PMEA District 12 Fests 2021

This year in D12 we are not holding in-person or virtual fests but we would like to honor and recognize your students who would have been eligible to participate in a D12 fest.  After the nomination process, a list of students in each ensemble will be posted and you will receive a certificate for the student and PR materials.   Whether you have participated in a fest in the past or not, please use this opportunity to acknowledge your best musicians.

If you are interested in participating, nominations open up on Monday, March 8 and close on Weds. March 17.  Each school/director may nominate students.    Please fill out the google doc with the following information –

Fest 2021 Nominations Document

Fests you can choose from:

5/6 Chesco Band Fest

5/6 Delco Band Fest

5/6 String Fest

Elementary Chorus Fest (grades 4-6)

Middle School Chorus Fest (grades 7-8)

7/8 String Fest

Any questions, contact Kathleen Boyer – D12 Fest Coordinator

Middle/High School Choir Survey Participants Needed

Katie Skrzat, a Master of Music Education candidate at The University of the Arts is in need of survey participants for her graduate study, ” “Distance Learning and the Adolescent Voice: A Look into the Effects of Virtual Learning on the Maturing Adolescent Voice” The focus of her thesis is the vocal health of our students as we navigate distance learning.  If you teach choir to adolescents, please consider participating in her survey below:

Upcoming Professional Development March 10 & March 25

PMEA will be offering two webinars this month. Registration will be available soon at Look for Webinars under the Conferences & Events tab. 
March 10, 2021 7 PM    PMEA Open Forum: Chorus 
Hosted by Tina Bennet, Choral Director, Clarion-Limestone School District, PMEA Immediate Past President
The greatest resource we have is each other. As requested, we are once again offering opportunities for PMEA members to come together and share questions, successes, solutions, and to find motivation from one another. Everyone is invited. We will learn from one another and our students will be better for it.
March 25, 2021 7 PM    Planning for the Future: Adapting Curriculum to Combat Covid Learning Loss 
Scott Sheehan, Director of Bands & Music Dept. Chair, Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School, NAfME National President-Elect, Dr. Stacy A. Paparone, Professor of Music, Grove City College, Teri Myers, Elementary Music Teacher, Altoona Area School District
Join us for an evening of discussion about the learning loss your students have experienced due to alternative instruction models. While all of us have faced new challenges this year, we have also discovered new content that benefited our students’ learning. We will share resources about how to fill learning gaps while maintaining the new ideas that you hope to continue. Instrumental ensembles, general music, higher ed., harmonizing instruments,  and music technology at all levels will find relevant conversation and tips.

D12 President’s Message – Heading into March

A year ago, we were just starting full ensemble rehearsals for our musical’s orchestra.   My jazz band was just starting to figure out how to really “swing”, and my concert band had just put on a really solid performance in preparation for their MPA assessment in mid-March.

This week, I was beyond ecstatic to see 12 students in my band room playing 32 measures of a flex band piece while watching the clock to make sure I didn’t go over 30 minutes.

Who would have thought this is where we would be?

As we approach the one year anniversary of “this”, all of us are going to start seeing the social media memories pop up…and they are going to be quite painful.      But – there is hope on the horizon.  The light at the end of the tunnel is getting bigger.   Slowly…but we’re getting there.  


These were released yesterday by the CCHD: you can skip to just the yellow highlights to see the changes.

The biggest change, obviously, is the incorporation of 3ft distance between students as an option.

If you – or someone in your music department – has not had a conversation yet about how this will impact your classes and ensembles – the time to do that is now!    

I still STRONGLY recommend that all performing arts experiences maintain the 6 ft distancing as has been supported by both the aerosol research and recommended in the CHoP School documents that were released in the fall.    While this may cause an issue within some rooms as more and more students come back into the building, I encourage you to be as creative as you can in rehearsal locations.

  • Maybe the cafeteria isn’t being used during your rehearsal period?
  • Can you explore outside options?
  • Do you have the ability to split up unto smaller groups?

We’re probably going to be facing the reality of creating alternate rehearsal experiences for our virtual students too.  While this appears to begin to blur the lines between “curricular” and “extracurricular” – we do have to remember that we’re also responsible for maintaining the future of our programs.    We ALL will have retention issues for the forseeable future.   The more we can work to mitigate those retention issues, the better off music education will be for the area.


Our friends at the Arts Ed NJ organization have put together an excellent document regarding logistics of outdoor performances that you can view here:

Live streaming and virtual events are great – but we have the opportunity to give our students and communities something they have in over a year: live music.   It might be a concert that lasts for 15 minutes – including kids getting on and off whatever “stage” you have setup, but it is more than anyone has heard or seen in a LONG TIME!


It’s pretty crazy how our profession has been thrown back and forth since last March.    Like all of you, I’m pretty fed up with it.

We want to bring attention to the great things that you are doing!    Even if it’s the smallest possible accomplishment…let us know what it is.   These will be collected via the Google Form below and shared on social media over the course of March.   When possible, we will do what we can to tag your school district’s social media accounts as well.   If you think you’ve got a pretty “big” story, please contact us directly and we’ll try to even do some connections with the local media!   Good news is good news!


The upcoming end of this school year brings my tenure as president of District 12 to a close.   I hope that over the course of this last 12 months I’ve been able to get as much information to all of you as I possibly could.    Steve Selfridge will be taking over for me on July 1 and will be heading into what could even be a stranger world!

With that said…we are looking for interested candidates to run for the next presidential term.  This is a 6 year commitment: 2 years as vice-president, 2 years as president, and 2 years as past-president.

