Fall newsletter 2016

Thank you to Festival Hosts 2015-16

A big thank you to festival hosts for last school year for putting together wonderful festivals for the students and directors:

  • Rachel Surden at Greater Latrobe (SH Chorus)
  • Mark Surovchak at Belle Vernon (SH Band)
  • Denise Bilott at Norwin (JH Band)
  • Nicole Wolfgang at Greater Latrobe (JH Chorus)
  • Aaron Knochel at Yough (6th Chorus)
  • Tom Murphy at Mt. Pleasant (5th /6th Band)

The students in all of the ensembles performed with a high level of musicianship.  Our hosts were well-organized and gracious.  Thanks for your hard work and extra time.  We had several great workshop opportunities at the festivals as well as great conductors to observe.  Thank You!!

This Year’s Festival Hosts 2016-17

Looking ahead to this year… Thank you to our volunteer hosts this year.  We are looking forward to more excellent festivals.  Thank you for all you are doing!

  • Senior High Chorus ~ November 17-18, 2016

o Sue Ann Herd at Mt. Pleasant

o Guest Conductor: Mr. Marc Tourre

  • Senior High Band ~ December 1-2, 2016

o Tim Sheridan at Greater Latrobe

o Guest Conductor: Dr. Timothy Paul

  • Junior High Band ~ January 201-21, 2017

o Josh Jordan at Greater Latrobe

o Guest Conductor: Mr. Randall Standridge

  • Junior High Chorus ~ February 17, 2017

o Jeff Fox and Renee Rumbaugh at Penn Trafford

o Guest Conductor: Dr. Kathleen Shannon

  • 6th Grade Chorus ~ March 31, 2017

o Joyce Cunningham and Paula Sokol at Belle Vernon

o Guest Conductor: Mr. Marc Tourre

  • 5th /6th Band ~ April 21, 2017

o Julia Aughenbaugh and Aaron Knoechel at Yough

o Guest Conductor: Bob Rizzo

All paperwork should be in for these festivals on time please. Nothing is more frustrating for a host than needing to nag colleagues for paperwork. Please offer the hosts your help and especially a big “thank you” for their time and effort.  Also, a reminder: YOU or a WCMEA MEMBER substituting for you MUST BE PRESENT throughout the ENTIRE Festival for safety and security reasons. Thank you Hosts and Directors!

Junior High Chorus Festival Host Needed 2017-18

We desperately need someone to step up to host the 2017-18 JH Chorus Festival (next school year)!  We really need to have this in place as soon as possible.  Please consider hosting or teaming up with a colleague to host.  This festival cannot occur if there is no host.  Please email Nicole.wolfgang@glsd.us if you would be willing to help here. Thanks.

Hosts are still needed for future years as well:

2018-19 ~ JH Chorus and 6th grade Chorus in need of hosts

2019-20 ~ ALL FESTIVALS in need of hosts

25 Year Awards

This year we would like to recognize Joyce Cunningham and Paula Sokol of Belle Vernon for their outstanding service to music education for 25 years!  Congratulations Paula and Joyce!  Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the profession!  We look forward to your festival this year!  Both women were in attendance for our Fall meeting at Giannilli’s II where they shared stories from their yeas in the field and received 25 year plaques.

New Officers

As of the fall dinner meeting, Lauren McCurdy moved to the post of Past-President.  Nicole Wolfgang, formerly the Vice President, has become the new President.  Jeff Fox of Penn Trafford was elected to serve as our new Vice President while Jaime West was re-elected to serve as our Secretary Treasurer.  Thank you to Denise Bilott of Norwin for faithfully serving us for the last 6 years!  Please consider serving our organization as an officer in the future.  If you would be interested in this or would like more information, please speak to one of the officers.  Also, if you have any great ideas or things you would like WCMEA to do, please suggest this to an officer.

  • Nicole Wolfgang, President: nicole.wolfgang@glsd.us ~ Greater Latrobe
  • Jeff Fox, Vice President: foxj@penntrafford.org ~ Penn Trafford
  • Jaime West, Secretary/Treasurer: jaime.west@gmail.com ~ Greensburg Salem
  • Lauren McCurdy Scheirer, Past President: lscheirer@Norwinsd.org ~ Norwin

Welcome to our newest officer: Jeff Fox:

Mr. Fox is the Penn Middle School Choral director (grades 6, 7, 8) in Penn Trafford School District.  He also teaches band lessons at Harrison Park, McCullough, Sunrise, Level Green and Trafford elementary schools.  This is his 9th year of teaching.  Mr. Fox holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from West Virginia University and has his Master’s of Science in Education from Wilkes University.  He also teaches graduate courses for PLS 3rd Learning.  “WCMEA has opened many doors to both my students and myself.  The collaboration, continuing education opportunities and high quality ensemble experiences have been invaluable to my students.  I want to help continue the proud tradition of musical excellence of the WCMEA by serving as an officer of this outstanding organization.”

