North Carolina Music Educators Association
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The North Carolina Music Educators Association is the state-level affiliate of National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Growing from its roots of the North Carolina Contest Festival at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, it now meets annually at its Professional Development Conference in Winston-Salem, a city known for its rich cultural history and ongoing commitment to the arts, every November. The Association's office (as of July 2013) is located in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The mission of the North Carolina Music Educators Association is to promote music as a fundamental component of education and to provide opportunities for lifelong learning by supporting teachers, students and communities in developing and fostering excellence in music.
The history of the NCMEA can be divided into four segments:
- The evolution of the Contest-Festival, which began under the leadership of Wade R. Brown at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1920
- The North Carolina State Music Teachers Association, an organization of African-American music educators established at North Carolina Central University and Hillside High School by the late Samuel Hill in 1931
- The North Carolina Music Educators Conference, which was established in 1947 under the presidency of Ezra Weiss, a faculty member at Guilford College
- The present-day North Carolina Music Educators Association, which was formed in 1970 from the NCSMTA and the NCMEC
From 1931 to 1970, African-American music educators were members of the North Carolina State Music Teacher's Association. This organization only had three presidents throughout its history, the last one being Hortense Reid Kerr. The organization's activities centered around North Carolina Central University. Under Kerr's leadership the organization merged with the historically white North Carolina Music Educators Conference.
James R. Hall, who had served with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, was president of the NCMEC at the time of the 1970 merger. Following the second year of his term, 1970-1971, Hortense Reid Kerr, who had served as the last president of the NCSMTA, served as president of the integrated NCMEA, 1971-193. William G. Spencer of Appalachian State University had initially been designated to serve as president 1971-1973; however, with the merger, he served from 1973 to 1975.
The period of the organization's history between 1947 and 1970 was traced in the thesis, From Contest to Merger: a History of the North Carolina Music Educators Association/Conference, written by John Brian Heath at Appalachian State University under the mentorship of Dr. Victor Mansure, with additional support from B.G. McCloud. William G. Spencer, Charles Isley, James R. Hall, Richard Southwick, Herbert Hazelman, and others were interviewed for the study.
Additional insightful historical resources include Dr. Jane McKinney's dissertation on three leaders in music education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. McKinney's dissertation was recognized by the Council on Research in Music Education as the best in the nation (Peggy Longmire, Making Music Happen, Greensboro News and Record, August 2009). Harold Jeffrey's 1988 dissertation on Herbert Hazelman, who was for many years director of bands at Greensboro's Grimsley High School, contains a great deal of information on the organization's roots with regard to his discussions about Hazelman's career. A master's level paper was completed on the history of the music program at UNCG, and there is also a dissertation on the life of Captain James Harper of Lenoir High School.
The official publication of the organization is the North Carolina Music Educator, which has been published since 1952. Former editors of the publication include Herbert R. Hazelman (now deceased, formerly of Grimsley High School, Dr. John R. Locke of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Dr. George W. Knight (now retired from East Carolina University).
To ensure diverse representation among its leadership, the conference's constitution is set up so that each third elected leader is to come from a minority background. In other words, if elections for state office were to take place in 2010, 2012, and 2014, the officer elected in 2014 must be from a minority background. These guidelines for diversity were established at the merger of the NCMEC and the NCSMTA in 1970.
The presidential leadership consists of a "president elect" who serves for two years, a "president" who serves for two years, and a "past president" who serves for two years. Thus, the commitment of the president is a six-year commitment.
The state board of officers typically meets quarterly. When it does not meet in Winston-Salem in November, it often meets in Burlington or another centrally located city in the state.
Well-known past presidents include Dr. John R. Locke, Director of Bands at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Dr. Ralph Shumaker, retired professor of music education at East Carolina University; Dr. Mary Beth Yoder-White, former professor of music education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Appalachian State University; Barbara Bair, late professor of music education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; and Dr. Charles Gilchrist, professor of music education at North Carolina Central University.
From the early 1920s into the 1960s, the annual in-service conference was held on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. With the merger with the North Carolina State Music Teachers Association in 1970, in-service conferences were held in Raleigh, Durham, and Wilmington. Beginning in 1974, the annual in-service conference has been held each November in Winston-Salem, primarily at the Benton Convention Center, adjoining hotels, and at the Stevens Center for the Arts, a downtown facility of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. The event traditionally begins with a weekend of rehearsals for all-state orchestra and honors chorus, culminating with the opening of the exhibit hall at noon on Sunday, which opened one year to the sounds of the Canadian Brass. That afternoon, workshops and concerts take place. For many years the finale of the opening day of the conference was the Sunday night general session, which for many years consisted of a grand showcase-like concert from one of the major universities in the state. Two of the most memorable of such concerts were those featuring ensembles from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1990 and 1991. The day's activities conclude with a variety of informal networking opportunities held in the two host hotels. Sunday is typically the busiest and most festive day of the conference, as many return to their local areas on Monday.
