MMEA President Elect
Eric Anderson is currently in his 36th year of teaching music in MinnesotaPrior to this, he taught music in grades K through 12 in Minnesota public schools for 31 years. From 1984 to 2008 he taught in Cambridge, Minnesota, at the Cambridge-Isanti High School, where he was Director of Bands for 23 years. From 1979 to 1984 he taught middle school band in the Cambridge-Isanti School District, at Isanti middle School. He started his career in 1977 teaching grades K through 9 vocal, general and instrumental music in the Echo/Wood Lake Cooperative School district. Mr. Anderson has B.S. and M.A. degrees in Music Education from the University of Minnesota.
Eric has served in roles on the boards of several education and music education organizations in the state of Minnesota. He was Secretary of the Minnesota Band Directors Association from 1997 until 1999 and he was Band Vice President of the Minnesota Music Educators Association from 2001 until 2003. He also served as the state music representative on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota State High School League from 2003 until 2007. He is a member of NAfME, MMEA, MBDA, and Phi Beta Mu. Eric is an active clinician and performer. He performs with the Lake Wobegon® Brass Band, and has guest conducted high school and middle school band festivals and honor bands in Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as serving as a low brass section coach at the Minnesota All-State band numerous times.
“As an educator for over 35 years, my philosophy of teaching has developed and grown, as I have been given numerous opportunities to experience a wide range of student demographics, interest levels and learning abilities. During my time as an educator, some aspects of my philosophy have evolved, but importantly, several things have remained constant. Those things are my love of teaching and my love of music (my chosen field of study). Whether the student is a five year old in kindergarten or a person in their 50s returning to school to continue their studies, there is nothing more exciting to me as a teacher, than seeing that spark of interest ignite, and then watch that interest grow and develop as the student expands their knowledge, skill level and appreciation of music.
“As music educators, we are given the opportunity and responsibility to share a rich and meaningful art with our students. At this time, as much as ever, our students need this. The creative development and aesthetic experience, as well as the development of self-discipline, critical thinking, and cooperative skills (along with many other ancillary skills) make this discipline not only ‘good’ for our students, but absolutely essential.
“A high quality music education is something all of our students need. As a music educator, I need to do everything I can to give all students a rich and powerful music experience. Therefore, it is my goal to see that any student who enters my class has that rich and rewarding experience. In other words, I strive to help all my students, whatever skills or knowledge levels they come to my class with, to have the opportunity to learn, grow and develop to the greatest extent they can. I want them all to have the opportunity to spark their interest and develop a passion for music and for the study of music. Music is for everyone!”
Barry Zumwalde currently teaches instrumental music at Forest Lake Area HighHe previously taught for nine years at North Branch Area High School. He holds a B.M. in Music Education and Trombone Performance from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and a M.A. in Music Education from the University of St. Thomas. Barry has served on the board of MMEA as Jazz Education Chair, and is a Past President of the Minnesota Band Directors Association (MBDA), where he also served as Membership Chair. He has been a contributor to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Music Committee for several years and currently serves as Music Representative on the MSHSL Region 7AA Committee. He is presently the Secondary Music Department Chair for the Forest Lake Area Schools. He is a member of MMEA, MBDA, and NAfME.
Barry has given presentations on music education at various conferences in Minnesota including the MMEA Midwinter Clinic, the MBDA Summer Teaching Symposium, the CMENC fall retreat, and several colleges and universities, including St. Cloud State University, Minnesota State Mankato, the University of Minnesota, and the University of St. Thomas. He has particular interests in helping college students successfully transition to their teaching career, developing student leadership, and models of effective music departments in Minnesota’ schools. He lives in Forest Lake with his wife Elizabeth and children Ben, Nathan, and Allison.
“As music education continues to evolve as we enter the second decade of the 21st century so must MMEA. Classrooms and teaching assignments are more diverse than any other time in our nation’s history. It is reassuring to know that MMEA continues to work on our behalf as music educators face new challenges. Advocacy is a never-ending task and we find ourselves constantly advocating for our students and high quality music education in addition to our teaching responsibilities. It is paramount that MMEA continues to advocate for high quality music education at the state and local level in all grades and in all areas, classroom, vocal, and instrumental.
