Dear MMEA Member,
Each active and retired member of the Minnesota Music Educators Association has the privilege and responsibility to cast a ballot in the annual MMEA election. This year we have the charge of electing the president elect and vice presidents for band, choral, classroom music, and orchestra. Full Bios and Statements for each candidate are below.
The president elect will serve a six-year term: two years as president elect, two as president, and two as past president. Each vice president will serve a term of two years. Terms begin in May of 2015.
Amy K. Roisum Foley, President
Minnesota Music Educators Association
Dan has served as MMEA Choral Vice-President from 2011-2013 and has been a bass section leader for MMEA All-State Choirs on five occasions. He also served as one of the coordinating team members and a section leader for the MN-ACDA Eric Whitacre Extravaganza and currently serves as the MN-ACDA Graduate Credit Coordinator. Dan was named as Montevideo Teacher of the Year in 2003-4. The Montevideo Concert Choir was a featured choir on the 2009 Choral Arts Finale program sponsored through Concordia University. He is a member of NEA, NAfME/MMEA, ACDA, NATS, Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the National Society of High School Scholars.
“I think that MMEA’s mission to provide high quality music education for every student can best begin by furthering continuing education opportunities and resources for teachers. Well trained teachers will inevitably translate into high quality music programs. The Midwinter Clinic is already a fantastic experience and serves to not only provide informative and edifying sessions in individual disciplines, but also gives an opportunity for all branches of the music education tree – choral, instrumental, orchestral, and classroom music – to come together under one roof. As an extension of this Clinic, I would like to see if it would be possible to make video copies of Mid-Winter presentations available for viewing online allowing them to be available as resources throughout the year. It is often difficult to get to all of the sessions that one would like to see at the Clinic and these videos could be very valuable. I also think that MMEA needs to continue to assist music teachers as they navigate their way through the new requirements for teacher evaluations. By providing further resources that help music teachers articulate and quantify the accomplishments they are achieving in their classrooms, MMEA will not only be assisting teachers to be better at their trade but also supporting quality in the education that music students receive.
MMEA already has in place some great opportunities for exceptional student musicians through its sponsored honors ensembles. It should be noted that the All-State program has implemented some extensive changes to the audition process over the past few years with an eye toward making the procedure more equitable and accessible for a broad range of students. MMEA will need to continue to analyze the effects of these modifications and refine the process so as to better serve the needs of educators and students as well as maintaining a high caliber audition and a quality experience in general.
In closing, I am excited about the role that MMEA and NAfME as a whole will play in the future in shaping quality educational opportunities for our music students. As educators we are lucky to have these organizations working on our behalf and assisting us in the work that we do. “
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Music Education and a Masters in Choral Conducting from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, Mike has continued his post-graduate education with study at the University of Minnesota, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Voice Care Network and regular attendance at the MMEA Midwinter Clinic and the ACDA-MN Dialogue. He is an active member of MMEA/NAfME and ACDA, having served as MMEA Region 7-8 AA Representative, twice as a section leader for the All-State Men’s Choir, as music representative to the Region 2AA Committee, as region representative on the ACDA-MN board, and as Coordinator for the ACDA-MN Men’s/Women’s Choir Festival. An advocate of NAfME’s Tri-M Music Honor Society, Mike has served as chapter sponsor at BHS for 29 years and as state chair. An active member of the Music Listening Contest Board for 11 years, he served as that board’s chair for 2 years. In 2011, he was honored to be recognized as an MMEA Music Educator of the Year.
Drawn to music from a young age, he credits being taught by great music educators as the inspiration for his teaching. Buffalo, Minnesota has been a wonderful place for his three children to grow up and for him to have the opportunity to share his passion for music. He is active in his community as a founding member of the Buffalo Community Orchestra, director of the Zion Lutheran Senior Choir and the Wright County Chamber Chorus and frequent musical director for Buffalo Community Theater.
“The mission of MMEA is high quality music education for every student. There is no question that MMEA does an outstanding job of fulfilling its mission through teacher education, advocacy and student programs in Minnesota. MMEA’s support of music teachers would grow even stronger by working to reach more teachers with resources such as online educational videos or partnering young teachers with mentors. The organization could be an even greater advocate for music education at both the state and local levels through increased partnerships with other public and private arts organizations. MMEA also can continue to improve the quality of its already excellent student programs. Continuing to refine the audition process for All-State, for example, could make even the audition a more positive educational experience for a greater number of students.”
BAND VICE PRESIDENT
“If elected as the Band Vice President I would like to see MMEA’s mission and goals continue. All-State has always been such a mountain top experience for my student musicians and often is a transforming moment in their musical lives. They consistently return from All-State not only better musicians but students with a clear goal and desire to become better leaders in their sections, ensembles and throughout the school. As we move into our second year of recorded All-State auditions I look forward to working on the transition of adding instrumental solos into auditions and revamping the scales and the jazz auditions. It certainly is a goal to communicate with the directors in the state of Minnesota to ensure that we are creating a quality experience for the students auditioning. It is important for every student auditioning for All-State to feel like the recording process made them better musicians regardless if they make All-State or not.”