If you would like more information on the position and what it entails – in a NON-COVID environment that is – please reach out to me directly!   Our goal is to hold a vote in late May/early June.




From the D12 President: Updated CHoP Policy Lab Documents


The CHoP Policy Lab has updated their guidance for schools, and has now included a much more in depth document for music and performing arts programs within schools.

You can view the entire document here (music and performing arts are located in Appendix A)

I am beyond excited to share with you all that CHoP’s updated documents do include many of the recommendations that we advocated for here locally based on the guidance and results of the aerosol studies that were released this summer.   The entire board of District 12 would like extend a heartfelt thanks to Dr. David Rubin and his team at CHoP for taking the time to consider the recommendations that are now becoming more and more common place across the region.


We hope that the strength and ‘gravitas’ of this document will help you continue to advocate within your own school a district for a safe return of the performing arts.    Please feel free to reach out to me if you need any additional help or assistance.


Register Now! PMEA Open Forum Discussions

PMEA Open Forum Discussions

The greatest resource we have is each other. This was proven at the open forum discussions that happened in August. High ed. teachers recently met and shared valuable time together. As requested, we are once again offering opportunities for all of our PMEA members to come together and share questions, successes, solutions, and to find motivation from one another. Everyone is invited to all forums. We will learn from one another and our students will be better for it. Together we teach. Click on the links to register.

Copyright Webinar Info


Thursday, September 10, 7 p.m. : Copyright Compliance presented by James Weaver, NFHS

  • Music copyright is a complicated, but necessary ingredient in music education. This workshop will focus on the background of copyright and the best practices on using copyrighted materials in your music classroom. Topics will include fair use, educational exemptions, arrangements, copyright law, TEACH Act, digital instruction, and commonly asked questions.
  • Register Here

D12 President Updates – August 24th, 2020

Good evening fellow music teachers here in Southeastern PA!

Like all of you, I and the rest of the board have been neck deep in figuring out how to fully reinvent our teaching discipline for a combination of hybrid and virtual teaching platforms.   

We want to be able to support all of you as well, and have come up with some concrete, specific plans that can provide you what you need.  

During the month of September, we will be sponsoring a couple of webinars specifically devoted to the concept of online teaching.  These are not going to be music specific, but are going to be from vetted leaders in the field of online education.    

Starting in October, we are going to be hosting a regularly scheduled series of happy hour chats for each strand of teaching.    These are meant to serve two purposes: for you to check in with your colleagues to get some ideas on teaching practices, but also for our members to share with their peers any positive teaching experiences and lessons!


These will take place in the afternoon and evenings, and should be considered as standing invites: we hope that you can add them to your calendar and join in when you are able to.

Finally, we are not going to be sponsoring a one-day conference in November as in previous years.   We hope that this ongoing professional development will be more effective for you!


This is just the beginning of what we want to offer all of you, and will continue to provide this service through the school year.  As you’ve heard many times this summer, We are changing the “how” not the “what”.  If you’ve run into any type of roadblock in helping to support your re-opening plans, PLEASE REACH OUT!   Contact Erin Kauppila at  if you are in need of anything to help you with your Pandemic School Reopening. We may be able to provide you with human resources or materials that can aid in this new way of teaching. 


Student Event Updates 

Even though the state is suspending all in-person events for this school year, we are still planning on providing an opportunity for recognizing the outstanding musicianship of our students here in D12.

We will still be holding auditions for our high school events through the Submittable platform.

  • Students will still audition on the posted material on the website.  Sightreading will not be a component of the audition this year.
  • The window of audition submissions will be released a later date.  We are aiming for a window either immediately before or immediately after the Winter Break.

All directors who have a student submit a video for the audition will be a part of the review committee.   Our goal is that each student will not only receive numerical feedback, but also written feedback on their performance.   

The cost for the auditions will be more than previous years – we are hoping for somewhere between $10 and $20 per student.   This is meant to only cover the costs of Submittable.  The board feels comfortable in doing this since there will be no festival costs for schools this year.

Once the auditions are complete, we will release a list of “district” level musicians in each genre through a public relations plan.    From there, the top musicians in both District 12 and 11 will then be eligible to apply for All-State Recognition.    

For our students in grades 5-8, we will still be planning on recognizing students in the various genres.  This will be by director nomination and will function as a replacement for our traditional fests.    Our goal is to get these nominations from you in January and February so that we can recognize these students during March – Music in Our Schools Month!   

Finally, we are also in the initial stages of planning a virtual “Solo & Ensemble” MPA for sometime in the spring.   We know that large ensembles aren’t going to be a realistic possibility for many of us this year, but we want to be able to provide a platform for your smaller ensembles to showcase themselves.    Our goal is that this will be a performance opportunity for April & May.

All of these student events are open to any students in schools in District 12 and must be sponsored by a current member of PMEA.   



Our new Facebook group is where music educators from all levels across District 12 can unite online to support each other, share learnings, and develop a network of peers.

Join today and invite your colleagues at

You can also follow us on Instagram for more ideas and content sharing.

Follow today at or by searching @pmea12 on your Instagram app.

Final Thoughts

This is a good time to remind you all to start the membership renewal process through the member portal. If you need any assistance in getting this approved within your district’s budget, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Our colleagues in other education disciplines have multiple teachers in their building that they can rely on to bounce ideas off of.   For the vast majority of us, we are the only person teaching our specific subject in the entire district…and that can be very daunting.   I know that through collaboration across districts and disciplines, we can provide some amazing musical experiences in our classrooms!