Dr. Chris Marra and Dr. Jessican Vaughan-Marra from Seton Hill University will be hosting a webinar for advocating music programs. It is geared towards supporting parents and teachers navigating promoting their programs to stakeholders. The session is May 24, 2021. Registration is available at:
Despite not having festivals this year, WCMEA is pleased to announce that we will still offer scholarships this year. As in the past, the scholarships are open to any HS seniors who plan to major in music education in the fall. This year’s scholarship applications will be done completely virtually. Students will need letters of recommendation and will record a short video. Those can be attached to the application.
It’s been quite a year and summer is here! Get ready to relax, refresh, reorganize and rejuvenate! WCMEA would like to congratulate you and thank you for all your hard work and dedication this year! BRAVO!
Please renew your membership by August 31! Please renew your membership as soon as possible. You can do it conveniently onlineor fill out the form provided there and send it by August 31 to: Jaime West WCMEA Secretary/Treasurer 904 Kunkle Ave. Greensburg, PA 15601 Please note: this is a new address!
Here’s what’s been happening and what’s coming! Thank you to our 2016-17 Festival Hosts! The festivals this year were all a great success! Thank you to all of our hosts. Excellent organization, hospitality and concerts. Our students enjoyed their experiences and so did we! * Senior High Chorus: Sue Ann Herd at Mt. Pleasant * Senior High Band: Tim Sheridan at Greater Latrobe * Junior High Chorus: Jeff Fox, Renee Rumbaugh and Jacqueline Hammill at Penn Trafford * Junior High Band: Josh Jordan at Greater Latrobe * 6th Grade Chorus: Paula Sokol and Joyce Cunningham at Belle Vernon * 5th/6th Grade Band: Julia Aughenbaugh and Aaron Knoechel at Yough Festivals Coming Soon…to a school near you! 2017-18 Festivals We are grateful to the gracious volunteers for our upcoming festivals! Mark your calendars now and be on the lookout in the fall for information from your 2017-18 hosts! * Senior High Chorus: Jackie Hammill at Penn Trafford ~ November 16-17, 2017 * Senior High Band: Don Green at Yough ~ November 30-December 1, 2017 * Junior High Chorus: Melanie Callas at Greensburg Salem ~ April 6, 2018 * Junior High Band: Brian Querry at Belle Vernon ~ March 9-10, 2018 * 6th Grade Chorus: Leslie Korns, Nancy Flinner, Dan Laurtizen at Hempfield * 5th/6th Grade Band: Mike Menzietti, Ashley Stevenson, Tom Milchick at Greater Latrobe ~ March 23, 2018
We will miss you! We have some pretty amazing teachers in Westmoreland County! We would like to recognize all of our retirees and thank you so much for your dedication and service! Please remember that you are invited to attend our Fall Meeting in 2017 for FREE as a recent retiree so that we can recognize you for all your hard work…and you can tell us how amazing retirement is! We know of the following retirees… If we missed you or someone in your district, please contact Nicole Wolfgang so that we can add you to our list! Congratulations! Jim Julian ~ Derry Area Debbie King ~ Greater Latrobe Dave Cremonese ~ Greater Latrobe Tammy Hampshire ~ Kiski Area Erin Blystone ~ Mount Pleasant Fred King ~ Norwin Dan Muchoney ~ Norwin
Articles – Check it out!
Here is a little music inspiration for you! Ukulele is taking the world by storm… and it is a great tool for your classroom! Here’s a great article about the ukulele’s therapeutic value.
Law students at Duquesne University are taking a unique approach to handling the stress of finals: They are learning the ukulele. Click here to read the article!
Check it out! WCMEA’s own Brian Querry of Burrell was one of the 290 national quarter-finalists for the 2017 Grammy Music Educator of the Year Award! Not only was Brian a quarter-finalist for the Grammy, but he was also one of the 25 national semi-finalists for the Music & Arts Music Educator of the Year Award! Brian also will be up for the 2018 Grammy Music Educator Award as a “Legacy Entrant.” Grammy Music Educator Award: The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. Click here to read more! Music & Arts Award: Brian was one of the 25 semi-finalists. There were a total of over 2,000 applicants from across the country. The awardee is selected and evaluated based on the following criteria: * Ingenuity in their academic program and design * Excellence in band performance * Creativity in program growth * Leadership influence and impact in their respective communities. The award was presented at the Music & Arts Awards Program at the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL in December, which Brian and his wife attended. Click here to read even MORE! Congratulations Brian!! Brian and his wife at the Music & Arts Awards Program in Chicago
Need your strings to sing?!
Local guidance counselor is offering guidance for your stringed instruments!
disclaimer: Joe Golden and Westmoreland String Workshop is not affiliated with or sponsored by WCMEA. We are passing on his information as a professional courtesy. Ever wonder where you fit in our county? This map shows your piece of the puzzle.
