Our Heritage of Excellence

NOTES DA CAPO - By John Puffenbarger
November 1993

The theme of the 1993 Fall Music Curriculum Conference sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education in cooperation with the County Music Directors Association was "Our Heritage of Excellence." Dr. Jeanne Moore, coordinator of fine arts for the Department of Education, led a session highlighting some important events in WVMEA history. I have compiled a partial list of these events as follows:

    1925--Music section of the Secondary Schools Association (SEA) meets in Huntington 6 November. The first recorded meeting, of state music teachers as a subject-matter section of the State Education Association was in 1920, with Lucy Robinson as chair, but it is not certain that this group continued to function independently.

    1927--On 5 April West Virginia music teachers attending a sectional conference in Richmond, Virginia, meet to discuss the possibility of' organizing an all-state high school orchestra and chorus.

    1927--First All-State High School Orchestra and All-State High School Band perform in Charleston on 4 November. Photos of these groups were reproduced in NOTES A TEMPO in October 1982.

    1929--First performance of the All-State High School Chorus in February.

    1932--State band contests are replaced with state band festivals.

    1936--West Virginia Music Educators Association meets for the first time at the Frederick Hotel in Huntington on 13 November.

    1936--First mention of West Virginia Bandmasters Association in WVMEA minutes.

    1936--The WVMEA becomes an affiliate of the National Music Educators Conference (today's MENC).

    1937--About this time a mimeographed newsletter called NOTES A TEMPO is published every now and then.

    1939--The WVMEA writes a constitution.

    1942--WVMEA Executive Board decides to continue hiring out-of-state directors for the All-State High School Orchestra and the All-State Chorus in a meeting, 10 January.

    1942--On 13 November the County, Music Directors arc first mentioned in the WVMEA minutes.

    1943--A permanent music library for All-State Orchestra music is organized, indexed. and catalogued according to an item of 17 April.

    1947--First annual WVMEA Conference is held, and guidelines governing All-State Orchestra and All-State Chorus are developed. (All-State Band remained independent from the WVMEA until 1962).

    1948--Plans are made for unification of the Bandmasters Association and the College Music Educators Association with the WVMEA.

    1950--Revision of WVMEA constitution.

The WVMEA has had a rich heritage of growth in music education. Sometimes progress was slow and difficult, but it has developed into a strong organization that now is recognized for its positive influence on the youth of our state.