to those of you that took the time to present an outstanding slate of clinics, providing practical solutions that we can actually utilize in our band rooms. We enjoyed exceptional concerts from groups at every performance level throughout the state. Thanks to the Alabama Jazz Collective for taking the time to open the convention with an amazing performance, shared by a group comprised of college professors from various institutions of higher learning in Alabama.

In addition, a very special thanks to the Austin High School Concert Band (Clay Sloan), Phillips Preparatory Symphonic Band (Heather Moore), Daleville High School Symphonic Band (Mark Nichols), Bumpus Middle School Symphonic Band (Josh Lynch), Albertville High School Percussion Ensemble (Taylor Cash), Thompson High School Wind Ensemble (Jon Bubbet), and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Wind Symphony (Dr. Sue Samuels). Instrumental music education is definitely alive and well in our state!!!

If you submitted a proposal for a clinic or applied as a performance group, and you weren’t selected this year, PLEASE consider reapplying for 2015. With a limited number of slots for each division, the decisions that are made regarding clinics and band performances are incredibly difficult. Forms can be found on the AMEA website, and the deadline for submitting applications to Garry Taylor is June 1st.

As you know, our All-State Band Festival will take place in Huntsville again this year. The state solo competition will be held on the campus of UAH on April 9th, and all-state will be located at the Von Braun Center of April 10th – 12th at the Von Braun Center. Clinicians this year are Dr. Linda Moorhouse, Red Band; Samuel Hazo, White Band; Dr. Mark Walker, Blue Band; and Linda Gammon, Middle School Band.

Our summer convention will be held at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Orange Beach this year. The ABA Board and Music Selection Committee will meet on June 24th, while we’ll have ABA general business meetings and clinics on June 25th and 26th. If you have any ideas for clinics, please contact me at courson.rusty@lee.k12.al.us. There is a direct link to the hotel posted on the ABA website that will allow you to go ahead and register now. Discounted rates expire on June 1st…or until they run out of rooms. Don’t wait. Register now!!!

We passed two important pieces of legislation during AMEA. The first proposal streamlines the audition process for our percussion students. I want to personally thank the Alabama chapter of the Percussive Arts Society for their tireless work in putting this proposal together. I would start recognizing individuals, but I’ll guarantee you that for every single person I remember, there are many others that contributed to the process as well. The second proposal involves schools that take multiple bands to our music performance assessment. As currently stated in the bylaws, first bands pay a $100.00 school fee, while second and subsequent bands only pay $50.00. In order to ensure that this event is paying for itself (if you think about it, it costs just as much to adjudicate that second band as it does the first), the membership overwhelmingly voted for ALL bands to pay the $100.00 school fee. Of course, we still have to pay the $1.00 per person student fee as well. Hopefully, this will allow ABA to continue to remain solvent.

Speaking of MPA, I hope that your preparations are going well. This is a great opportunity for us to validate what we’re doing in the classroom, and also a great learning experience for our students as well. If I don’t see you before, I’ll see you in Huntsville for All-State in April!!!

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