============================================================ Thanks for all you do and have a relaxing and wonderful summer! ~Nicole Wolfgang, WCMEA President I can be reached at home over the summer: email@example.com or 724-537-6434.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
Jeff Fox, Vice President: email@example.com ~ Penn Trafford
Jaime West, Secretary/Treasurer: firstname.lastname@example.org ~ 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.”
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.
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
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: email@example.com
Nicole Wolfgang Greater Latrobe JH 131 High School Road Latrobe, PA 15650 Phone: 724-539-4265 E-mail: Nicole.firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope everyone had a wonderful relaxing summer! This year proves to be more exciting than last as we continue to move forward as an organization and also work hard for all of the music students in Westmoreland County. Although you may not get recognition from your administrators or core teachers in your building, your work is vital to our young people. Many of the kids come to school because of your music class. We know that we cover character education, STEM, 21st century skills and all other district programs through teaching music. So thank you for what you do, the passion which you approach your profession and your dedication to young people.
WCMEA will be offering three scholarships again this year. One chorus and one band scholarship will be presented at those festivals in November/December. This is open to any student who is planning on majoring in music education. They will not receive the funds until their sophomore year in college after sending a transcript to our treasurer. We are also offering a scholarship to a current music education major to help defray their costs. This is open to any Westmoreland county resident studying music education (they can be attending ANY music education program, it does not have to be within the county). The application and information are on our web site. Please pass this along to former students that you know are in college currently.
Staffing changes in the county
Listed below are the staffing changes in the Westmoreland county schools. For new members to the district, I included their biography so we can all get to know each other better.
Burrell School District
Mike Pagnotta – HS Band
Francine Corsi – HS Chorus
Hempfield Area School District
Daniel Lindey – Wendover Middle School Band, General Music)
Natalie Williams – Hempfield HS chorus, elementary band
Scott Shutterworth – West Point Elementary
Brandie Falk – West Hempfield Elementary
Brandie Falk holds a BS in Music Education from Youngstown State University. As a college student she worked with the Mars Area and Kiski Area marching bands. Brandie taught 6 years of general elementary music in the New Kensington-Arnold School district. This year she is excited to teach at West Hempfield Elementary school in the Hempfield Area School District. She will be teaching general music K-5 as well as 4th and 5th grade band and choir.
Jeannette City School District
Chris Donato – Elementary Band and General Music
Mr. Donato began his clarinet study in 4th grade at Hartwood Elementary and participated in the band program in the Fox Chapel Area School District until graduating in 2004. Mr. Donato graduated from Duquesne University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. Prior to his appointment in Jeannette City School District, Mr. Donato taught elementary and middle school general music and instrumental band at the Young Scholars of Western Pennsylvania Charter School in Baldwin, PA. He maintains a private clarinet/saxophone studio and is currently working on a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction degree at Gannon University.
New Kensington/Arnold School District
Please note the following changes for The New Kensington-Arnold School District. We have consolidated from 6 to 4 schools. The new schools are:
MARTIN ELEMENTARY – PRE K AND KINDERGARTEN
HD BERKEY ELEMENARY – GRADES 1 AND 2
ROY A HUNT ELEMENATARY – GRADES 3 – 6 (Sean O’Neil is the new hire for elementary)
VALLEY JR/SR HIGH SCHOOL – GRADES 7 – 12 – Melissa Mazur will teach choir 9-12, Nick Smith will teach 7th grade choir plus band and Greg Sturgill will teach 8th grade choir and band.
Penn Trafford School District
Andrea Frescura – Elementary General/Vocal/Instrumental
Jackie Hammill – HS Chorus
Yough School District
Julia Aughenbaugh – MS Band (NEW POSITION)
Seton Hill University
Dr. Timothy Ellison
Timothy L. Ellison is a Visiting Assistant Professor and Director of Instrumental Activities in the Division of Visual and Performing Arts at Seton Hill University. At Seton Hill, Mr. Ellison teaches courses in music theory, conducting, marching band techniques, and oversees the university’s instrumental activities. He also serves as Music Director and Conductor of the Westmoreland Symphonic Winds, the Three Rivers Youth Wind Ensemble, and the Youth Honors Concert Band. Additionally, Mr. Ellison is a doctoral candidate in Instrumental Conducting at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where he studied with John R. Locke and Kevin M. Geraldi. The focus of Mr. Ellison’s research is centered on composer Joel Puckett’s Short Stories: A Concerto for String Quartet and Wind Ensemble, which was commissioned and premiered by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Wind Ensemble for the 2013 National Convention of College Band Directors National Association. While at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Mr. Ellison conducted the University Band and appeared frequently as a guest conductor with the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Casella Sinfonietta. Mr. Ellison holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting degree from Georgia State University. While at Georgia State University, Mr. Ellison studied with Robert J. Ambrose and was a frequent guest conductor with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Wind Orchestra, and co-conductor of the University Band. As an educator, Mr. Ellison has over ten years of teaching experience at the secondary and collegiate levels. He has taught undergraduate courses in conducting, and marching band techniques, and supervised student teachers. As a public school educator, his bands were privileged to perform for such dignitaries as the Governor of Georgia and the State Superintendent of Schools. In 2005, his high school band was invited to the United States Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) Inaugural Marching Band Championship in Baltimore. Mr. Ellison is an active clinician and adjudicator, working with student musicians across the United States. In addition, Mr. Ellison served on staff at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Summer Music Camp, which enrolls nearly 1,800 music students each year. Mr. Ellison is an active member of the National Association for Music Education, the National Band Association, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, College Band Directors National Association, the College Music Society, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
A big thank you to our high school hosts Melody Vigo and Kevin Pollock for their high level of organization and professionalism in putting together top notch festivals for our Westmoreland county high school musicians. I was very impressed with the level of difficulty in the music and the way the students performed with expression as an ensemble. Very nicely done!
