Arizona Music News

A publication of the Arizona Music Educators Association


President's Message - from Darin Shryock

Greetings Friends and Colleagues:

Fasten your seatbelts ☺

I don’t know about you, but I enter into this school year with a little anxiety and a lot of hope. The last year and half provided more challenges than I would ever have imagined, while providing opportunities for me to learn how to connect with students in new and exciting ways. I imagine you all lived similar experiences. Leave it to the creative people to find creative solutions to extreme challenges ☺

We’ll all need a lot of support as we return more completely to in-person learning. We’ve seen shifts, often dramatic, in enrollment and support for school music programs at the school, district and state level. It will take each of us, working together, to create opportunities for all students to engage in music learning in Arizona.

In response to this reality, I would like to share the 4 touchstones that I hope will guide our work.

  • Celebration: Take time to celebrate how music educators not only survived, but thrived during this time of crisis. Share PUBLICLY how music educators continued to connect with students and helped bring them to the “next level” in their learning. Stories are IMPORTANT and we must become better story tellers of the work our students, educators, administrators, districts and community members are doing. We must also continue to seek out new opportunities to celebrate with a LOUD megaphone.

  • Collaboration: What skills, events, concerts, guest artist opportunities were utilized during the pandemic that might feed our teaching going forward? Are there new connections yet to make that will set a larger table for input and creativity?

  • Communication: We must seek to strengthen our communication skills as a profession and as an organization – TO our constituency, TO the press, TO administrators, TO politicians and TO communities while continuing to solicit and elicit communication FROM all those who desire to add to the conversation – creating a bigger table and consciously removing barriers to access that table.

  • Innovation: While this has become a “buzzword” rather than a reality, I believe we must figure this one out as a profession in a post-pandemic world or we will not survive as a profession. We have a lot to learn from our general music colleagues, who strive each day to connect every student with music and leave no stone unturned in building that connection.

Many of you are already having conversations about what practices to continue going forward. Please find a way to continue being part of those conversations and start new ones with your community of teachers, learners, parents, administrators and legislators.

I believe we have all been brought together at this time because we already have the passion and the skills to bring Arizona music education into a new future – a future where all Arizona students are music learners, taught by passionate, skilled, trained and qualified music educators.



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Important Notice for High School Orchestra Directors

The 2022 AMEA Regional, All-State Orchestra Excerpts Set 1 have been edited and the FINAL set is updated.

Please collect and replace any excerpts given out prior to August 25, 2021.

The FINAL set is labeled “2022 Regional - All State Audition Excerpts – FINAL” on each excerpt to try and avoid confusion.

We Are AzSGM - from Naomi Wilbur

Welcome to the 2021-22 school year! We are excited to be starting this new year with hope as we transition into what teaching and learning look like in the coming weeks and months! We want to connect with you and support you in any way possible as we all strive to bring the best music education to our students.

Virtual Brunch

We are thrilled to have started off the school year with our very first AzSGM Virtual Brunch on July 24th - we had participants attending from all over the state! It was truly wonderful to meet new faces and converse about what is going on in our areas and classrooms. We are planning our next virtual brunch for Saturday, September 18th and would love for you to join us!

Virtual Brunch RSVP link:

The meeting will be at

Mentor Program

We are also starting a mentoring program! If you would like to be part of a collaborative team, please complete this form:

Be included!

If you teach general music and would like to be on our mailing list, please update your NAfME profile to include general music. Also please contact Naomi Wilbur at to be added immediately!

We're on Facebook @ Arizona Society of General Music here

and Instagram @azsocietyofgeneralmusic here

ABODA Updates from David DuPlessis

I am so excited to begin work as your new president of ABODA and help your orchestra and band programs succeed in this unique school year! Please reach out to me if you or your program need help and support - your ABODA board is here to serve the educational needs of students and staff. Our organization serves thousands of students in elementary school, middle school, and high school programs in the areas of concert ensembles (orchestra and band), jazz ensembles, marching bands, and teacher professional development. I'm happy to share the following updates:

ABODA Fall Constituent Meeting

All directors are welcome - band/orchestra, Elem/MS/HS, new and "seasoned" teachers! Come meet your ABODA board, meet other directors, and get updates on this school year.

Saturday September 11 at Dobson High School Band Room

8:30 am - Coffee and Donuts!

9:00 am - Meeting

ABODA Fall Marching Band Adjudication Panels

One of our biggest goals, based on constituent feedback, is to increase the number of quality out-of-state adjudicators to our fall marching band invitationals. We are very excited about the diverse and highly qualified panels we have at ALL our marching band events. We've posted the bios and panel assignments for all our panels here:

ABODA Professional Development
As your professional organization focused on education, we are proud of the amount of professional development we were able to offer last year during the height of the pandemic. All of our past sessions are archived on our "Member Area" section of (Click on Resources - then "Member Area" - you will be prompted to enter your NAfME login to gain access). We will continue posting new sessions, with interactive "focus" sessions on Zoom once a month, as well as "quick hit" videos geared towards students (i.e. - clarinet embouchure quick fixes). If you have ideas for sessions, or want to contribute to a session - please contact Stacey Rivera, ABODA Board member at large.

ABODA Mentorship Program Information
Are you new to teaching? New to teaching in Arizona? Or maybe you’ve been teaching a few years, but you’re looking for some guidance and advice as a younger teacher? Are you an experienced instrumental music educator that would like to mentor someone?

If so, then become a part of the ABODA Mentor Program for the 2021-2022 school year. If you have specific questions about the program, please contact Stacey Rivera, ABODA Board member at large. Sign up here:

Important Dates

9/1/2021. All-State Jazz Band Audition Registration Opens

9/7/2021. AMEA All-Regional Audition Registration Opens - AMEA Website

9/7/2021. AMEA HS S & E Tier 1 Registration Opens - AMEA Website

9/11/2021. ABODA Fall Constituent Meeting

9/11/2021. ABODA Student Leadership Workshop

9/17/2021. AMEA Northern Arizona Middle School Region Fall Directors Meeting

9/18/2021. ABODA Marching Band Eval Show

9/20/2021. AMEA So AZ ES/JH Honor Band Nomination Registration Opens - (gr 5-8)

9/20/2021. AMEA So AZ ES/JH Honor Orch Nomination Registration Opens - (gr 5-8)

9/24/2021. ABODA Fall Orchestra Festival - Highland HS

9/24/2021. ABODA Fall Orchestra Festival - Campo Verde HS

9/24/2021. Deadline: ACE AS Jazz/Show Live Audition Registration

9/24/2021. Deadline: ACE Fall Choral Festival Registration