WVMEA HOLDS ITS FIRST CONFERENCE 1946

NOTES DA CAPO by John L. Puffenbarger

Fall 2005

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While sorting through the WVMEA historical files, I recently came across a copy of the second issue of Notes A Tempo, which had been printed in December 1946. Editor J. Henry Francis printed a five page mimeographed issue. A highlight was a report of the first WVMEA Conference. It is interesting to compare the 1946 Conference program with the 2005 Conference program. The WVMEA has made much progress in the past 59 years. The unedited article follows:

The Clarksburg Meeting

"It was a group of earnest and enthusiastic teachers, representing the work in Music Education in the State, that me, at the call of their President, Claren N. Peoples, at Clarksburg, Friday and Saturday, November 22 and 23.

"Assembling late Friday afternoon, Headquarters were established at the Waldo Hotel, and a program of clinical demonstrations and discussions occupied their attention throughout that evening and an all-day session, Saturday.

"The local committee, headed by our Treasurer, Charles C. Taylor, had arranged for a Dinner, Friday evening, and the Luncheon, Saturday, and for several delightful choral and orchestral numbers as a background accompaniment; and deserved to be, and were roundly complimented for it.

"As we are one of the constitutionally organized affiliates of the Music Educators National Conference, it was eminently fitting that we should have National representation at this our first State Conference; but it was indeed a wonderful surprise to find that we were honored by the presence of our National President, Dr. Luther A. Richman, of Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Richman, who is also State Supervisor of Music In Virginia, spoke of plans for the National body, (and of the Southern Conference, our parent organization, in particular;) of the many problems confronting the teachers in this State; and acted as consultant in the various discussions of the assembly.

"Space, time or facilities available will not permit a detailed account of the items considered, nor as full a report as we would wish for; but among the many special subjects taken up and worked over at some length was that of the need of more and better County Supervision; the possibility of a State Supervisor; better training of both teachers and supervisors; and a more educationally standardized effort, generally, throughout the State; all of which might very naturally emanate from the establishment of the second proposition, if, and when attained.

"Plans for the Band Clinic, and the State Band Festival were discussed; together with the assembling of the State High School Chorus and Orchestra, in Morgantown at the meeting of the Association of Secondary Principals next April, the Chairmen of these groups being present and primed with news of all preliminary arrangements."

An outline of the Conference program follows:

Friday, November 22, 1946

4:00 P.M. Registration

6:45 P.M. Dinner. Music: WV Wesleyan Singers, Miss Marie D. Boette, Director.

Address: Dr. Luther A. Richman, Music Educators National Conference.

10:30 P.M. Lobby Sing. Mr. C. C. Arms, Harrisville

Saturday, November 23, 1946

9:30 A.M. Instrumental Music: Roosevelt-Wilson High School. Harold B. Wright and Evert Whitener, Directors

9:45 A.M. General Session

10:45 A.M. Address: "Real Philosophies of Music Education". Miss Margaret Leckie, Assistant Supervisor of Elementary Schools, State Department of Education

11:15 A.M. Music: Alta Vista Elementary Chorus, Mrs. Mary H. Brown, Director

11:30 A.M. "Birmingham 1947". Miss Gem Huffman

12:15 P.M. Luncheon. Music: Washington Irving High School

1:30 P.M. Committee and Sectional Meetings. County-wide Directors "Arm Chair

Meeting", Miss Huffman, Chairman

Junior High School Music Problems Miss Faye Lowry, Leader

3:00 P.M. Adjournment