TEXAS MUSIC ADJUDICATORS ASSOCIATION
Jay B. Dunnahoo, Executive Secretary
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|TMAA General Membership Meeting
7:30 AM on Friday, February 15, CC Ballroom B
Comments from Sally Schott, Guest Speaker
Good morning! I want to thank Bill Duggan for inviting me to speak. It is indeed an honor. It's so nice to see all of you here at this $50 a person event. Oh wait! That's $50 if you DON'T attend!
For an interesting history of the circumstances which led to the founding of this organization in 1976, I refer you to Dick Clardy's speech presented at this meeting last year. It can be found on the TMAA website.
Dick visited with a lot of the movers and shakers who were instrumental in creating the first recommended judges' list, and I can tell you with great certainty -- what he shared with you was just the tip of the iceberg. It wasn't just controversial -- it was VERY controversial. A lot of very prominent leaders were dead set against having a statewide list of recommended judges. In fact, as Dick tells it, the very first committee organized to work out the details took immediate action. Without discussion, they voted unanimously to disband without forming any judges association!
Developing and implementing something entirely new takes time. There is skepticism which often leads to outright resistance. People are naturally resistant to change.
Why is this? Common reasons include:
• loss of status or control
• fear of the unknown
• a climate of mistrust
• past resentments
• fear of failure
• organizational politics
All of these factors were in play during the four year period from the time TMAA was founded in 1976 until the time the list of recommended judges was adopted in 1980.
Although he didn't originate the idea of having a recommended judges' list -- I believe credit for that is attributed to F. W. Savage, the first UIL Director of Music Activities-- Dr. Nelson G. Patrick, who was Savage's successor at UIL, brought considerable tenacity and a whole lot of sheer stubbornness to bear to birth the first group of recommended judges.
One man - Nelson Patrick - stood in the face of opposition and persisted until his vision came to pass. Organizations such as TMAA grow and prosper and come to be taken for granted. Often, they owe their very existence to the vision and personal fortitude of one individual. In this case, that one individual was Nelson Patrick. He was a man short in stature but large in terms of his vision for the growth and development of music contests. During his 70 years of devoted service on behalf of the education of music students in Texas, he served as state director of music for the University Interscholastic League from 1961 to 1984. It's interesting to note that this 2013 TMEA convention marks the final year of service for Dr. Patrick's successor, Richard Floyd.
During his tenure, Dick Floyd's leadership has been steady and insightful. Notable challenges such as the implementation of House Bill 72 with its "no pass no play" provisions, huge growth in student population, the increasingly crowded school calendar due to mandated testing and the drastic expansion of technology have been well met. Just three individuals have served as UIL music directors for the last sixty years; their strong sense of purpose and capable leadership has been a consistently positive actor in the development of a fair and equitable contest structure which serves the best interests of all the music students in Texas.
It's important to note the service of Fred Savage, Nelson Patrick and Richard Floyd. It reminds us that entities such as the University Scholastic League, which influences thousands of contest participants each year, are guided and directed by individuals. Their insight, their communication skills, their judgement and their vision are what have brought us to where we are today.
By the same token, TMAA is what it is today because of the individuals who have contributed their time and effort and leadership skills. There is simply no other setting which calls for more selfless service. Through the years, many dedicated individuals have answered the call. Judging workshops have continuously improved, the entire process and procedure has been fine-tuned and refined again and again. The rubrics for concert and sight reading adjudication are a crowning achievement -- who could ask for a clearer guide for fair and impartial judging of these events? The judging forms? Not so much. That is definitely a work in progress!
Let's continue our trip down memory lane by remembering how it was between 1976 and 1980, when TMAA and the recommended judges' list originated. In 1976, gas was 76 cents a gallon. The Concorde made its first flight and Nadia Comaneci earned 7 perfect scores on her way to winning three Olympic gold medals. We first heard of Legionnaires Disease, and enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics from Innsbruck, Austria. Popular movies were The Outlaw Josie Wales and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Popular singers included Barry Manilow, Diana Ross, Elton John, Rod Stewart and Abba.
As has been noted, the adoption of the recommended judging list was a four year process. In 1980, Kramer vs. Kramer, Apocalypse Now, Alien, Norma Raye, Grease and The Wiz were the top movies. People were reading Michener's The Covenant and Ludlum's the Bourne Identity. Popular TV shows included Dallas, Dukes of Hazzard, 60 Minutes, MASH, the Love Boat and The Jeffersons. We listened to Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, Olivia Newton-John, Queen, Paul McCartny, Billy Joel and Bette Midler. The Rubik's Cube was all the rage and Mt. St. Helen's erupted. Ted Turner established CNN and Margaret Thatcher became the first woman Prime Minister of Great Britain. The Sony Walkman and the snowboard made their debuts. 63 Americans were taken hostage in Iran; their rescue is documented in Ben Affleck's 2012 film Argo.
Of particular significance is the population of the state of Texas then and now: twelve million, three hundred and ninety thousand in 1976, jumping to fourteen million, two hundred and twenty-nine thousand just four years later. As of the 2010 census, the state of Texas is populated by twenty-six million fifty-nine thousand citizens.
