Arizona Music Educators Association

May Newsletter

High School All-State Festival at NAU a great success!

This year's High School All-State Festival held at Northern Arizona University featured over 400 high school musicians and was a great success! In addition, the NAU faculty presented outstanding professional development offerings including "How to Navigate the Challenges of the High School Musical" by Eric Gibson, "Guide to the Collegiate Audition Process" by Edie Copley and Danny Schmidt, and "Repertoire vs. Rubric" by Danny Schmidt. These session topics were determined by the results compiled in August's Arizona Assembly. What a great opportunity and outstanding collaboration!


Did you know that 63% of conferences now utilize a custom-designed app (application)?

AMEA is excited to announce that next year's conference will use a conference app entitled Guidebook. This will replace the printed program and enhance the conference experience. The app will provide:

  • ability to build your own customizable schedule
  • setup personalized reminders about your schedule
  • receive important live updates
  • quick-reference PDFs of clinic handouts will be available on the app
  • complete surveys and send feedback on clinics and clinicians

More information will be following with details on how to use and integrate the app in future AMEA newsletters. SEE BELOW TO PREVIEW 6 OF GUIDEBOOK'S FEATURES. We hope you will enjoy this exciting new innovation for our 2017 AMEA In-Service conference!

Congratulations to Darlene Wedington-Clark and the Desert Vista Chamber Orchestra!

Congratulations to Dr. Darlene Wedington-Clark and the Desert Vista Chamber Orchestra for their selection at The Midwest International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago (December 2016).

Dr. Darlene Wedington-Clark (BM, Temple University, 1977; BME, Temple University , 1977; MM, Arizona State University, 1989; EDD, Arizona State University, 1999) is currently the Director of Orchestras and Guitar Ensembles at Desert Vista High and is also the Fine Arts Department Chairperson. In 2012, she was named the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Employee of the Year at Scottsdale Community College before devoting her time solely to Desert Vista. In 2014, she was inducted into the “AMEA Hall of Fame” - Career Award for 25 or more years in Music Education in Arizona. She is certified in Instrumental and Choral Music and has taught both in her thirty-seven years of teaching. Under her direction, the Orchestra program at Desert Vista High School has received the “William E. Richardson Sr.” Orchestra Award for Distinction, for 2012 - 2013, 2013 - 2014, and 2014 - 2015 school years. Her orchestras have performed at the AMEA In-Service Conference three times. Dr. Wedington-Clark is a current member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the American String Teachers Association. She served for five years as the Orchestra Chair for the North Central Region and is currently serving in her fifth year as the ABODA Vice President for High School Orchestra Activities. She is an Arizona State Music Certified Adjudicator and has conducted Region Music Festivals, the Greater Phoenix Music Festival, and the Paradise Valley Honor Orchestra Festivals. She is the mother of one child Dorothy Lynn, and the Nana to Elijah and Maya.

Interested in running for office for AMEA, ABODA, ACE or AzSGM?

AMEA, ABODA, ACE and AzSGM are always looking for new members that are willing to serve. If you are interested in being an officer for 2017-2019, please let a board member know as soon as possible. Nomination forms will be available this summer on the AMEA website.

NAfME Western Division Leadership Seminar

NAfME is offering a leadership seminar specifically for anyone in the Western Division that is interested in running for office. It will be in Las Vegas June 16 - 18. For more information, please click here


The AMEA Board is currently reviewing the high school solo and ensemble festival and developing a long term plan on how it can best serve Arizona music educators. As a result of director surveys gathered at the high school All-State festival and discussion with the solo & ensemble committee, next year Tier 1 will remain the same process as the past three years. Tier 2 will no longer be held in conjunction with the AMEA In-Service Conference, but will be held on January 21, 2017 with the location to be determined.

This is the first step in our efforts to meet the needs of our ever changing school landscape and show the importance of how solo & ensemble festival participation can benefit your music program. We welcome further input and assistance as we continually strive to improve all musical opportunities for Arizona music students.


Dear Colleagues:

We come to the end of another incredible, and incredibly busy school year here in Arizona. And what a year it has been! I am so humbled to be able to serve the wonderful teachers and students in our music education community. From the entire ABODA Board of Directors, thank you for all you do to make a difference every day in the lives of your students and school communities. You are all super heroes in our book.

