"Published Every So Often"

NOTES DA CAPO - By John Puffenbarger
March, 1992

"Music education is on the march in West Virginia, and I feel sure that every school music teacher wants to join the parade." This quote by Claren M. Peoples, WVMEA President in 1946, appeared in one of the early editions of NOTES A TEMPO. The banner on the issue stated, "Published every so often for the W.V.M.E.A." The program for the first WMEA Conference held in Clarksburg in November 1946 was also outlined in this same issue.

NOTES A TEMPO, the official publication of the West Virginia Music Educators Association, continues today to keep members apprised of the latest happenings in music education in the state. Prior to 1939 the WVMEA communicated with the membership through articles in the S.E.A. (State Education Association) Journal or Bulletin.

The first time NOTES A TEMPO is mentioned in the WVMEA minutes was on 14 January 1939. The minutes state. "The matter of carrying on NOTES A TEMPO was discussed. It was decided to keep it. J. Henry Francis was appointed editor." Francis served as editor during the 1940s, and the mimeographed newsletter was published sporadically.

NOTES A TEMPO was "revived" on a more regular basis in 1951 as a mimeographed newsletter when Clifford W. Brown was appointed editor. The first printed edition was published in 1952, when Walter Coplin was appointed editor, and he served until 1959, when David Wallace became editor for one year. The current numbering system for issues of NOTES A TEMPO begins with the printed edition of volume, No. 1 of January 1952.

Under editor Earl Houts (1959-1960) NOTES A TEMPO was printed three times a year in November, January, and April. At this time the publication used a small magazine format of six inches by nine inches. While attractive. it was some what expensive to produce. In 1960 Jay Robinson became editor. and he was followed by Nels Leonard in 1963. Edward Wolf served as editor during 1964-65, with Nels Leonard returning to the position from 1965-67.

In order to make more news available to the membership with less lead time, in 1968 the NWMEA voted to have a monthly newsletter. To save on production costs the format again became a mimeographed newsletter, this time consisting of eight pages. John L. Puffenbarger served as the newsletter editor.

In 1971 the Executive Board asked editor Pat Fitzgerald to develop a printed version to appear monthly during the school year. He supervised the growth of NOTES A TEMPO until 1975, when Edward Wolf returned to the editor's desk and has continued in this position until the present (1992). The current publication schedule calls for seven issues during the school year, with issues appearing in September, October. November, January, February. March. and a combined April-May issue which includes reports from the conference.

Highlights of music education in West Virginia for the past forty-plus years can be found in the pages of NOTES A TEMPO. All issues from 1958 to the present are on file in Colson Hall at West Virginia University for public use. A second complete set of issues from 1952 to the present is in the Paul N. Elbin Librarv at West Liberty State College.