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Nominate a Student for the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band - Deadline Jan. 31, 2015

2015 All-State Band - Hotel Info

Rusty Courson, ABA President                            
Rusty Courson

Hopefully everyone has had a productive beginning of school.  At this point, thanks to the new football schedule adopted by the AHSAA, some of us are preparing for our sixth football game, which seems really strange to me.  With that being stated, I remember very well that when I first started teaching in the late 1980’s, we didn’t start school until late August, yet always had at least one football game before school even started.  Despite the rain that we’ve dealt with this year (I know of several of you that have lost MANY rehearsals this year because of the wet stuff), I hope that you’ve been able to adequately prepare your groups as we quickly approach contest season. 

I know that you will want to be in attendance for our annual AMEA In-Service Conference this year at the Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center in Montgomery.  Our conference will be held on January 22-24, 2015.  Please check the conference schedule, found in this edition of the Ala Breve, as we have outstanding bands slated to perform at every level that I know you’ll want to hear.  In addition, you should be able to find many clinics that will be helpful as you strive to better yourself as an educator, and your band program as well.  Take advantage of this opportunity to earn professional development in OUR academic discipline (and yes…music IS an academic discipline!!!).  Go ahead and pre-register online ASAP by going to the AMEA website at www.alabamamea.org.

Looking ahead, make sure that you check out the link on our website to our calendar of events, broken down by district.  State dates (such as AMEA and All-State) are included as well.  Music Performance Assessments will start in February and run through March.  Please remember that ONE of your selections must come from the cumulative music list, which has been moved to our new website being developed through our relationship with Dorian Business Systems (aka Charms), which can be found at www.abafest.com.  The new cumulative list is VERY functional and is actually searchable.  If you haven’t used it yet…go check it out.  If you plan to submit a request to play something that is NOT on the cumulative list, please fill out the Request to Perform a Composition NOT on the Cumulative List Form and get it to Mike Holmes no later than January 16, 2015.  Note:  This is NOT a postmark deadline.  He needs to receive this NO LATER than this date.  Please DON’T send an original score, but send a copy that will be destroyed IMMEDIATELY after the approval process has taken place.  This form is found on the ABA Forms link found on the ABA website.

Please make sure that your information on the ABAFEST webpage is current.  We have finally stepped into the 21st century, and your district chairs, along with your state officers, will use this format to communicate EVERYTHING to you.  If you don’t register, you’re not going to receive information, so please take care of this now if you haven’t already.

Our All-State Band Festival will take place in Mobile this year.  We had a great experience there in the past and I know that you’re looking forward to returning there with your students next spring.  Our executive secretary, Harry McAfee, recently sent out information regarding all-state housing.  If you didn’t receive this, either you haven’t registered on www.abafest.com, or you moved to another school and didn’t update your registration.  This is just ONE reason that your registration needs to be current:-). 

We have two pieces of legislation that will be voted on at AMEA.  It is published in the October edition of Ala Breve, so please take a few moments to read it so you can make an informed decision.  Legislation 2015-1 involves the removal of the Superior with Distinction recognition that was adopted when we moved from the district/state format to our current Music Performance Assessment format.  Legislation 2015-2 involves a proposal that would change the classification of band programs for MPA purposes. 

One last time, PLEASE consider attending our AMEA conference this year.  If you have in the past, but haven’t returned in a year or two for whatever reason, please consider returning this year.  If you’ve NEVER been, you need to see what it’s all about.  This is our opportunity to meet with music educators from throughout the State of Alabama to better ourselves professionally, and to discuss issues current to our discipline, and I’m sure that you’re aware that there are many!!!  Music IS an academic discipline and if we don’t treat is as such, how can we expect our colleagues and administrators to give us serious consideration as educators.  I hope to see you there!!!


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