Arizona Music News

A Publication of the Arizona Music Educators Association


Join us for the 2020 AMEA Conference!

This year's conference will once again be held at the Delta Marriott Mesa hotel and Mesa Conference Center, located at 200 N. Centennial Way in Mesa. The conference kicks off on Thursday, January 30 with the ABODA All-State Jazz Concert at the Mesa Arts Center at 7:00 pm. The keynote address will begin on Friday, January 31 at 8:30 am, and the conference will continue through Saturday, February 1.
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AMEA Conference Opportunities

AMEA and your constituent boards have been working diligently to bring you an outstanding 2020 Conference! This year's conference theme is "Investigate. Innovate. Invigorate." AMEA is excited to bring your several sessions with that theme in mind.

First and foremost, we are pleased to have Scott Rush, author of the "Habits of a Successful Musician" series of books, at the conference to provide our keynote address, entitled, "Habits of a SIGNIFICANT Music Educator." It will be an uplifting way to start the conference.

INVESTIGATE sessions include:

  • Changing "Or" to "And": Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access in Music Education, presented by NAfME Western Division President Sam Tsugawa
  • What to Know About the AMEA Solo and Ensemble Festival, presented by Jeff Quamo
  • Advancing Your Practice Through National Board Certifications, presented by Susan Collins

INNOVATE sessions include:

  • Critically Responsive Hip-Hop for Students, presented by Patrick Cooper
  • Passing the Mic: Giving Students the Dominant Voice in the Room, presented by Nathan Johnston
  • Imagining Futures for Music Programs and Curricula, presented by Evan Tobias

INVIGORATE sessions include:

  • Seven Self-Care Strategies for Avoiding Burnout, presented by Elisa Janson Jones
  • Advocacy 101 for Booster Groups, presented by Stephanie Campbell, Scott Burgener, and Matthew Barusch (read more about this session below)
  • Advocacy 101 for Directors, presented by Stephanie Campbell, Scott Burgener, and Matthew Barusch

We are also offering a series of GUITAR sessions, including:

  • Start Strong: Language for Success for Beginning Guitar Classes, presented by Thomas Byers
  • Incorporating Innovative Technological Approaches into a Hybrid Guitar Program, presented by Jonathan Vargas
  • Beginning Composition and Improvisation for Guitar Classes, presented by Michael Christensen

Our Friday night performing group will once again be the US Air Force Band of the Golden West, hailing from California. Their free concert will be presented at 5:45 pm in the Palo Verde Ballroom.

Lastly, don't forget that our Friday luncheon will feature our 2020 AMEA Hall of Fame Awards presentation, including the MUSIC EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR. Please read below about our other sessions that have been organized by ABODA, ACE, AzSGM, and Collegiate. We hope to see you at the 2020 AMEA Conference!

Scott Burgener

AMEA President 2019-2021


The Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association will be offering a variety of session topics at the 2020 AMEA Conference, including all levels of Wind Band and Orchestral instruction. Unique to this year’s session list will be several demonstration groups giving attendees an eye witness approach to ensemble musicality and sound production concepts. Also unique will be the wide array of university and college instructors who will offer clinics targeting Low Strings, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Brass Pedagogy, both Marching and Concert Percussion, as well as ensemble techniques and conducting. Jazz offerings include Guitar, Rhythm Section, and Ensemble Training for young and advanced groups. Six of the finest Arizona performing groups will combine to present three concerts. New music reading sessions highlighting both wind band and orchestral literature will be presented. Sessions in String Tuning, Elementary Band, Elementary Orchestra, Selection of Performance Literature, Ensemble Sight reading and other ensemble topics will be offered. Keynote speaker Scott Rush will present a clinic to Band Directors. The 2020 AMEA Conference will provide something for all levels of music teaching. Don’t miss this chance to recharge and enhance your ability in the classroom. Submitted by Eric Haenfler.


AMEA will be presenting a free session at conference just for your booster/advocacy groups! This session will be held on Saturday, February 1 at 2:00 pm in Arizona Ballroom D. Booster groups are invited to register up to 2 persons each to attend this session. Presented by AMEA Advocacy Chair Stephanie Campbell, AMEA President Scott Burgener, and NAfME State Advocacy Manager Matt Barusch, Advocacy 101 will help train booster groups to better advocate for the music programs at their schools. Remember, it's always best to be prepared so if an advocacy situation arises, it can be dealt with head on rather than turning into a crisis.

Space is limited, so please register soon! Click HERE to register.


ACE is proud to bring back Dr. Carol Krueger as our headliner for the 2020 AMEA Conference. She will be bringing sessions to assist the choral educator in implementing sight-reading and rhythmic reading structures in the classroom. Do not miss any of her four sessions. We are also excited to bring in Dr. David Thye who will be leading sessions on vocal technique with his demo group, the Arizona Cantilena Chorus. We hope you'll plan to join us for those sessions, coupled with many more sessions to build your choral teacher toolbag.

As usual, we will also have many choral reading sessions, sponsored by JW Pepper, to grow your repertoire knowledge base. And finally, while attending the conference, please do not miss out on our conference performance session where we will feature Encore from Phoenix Children's Chorus and the Symphonic Choir from the University of Arizona. Make sure to mark your calendars now! Submitted by Matt Flora.

Join the 2020 AMEA Conference Reading Band!

