NOTES DA CAPO - By Clifford Brown
February 1984

There was a new kid on the educational block! Probably a brain-child of those finicky music teachers! Although this family had met with the State Education Association for 16 years, they were convinced that they should and could improve the quality and quantity of music in the schools of West Virginia if they had an organization of their own.

So, in 1936 they met and elected their officers. Committees were formed and future meetings planned. A constitution was presented, reworked, and finally adopted as the governing document of the ... West Virginia Music Educators Association. Eventually the "new child" was recognized by MENC as the official state affiliate.

The membership of the WVMEA at that time included mostly choral teachers, county supervisors, and elementary specialists. The state Bandmasters Association was a larger organization and was sponsoring band activities statewide, one of which was the band contest. Although these two groups were operating separately, each contributed effectively to its field of musical interest. Progress was interrupted nationwide with the advent of World War II in 1941, practically eliminating all professional and student activities that involved traveling.

The ultimate plan of organization of the MENC and the WVMEA was to unite all school music groups within the state. Progress was slow in West Virginia and in a number of states. Strong band, orchestra, choral and elementary organizations cherished their past successes and independence. They were not interested in affiliating with the Music Educators Association. It was not until 1950 in West Virginia that the Music Educators Association and the bandmasters jointly sponsored a series of music clinics. This was the beginning of further cooperative efforts through the years until 1963, when the West Viriinia Bandmasters Association became officially affiliated with the WVEA.

It took over 25 years for the choral, instrumental, elementary, supervisory, and college groups to unite within the WVMEA. In 1986 the WVEA itself will reach the age of 50 years. Shouldn't that call for some kind of celebration!

Tacet . . . for now.