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Micheal Holmes ABA President     

Mike Holmes                       

The Process Continues

 As educators we never really end a school year and start over as most think we do.  We just continue, with hopefully a few breaks along the way, to prepare for what is next.  There is always another rehearsal, performance, fund-raiser, booster meeting, trip, or field to line off.  I know this is true in the band director profession.  We are researching MPA performance music while planning a marching band show.  We are recruiting for the future as we are preparing for our final concert of the year.  And one of the things that we do that is most impressive is we are helping each other all along the way.  Working each other’s band camps, conducting instrument tryouts for a colleague’s next beginner band, visiting rehearsals to assist with contest preparation, sharing advice on music that is advisable or not so advisable to play.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

 I see the same dedication and camaraderie from band students. If the band room is open, they will come.  It is their “Clubhouse.”  Hanging out with fellow band members, meeting after the game at Waffle House, throwing a Frisbee during water breaks, or crashing the flute section’s pool party is what keeps them coming back.  Observing the friendships that develop, the musical growth, and the personal growth of our students is what keeps us coming back.  It’s going to be another great year of band.

 ABA Summer Conference 2015 is in the books.  I am positive that if you attended you were not disappointed.  We had outstanding clinics presented by Keith Anderson, Pat Stegall, Mark Foster and Sallie Vines White, and Greg Gumina (Southwind Drum Corps).  What great attendance we had for the “Social Hour”/Shrimp Boil -- approximately 140 directors and family members attended.  Having Betty Bates as our featured “Old Fogie” speaker had much to do with the huge crowd.  Betty is an amazing person.  Please plan to attend next year.  I promise that we will be fully prepared for a large crowd and we will get you fed more efficiently.  Thank you to AWB Apparel, Southern Performances, Art’s Music Shop, Demoulin Uniforms, Sound Choices Recording, Super Holiday Tours, and Mouchette Enterprises for serving as sponsors of the “Social Hour.”  Hopefully, you and your family also got in some much needed beach time as well.  We will return to Hampton Inn-Orange Beach in June of 2016. 

 I want to thank and congratulate you on selecting such fine representatives from your districts to serve on the ABA Board.  We had a very productive board meeting.  It is a privilege to be surrounded by such talented individuals.  Several committees are working on assigned projects, such as updating our by-laws, adjudicator certification process, and list of approved adjudicators.  President-Elect Doug Farris has already proven to be an invaluable asset to your organization and especially to me. As outlined in our By-Laws, Doug is Chair of the Music Selection Committee.  We have representation from throughout the state on this committee.  They met for several hours and will be adding a number of new compositions to the Cumulative List.  New music added this summer will be noted as such on the list.  Executive Secretary Harry McAfee received a well-deserved positive review from the board as well.  Thanks to Harry for a job well done.

 As a member of AMEA/ABA, you also have responsibilities.  Return all dues, fees, registrations, and respond to all correspondence in a timely manner.  Renew your NAfME membership now if you have not done so. Please do not wait until the AMEA In-Service in January to renew as this creates delays in the onsite registration and pre-registration pick-up process.  Check the AMEA/ABA website regularly.  You will find needed forms, All-State Band audition requirements and etudes, Cumulative Music list, ABA Directory, and other useful and needed information.  Check the abafest.com site weekly for announcements and calendar updates.  Your ABA state officers and district officers will be using this site to keep you informed as well as have you register for events such as All-State and MPA.  With the guidance of David Raney we are continuing to develop and expand this site.

 We will have three pieces of new legislation (included in this issue) to consider at our business meeting in January at the AMEA Conference.  Conference registration and lodging reservations are available now.  Visit the AMEA website to access this information.  Pre-register today and save.  We have a great line-up of per-forming ensembles and clinics/sessions representing ABA for this conference.

Alabama has been well represented for the past several years at the annual Midwest Clinic in Chicago.  We have had a band perform, as well as several of our ABA members present clinics, rehearsal labs, serve on panel discussions, etc.  This year the Pizitz Middle School Band, under the direction of Kim Bain and Leah Seng, will perform on Wednesday, December 16, 2015, at 10:45 A.M. Please make your reservation for Tuesday, and let’s have a strong ABA showing in support of our colleagues and their students.

 I wish you success as you continue to inspire your students to reach the goals that have been set.  And DON’T FORGET THE SUNSCREEN.

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