From the President
by Kati Seiter, WMEA President
I am excited to announce that the theme for the 2018 Wisconsin State Music Conference is “Music Education: Embracing Diversity.” The word diversity is often thought to describe race, ethnicity, gender, etc., but a music educator also can think of diversity in terms of what courses are offered to students. Are only performance courses offered or are there non-performing courses as well? In an effort to reach all students and all music educators, the theme was developed.
Over 100 sessions are being offered including sessions in the new category of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access (IDEA). In planning for conference, we were looking for sessions that focused on IDEA and through that work we invited Constance McKoy to speak and share her wealth of knowledge. Connie is professor and director of undergraduate studies in the University of North Carolina Greensboro School of Music. She has taught general music, choir, and been a band assistant. Recently, she co-authored a book called Culturally Responsive Teaching in Music Education: From Understanding to Application published by Routledge. Her bio can be found here. We are very excited to see her present two sessions; one on Thursday and one on Friday. She will also be the special guest speaker at the President’s Welcome on Thursday morning at 8 a.m.
In addition to Connie McKoy, NAfME North Central Division President Judy Bush will be spending time at the conference and presenting two sessions. Judy Bush is an outstanding elementary general music teacher in Nebraska and is excited to meet Wisconsin music educators.
I would especially like to invite you to the Wednesday night concert. It is a different format than past years. Six diverse ensembles will be performing. The concert is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite any music-loving friend. Concert attendees will enjoy polka music, Ewe drumming, Native American singing and dancing, a cappella music, and more. The concert is Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there.
Finally, this year is the 50th anniversary of the WSMA High School State Honors Project. They will perform on Thursday and Friday, and the Middle Level State Honors groups will perform on Saturday. Also on Friday, several high school students and their parents will be in attendance. These are students who are interested in pursuing music as a career.
Please join me at the Wisconsin State Music Conference October 24-27 at Monona Terrace in Madison. Kick off the conference by attending the great Wednesday night performances followed by the President’s Welcome on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. One lucky attendee of the President’s Welcome will be selected from a random drawing to receive a free 2019 conference registration. You must be present to win. I can’t wait to celebrate diversity through music education with you.