Arizona Music Educators Association

March Newsletter

Elementary/Junior High Band and Choir All-States a great success!

Elementary/Junior High Band and Choir All-State Festivals were a great success.

With band conductors Laura Scholten, Colleen Bosselli, and Bill Humbert; and choir conductors Marcela Molina and Sarah Ross, the concerts were a great showcase of outstanding teaching, student achievement, and thriving musical opportunities in Arizona! These festivals would not be possible without the diligent work of many teachers behind the scenes, including Vice President for Elementary/Junior High School Activities Matt Stout, band chairs Evan Dixon, Max Rogers and Ruben Miranda; and choir chairs AshaLee Ortiz, Jessica Campbell, Lisa Gollenberg, and Kristen Olds.

As a part of AMEA's collective vision emphasis on professional development, AMEA VP of Professional Development Amanda Mitchell organized a session at this year's elementary/junior high all-state band on "Recording for Assessment", which featured recording engineer Sam Esparza speaking about all of the latest technology available for recording your ensemble and evaluating student progress. The session was well-attended and received much positive feedback.

We look forward to repeating this directors clinic at the upcoming Elementary/Junior High Orchestra All-State on April 16!


Based on your needs and requests from the Arizona Assembly, we have developed new professional development opportunities at high school all-state. This year will feature director's clinics given by NAU faculty on preparing students for collegiate auditions as well as other topics to be announced. You will not want to miss these outstanding opportunities.

Click below for this year's All-State schedule:

2016 AMEA High School All-State Festival Schedule

All-State Concert Ticketing Information:

Complimentary tickets will be available online, for free, through CTO's "Print@Home" option. If this option is utilized there is no need to go to Will Call. Remaining complimentary tickets will be available on April 23, at the Ardrey CTO office. It is recommended to reserve tickets ahead of time, as there will be no guarantee of day-of tickets being available.

All-State Concert Parking Information:

The concert will be held in Ardrey Auditorium (Building 37A). Suggested parking for the concert is lot P13. Click below for a map of campus:

NAU Parking Map

Also, a huge thank you to everyone that helped with the organization of All-State Auditions at Gilbert High School this year: AMEA Vice-President of High School Activities Rob Lubbers, ABODA Vice-President of High School Band Activities Nathan Johnston, ABODA Vice-President of High School String Activities Darlene Wedington-Clark, ACE Interim VP of All-State Activities Amy Van Winkle and host Ron Andre. Thank you for your long hours and dedication to this event!

World Music Drumming in YOUR Classroom

In the fall of 2014, I was approached by a colleague, Stephanie Galloway, to co-host a drumming workshop. At that time, I wasn’t very familiar with the World Music Drumming Curriculum. I said yes and put it out of my mind for several months. We were to use my classroom and her tubanos and other hand percussion instruments. As the date approached, we started moving the instruments into my classroom. I became very excited about the upcoming workshop. Day 1, Margaret Jerz steps in front of the class and I was completely hooked by lunchtime. Not just with the curriculum, but with the style of teaching used with this curriculum. I knew my students would benefit in so many ways in addition to the musical skills they attained. By the end of the week, I purchased one set of the tubanos and a few assorted other instruments and started planning how I would acquire a complete set for my classroom. Through the generosity of friends and family, I fully funded a DonorsChoose project which gave me about half of what I needed. My parents, principal, and PTO purchased the rest of the equipment needed. By November, just 4 months after completing the Level 1 Curriculum Workshop, I was set. During the fall semester, every single student in my school participated in various aspects of the WMD curriculum. It truly is for every grade level. We are an Art and Science Magnet school. Every week, for one hour, students in grades 3-5 choose an elective to participate in for the entire semester. With the complete set of drums, I have a WMD elective class for students. Our culminating concert will be in May, performing ensembles alone at our Elementary and Middle School combined band concert. With the assistance of Tim McKay, we have decided to add one piece for band and African drumming. These 24 students will perform with a group of about 85 band students. All in all, we have bridged students together for a musical performance in grades 3-8. Try it. Attend a workshop this summer. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!


· It’s FUN!!

· Age appropriate curriculum for first grade through high school and beyond.

· Increased student engagement.

Students Learn:

· How to listen to each other.

· How to lead and follow other students.

· To demonstrate the value and technique of teamwork.

· Improvisation to complement other student’s drumming.

· Technique on various drums and other percussion instruments.

· Composition with a small group of students.

· Identify types of instruments and styles of music.

· To understand the value of music in cultures of Africa and the Caribbean.

· Singing in various cultural styles.

· To echo with pitch and rhythmic accuracy.

· Importance of leaving silence for other individuals to drum.

· To perform polyrhythms.

If you’ve never tried World Music Drumming, consider attending a workshop this summer. Graduate course credit is available, the workshops improve teaching technique, and the curriculum is engaging and fun for all age levels.

I was able to acquire the instruments through my PTO, Tax Credit Funding, and a Donors Choose project. Grants are another source of income for purchasing the instruments.

For full program information and workshop locations, please visit:

You can also e-mail Sheila White for more information at


ABODA Deadlines

  • ABODA State Concert Festival Registration 3/18
  • ABODA State Jazz Festival Registration 3/18
  • All-State Participation Registration 3/25

ACE Deadlines

  • All-State Participation Registration 3/25


  • ABODA Elem School / Middle School State Band Festival Registration 4/8

Arizona Music Educators Association