TMAA General Membership Meeting
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 in CC Ballroom C1
Comments from Kathy Fishburn, Guest Speaker

I would like to thank Dinah and the current board for asking me to speak this morning. I am very honored and promise not to talk too long. The Texas Music Adjudicators Association has been an important part of my teaching and learning and I have some things I would like to share you this afternoon.

As with most of you, every time I judge, I learn a great deal. Still, every once in a while, I will hear a new piece that I didn’t know existed. And I am always impressed with the younger teachers throughout the state. We are all so fortunate to be the recipients of great organizations in Texas and we know that we have the support of not only our parents and school board, but also with our colleagues throughout the state.

Let’s talk about service for a minute. There are many of you that would love to be involved with the leadership of TMAA. I would like to encourage everyone to get involved and let the current leadership know that you are interested in running for an office. The Board of Officers here are very dedicated to their jobs and their service for TMAA. Every officer can tell you that it is mostly great fun and always rewarding.

The offices are divided into 2 groups. First of all, the President Elect, Past President and President comprise the Presidents Committee. The other group is the Committee on Standards of Adjudication and Performance Practices. The committee oversees the membership and any other business that may come up including grievances and contest irregularities.

Let’s take a look at the history of TMAA. Like other successful groups in Texas, it was born out of an idea researched created in controversy. The thought was that the TMAA would cause a worse of effect in friends judging friends. Which is why TMAA was formed. F. W. Savage and Nelson Patrick created an ad hoc committee to come up with a list of recommended judges. Those directors selected from all over the state were the TMAA Charter Members. There were 217 of them, band, orchestra and choir directors who had desired to make the contests’ adjudicators . The first Interim Executive Secretary was Melva Sebesta. After she retired Jay Dunnahoo was selected to take her place in the year 2000. Under Jay’s leadership, our association has grown from 217 founding members to 1,396. To address that total number, we need to look at the disciplines individually. The largest section of our membership is Concert Band Judges. There are 774 members on their list. Marching Band has 278 judges. Orchestra has 172 and the vocal judges have 308 active Judges. These disciplines also have 758 on the provisional list. Still with all these numbers, we are short in some fields. I would like to encourage all of our regions to take a look at the use the provisional list when selecting judges. This will help to alleviate judging shortages because, more and more contests are being held on the same day. The testing calendar is creating this problem and it hits every region.

The officers of the Texas Music Adjudicators associations work incredibly hard for you. Let me give you an example. Now this is fiction. During an orchestra contest, one of the directors didn’t see one of the pitfalls of the sightreading piece. This group did well but almost fell apart because of the missed CODA sign. The director felt like all the other directors in the same classification had prior knowledge of the sightreading piece. He then chose to file a grievance against the contest. The grievance or question is heard by the Ethics Committee on Standards of Adjudication and Performance Practices of TMAA and the grievance can be discussed and recommendations will be made to the director that filed the complaint. To be a committee of this group of officers is a three year commitment. This committee hears all the contest grievances and makes suggested rulings about the contest. The Band, Orchestra and Choir is represented in this group. Also, this committee reviews all the membership applicants and make sure that all the qualifications are set to be approved for membership. This is a very powerful committee and is a great way to begin your service. At this time, I would like to have the
current Committee of Adjudication and Performance Practices stand up and be recognized. Now would all the former committee members stand and be recognized.

Finally, the Past President’s serve 3 years in their office and spend a great deal of time considering the amount of decisions that have to be made. Will all of the past president’s stand and be recognized.

Melva Sebesta was the Interim Executive Secretary during 1990 and 1991 years. She was elevated to Executive Secretary in 1992 through the remaining 7 years of her service.

Jay Dunnahoo was hired to replace Melva in the year 2000. Jay is doing a great job for all of us. He has moved our association into almost complete digital systems. Even our membership lists are received as a digital file. But, I have to say that I miss getting my copy of the Leaguer. But our old printed book was outdated as soon it was passed out. Our membership number has grown considerably and our finances are sound. The TMAA Executive Committee was instrumental in developing the rubrics for evaluation of performing groups. An annual summer workshop scholarship programs awards up to $500 in financial support for members working toward improving their teaching skills and musicianship. A system for reporting grievances from school music directors relating to UIL music contests has been implemented. All of these advancements are due to our remarkable Executive Secretary, Jay Dunnahoo. Jay, would you please stand.

Finally, we need to applaud our past leadership for the Policies and Ethics for the Texas Music Adjudicators Association. Please take a minute to become familiar with these policies. Most of it is very common sense, but at the time, the Board was setting a high standard for all of us. No matter what may arise, these points of ethics may come in handy in every situation.

So, by taking an overview of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association, we are overwhelmed with the strength and vitality of all membership. If you think about just years of experience in music education, it is a huge number. I feel that the Texas Music Adjudicators is sound and absolutely essential to our UIL contests.

Thank you!

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