Local Band Directors to March in 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

News release  

Contact: Sanford Meisel, Director of Marketing 

Saluting America’s Band Directors 




Local Band Directors Donna Cooper, Kevin Cooper and Allyson Patterson to march in 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® with the Band Directors Marching Band 

Following its amazing inaugural appearance in the 2022 Rose Parade,® Saluting America’s Band Directors project is bringing together band directors from across the country to New York City on November 23, 2023 under the theme, “America’s band directors: We teach music. We teach life.” 

Donna Cooper a band director in the West Chester Area School District, her husband, Kevin Cooper, a retired band director, and Allyson Patterson a band director in Downingtown Area School District, have been selected to join a marching band of 400 band directors from across the country in the historic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® on November 23, 2023. 

The Saluting America’s Band Directors parade entry will again convey its theme, “America’s band directors: We teach music. We teach life.” to recognize the extraordinary dedication and accomplishments of band directors and music educators everywhere. Throughout their careers, the music educators in this band have collectively mentored and taught hundreds of thousands of students. These professionals not only teach and direct music, but they also teach about life itself

The band will be directed by nationally known music educator and innovative band director Jon Waters.  

The sponsoring organization behind the Saluting America’s Band Directors project is the Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation, based in Pickerington, Ohio. The foundation was created to recognize and carry on the work of the late Mike Sewell, who dedicated his life to the school and community music programs in Pickerington and the Central Ohio area for almost 40 years.  

How to see Saluting America’s Band Directors Marching Band: The Parade starts at 8:30 but the group may not reach the TV coverage portion of the parade until 9:00.  The TV cameras are at the very end of the parade. The Band Director’s Marching Band is second in the parade lineup!
Here is the link to the home page of the Band Director’s Marching Band https://banddirectorsalute.org/– it provides information about the group and the parade.
Congratulations, Donna, Kevin, and Allyson!


October President’s Update


President’s Update – Hannah Knauss, Downingtown Middle School

Welcome back to another year of music making and education in D12. I am excited to begin my two year role as the President of D12. For those whom I haven’t met, my name is Hannah Knauss, and I am the choral director at Downingtown Middle School. I have been involved in both the local and state levels of PMEA for my entire music education career. If you are new to PMEA D12 – welcome! Make sure to join our facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/pmea12/

I shared with the board at our September meeting that my three goals for this year are:

  • Examine our roles and responsibilities of the board to ensure we are meeting the needs of our members.
  • Support the music educators of D12 through professional development and engagement.
  • Showcase the talents of our students through the student performance opportunities 

such as our festivals, fests, and MPAs.

September 2023 – D12 Board Meeting Minutes

New Members/Teachers:


Please click here to find out who is serving us in PMEA D12.

Fall In-service

Festival Updates: Auditions

Festival Updates:



Curriculum & Instruction:

Advocacy – George Weaver UPDATE

  • Perform at the Capitol – String or Choral Ensembles. Click here to apply.
  • The first thing that people notice about music teachers is your talent and passion. However, the characteristic that impresses me the most is your ability to organize, plan, and execute! You can take ideas, people, random materials, sound, and put it together to make some amazing performances and life experiences. But what most people don’t see is the PLANNING and the TIME it takes. So how about a couple of tools to help! Here is the link to the PMEA Marketing Toolkit. It has already prepared materials and ideas that you can grab, use, customize to your situation. This resource has been developed by music teachers just like you and the work is waiting for you to use. And while you are online, go to the link for the PMEA Calendar for Local Advocacy. It gives you a plain, month-by-month plan for things you can easily incorporate into your schedule to advocate for your music program in your local community. Have a great start to your school year!

PMEA Membership Renewal: 

Please remember to renew your PMEA membership!  By joining our community of professional music educators, you have a chance to connect with other teachers, gain insight and ideas from NAfME and PMEA publications, and provide more performance opportunities for your students.  Our community needs your voice, your expertise, and your input!  Visit https://www.pmea.net/membership-information/

Save-the-Date: D-12 In-Service November 7, 2023

Once again, PMEA D-12 will be hosting a day of In-Service for Music Educators and Music Education Majors on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

The In-Service will be held at Phoenixville High School. Registration will begin at 8:00am and the final session will end at 2:30pm with ample time for Lunch on your own in beautiful downtown Phoenixville!

