John Stevenson, an instrumental music teacher at South Carroll High School, has been elected as the next president of the Maryland Band Directors Association (MBDA). He will serve on the Maryland Music Educators Association (MMEA) Executive Board from 2016-2022 and as MBDA President from 2018-2020.

MMEA is the professional association for the school music teachers of Maryland. Its mission is to provide professional development for music teachers, opportunities for excellence for music students and teachers, and to serve as an advocate for music education in schools.

The more than 1,100 teacher members are from every geographic jurisdiction of the state, as well as from every level – early childhood through the institutions of higher learning of the state. They teach in public, private, and parochial schools. MMEA is an affiliate of the National Association for Music Education, the largest arts advocacy organization in the world.

MMEA provides student and teacher enrichment by sponsoring numerous student activities. The association has eight annual All State music groups (Senior Band, Senior Mixed Chorus, Senior Women's Chorus, Senior Jazz Band, Senior Orchestra, Junior Band, Junior Chorus and Junior Orchestra) which are drawn from the entire state. A rigorous audition process selects about 920 students from the 6,000 to 7,000 students in secondary school music programs who audition for the groups. The student musicians spend several weeks in individual preparation and then come together for three days of intense rehearsals with a nationally known conductor. The sessions are open for teacher observation.

The Association sponsors district and state Solo and Ensemble events, at which students play prepared, graded selections for an adjudicator, giving them feedback on their performance as soloists or as members of small ensembles. Those who qualify at a district event by earning the highest rating may go on the State event. This spring, the State Solo and Ensemble events heard performances from nearly 6,000 students.

MMEA serves its members by providing inservice activities for music teachers at a fall inservice day and at a two-day conference in February. Nationally, regionally, and locally recognized clinicians provide sessions that focus on every level of the profession – early childhood through university level instruction, including special learners and at all content areas – band, chorus, general, orchestra, theory, history, technology, and world music.

The secondary music performance curriculum of each district is assessed at the district level of all school systems. Using a graded list of literature, each school band, chorus, and orchestra in the state is adjudicated by a panel of three performance adjudicators as well as a sight-reading adjudicator. Ensembles that qualify through the district events are invited to the State Band, Choral and Orchestra Festivals. During the spring, Orchestras, Bands, and Choruses performed in these festivals, with nearly 10,000 students participating.

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