The rest of our festivals are as follows:
Junior High Chorus: March 14th at Franklin Regional HS, hosts Denise McMullan and Lauren Bloomer, guest conductor- Kelly Newstead.
Junior High Band: March 21-22nd at Mt. Pleasant HS, hosts Fred Collins and Erin Blystone, guest conductor-Reed Chamberlin
6th Grade Chorus: April 4th at Southmoreland HS, host Meghan Whytsell, guest conductor-Tom Octave
5th and 6th Grade Band: May 2nd at Jeannette HS, guest conductor-Annette Russell
Please respect all deadlines for applications, registration fees, medical forms and any other important paperwork. Nothing is more frustrating for a host then bugging colleagues for paperwork. Please offer your help and especially a big “thank you” when the festival is over. We all have lots of demands on our shoulders and these folks have stepped up to do this for our kids on top of their normal duties!
WCMEA Memorial Donations
We are pleased to announce that the Koter family chose our organization for memorial donations in honor of Donald Koter. To date, we have received $575. We will be setting that aside for our scholarships to support and encourage more young people to pursue music education. The officers are very grateful to the Koter family for this honor.
Paying Dues Online
Starting next school year, you have the option to pay your dues online. They will be $16 (one dollar more to cover the cost of a surcharge). Thank you to Jaime West for putting this together and re-working our web site.
25 Year Award By-Law Wording
This year we had a question regarding the qualification for the 25 year WCMEA award and we noticed that we did not have officials wording in our by-laws. A discussion will be held at each festival meeting, a committee will meet in June and we will vote on the wording at our next dinner meeting. PMEA’s award uses these terms “Were you a first year teacher in the fall of 1988 or prior to 1988? PMEA’s 25 Year Award recognizes music teachers, elementary through college/university, who have taught 25 years (or more) with at least 15 years of teaching in PA.” If you have a suggestion or would like to serve on the committee, please e-mail Denise Bilott.
Nominations for VP
From Denise: As of the fall dinner meeting 2014, I will be moving to past president and Lauren McCurdy will be moving to president. We are in need of someone (or a few people), that would like to run for VP. You would serve 2 years as VP, 2 as president and 2 as past president. If you are concerned about attending all festival and selection committee meetings we have arranged it that the board of officers splits duties so one person does not have to attend everything. I have truly enjoyed my time as an officer and getting the chance to meet all of you and serve our profession. When I agreed to be the VP, never did I think I would be a mother of three little ones by the end of my term! The workload is manageable and not too much additional stress…I promise! If you are interested or have any questions, please e-mail me.
WCMEA Concert in the Park
Our First Annual WCMEA Concert in the Park is Saturday May 31, 2014! As of right now we only have two applications for performances and NONE for concession. If you are interested, please download a form from our web site and send it to Denise Bilott so we can start planning. The officers will be promoting this through all local media and plan on making this a celebration of music across our county in all areas of music. We also need concessions! If you have a booster group looking to make a little extra money, have them fill out the concession form. First come, first serve in terms of selling preference. Any group can perform – even smaller combos/ensembles that you may have!
Drew Myers (tuba) was selected from Franklin Regional High School to the NAfME All-National Honors Band. Drew performed with the Band in Nashville on October 30. Congratulations Drew!!
The Yough Concert Band had a unique performance. They held an “Autism Friendly” Concert for the Autistic, Learning Support & Learning Disabled students of their district and the NHS school at St. Edwards in Herminie. Their concert was Thurs. Dec. 19 at noon. They performed portions of our Christmas concert, and then invited students on the stage to watch the band while they played. Students had a chance to play on various percussion instruments. After a small party, students got a small gift before returning to their schools. See the article in the Trib here: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/5279559-74/autism-band-concert#axzz2pLN3ESNR. What a fantastic idea, congratulations to Don Green and all of his kids!
Lindsay McConahy (Latrobe Elementary General Music and Chorus) and her husband Mark welcomed their first child on September 26, 2013. Daughter Kendall Denise weighed 7 lbs, 11 oz. and was 19.5 inches long.
Greg Ondayko (Norwin High School Band and Music Technology) and his wife Michele welcomed their first child Ava Rose November 26, 2013 at 10:28PM she weighed 6 lbs, 9 oz. and was 19.25 long.