Attention band friends!!! Our AMEA VP of Professional Development, Julie Trent, is organizing a fun session for members of all ages to play new music together on Friday afternoon at the AMEA Conference. The 2020 AMEA Conference Reading Band is a great chance to diversify your repertoire and meet new people. PLUS, the music that we play will be available for purchase at discounted pricing at the JW Pepper booth in the exhibit hall on Saturday. This session is for current and retired directors, collegiate members, and Tri-M members. The band will be conducted by Dr. Elliott Tackitt, instructor of wind band conducting at Arizona State University, and repertoire will include music by the following composers: Jay Coles, Naoya Wada, Cait Nishimura, Nicole Piunno, Kimberly Archer, Julie Giroux, Haley Woodrow, Jodie Blackshaw, Daniel Montoya, Jr., Erika Svanoe, Chandler L. Wilson, and Jason Taurins. WE LOOK FORWARD TO PLAYING NEW MUSIC WITH ALL OF YOU!!!! Sign up today for the band and be sure to register for the conference on the AMEA website. Submitted by Julie Trent.


The Arizona Society for General Music (AzSGM) invites everyone of you to enjoy the amazing workshops, clinicians, and camaraderie of the 2020 AMEA In Service Conference. Our session highlights will span every area of the General Music scope and off a bit of something useful for all in attendance. You won’t want to miss sessions ranging from movement and folk dance all the way to ukulele and implementing children’s literature.

Our sessions are going to be headlined by two Portland based educators, Jon Crever and Lavonna Zeller-Williams-Bratschi. Jon Crever brings an in-depth lol into four sessions utilizing the tuneful, beatful, and artful techniques of Conversational Solfege and the Feiraband methods of teaching. Lavonna Zeller-Williams-Bratschi will be leading several eclectic workshops covering ukulele in the classroom, movement, and transforming poetry and song into amazing classroom experiences. Local educator Matt Pitts will also be doing two great Orff Schulwerk sessions on implementing the process with modern technology. With a strong group of sessions by these and many more educators you’ll definitely want to check out the AzSGM sessions at AMEA.

If your students would like to perform at the AMEA conference please fill out the this form to be a featured performance group of distinction on our Friday schedule. This group can range from a Ukulele Ensemble, to a grade of fantastic recorder players, a steel band, bucket drummers, Orff Ensemble, Music Tech Group, etc. Follow this link if you are interested. Deadline closes soon. Submitted by J.D. Denton.

AMEA Hall of Fame Awards Nominations - Due December 14

YOU have the opportunity to nominate someone who is well deserving of recognition for a job well done. Take a moment and click on the links below to review the application for each award. We should never pass up the opportunity to say "Great Job" to someone in the education field! Let's celebrate Arizona's music educators and advocates!

Winners of the awards are recognized at the Hall of Fame Luncheon at the 2020 AMEA Conference on January 31.

AMEA Music Educator of the Year Award - requires two recommendation letters

O.M. Hartsell Excellence in Teaching Music Award - requires two recommendation letters

George C. Wilson Leadership/Service Award - requires one recommendation letter

Raymond C. Van Diest Music Advocacy Award - requires one recommendation letter

Outstanding Administrator Award - requires one recommendation letter

William E. Richardson Retired Member Service Award - requires support info on the application

Thank you for all you do for music, for children, and for each other. Submitted by Karalee Hagen.


This year’s college sessions will feature presenters from the United States and Canada. When you attend the college sessions, you’ll be sure to experience the best professional development, inspiring ideas, and the latest in music research and innovation.

Keep an eye out for our Poster Research Sessionsand feel free to ask questions and interact with the presenters. Bring your own device and join Barb Ward and her team from Canada with Breezin’ Thru Theory for Performance Programs. Andrew Gekoskie will be presenting a compelling session titled The Music Behind the Notes. Gain valuable tools and practical information from Elisa Janson Jones with her sessions 5 Strategies for Superior Classroom Management and Funding Without Fundraising. You won’t want to miss Patrick Moore as he presents a session that provides an insightful presentation on Building A Music Program. Join Arthur Wright and Justin Morris with their highly practical session The Ins and the Outs of the Booster Organization: Helpful Tips for the Music Educator. On Saturday Morning join local phenom (now living and working in Texas) Stuart Shulman and his session titled Beyond the Dot: Innovating the Drill Learning Process with UDBapp. Innovative Tech Tools for Music Teachers with William Kinne will help you organize, mobilize and revitalize your teaching and finally you won’t want to miss the session by Molly Gebrian titled What Musicians Can Learn About Practicing from Current Brain Research.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in 2020! Submitted by Rob Hunter.

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Hopefully you have started to contact vendors in preparation for the conference. Get your P.O. requests in and approved so you can bring them and do business with the vendors on site. Don’t delay. Let the vendors know what you need to purchase and save shipping charges! The vendors would love to hear from you and take care of you at the conference. You will have more time to spend with them this year. Both you requested that and the vendors requested that change. Their will be prize drawings for members as vendors will be giving away prizes throughout the two days. If you need to see if a vendor is coming email me at If you know a vendor that has not registered yet they still have time and they can go to the AMEA website or contact me directly. Your help and encouragement of the vendors means everyone wins!!!! Submitted by Michael Miller.


12/6/19 - ABODA Area Concert Festival Registration

12/6/19 - ABODA Area Jazz Festival Registration

12/6/19 - ABODA Elementary/Middle School Band Festival Registration

12/6/19 - ABODA Elementary/Middle School Orchestra Festival Registration

Contact Us


David Waggoner, Executive Director

Scott Burgener, President