Stay tuned as Registration Information will be available shortly…please plan to attend!

D12 June Update 2023

Greetings PMEA D12 Members!

June is finally here!  Whether you have already crossed the finish line or are approaching it with anticipation, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the tremendous effort and dedication you have poured into your classrooms.  Speaking for myself, this past year has been a bit exhausting as we transitioned back to a fully “normal” schedule.  Were we really this busy before 2020? 😂  

 As we approach the summer break, I’d like to share some important PMEA updates:

For the upcoming year, PMEA D12 will be returning to in-person auditions for our Band/Orchestra/Choral festivals.  Auditions will be held Sat, Nov 18, 2023 at Bayard Rustin High School.  Audition information and material is posted on our website: https://www.pmea12.org/district-12-auditions

PMEA D12 BOARD OPENINGS – interest/nominations due by 6/13

We are always seeking interested members to help with various volunteer positions in PMEA District 12.   In particular, we are currently seeking interest/nominations for the following:

D12 Vice President:  Elected by nomination and membership vote.   The member in this role serves a 2-year term as VP, followed by a 2-year term as president.  If you are interested in running for this position, or more information, please email d12pmea@gmail.com by Tues, June 13

D12 Treasurer: we are seeking detail-oriented members to help with this important job! This position will be broken into two people so it is more manageable 

Curriculum & Instruction: If you are passionate about enhancing educational experiences, promoting innovative teaching methods, and inspiring fellow educators, we invite you to consider taking on this important position.

Please submit your interest or nomination to d12pmea@gmail.com by Tuesday, June 13


We hope to see you at the PMEA Summer Conference – July 17-19 at the Red Lion Hotel Harrisburg Hershey. Registration is $75 for Active Members ($35 for Collegiate & Retired Members) and includes all meals and sessions during the event.

Among the highlights of the Summer Conference are:

  • The return of the popular Sharing Sessions
  • Keynote Speaker – Maria A. Ellis
  • Yankee Brass Band Concert
  • Professional Development Sessions
  • Networking and Fun with Colleagues
  • Option to participate in the PMEA Day of Service

Find the whole Summer Conference schedule on the PMEA website.

Applications are now being accepted for the Tenth Annual PMEA Leadership Academy. The program will begin with the 2023 PMEA Summer Conference (July 18 & 19 at the Red Lion Harrisburg Hershey Hotel), requires four written assignments with conference calls through the year and will conclude with graduation during the 2024 PMEA Annual Conference, April 18-20 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie.

Visit the PMEA Leadership Academy section of the PMEA website for more details. Registration is $75, however the fee will be returned upon the successful completion of the program. Deadline to apply: Wednesday, June 14.

Wishing you all a restful and wonderful summer!

Steve Selfridge

President, PMEA District 12

Class of 2023 Scholarships

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION is Friday, May 19, 2023

PMEA District 12 annually awards up to (3) scholarships to high school seniors who will be majoring in music education at an accredited college or university.   There is more information below, but first here is the link to share with your students who would like to apply: https://pmeadistrict12.submittable.com/submit

There will be one scholarship for choral, one for band, and one for orchestra that will be awarded to a string player. These scholarships will be named in honor of Carmen Culp, Richard Merrell, and Richard Miller in appreciation for their service to the membership of District 12 and the music education profession.

The amount of each scholarship for the class of 2023 will be $1000.00.

The money will be sent directly to the student in the form of a check.   Verification of acceptance to a music education program will be required.   District 12 reserves the right to withhold any of the scholarships if none of the candidates meet established criteria.


Candidates must have participated in a PMEA District 12 High School Band, Orchestra, or Choral Festival.

The candidate’s director must be a current member of PMEA.

Must be enrolled as a music education major at an accredited college or university.


Fill out the application below before May 19th, 2023.



The District 12 Scholarship Committee will meet to review all applications.

The Scholarship Committee will present to the Executive Board their recommendations at the spring meeting. Any members of the Executive Committee whose own students are applicants will be excused from the selection process.

Winners will be announced no later than June 1, 2023.   The award will be presented to the winners at his/her own school during an appropriate ceremony, if possible.  




