Arizona Music News

A Publication of the Arizona Music Educators Association

October 2019

Notes from the AMEA President

Here we are at the midpoint of the first semester already! I hope the first part of your year has been a good one. Now is the time to start asking your administrators if they will help you get to the AMEA conference on January 30 and February 1, 2020. Ask your principal for a professional day to attend the conference. Check to see if your district's professional development department will assist you by paying for your conference attendance fees. (An excellent use of Title IV-A funds!) Let them know you want to take advantage of this opportunity to participate in professional learning that is directly related to music education. You'll be glad you did!

Do you need some help justifying your conference attendance to your administrator? We have prepared a letter for you to share with them when you ask to go to the conference. We hope this helps you make your case to attend the conference!

Scott Burgener

AMEA President 2019-2021

AzSGM Fall Workshop

Fellow AZ Music Educators. Please join AzSGM: The Arizona Society of General Music on Saturday, November 16. We will be presenting our Fall Workshop with international music teaching icon Dr. Rob Amchin. We hope you join us from 9:30-3:30 at the MCC Performing Arts Center for Dr. Amchin’s Great Beginnings: Sing, Dance, Play all Day! Entrance will cost $20 at the door or you may register online soon through the website (details to come shortly)

We hope to see you all there.
John Denton, AzSGM President
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Conference Session Proposals Due October 15

Our conference theme this year is "Investigate. Innovate. Invigorate." Do you have a session you are willing to present at conference? Or do you know someone who does? Sessions may be submitted for consideration through October 15 by clicking here. Here are some ideas to think about:


  • Ways to improve your teaching.
  • Interesting new approaches to old ideas.
  • Discovering new music literature.
  • And more!


  • Out of the box ideas.
  • Non-traditional performing groups.
  • Using technology in music education.
  • And more!


  • Advocacy.
  • Avoiding teacher burnout and stress.
  • Stepping up your organizational game.
  • And more!

Hall of Fame Awards Nominations - Due December 14

Now is the time to let a few of our wonderful music educators, and administrators, know how much we appreciate and admire what they do every day. It is not often that recognition is given, and we should take advantage of the opportunities that we have to do so. Who knows...perhaps someone will nominate you!

If you have received recognition in the past for your work, you know how important it is to be acknowledged. Share that appreciation for others who are equally deserving!

Click here for more information on the Awards presented during our Annual In-service Conference. If you have questions regarding the awards, please contact Karalee Hagen. Contributed by Karalee Hagen.

NAfME All-National Honor Ensemble Members from Arizona

We are very proud to have several students from Arizona represented in the NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles this year. They are:


  • Darryl Leung, Alto Saxophone, Mountain Ridge High School - Aaron Vogel, teacher


  • Alicia Yang, Violin, BASIS Chandler - Arash Ertefai, teacher


  • Liahona Vaioleti, Tenor 2, BASIS Peoria - Dana Taylor, teacher
  • Gabriel Valentin, Bass 1, North Canyon High School - Katie Kraft, teacher


  • Keegan Ewan, Tenor Saxophone, McClintock High School - Tom Broccolo, teacher


  • Liam Cashmore, Guitar 1, Northland Preparatory Academy - Thomas Byers, teacher
  • Ryan Chen, Guitar 2, Catalina Foothills High School - Renee Shane-Boyd, teacher

Congratulations to all on your success!

AMEA Music Booster/Advocacy Group Registry

AMEA is looking at creating some special events related to statewide advocacy for music education. We want your Music Booster/Advocacy groups to be the best they can be for you! The first step to this process is to collect contact information for music booster and advocacy groups across the state. Please help us by directing your boosters to the AMEA website to join our Music Booster/Advocacy Group Registry. We would like to have this information no later than December 1 if possible. If your school's PTO organization would like to be involved in these events, please share with them as well. Contact information will not be shared outside of AMEA.

NAfME Advocacy Resource Links

MCC/Desert Echoes Flute Project All-Arizona Flute Choir Debut

The All-Arizona Flute Choir presented its first concert last June. High School students who made their AMEA regionals or were an alternate were eligible to participate in this new opportunity sponsored by Mesa Community College and Desert Echoes Flute Project. Flutists from around the state, including Flagstaff and Yuma, gathered for rehearsals on a Friday afternoon/evening and on Saturday to prepare music for a flute orchestra/flute choir concert. It was a wonderful musical and bonding experience for everyone involved during the low flute class, rehearsals, sectionals, and dinner. They presented an hour-long concert under the direction of Jenn Bock, Kehokule’alani O’Daniell, and DEFproject Music Director and founder Christina Steffen. (See pictures below.)

A variety of music was prepared: Mozart Allegro con brio from Symphony No 25; a McLearnon piece, The Flutewise Theme, using extended techniques; Jobim’s The Girl from Ipanema gave volunteers an option to improvise; and the students were excited to play the world premiere of ‘Petrichor’ by James-Michael Sellers. Participants also had the option to borrow and play an alto or bass flute provided by MCC and DEFproject and guest artist Sam Lupe, an MCC/ASU student, played the contrabass flute.

Flute Choirs have become increasingly popular and are a part of many college and university programs with a large body of repertoire that includes compositions for flute orchestra in addition to transcriptions. Jenn, Keh, and Christina really enjoyed working with these talented young flutists who also valued the experience. The progress made from the first reading rehearsal to the concert was tremendous. A reception followed the performance to celebrate this first year and Kehokule’alani made an amazing flute cake that included the first names of all the participants! Select concert videos are being uploaded to a dedicated YouTube channel at

Everyone is looking forward to the 2nd Annual All-Arizona Flute Choir at the MCC Performing Arts Center on May 29 & 30, 2020. Contact Christina Steffen at for more information. Contributed by Christina Steffen.

NAfME Western Division Meetings

AMEA President Scott Burgener, AMEA President-Elect Darin Shryock, and AMEA Executive Director David Waggoner all attended the NAfME Western Division Meetings in Salt Lake City in mid-September. The Western Division is made up of Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, Hawaii, and India. It was great to learn about the activities of the other state associations. Our very own Renee Shane-Boyd is currently serving as the Western Division President-Elect. Also in attendance was NAfME National President Kathy Sanz and NAfME Executive Director Mike Blakeslee who provided us with lots of information regarding nationals. The picture below is all who were in attendance, shortly after we enjoyed a performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
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10/25/19 - AMEA 6th Grade All-State Band Nominations

10/25/19 - AMEA Southern AZ Honor Band and Orchestra Nominations

11/1/19 - AMEA 7th/8th Grade All-State Band Nominations

Contact Us


David Waggoner, Executive Director

Scott Burgener, President