Amanda has served on the Minnesota Band Directors Association State Board of Directors as a State Honor Band Audition Coordinator (2012 – 2015) and as the President of the South East MBDA region (2010 – 2012). She has also served as a French Horn section coach for the MMEA All-State Bands since 2010.
“The mission of MMEA is high quality music education for every student. I believe that our organization seeks to continuously reach out to educators throughout the state in efforts to engage students and educators in high quality music opportunities. Every student in the state should have access to a high quality music educator and I believe that MMEA can continue to strengthen its work through providing opportunities and support to educators in all regions. As educators we have an incredible opportunity to positively influence our students to become life-long appreciators of music and, in turn, supporters of music education. Whether it is through increasing advocacy, creating greater accessibility to audition opportunities, or connecting with fellow educators across the state, I believe that MMEA has a responsibility as a professional organization to continually support and enhance the growth of educators and, as a result, their students.”
CHORAL VICE PRESIDENT
A native of Sheldon, Iowa, John attended Dordt College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Vocal and Instrumental Music Education and Clarinet Performance. He has attained a Masters of Music from the University of Northern Iowa. Professional memberships include, National Association for Music Educators, Minnesota Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, Minnesota Choral Directors Association, National Education Association, Education Minnesota and Morris Area Teachers Association. John is currently the president of the MATA and serves as the school’s Staff Development Chair. He has served the MN-ACDA board as its Advertising Chair as well as District Representative. He has also served as the Assistant to the Choral Vice President, an appointed position in MMEA. This position helped him gain experience in running an All-State Music Camp.
Active as a conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, John has directed the West Central Area Jr. High Festival Men’s choir and also a Celebration of Young Musician Festival. He was named the Morris Area Teacher of the Year in 2012 and was named a Semi-finalist for the State of Minnesota TOY Program that same year.
“There are so many challenges facing music educators today. I try to provide an environment where every student is given an opportunity to succeed. Not every child has a safe environment at home…school is a place they can explore their hearts and emotions through the making of music. MMEA needs to continue to provide outstanding programing for their members. Many music teachers are in the process of increasing the use of “technology” into their music programs. MMEA must provide the support needed to capitalize on the amazing benefits of technology. With this support we can continue to provide high quality musical experiences for all of our students. Assessment is also a challenge in today’s music classrooms. We must assess our students both individually and collectively. Students should be held accountable for individual performance, improvement of technique and knowledge of music theory and history. With the new technology available, assessment can be made easier and more accessible to all.”
John has been married for 20 years to his wife Lisa. Together they raise three children: Alyna, a junior, Joseph an 8th Grader and Samuel, a 5th Grader. This is the first year they ALL have “Dad” as their teacher at MAHS!
Stephanie’s choirs regularly perform commissions, dedications, premiers, and recordings with composers including Dean Sorenson, Cheryl Parkes, David Dickau, Paul Oakley, Jerry Rubino, Dale Warland, Robert Sieving,Timothy Takach, and Jocelyn Hagen. Her choirs have appeared with the Minnesota Chorale, Minnesota Orchestra, Doc Severinson, The King’s Singers, Oratorio Society, Minnesota Youth Symphony, and Cantus. Her choirs have performed for several national, regional, and state music conventions including two venues at the 2004 MENC National Convention in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Music Educators Convention (2001, 2005, 2014), in the ACDA Choral Arts Finale Festival (2006, 2011, 2014 ), and for the 2012 NCACDA Convention. They have been featured in choral festivals at St. Olaf College, Concordia College, Luther College, UW Eau Claire, at the Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Governor’s Residence, and Carnegie Hall.
Stephanie is a member of the Minnesota Music Educators Association, ACDA, Chorus America, and the Music Educators National Conference. She has served as the National MENC Choral Mentor and was featured in an MPR Broadcast on choral music in Minnesota. In 2013 she was a finalist for Robbinsdale Teacher of the Year and has twice been named “Best Teacher in Plymouth.” She has presented sessions for MMEA and ACDA and has served as a section coach for the Minnesota All-State Choirs. She has served on the boards for the Minnesota Arts Consortium Board, ACDA-Minnesota, and as Region Fine Arts Representative to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL), Choral Music Coordinator for Region 6AA, and MMEA Region Representative. She is a mentor to a large number of student teachers and active in the areas of professional development and student leadership training.
“Throughout history music has been considered a core element of academic curriculum yet our modern society has diminished the impact of music on a comprehensive education. As a result, it has become the responsibility of the music educator to ensure that each student has access to a high quality music education. MMEA is dedicated to this statement and to those who undertake its direction.