This has been a stellar year in terms of school participation in our events throughout the state. Another amazing fall marching season with many high level performances, over 200 ensembles participating in region and area music festivals, and well over 100 ensembles participating in our state festivals at the high school and middle school level in both concert and jazz. Additionally, all of the great performances and music experiences gained from the many district, region and all state honor ensembles that are provided throughout our state. YOU are the driving force behind all of these great opportunities for your students. That is pretty cool.

You are to be commended for your dedication to your students, parent organizations, and schools in doing all that you can to provide a quality music experience in your classroom every day. Now, summer is upon us, don’t run out the door just yet. There are a few things you can do to make your 2016-17 school year start-up a little less stressful

* Clean out those lockers

* Clean your desk off

* Clean out your desk drawers

* Write a thank you note to your office staff

* Write a thank you note to your custodial staff

* Get those instruments to the repair shop

* Tighten those music stands up so they don’t wobble

* Clean up those school instruments that are not going to the shop…oil the valves, lube the slides, clean the mouthpiece, oil the keys…all the stuff you will be thankful for in the fall…that you are doing now.

* Ask your principal, one more time, if there are any funds left so you can buy something. Then buy something…

Now you can take that break. You deserve it and you need it. The fall semester will be here very soon. I am excited to see and hear the amazing results you achieve with your students in the 2016-17 school year. Know that we are here to assist you in any way possible; please do not hesitate to ask. Enjoy the ride.

Bill Humbert

President ABODA

AzACDA Summer Conference

AzACDA welcomes AMEA members to join us for our 2016 Summer Conference!

This year’s conference will be held July 18-20 at the Mesa Community College Performing Arts Center. The schedule is rich with offerings for all levels. Click here to see the full schedule. Don’t miss your chance to get the early registration discount and guarantee your choice of reading session packets by registering before May 31! You can register online now at

Headliners Mary Goetze and Brad Holmes will share their expertise on rehearsal techniques, interpretation, tone, artistic process, world music, and more. A wide variety of interest sessions by Arizona choral leaders, exhibits, Let’s Talk Shop breakout groups, seven full reading sessions, and three hybrid interest/reading sessions also are featured. Other highlights include a performance by the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, social activities, music discounts, and a free trip to the Musical Instrument Museum. You can find more information (including about the conference hotel, which you should book by June 16) at

Please come join us for three days of inspiration, education, and renewal – and don’t forget to bring a friend!

AMEA DATES FOR 2016 - 2017

These are dates that have been added and approved to the 2016-2017 AMEA calendar thus far. The AMEA calendar will continue to be updated as more dates are added.

AMEA In-Service Conference Information

  • AMEA In-Service Conference Pre-Registration Deadline 1/31
  • AMEA In-Serice Conference - Phoenix Marriott Mesa 2/3 - 2/4

ABODA Dates & Deadlines

  • Fall Orchestra Festival Registration Deadline 8/26
  • Marching Band Declaration Deadline 9/2
  • Dr. Tim Workshop / Fall Meeting 9/10

ACE Dates & Deadlines

  • All-State Jazz / Show Choir Audition Registration Deadline 8/26
  • All-State Jazz / Show Choir Auditions 9/17
  • All-State Jazz / Show Choir Participation Registration 9/23
  • Fall Choral Festival Registration 9/30

AMEA ELEM / JUNIOR HIGH Dates & Deadlines

  • Elem / Junior High Leadership Meeting 8/12

AMEA HIGH SCHOOL Dates & Deadlines

  • High School Leadership Meeting 8/12
  • Regional Audition Registration Deadline 11/11
  • Solo & Ensemble Tier 2 Festival 1/21
  • Regional Auditions 1/27 - 1/28
  • Regional Honor Music Festivals 2/17 - 2/18
  • All-State Auditions 3/3 - 3/4
  • All-State Participation Registration Deadline 3/17
  • All-State Festival at ASU 4/6 - 4/8

Arizona Music Educators Association

Established in 1939, the Mission of the Arizona Music Educators Association is to promote the study and enjoyment of music by supporting comprehensive music instruction and providing professional development activities.