Monday is made up of meetings and concerts, with elections for regional officers taking place that afternoon. Monday afternoon and evening includes alumni receptions for area universities, followed by an evening general session. The Monday evening general session typically consists of a guest speaker, the presentation of awards, officer installations, and a featured concert. While this concert may be a university showcase type concert like the traditional Sunday night concert of years past, from time to time it may be a professional ensemble or military band. As is the case on Sunday evenings, Monday's activities are also rounded out by informal networking activities. Organizations such as the Percussion Arts Society, the American Choral Directors Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota, and other groups sharing a common interest with the organization often offer alumni and networking events during the conference.
Tuesday's half-day schedule consists of several additional workshops, and a luncheon for incoming and outgoing state officers. No general sessions are held on Tuesday.
Throughout the convention, the exhibit hall is abuzz with vendors sharing cookie and fruit samples, major universities sharing information about the music degrees offered on their campus, instrument vendors demonstrating their products, etc. The exhibit hall provides a wealth of networking opportunities, as participants range from beginning collegiate members, to active music educators at both the K-12 and university level, to those in retirement.
Past guest speakers at the conference have included Tim Lautzenheizer.
For many music education majors, participation in CMENC and the annual inservice conference is par for the course. Collegiate involvement grew under the charismatic leadership of the late Bill McCloud, professor of music education and former acting dean of what is now the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University, who served as advisor to the collegiate section of NCMEA until shortly before his death in 2002. In addition to his extensive service to the collegiate membership, McCloud had served as president of the Kentucky Music Educators Association, as the president of the Southern Division of the Music Educators National Conference, and was nominated for national president of the Music Educators National Conference in 1994. Though approached about serving as president of the NCMEA several times, he always declined, citing the fact that he wanted to give others the opportunity to serve (McCloud, personal communication, 1993). His lasting influence is still felt to this day. Dr. Jane Grant McKinney has served as state advisor since McCloud's retirement.
The first known collegiate state president served during the 1970-1971 school year. Below are listed all known collegiate presidents of the North Carolina Music Educators Association. These were compiled from officer listings in issues of the North Carolina Music Educator:
- Brenda Bullock, Elizabeth City State University, 1970-1971
- Diane Marie Bradley, Winston-Salem State University, 1971-1972
- David Markle, Greensboro College, 1972-1973
- Sue Tripp, Meredith College, 1973-1974
- J. Rudolph Wilson, Greensboro College, 1974-1975
- Susan T. Hill, Meredith College, 1975-1976
- Keith I. Poole, Western Carolina University, 1976-1977
- Bruce C. Orcutt, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1977-1978
- William Hardy Robinson, East Carolina University, 1978-1979
- David Ray Willis, Appalachian State University, 1979-1980
- Nick Morrison, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1980-1981
- Lenora Spady, Bennett College, 1981-1982
- Stephen Russell, Appalachian State University, 1982-1983
- Lori Fleming, Appalachian State University, 1983-1984
- Kyle E. McCarty, Appalachian State University, 1984-1985
- Deborah Davis, East Carolina University, 1985-1986
- Emily Owen, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1986-1987
- Todd O. Carter, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1987-1988
- Joel Fox, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1988-1989
- Chester H. Boyd, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1989
- Laura (Gwaltney) Shepherd, Appalachian State University, 1989-1990
- Andrea C. Crouch, Appalachian State University, 1990-1991
- Charles Burts, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1991-1992
- Niegel Sullivan, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1992-1993
- Rueben Council, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1993-1994
- Stacy P. Tillotson, Appalachian State University, 1994-1995
- Unknown, 1995-1996
- Unknown, 1996-1997
- Unknown, 1997-1998
- Matthew Townsend, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1998-1999
- Unknown, 1999-2000
- Colbert Page Howell, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2000-2001
- Michael T. Sanders, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2001-2002
- Unknown, 2002-2003
- Lem Hardy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003-2004
- Unknown, 2004-2005
- Unknown, 2005-2006
- Unknown, 2006-2007
- Unknown, 2007-2008
- Jason Morton, East Carolina University, 2008-2009
- Unknown, 2009-2010
- Lauren Shook, 2010–present
- Rachel Herring, University of North Carolina, Pembroke
- Heath, John Brian. From Contest to Merger. Thesis: Appalachian State University.