Arizona Music Educators Association

October Newsletter

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NAfME Western Division Leadership Meeting Recap

The NAfME Western Division leadership meeting was held Sep. 19 - 20 in Salt Lake City, and included NAfME President-Elect Denese Odegaard, NAfME Executive Director Michael Butera, Western Division leadership, as well as leadership from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. The agenda included the following: input on NAfME’s strategic plan, evaluating ways that NAfME could better serve it’s state music educators associations; analyzing membership trends for the western division states; discussing common problem or issues that we face in our states, and sharing state reports with each other.

It was a productive and informative meeting. Some of my personal highlights included:

  • receiving positive feedback and interest from other leadership regarding the planning and vision of the AZ Assembly
  • gaining an appreciation for the cohesiveness and communication of AMEA and feeling fortunate to be in a leadership role for our organization
  • becoming more aware of the professional networks and training available by NAfME for its leaders

- Jennifer Hamilton, President, AMEA

NAfME Spotlight: President-Elect Denese Odegaard

Greetings AMEA Members!

Just two short weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending the weekend with your wonderful and ambitious AMEA leaders and other Western Division leaders for our fall division meeting. Jennifer Hamilton shared information about your First Arizona Assembly and the benefits of bringing your leadership together to work on the future of music education in your state. I’m sure it was a great time of collegiality and collaboration.

As the future President of NAfME, I wanted to share with you a few things that will be opportunities and challenges for our family of associations in the coming years.

Opportunities lie in the adoption and implementation of the 2014 standards; the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind in which music is enumerated as a core subject; evaluation of music programs using the Opportunity to Learn Standards; the reinstatement of music programs; and membership growth in our young people through Tri-M to Collegiate to Active Member.

Areas of concern to monitor include alternative licensure; teacher shortages; and alternate forms of education (online, private, charter, etc.).

I challenge each of you to:

· help increase membership by inviting your colleagues to join NAfME and starting Tri-M chapters

· be a proactive advocate instead of a reactive one when faced with an emergency

· navigate the NAfME web site to learn more about our programs, advocacy efforts, and initiatives

· use your new standards in your classroom

· evaluate your music program using the Opportunity to Learn Standards

I wish you the best as you teach and grow as an educator this year!

Denese Odegaard

NDMEA Executive Director

NAfME President-Elect



  • ALL THREE UNIVERSITIES will be represented at this year's University Night Concert (ASU Orchestra, NAU Band and UA Choir)
  • SPECIAL GUESTS INCLUDE NAfME President Glen Neirmann and Western Division President David Fullmer
  • Randall Standridge will be giving several band and other clinics
  • exciting OPEN FORUM CLINIC TOPICS based on your input featuring our own AZ music educators. Session topics include:
  1. New Teachers: Building the Road to Success
  2. "Boost or Bust": Building & Organizing Successful Booster Organizations
  3. Mentoring to Mastery
  4. Teaching beyond your specialty
  5. Free technology resources that really work!


PLEASE help honor music educators in Arizona by submitting nominations for the 2016 Hall of Fame awards. It only takes a couple of minutes. To nominate, please click here:


Click HERE to access the newest edition of the AMN. Special thanks to Ken Jaeger for all of this work on the publication.

Congratulations to the Willis Junior High Jazz Band & Director John Studzinski

The WILLIS JR HIGH JAZZ BAND, under the direction of John Studzinski, has been selected to perform at the JEN (Jazz Education Network) conference in Louisville Kentucky at the Galt House Convention Center on Thursday January 7th 2016. This is the largest International Jazz Conference held annually and only one Junior High School was selected to perform at this event. They will feature Brian Ruth, tenor sax, from Arizona State University.

This is not the first time this band has made it to an international conference. The Willis Jazz Band were selected and performed at the Midwest Clinic in 2009 were they featured Michael Kocour on piano and Dean Sorenson on trombone. On both conferences they are and were the only Junior High selected to represent the finest of Jazz for this age group. This s a tremendous honor for the school district and the state of Arizona, and their preparation and hard work is presently taking place to assure a great performance.

If you would like to hear the band they are performing on an open-house on the Willis campus on Thursday October 29th at 6:00pm and again at 7:00pm in the multipurpose building. They will also perform their entire set with guest artist at The Chandler Center for the Arts on Tuesday January 5th 7:00pm. All performances are free and open to the public.


AzSGM has a make and take workshop coming up on November 14 from 9:00-noon at Phoenix college. Mr. Bart Bush will be presenting a make your own marimba workshop. We are very excited and hope to have lots of participants. Please email to register!


CLICK ABOVE on the facebook link and LIKE the official AMEA Facebook page to receive AMEA news, deadline reminders and other helpful information!
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NAFME Resource worth checking out

CLICK HERE to access NAfME's Backpack 2015 - 2016, which includes useful links to:

  • resources for parents
  • sample lesson plans and classroom tips (categorized by area and grade level)
  • information on copyright
  • useful webinars
  • advocacy resources

Upcoming Registration Deadlines

ABODA Deadlines

  • Fall Concert Band Festival Registration 10/30
  • ABODA State Marching Championships Registration 11/9
  • All-State Jazz Band Live Auditions 11/20

ACE Deadlines

  • none currently


  • 8th grade All-State Band Audition Registration 10/30
  • 6th/7th grade All-State Band Nomination Registration 10/30
  • All-State Choir / Orchestra Nomination Registration 10/30
  • So AZ Elem / Jr High Honor Band / Orchestra Participation Registration 11/11
  • 8th Grade All-State Band Online Audition Submission 11/30


  • High School Solo & Ensemble Festival Registration 11/1
  • High School Regional Audition Registration 11/13