Check out this Ted-Ed Lesson!


Our Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations to the 2015-16 winners of the WCMEA Scholarships:

  • Chorus- Lauren Petrillo (Derry Area High School)
  • Band- Benjamin Wilcox (Southmoreland High School)
  • Collegiate- Breanna Gromicko (Shenandoah University – Yough Alumni)

Congratulations to these students for their hard work and best of luck in the future.

Budget Deficit and Ideas for the Future

Unfortunately over the last few years there has been a significant budget deficit (this past school year, the deficit was much more minimal).  This year, we reduced spending to bring things closer to a balanced budget.  Several years ago, we had a surplus and initiated a collegiate scholarship in addition to our high school scholarships.  At the dinner meeting it was decided that the collegiate scholarship will be eliminated as funds do not permit it.  Throughout the year at the festivals, we will be voting to increase the student registration fee at festivals from $3.00 to $4.00 (it was last changed in 2009) to help alleviate the deficit and keep with the increasing costs of everything.  If approved, the change would take effect in for the 2017-18 school year.  We also want to stress that in addition to the per student fee at festivals.

Professional Development

As a part of WCMEA’s mission, we want to provide relevant Professional Development for all of our members, not just those that attend festivals.  We are looking into partnering with Seton Hill University to provide workshops, webinars, etc. that may interest and serve our members.  We know many of you need to obtain Act 48 hours or Professional hours and we want to help.  If you are interested in helping with this or have a great idea for a workshop or webinar, we want to hear from you!  Thanks!!

Other Ideas for our Future

County Library:

There have been some great ideas brought up by the membership recently.  Someone asked about having a county music library to share our repertoire.  We discussed this at the dinner meeting.  We seemed to agree that a physical library may be hard to manage, but the possibility of a county spreadsheet might be a nice feature.  Here we could list music that we could lend.  If this is something the membership wants to do, we will need to have a “Music Librarian” to manage the spreadsheet.  Another, easy to implement idea was to collect all student music at the festival and distribute entire class sets to directors for more effective use of this purchased music.  This is already done at some of the band festivals.  Choral distribution would be a nice addition and can be discussed at the festival meetings.

Emergency Procedures for Festivals:

A member suggested that we have hosts provide the school’s emergency exit procedures to visiting directors ahead of time or in their information packet.

Vocal Jazz Workshop or Festival:

A couple of members have expressed an interest in Vocal Jazz for their students.  If anyone is interested in exploring this as a future festival or workshop, please contact an officer.  We would need a couple of volunteers to plan the event.

WCMEA in the News

A great article in the Tribune Review recently featured our very own Jaime West and the Greensburg Salem Marching Band honoring Band Directors from their history.  Great PR Jaime! Here’s a snipit:

“Greensburg Salem School District will strike up the band Friday to honor seven people who led thousands of students during 56 years, creating countless hours of music.

Officials, students and alumni are working together to pay tribute to the district’s former band directors during homecoming festivities before the football game against Belle Vernon.

“We’ve had a lot of past directors that have had a lot of contributions to the community and the school, and we thought it would be really fitting to honor all of them,” said Jaime West, the current band director. West researched the history of the band program back to 1960. The district will recognize her seven most-recent predecessors at the ceremony.”

Read the whole article here:  http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/11174246-74/band-greensburg-salem

Best Wishes to Our Retirees!

To those who have set wonderful examples, inspired young musicians and paved the way for music for many years…BRAVO!  Thanks for all your hard work and service!

If you or a colleague recently retired (or plans to retire this year), please email Nicole.Wolfgang@glsd.us so that your friends in WCMEA can honor you.

Thank you friends!

Call for Good News for our Newsletter:

Please let me know if you have good news to share, personally (weddings, babies, engagements, graduations, etc) or on behalf of your students (all-state musicians, concerts, musicals, etc) for inclusion in the newsletter.

Thank you for taking a moment to read our WCMEA updates and news!  I look forward to seeing many of you at the next festivals! If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

– Nicole Wolfgang

We’re on the Web


Thank you to Jaime West for Web updates.

Please contact Jaime if you would like to see something added/revised: jaime.west@gmail.com

WCMEA President: 

Nicole Wolfgang
Greater Latrobe JH
131 High School Road
Latrobe, PA 15650
Phone:  724-539-4265
E-mail: Nicole.wolfgang@glsd.us

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