Wednesday, March 1st  


Mark off 5 minutes of your time ON YOUR CALENDAR RIGHT NOW for Wednesday, March 1st to send a message to your state representatives advocating for your passion, music education. PMEA will do all the work ahead of time and have an online form ready for you to use. Get your parent groups, family members and friends to join you!  You don’t have to be a music teacher to support music education. It takes just minutes and creates a big advocacy impact.


Plan to call or schedule a virtual meeting with your representative and/or senator on Wednesday, March 1st. PMEA has done all the work and has documents with information and directions ready for you to use on their Advocacy Day webpage.

Looking forward to joining our voices together on March 1st in support of music education!

Find Your Legislator

PMEA Advocacy Day Information

D12 In-Service Register NOW!

PMEA District 12 will once again be offering an in-person, fall in-service Day for all music teachers. (PMEA Members, Non-Members, Collegiate Members)

Please click here for the information packet about the inservice.

Date: Tuesday, November 8th
Location: Phoenixville Area School District at Phoenixville Area Middle School

Time: 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM.  Act 48 Credit will be available.
Payment: Payment methods include credit card or check. 
**Click here for an invoice to submit to your schools**

Pre-Registration on Submittable is strongly encouraged.  Deadline is Monday October 24th, 2022.

REGISTER HERE: https://pmeadistrict12.submittable.com/submit/239110/d12-fall-inservice-registration

We look forward to seeing our music colleagues once again, so please try to join us!

If you have any questions regarding scheduling, email Shawn Lee at lees@pasd.com.
Other questions can be directed to Maryellen Byrne at mbyrne@gvsd.org.
*Questions about payment can be directed to d12pmea@gmail.com.

Retired PMEA Member $5
Non-PMEA Member $35
College Non-PCMEA Member $10

Download and Browse the In-Service packet below-

Save the Date: November 8, 2022 D12 In-Service!

D-12 will once again be offering a Fall In-service Day for all Music Teachers on Tuesday, November 8th. The In-Service will be hosted by the Phoenixville School District and will run from 8:00-2:00.  Act 48 Credit will be available.  We look forward to seeing our Music colleagues once again, so “Save the Date” and please try to join us!  Look for Registration and further details in the coming weeks!

August 2022 Update

PMEA D12 Update Aug 8, 2022

Hello PMEA D12 Members!

Dare I say it out loud, it is now AUGUST and I’m sure we are all doing our best to squeeze in as much summer as we can in the next few weeks!  I hope you all have had a restful and rejuvenating summer so far.

Please take a few minutes to review our updates below, and stay up-to-date at our website: https://www.pmea12.org/   

Also, if you are on Facebook, please consider joining our private Facebook group “PMEA D12 Educator Community” for updates and members-only sharing and discussion  –  https://www.facebook.com/groups/pmea12/

Updates are listed below!  Thank you and please reach out if you have any questions, updates, or announcements to share in our next communication.  

Steve Selfridge

D12 PMEA President

Garnet Valley High School



URGENT  – Host for Region VI Chorus needed!  

We are URGENTLY seeking a host for Region VI Chorus this year.  The date for the festival is Feb 23-25.  These wonderful events can only happen for our students if PMEA members are willing to host!  If your venue cannot accommodate a festival, but you are willing to serve as coordinator, consider volunteering to co-host with another director.  Contact our Festival Coordinator Jeff Hart jhart@haverfordsd.net  and D12 President Steve Selfridge president@pmea12.org if you can help!


We are appreciative to have such a vibrant and dedicated group of music educators as members of PMEA here in District 12.  If you haven’t done so already, remember to renew your PMEA membership.  The official membership year for 2022-23 began on July 1.  See details at the PMEA website here: https://www.pmea.net/membership-information/.  

One of our continuing goals is to encourage all music teachers in our area to join as PMEA members.  We invite our current members to reach out to colleagues and encourage them to become active members.  

Membership in PMEA also includes membership in NAfME: The National Association for Music Education. Approximately 1/3 of your PMEA/NAfME dues is allocated to support the many PMEA programs that are offered. The remaining 2/3 portion of the dues goes to NAfME to support publications, activities and programs. Check out the links below to make sure you’re making the most of your PMEA/NAfME membership!


