Eastern Division Encores—Winter 2019—Marc Greene

Although winter may have its icy grip on us right now, we know that spring will arrive, and with it comes all the promise of renewal and rebirth. Speaking of renewal and rebirth, a great opportunity awaits you this spring to rejuvenate your professional perspectives in the form of the Biennial NAfME Eastern Division In-Service Conference, to take place April 4-7, 2019 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Excitement is mounting as we draw nearer to this gala event, which will feature hundreds of workshops, performances, and opportunities to connect with colleagues from all over the country, in addition to the thirteen state units that comprise the NAfME Eastern Division.  If you haven’t already done so, explore the conference offerings at https://www.pmea.net/2019-eastern-division-information/.  Please note that early-bird registration rates are available until March 26, 2019, after which higher rates take effect.

Among the highlights of the conference will be performances by the Eastern Division Honors Band, Orchestra, Mixed Chorus, Treble Chorus, and Jazz Band.  Hundreds of fine student musicians from Maine to Maryland will amass to rehearse and perform under the batons of master conductors.  As always, the Honors Ensembles rehearsals are open to all conference registrants, and is a great way to pick up some highly useful rehearsal, conducting, and repertoire ideas.

Many thanks to the state organizations that have so graciously invited me to join them at their state functions over the past several months. Stand-out experiences have included:

  • Delaware: As spirited day of professional development in conjunction with the state’s Art education professional association and leading a session on choral techniques.

  • Vermont: The beauty of autumn in Montpelier accompanied by some great strategic planning work by the VMEA Board.

  • Europe: The warm hospitality of the EMEA members, delivering the keynote address, presenting on vocal techniques, and the opportunity to explore historic and artistic Belgium, including Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp.

  • New York: The return to my old stomping grounds, including working with NYSSMA’s Executive Board, presenting on the national standards, and the majesty of the All-State ensemble performances in Rochester’s glorious Eastman Hall.

  • Maryland: The varied sessions and workshops, presenting on the use of the Danielson framework for music teacher evaluation, and seeing and hearing all of the top-notch All-State ensembles.

The coming months will bring highly anticipated visits in Washington, DC, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Maine. 

That one opportunity to see members of our NAfME Eastern Division family together under one roof will be in Pittsburgh.  Mark your calendars for April 4-7, use the link to register, and plan for one incredible experience.  Our Division Conference is like no other in the world of music education – a truly unique opportunity for professional development, musical inspiration, and networking with a wide array of colleagues and exhibitors.  I hope to see you there!

Eastern Division Encores—Fall 2018—Marc Greene, Eastern Division President

Welcome back to a new school year and all the challenges and rewards that are coming our way along with pumpkin spice, freshly picked apples, and falling leaves.

 I am still waxing poetic over my experiences this past year attending state conferences in Connecticut and New Hampshire.  The beauty of autumn in Manchester and the vibrancy of Hartford in spring were great reinforcements to the warm welcomes, spirited camaraderie, and superb musicianship of both events.

This school year I will have the honor of visiting with colleagues in Delaware, Europe, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont.  It is so exciting to know that I will be surrounded by so many like-minded professionals with a passion for music and education.

But of course, the grandest event of this year will be taking place April 3-7, 2019!  We will be convening for our 56thNAfME Eastern Division Biennial In-Service Conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. This is one of the best opportunities for innovative and best practice professional development in music education in the country, so plan to take advantage of this stellar experience. 

Highlights of the conference will include:

  • An overarching conference theme of Innovation, Access & Insights

  • A rousing conference kick-off event featuring inspirational messages from Peter Boonshaftand Dr. Tim Lautenheiser, a performance by the Williamsport Area HS Millionaire Strolling Strings and the energizing a cappella stylings of Business Casual.

  • A fun Thursday Gala Opening Receptionin the Exhibit Hall

  • The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestrain concert Thursday evening especially for the NAfME Eastern Division Conference attendees at the exquisite Heinz Hall

  • A thought-provoking Friday general session featuringNAfMEPresident Kathy Sanz, the Duquesne University Electronic Ensembleand Anne Fennell, Chair of NAfME’s Council for Innovations

  • An optional run-out field trip to observe state-of-the-art music education in action in the Pittsburgh City Schools

  • A Friday evening performance by the United States Navy Concert Band and Sea Chanters

  • A mini TED Talk style event on Saturday featuring Elizabeth Biesel, three-time Olympic swimmer AND accomplished violinist

  • Awesome performances by the PMEA All-StateEnsembles on Saturday and the Eastern Division Honors Ensembles on Sunday 

  • Over 150 workshop sessionsand 47 performing groups representing states from across the NAFME Eastern Division

 If you think you may need a “special invitation” to attend this conference to present to your school administration, please contact me (greene.nafme@gmail.com).  It would be my pleasure to send you a customized letter of invitation that includes a request for you to host a session or introduce a clinician!



Eastern Division Encores—May 2018—Marc Greene, Eastern Division President

Believe it or not, next spring we will be convening in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for our 56thBiennial In-Service Conference from April 4-7, 2019.  Our PMEA hosts are hard at work laying the groundwork for a fantastic experience for music educators, students and parents alike. 

To give you some idea of what a NAfME Eastern Division Conference looks like, here are some astounding figures from the 2017 Atlantic City Conference, prepared by Debby Sfraga, NJMEA Executive Secretary-Treasurer:

  • Beyond 1700 registrants representing 21 US states and Europe!
  • Nearly 230 in-service sessions provided
  • More than 40 guest ensemble performances
  • Almost 800 student participants in 5 honors ensembles
  • Housing in 4 hotels
  • Over 80 Convention Center exhibitors

At this time, there are a number of important 2019 Conference preparations that involve ALL members of the NAfME Eastern Division:

  • Performing Group Application – Window of Opportunity to submit is Wednesday, May 9 – Wednesday, June 13.  Information and the application is available at: https://www.pmea.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2019-Audition-Procedures-for-Performing-Groups.pdf  A number of concert hours, as well as less formal performance opportunities will be included in the schedule of events for the conference.  This is a great opportunity for you to bring your ensemble to Pittsburgh to showcase fine musicianship, as well as to share this scenic and historic area of our country with your students.
  • Conference Session Proposals – Window of Opportunity to submit is Wednesday, May 9 – Wednesday, June 13.  Information and the application is available at: https://www.pmea.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/2019-Session-Proposal-Application-Info.pdf
  • There will be hundreds of workshops, panels, lectures, and “in-formances” scheduled over four days during our residency at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Share your best practices with your colleagues!
  • Eastern Division Student Honors Ensemble Applications – Window of Opportunity to submit is Monday, August 20 – Friday, September 21.  The leadership of your state’s music association will share with all eligible high school students and their teachers the details of the process for applying to participate in the 2019 Eastern Division Band, Orchestra, Mixed Chorus, Treble Chorus, and Instrumental Jazz Ensemble. Current information is available at: https://www.pmea.net/news/2019-eastern-division-honors-ensembles-info-2/

After what has seemed like an interminably long winter, it is a relief to see some flowers on the verge of blooming and a bit of green returning to our landscape.  This is the time when so many of us plan capstone experiences for our students as their school year of musical study draws to a close. May your spring performance season be filled with a bounty of personally and musically rewarding and joyful moments!