“Teacher evaluation is sure to become an issue that our entire profession will face in the coming years. I believe that MMEA should be at the forefront of these new evaluations. The organization can help music educators feel confident in this new practice as it becomes an important part of the educational landscape in Minnesota by seeking out and sharing models that are effective and enriching. I am fortunate to work in a district that has teachers and administration who are working together through this process.
“MMEA’s All-State program focuses on the most important aspect of our jobs: creating meaningful musical experiences for our state’s students. The All-State program directly affects students by providing them a unique life-changing musical experience. I would like to see MMEA continue to evaluate and improve this wonderful opportunity for our students now and in the future. The recorded auditions in 2014 could be the first step in a process of reflection and evaluation of how the All-State process and camps are operated. It could lead to improved efficiency of the overall program.”
MMEA Band Vice President
Tim Davis has taught band for 21 years in Austin, Minnesota. He has taught allTim has served one term on the MMEA Board as Region 1AA Representative, and has been a MMEA All-State section coach for trumpets, nine out of the past ten years. Tim organized and founded the Southeast Minnesota Middle Level Honor Band Festival. He has managed and ran the festival for the past 16 years. Tim has also hosted beginning and second year band festivals at Ellis Middle School in Austin for two years. In addition, he has organized a Mariachi ensemble within the Austin school district. Tim is a member of ASBDA, MBDA, and The International Trumpet Guild. He is an active performer in the Austin community. He plays in the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Big Band, and Southern Minnesota REAL Big Band as well as other musical groups.
“If elected as the Band Vice President, I plan to focus on communicating with directors on the switch to recorded auditions for All-State auditions. This will be a big transition for students and directors but through good communication and cooperation we can make it as smooth as possible. A second area of focus is to address the issue of using audition etudes for All-State auditions versus using a prepared solo. There are legitimate reasons for using either method for auditions, and I look forward to listening to the opinions that directors have on this issue.”
Becky Weiland is in her 25th year teaching instrumental music. After graduatingCentennial HS has five concert bands, grades 9-12, plus small ensembles. Becky conducts the Wind Ensemble and one Symphonic Band, team teaches the Varsity (9th grade) Bands, Jazz Bands, and all woodwind lessons. A member of MMEA and MBDA, Becky was the NEMBDA President in its first term 2007-2010. Becky remains active playing saxophone at her church and with the Bend In the River Big Band.
“If elected VP, I would like to see MMEA’s mission and goals continue. I have always believed that MMEA is a great outlet to connect and network with other music teachers. The value of music education is continually being challenged and questioned in our schools. MMEA provides us with that first response to ‘where should I go’ – ‘who should I ask.’ The tools provided through workshops and clinics – open invitations from presenters and speakers to follow-up with an e-mail or receive more information, give us an easy way to stay connected. When our busy teaching and performing schedules at times seem to keep us on overload, it is great to know we are not alone!
“For my students, the opportunities given through the All-State programs have been pivotal in many of their high school music careers. Those that auditioned and were not selected often return to rehearsals with a greater understanding of work ethic and responsibility for their own parts and sections. The students that have become All-State members return to school in September different people – better musicians, better leaders, and better ensemble members. Their experiences from All-State camp keep coming back to them as inspiration and reflection – making and creating great music.
“For me at the end of the day, music education is about MUSIC: making, creating, and exposing kids to great music and creating and experiencing beauty in our world.”
MMEA Choral Vice President
Melanie Kjellberg is the director of choirs at Andover High School, one of five
Andover High School has four curricular choirs and two co-curricular chamber choirs. Under Melanie’s direction, the Andover High School choral program has doubled in size and has performed at the ACDA-MN Choral Arts Finale, the MMEA Midwinter Clinic, and the VocalEssence Cantare program/performance. Andover High School’s upper level performing choirs regularly receive superior ratings at MSHSL large group contests that have led to several performance invitations.
