PMEA D12 Newsletter

February 2016

From the President - Craig Snyder

I hope this newsletter finds my fellow members of District 12 well rested after the holidays, and stress free at this time of year. But, because I teach music, I know you are now in the middle of concert season, musical, jazz band, indoor season, and everything else the profession throws at you. There is no off season for the busy and dedicated music teacher. So I shall instead wish you success in your efforts and offer my thanks and surprise that you had time to even read this far into the newsletter.

This is also Fest and Festival season, and I want to thank our hosts for all the work they have done and continue to do to provide these great experiences for our students. Congratulations to those who have already presented their concert (and please get your financial report to Kevin Cooper ASAP), and good luck to those who are still preparing. To the rest, I again encourage you to get involved in PMEA by hosting, co-hosting, or assisting with a fest. This is a great way to offer service to your professional organization, as well as give those folks a break who tend to host multiple times.

Another way to offer service to PMEA is to volunteer as an All-State chaperone. District 12 is required to send three chaperones each year. The conference is in Hershey from March 30-April 2. Chaperones assist the All-State ensembles. In return, PMEA pays for your conference registration, your meals, all concert tickets, and your room in double occupancy. If you are able to chaperone, please email me at

If you are attending the state conference, make sure you support your fellow D12 educators in their presentations. Congratulations to Joe Brennan as he conducts the Haverford High School String Ensemble on March 31 at 4:45 PM.

Finally, on a sad note, PMEA mourns the passing of Randi Carp. Randi was the choir director at Phoenixville Area High School. In her memory, District 12 is going to offer one of her 2016 seniors a scholarship in her name.

Thank you for all you do to keep music education strong in your school and your community, and for all you do for PMEA.

District 12 General Membership Meeting

In a response to member's concerns, the District 12 Board will hold a general membership meeting on April 28 at 7PM in the Penncrest High School band room. The purpose of the meeting is to take care of questions and suggestions that we do not have time to address during our festival and fest director’s meetings. There have been recent changes to the state bylaws that will affect us and may require a vote, as well as some suggested changes to our audition policies and procedures. If you have additional agenda items to present, please email them to no later than April 14 in order to be considered for the agenda. The agenda will be emailed to the membership prior to the meeting. We hope this will be a productive discussion and improve the PMEA experience for our members.

District 12 Teacher Grants for 2016-17 - Due 2/19!

For the third year, PMEA District 12 is offering financial support to PMEA District 12 members who have needs in classroom supplies, special projects, etc., that may go beyond what your music budget in your school can support. Applications for grants can be found on the PMEA District 12 website. The deadline to submit an application has been moved to Friday, February 19, 2016.

Attention: All Middle School Teachers!

The West Chester University Chapter of PCMEA will be holding our second annual “Day of Music” in WCU’s Swope Music Building from 9AM-12PM on Saturday, February 13. Cost of the event will be $5.00 and will feature masterclasses and performances from WCU students and faculty. Instruction is available on all instruments and voices. For registration information or questions regarding the workshop, contact WCU PCMEA Community Outreach Chair, Rachel Schuck at

Citation of Excellence Award

Congratulations to Steve Selfridge who has been nominated by his peers and approved by the D12 board as our Citation of Excellence winner. Steve is a music teacher in the Garnet Valley School District. He will be recognized along with the other citation winners at the state conference.

District 12 Large Instrumental Ensemble Music Performance Assessment

The District 12 Large Instrumental Ensemble Music Performance Assessment will be held on Thursday, April 21st, 2016, at Radnor High School. The purpose of the assessment is to provide interscholastic, educationally valid assessment contexts to PMEA member directors of middle and high school large instrumental ensembles.

PMEA member directors in Districts 11 and 12 with middle or high schools with the following large ensembles are invited to participate:

· Concert Band

· Symphony Orchestra

· String Orchestra

Ensembles will be required to perform two prepared pieces from the PMEA Selective Music List (or send a request for addition to the selective music list by February 26) and will be run through a sight reading assessment.

All requirements can be found on the PMEA website at under “Conferences and Events” and “Adjudication.”

The Fee is $150. Mail the check, payable to PMEA, along with BOTH pages of the Band and Orchestra Registration Form (found on the PMEA adjudication website) to:

Vivace Productions, Inc

882 S. Matlack St

Suite 102

West Chester, PA 19382

Registration will close Monday, March 28th or after all performance slots are full. Preferential time slots are given on a first-come, first-served basis. Questions should be directed to Courtney at

ESSA: "Every Student Succeeds Act" Passes in November

On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed into law the new education act, “Every Student Succeeds Act”. NAfME has been hard at work over the past 18 months lobbying our Federal Congress and Senate members for this new law. What does it mean for music education?

1. Music is now listed as a stand alone subject as part of a “Well Rounded Education.”

2. More flexibility in the use of Title 1 Funds that can be used for music.

3. More professional development for Music Educators

4. States need to include multiple progress measures in assessing school performance, which can include such music education friendly measures as student engagement, parental engagement, and school culture/climate.

5. The new ESSA discourages removing students from music classes for remedial education services.

Consider Hosting a Fest in 2016-17 or Beyond

As part of PMEA’s mission to advance music education by encouraging excellence in the study, teaching, and making of music, our Fest Program provides wonderful opportunities for over 500 elementary and middle school students each year in District 12. Not only do these students have the opportunity to work with and learn under recognized music educator/conductors, they also have the opportunity to perform with other students who share similar interests and abilities.

An added benefit is that these selected students go back to their home school music programs with new experiences and renewed energy that is shared with their fellow ensemble members. In addition, we music educators strengthen the advocacy of the importance of quality music education in our schools with the parents and relatives who attend these wonderful programs.

One of the greatest challenges we face each year in District 12 with our Fest Program is finding hosts early enough to allow them ample time in the planning and preparation of these events. To ensure a successful Fest event, planning out at least a year in advance is important. Please take a look at the particular Fest events you have your students participate in and benefit from each year, and take the plunge of hosting! District 12 is looking to build our Fest calendar out for the next several years. Our Fest Coordinator is Mrs. Theresa O’Brien . She can be reached by email @ If you have any questions about hosting, feel free to contact Theresa or any of our past Fest hosts; they will gladly assist you in the planning process.

2016-18 NAfME National President Election

The National Association for Music Education is holding an election for National President-Elect. And, on the same ballot, they are asking the membership to vote on amending three bylaws. The candidates spoke at this year’s National Assembly and those speeches are available for viewing at .

Please take the time to view these speeches, and then log in using the instructions below to vote for your candidate of choice and the new bylaw amendments.

How To Vote

Election-America is the service provider for these elections. To vote, please follow these instructions:

1. Go to the voting site by clicking on this link or copying and pasting it into your browser's address field:

2. Enter your Email Address and your Member ID.

3. Click on Enter and follow the voting instructions.

The election closes at 11:59 pm Eastern time on February 10, 2016.

Future Music Educator Honors Symposium

Do you have an outstanding high school senior who plans to major in music education next year? Consider having them participate in the PMEA FMEHS (Future Music Educator Honors Symposium) that runs concurrently during the PMEA Annual Conference in Hershey, March 30 – April 2, 2016.

The FMEHS looks for the brightest, most committed young people planning to enter music education and gives them a huge leg up into their future. To find out more information, go onto the PMEA website and scroll over to “Conferences and Events”. Applications are due by February 26, 2016.

Help a fellow music educator out with a quick survey

I'm a band director out of District 4 who is doing a small research project on the use of reeds in public schools. I would greatly appreciate your input. It's only 5 quick questions!

Thank you!