In the thirty-plus years TMAA has been in existence, the population of Texas has more than doubled. School enrollment has increased from 3.2 million to 4.8 million.
One could ask, how could one individual envision the significance of establishing a recommended judging list? Back in the day, judging panels were selected based on friends knowing friends, recommended college directors and other individuals whose work was known to the decision-makers. That network worked fairly well, but can you imagine it being in place today, with 4.8 million students enrolled in Texas schools?
One could also ask, where would we be today without the Texas Music Adjudicators Association? When I first started judging, in the 60's and early 70's, "fraternization" was not an issue. If you judged in the Valley, going across the border to Matamoros for a wild game dinner was the norm, and everyone,judges and directors, participated. If you judged in the Dallas area, you could look forward to a dinner on the night between the first and second days of the contest. This was a festive event with judges and directors enjoying food, drink and conversation at a nice restaurant. During the day, between groups, one could look forward to nice visits with local directors, even if they had groups yet to compete. Like the Outback restaurant's slogan, there were basically "no rules" governing such contacts.
I'm reminded of my first contest experiences in the 60's. There was one, only one sight reading judge. Can you imagine? Constructive comments? How about this one?
"If this is your first year to teach, get help."
"If this is your second year to teach, get out!"
Think about how things would be today without TMAA and you can begin to appreciate all that has been accomplished since 1976. Appropriate behavior for adjudicators is well defined, and serves the best interests of students, directors, and all of us who judge. Over the years, TMAA has solidified its role. This now appears in the UIL "Introduction to Music Contests":
"Contest adjudicators will observe the policy and ethics code of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association."
There is now a reliable source of qualified judges for UIL events, and also an organizational structure which provides continual review and improvement of training, forms and procedures.
By replacing the "buddy" network of selecting judges, TMAA has also given voice to those who were often overlooked and under-served during the decades leading up to the 70's. From the earliest years of music contests in Texas, the largest number of participating groups were bands. When music competition became a part of UIL following World War II, it was the band division which provided the leadership to develop UIL marching,concert and sight reading competition.
The UIL music directors had backgrounds as band directors. The Region Executive Secretaries, in almost every case were. . . band directors. Thus, decisions about UIL contest rules and regulations were being made by representatives who were almost all from one division.
Perhaps the best way to understand the significance of that is to be like me -- not a band director. UIL contests have a complicated, detailed organizational structure and the rules can get very technical. In certain cases, choirs and orchestras have special needs which do not apply to bands. In those years when actions were taken without much input from choir or orchestra directors, sometimes what would serve the best interests of choir and orchestra competition was overlooked.
Does this still happen? Let me give you an example: the "close your music" requirement while the tonic chord and starting pitches are given prior to the first reading of the choral sight-reading selection. The justification for the amendment reads:
"This requirement was introduced when a similar rule was adopted for both band and orchestra. At the conclusion of the contest season it was determined that this rule is problematic and should be deleted from the choral sight-reading procedure."
Do we need a trip down memory lane to check the date of this requirement? It was. . .2012. And the amendment is to go into effect in. . .2013!
The organizational structure of TMAA has contributed greatly to serving both the common interests of all divisions and those which are unique to a particular division. The training of potential TMAA adjudicators has stayed within the performance areas, and all areas have continued to have a voice in TMAA business.
The Technical Advisory Committee, which was instituted in the mid - 80's during the transition from Nelson Patrick to Richard Floyd as UIL Music Director, has also contributed mightily to equitable decision-making. This committee consults with the state director of music on recommendations and proposed legislation pertaining to the technical and administrative aspects of music contests which, if approved, are then submitted to the UIL Legislative Council for adoption. A part of the official description of this committee is, "Representation from each performance area will be considered when making committee appointments."
As most of you know, the proposals for action can be submitted by performance divisions within individual regions, usually at the spring region meetings. Submissions are discussed at the Advisory Committee Meeting which has been held between TBA and TCDA/TODA since the mid - 80's. By giving each division the opportunity to elect a region delegate to attend this meeting and by providing the opportunity for each division to discuss matters pertaining only to them in addition to meeting as a whole, the vocal and orchestra divisions have had a more consistent voice.
I happened to be the TMEA President who attended the very first Technical Advisory Committee meeting. Although long buried in the past, I also happen to be the individual who wrote up the original proposal to organize the summer Advisory Committee, with equal representation from all performance divisions. It was a cause dear to my heart, for I had seen changes which were needed ignored or overlooked time and again, simply because the decision-makers didn't fully understand why they were needed. Like the recommended list of judges and the whole idea of TMAA, it was not a popular idea when first proposed. But we persevered, and I'm pleased at how it's functioned in the 25 plus years since it was implemented.
Thanks to all who have made TMAA what it is today, teachers and students can go to UIL contest expecting to receive accurate and fair comments which include suggestions which make it a valid educational experience. Directors who wish to enter the ranks of adjudicators have a clear path to qualify, train and reach their goal. Each performance division has a voice within the organization.
Thanks to the outstanding leadership of TMAA, the "good ole days" simply don't compare to today's opportunities. What will tomorrow bring? There is no doubt that new leaders with their own vision and sense of purpose will emerge -- we just don't yet know their names. The story is still being told! I hope many of you will accept the challenge of service to this great profession.