Our responsibilities and objectives are numerous. Music educators throughout the state must be equipped with the latest information and research on advocacy and best practices, providing us with the tools we need to promote our purpose and philosophy. Teachers need access to the latest in repertoire and resources to enhance the depth and scope of teaching and learning. We must continually demonstrate a direct link between music education and its direct benefits to student’s academic achievement, attendance, school climate, and aesthetic development. MMEA must continue to provide and communicate these resources and information allowing us to maintain the continuity of academic K-12 music education.
With the recent change to recorded All-State Auditions in the past year, MMEA has made a solid move to making the opportunities we provide more accessible to all students throughout the state of Minnesota. This mission can be more fully realized through broader communication to membership and the professionals around the state who are not currently MMEA members.
As we have become fully enveloped in the 21st Century music educators must ensure the vitality and validity of music curriculum in an increasingly competitive academic setting. If elected as Choral Vice President I will work to maintain and promote a high quality music education for every student.”
CLASSROOM MUSIC VICE PRESIDENT
“I would be honored to help MMEA’s work to improve music education in Minnesota and positively impact students’ musical lives outside of my classrooms. I am a passionate educator and advocate of music, as it has affected my life dramatically and I desire to give others the opportunity to share that experience. I would appreciate the opportunity to give back to an organization from which I have received much, through professional development, opportunities to connect with colleagues, and experiences such as All-State Band.
Knowing that many music teachers work in larger public schools or districts, I believe that, as a member of the MMEA Board, I can help represent the population of students in smaller schools. Through attending a small rural public school in northwestern Minnesota and teaching in a variety of smaller school settings, I have discovered many of their unique benefits and challenges. I am confident that, through my background and experience, I can make a positive contribution to MMEA and music education in Minnesota.”
When Julie started in McGregor, there had not been a Junior High or High School Choir in the school district for 20 years because of budget cuts. The elementary program was also non-existent. Sadly, the teacher before me had just shown the students movies every day. However, she had a very supportive superintendent and principal, and a community that had done without music in their school for a long time. With their help and support, Julie was able to build a music program from the ground up. Currently, elementary students have music every day, and Julie’s teaching partner (who is the band director) and Julie strive to teach literacy, while keeping the joy in music. They use Orff and Kodály methods to accomplish this. Their school district continues to value music in Middle School, by making choir a requirement in 7th/8th grade. Because of these changes in Elementary and Middle School, McGregor has High School students that want to continue musical learning. They have a 55-member High School Choir, and almost 75% of McGregor’s student body participates in music in high school: either in band, choir or guitar class.
“I love that MMEA’s mission statement is “High Quality Music Education for Every Student”. In order for this mission statement to be realized, I believe that we need to remember that a love for music begins in Elementary! Helping teachers create an elementary classroom that is fun and engaging, while meeting the standards, would be my number one goal as Classroom VP.
Also, because experience has taught me that a music program’s success depends on the support of administration and community, I would make it a priority to help music educators become more effective advocates for their programs—especially in rural areas, where it is all too easy to cut a Fine Arts program when budgets are tight!
I hope you will consider me for the position of Classroom VP. I feel teaching K-12 gives me a unique perspective on musical learning. Also, I feel like I could help represent teachers in rural areas. I look forward to taking a more active role in MMEA because I believe it’s the single most important support for Music educators in Minnesota. I also look forward to sharing my ideas and gaining more great ideas from other Music Educators.”
ORCHESTRA VICE PRESIDENT
His orchestras have toured the United States from coast to coast and have been awarded numerous superior ratings at Regional and State Music Contests as well as national music festivals. Under his baton, the Moorhead High School Orchestras have performed at the Dixie Classic Invitational Competition in Richmond, Virginia, the Disney Honors Festival in Orlando, the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Statehood in Hawaii, North Dakota Music Educators Conference, and numerous performances at the Minnesota String Orchestra Teachers Association (MNSOTA) Tier II Festival. He has been on the faculty at the University of North Dakota and is currently Adjunct Faculty in Violin at Minnesota State University-Moorhead (MSUM), a position he has held since 2004. He has been conductor for the University Orchestra at MSUM and guest conducted the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra, the Great Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, the Bethel University Orchestra, and the Fargo-Moorhead Youth Symphony. As a violinist, Jon is a member of the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra and has served as principal second violin in the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller and Michael W. Smith. He performs regularly as lead violin in the 19th Ave. String Quartet. Jon is an active member of American String Teachers Association, Minnesota String Orchestra Teachers Association, Minnesota Music Educators Association, and National Association for Music Education.
“All students deserve a high quality music education and access to a variety of music experiences. This opportunity should not be dependent on economic values or geographic location. Nor should it be dependent on the size of a school district whether there are 20 students per grade or 1000. A focus for MMEA would be to continue to explore avenues to help music teachers better meet the challenges of educating students especially in under-funded music programs and in schools that have very limited access to professional musicians and ensembles.”
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