“Music education is at a real crossroads. As of late, test scores seem to be the ‘cash cow’ or ‘go to’ for all Minnesota independent school districts. Whether it is MCA’s, the Graduation-Required Assessments for Diploma (GRAD) state tests, ACT or SAT tests, Advanced Placement, or district common summative assessments, it is how we are measured and held worthy. As educators, music or not, we continuously find ourselves ‘teaching to the test’ and doing what we can to ‘measure up’ in an attempt to avoid being compared to similar programs within or outside of our district. We do what we can to not be penalized by such things as Annual Yearly Progress (AYP), reduced staffing, or cuts to our programs if results are different than hoped for by those who aren’t experts in our fields. We are being told that inspiration doesn’t matter, that being artistic isn’t important, and that being expressive takes a back seat to what our students ultimately know and don’t know.
“MMEA is a phenomenal resource that helps to define, defend, and support us as music educators. We don’t have to feel alone in our efforts. MMEA, through its conferences, journals, blogs, message boards and much more, provides us with the many tools and experiences that we need in order to continue our work of encouraging our students and helping them understand the critical importance of this art. It is crucial that we never lose sight of the reason why we do what we do. Through music we hope to provide our students with moments of inspiration and growth that help them to understand the importance of art and expression, in their lives and in the world. MMEA is the key. We need to keep our art alive, and this is the reason that I aspire to be the next MMEA Choral Vice President.”
John Kleinwolterink has been the Choral Director at Morris Area High School for
“I look at this as an opportunity to serve the choral music teachers of Minnesota and give back to MMEA. MMEA has helped me and my students over the past 20 years. I promise to work hard at keeping MMEA opportunities available as resources for all music teachers and students.”
John is an active member of MMEA and has held leadership positions in ACDA-MN. Currently he is the Co-President of the Morris Teacher’s Association. John resides in Morris with his wife, Lisa and children Alyna (15), Joseph (12) and Samuel (9).
MMEA Classroom Music Vice President
Kristin Bennett has been working in Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) as anMost of her experience is in schools with over 90% poverty and over 60% English Language Learners, predominantly Latino and Somali. Kristin has been through the IB certification process as her school became IB-PYP certified over 6 years ago.
Kristin became a teacher to help kids learn to succeed. She believes that all children can succeed and that if they learn how to learn, that they can achieve anything that they want to in life. The tool that she uses is music.
“Music is THE most important thing in our lives. This is my belief, may it be humble. A stark, over-simplification of my argument is that Music affects us physically, mentally and spiritually and there is evidence of this as a universal belief. The act of learning Music, the notation and playing of an instrument has pervasive and permanently positive outcomes for the musician. It is our job to help our students to access as many of these benefits as possible. Music instruction needs to meet students where they are. We need to harness social energy to grow our kids into musical literacy. Music instruction must be delivered in a meaningful way that will empower our kids to be able to adeptly express themselves through Music.
“It would be an honor to help facilitate the statewide work that we are doing; helping to ensure that Music teachers in Minnesota are successful in providing music instruction to our students.”
MMEA Orchestra Vice President
Ed Schaefle is the orchestra teacher at Blaine High School, where he conducts
“If elected as MMEA Orchestra Vice-President, I will focus on maintaining and strengthening the outstanding programs that MMEA already offers, and managing transitions as we work together to better serve orchestra students and teachers. For example, we have an excellent All-State experience for students, with the summer camp and February concert. I have witnessed the benefits of All-State for young musicians as a teacher, section coach and parent, and I will work to offer the same quality of experience to future participants. An important transition in the selection of All-State members will be the use of recorded auditions, and I will do my part to make the process run as smoothly as possible.
“The Midwinter Clinic sessions and performances are wonderful resources for us as teachers, and I will welcome suggestions for the clinic, whether traditional or innovative, that will help each of us provide the highest quality experience in orchestra for our students of all ages. I know that no one is able to do this kind of work alone, so I look forward to enlisting your help in the next two years.”