All audition information is posted on our website here.  Auditions will be held via Submittable video.  Please review the audition excerpts and share with your private teachers.  The deadline to report any misprints or corrections is Aug 15, 2022.  After that date, all excerpts will be judged as posted.

Special note regarding Contra Clarinet: The SPEC Council has decided to remove the Contra-Bass/Contra-Alto Clarinet from Region and All-State Festivals. District 12 students on these instruments will still be able to audition on these instruments for the District Festivals for the 2022-2023 season, but will be unable to advance to Region and All-State Festivals due to the SPEC Council’s decision.  In the event that All-State Band or Wind Ensemble instrumentation requires contra clarinet, at-large auditions will be held.


We are hoping to have fests this upcoming school year.   The six fests in D12 are:  5th/6th Chesco Band, 5th/6th Delco Band, 5th/6th String, Elementary Chorus, 7th/8th Chorus, 7th/8th String.  Some of the fests have hosts and they are starting their preliminary planning – more information will be sent out as it becomes available.  We still need hosts for 5th/6th String and  5th/6th Delco Band.  If interested in hosting or participating please contact Kathleen Boyer, Fest Coordinator at fests@pmea12.org.


Do you have an interest in becoming more active in PMEA D12?  Our PMEA activities and initiatives are only made possible by enthusiastic and dedicated teachers like you!  We currently have two open committee chair positions – Music Performance Assessment (MPA) Events Chair, and Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) Chair.  Descriptions of the duties are included below.  Contact Steve Selfridge president@pmea12.org if you have any interest or questions!

Music Performance Assessment Chair: Coordinates hosts for Music Performance Assessment Events in PMEA D12.   Communicates with MPA Event hosts regarding procedures and guidelines set forth by PMEA.  Keeps the PMEA D12 Board informed on matters involving MPA events.  Attends two to three board meetings a year.

Curriculum & Instruction Chair: Develops and coordinates resources and initiatives that support music curriculum and instruction in PMEA D12.  Coordinates with the Professional Development committee, and keeps the PMEA D12 Board updated on C&I initiatives.  Attends two to three board meetings a year.


D12 annually awards grants to teachers to fund classroom initiatives and projects.   We have typically done this at the end of a school year, but moved it to the beginning of the school year.  The deadline for submissions is September 15th, with recipients being announced by October 1st.   


Save-the-Date: The PD Committee is working on a tentative in-service day for Tuesday, Nov 8.  More information to follow.


Meet your Advocacy Representative for District 12 – George Weaver!    

According to a recent PMEA survey, half of you didn’t know who our advocacy rep is.  My bad!  My name is George Weaver and I teach K-4 general/vocal music for Chichester SD at Hilltop Elementary School.  I did my undergrad at IUP and my masters at WCU.  I taught HS bands for 12 years before teaching general/vocal music for now more than twice as long.  More importantly, I am here to represent YOU in advocating for music education in YOUR SCHOOL, in District 12, as well as Pennsylvania and beyond.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas at advocacy@pmea12.org.

NAfME needs US to be a voice for OUR STUDENTS in the Virtual Hill Week for Music Education event the week of September 19! This is a great opportunity for us to share the importance of music education with our members of Congress. The registration form is easy and short.  The link is below. Register now! This is a virtual event, so you don’t need to bother with sub plans! The registration deadline is September 9th, but register now while you are thinking of it. More information will be forwarded to you closer to the event. If you have any questions, please contact advocacy@nafme.org.

NAfME Virtual Hill Week: Link to Registration



The Kennett Symphony Children’s Chorus is announcing their upcoming dates and auditions.  See flyers below, and for more information visit https://www.ksccmusic.org/


All PMEA Events can be found on our Google Calendar here: https://www.pmea12.org/calendar

Nov 14-19 – PMEA AUDITION WINDOW on Submittable

Jan 12-14 – District 12 Chorus at Octorara High School (Doreen Steinmacher)

Jan 26-28 – District 12 Orchestra at Conestoga High School (Chris Nation)

Feb 9-11 – District 12 Band at Coatesville High School (Gabriel Hughes)

Feb 23-25 – Region VI Chorus (HOST NEEDED)

Mar 9-11 – Region VI Orchestra at Rustin High School (hosted by Katrina Kelly)

Mar 23-25 – Region VI Band

April 19-23, 2023 – PMEA All-State Conference at Kalahari