"Our Heritage of Excellence – Part II"

NOTES DA CAPO by John L. Puffenbarger

February 1994

The first meeting of West Virginia Music Teachers as a subject-matter section of the State Education Association was in 1920 with Lucy Robinson as chair. Since then music education in our state has grown in many areas.

1950s--All-State High School Orchestra and All-State High School Chorus were part of the Secondary Principals Association Meetings. An All-State College Orchestra was the major performing group at the annual WVMEA Conference.

1951--NOTES A TEMPO revived. The first issue of the new NOTES A TEMPO appeared in 1952 with Walter Coplin as editor.

1955--State Board policy established music as a required subject in the elementary grades.

1957--First West Virginia State Supervisor of Music appointed.

1958--WVMEA Executive Board adopted the first "Outline of a Program for Music Education" printed by the State Department of Education in the first state Music Education Handbook.

1959--First Annual State Stage Band Festival sponsored by the Bandmasters Association (continuing a festival originally started by Gorby's Music).

1962—First WVMEA All-State High School Band organized as part of the annual WVMEA Conference. WVMEA All-State High School Chorus and All-State High School Orchestra became part of the annual Conference. (This is considered to be the first All-State Band and has functioned annually since then, although some all-state bands did occur as early as 1927).

1963--Southern Division MENC meeting in Charleston, WV 20-23 March.

1967--First state-wide Solo and Ensemble Festivals in February.

1978--First Music in Our Schools Month, and first Show Choir Festival at Buckhannon-Upshur High School.

1988-- WVMEA Executive Board voted to establish an All-State Children's Chorus.

The early pioneers of music education would be proud of the heritage of excellence that WVMEA members have established. It will be interesting to see what other events develop in the future.