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Rusty Courson, ABA President                            
Rusty Courson


As I write this, I’m still recovering (and reflecting) on our AMEA In-Service Conference this year.  It is SO refreshing to be able to experience professional development that is actually applicable to our field!!!  I’m sure that we’ve all experienced PD sessions at our school that have absolutely NOTHING to do with music education.  Thank you so much to those of you that took the time to share your ideas with us in a clinic setting.

We were also very blessed to have GREAT concerts this year!!!  A very special thanks to the Faith Academy Symphonic Band (David Pryor), the Tuscaloosa County High School Wind Ensemble (Jed Smart), the Sparkman High School Wind Ensemble (David Raney), the Shades Valley High School Symphonic Band (David Allinder), the Monrovia Middle School Advanced Band (Donald Dowdy), and the Alabama Winds (Randall Coleman).  I would be remiss in not mentioning the Intercollegiate Band performance as well, conducted by one of the greats in our field, Col. John Bourgeois.

If you submitted a proposal for a clinic or applied for a performance slot, and you weren’t selected this year, please consider reapplying for 2016.  We have a limited number of slots for clinics and performances, and both of the years that I’ve been President, we’ve had some very tough choices to make.  Application forms can be found on the AMEA website, and the deadline for submitting applications to Garry Taylor is June 1st.

After spending the last two years in Huntsville, we will be traveling back to Mobile this year for our All-State Band Festival.  On Wednesday, April 15th, our state solo contest will take place on the campus of the University of South Alabama, and we will be at the Mobile Convention Center on Thursday, April 16th and Friday, April 17th.  The dress rehearsal and final concert will take place at the Mobile Civic Center on Saturday, April 18th.  Clinicians this year are Robert W. Smith, Red Band; Richard Saucedo, White Band; Dr. Ken Bodiford, Blue Band; and Dr. Carla Gallahan, Middle School Band.

Our summer convention will be held at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Orange Beach again this year.  The ABA Board and Music Selection Committee will meet on Tuesday, June 23rd, while we’ll have ABA general business meetings and clinics on Wednesday, June 24th and Thursday, June 25th.  If you have any ideas for clinics, please contact our incoming President, Michael Holmes, at thetubaman@charter.net.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at courson.rusty@lee.k12.al.us.  I look forward to seeing all of you at all-state in Mobile this April!!


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