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/

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

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

A Note from the Incoming PMEA D12 President

Dear Colleagues –

If you are reading this, you need to close the laptop and get back to napping on the beach!  Ok, well right after you read this note.   I hope you all are having a fantastic summer and a WELL deserved break from the exhausting year we’ve had. I’m honored to be stepping into the role of PMEA District 12 President for the next two years.  Hannah Knauss, Choral Director at Interboro High School, is moving into the position of vice president, and I’m thankful to have her on the team!  We have more new faces on the PMEA D12 Board, and we will all have a chance to meet them in a future message.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to outgoing president Justin McAdams for his great leadership the past two years.  Through the uncertainty and stress of the pandemic, Justin was a true leader who took the initiative to keep the D12 membership informed on the latest guidance from scientific and public officials, and make the difficult decisions on how we were going to adapt our PMEA festivals and events to the ever-changing pandemic situation.

Now, with cautious optimism, it seems we can look forward to a school year that will be much closer to the “normal” that we remember prior to March 2020.   We will all continue to follow the guidelines of our own school administrators and strive to give our students the best music experience possible.  As this chapter of our lives comes to a close, we can reflect on some important questions:  How has this experience changed us as teachers, and as individuals?  What challenges do we face in our school music programs as a result of this crisis, and what steps can we take to address them?  What lessons have we learned and what skills have we gained that can ENHANCE our programs moving forward? These are all great questions to ponder….But for now, get back to that paperback mystery novel and simply enjoy the gentle ocean breeze 😀.  

I wish you all a wonderful, relaxing, and rejuvenating summer, however you choose to spend it.  

Steve Selfridge
PMEA D12 President

End of Year President’s Message & Thank You

Colleagues –

Well, we made it.

The end of what we arguably can say was the most trying year of education is complete, and I hope you use this summer to reset and replenish the energy that it took for all of us to complete this past year.

As my time in this position draws to a close, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and everyone of you for what you were able to accomplish this year with your students under circumstances that none of us could have even comprehended 18 months ago.

There’s a story that we’ve probably all heard – a child walking along a beach desperately throwing back into the ocean all of the starfish that have washed ashore during the storm.    Someone approaches the child and asks why they are doing this – you can’t save them all….you can’t begin to make a difference” .

The child is at first crushed and defeated, but then picks up another star fish, throws it into the surf, and says “Well, I made a difference for that one!”

We all stared into the black void of muted cameras and microphones this year.  We have stared at rosters that are a fraction of what they were.  We have looked at music in our libraries that we probably won’t be able to perform again for awhile.

But remember this: we all made a difference for at LEAST one of our students.   And if we were able to reach at least one…as miniscule of an accomplishment that is…then we WERE effective in what we did this year.


Thank you all for everything you did this year.  Stay on the lookout for information in the coming weeks by our incoming president Steve Selfridge on all of our plans for the next school year for both professional development opportunities and in person festivals.

-Justin A. McAdams