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!




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

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!


UPDATE! 11/13/22

Scales, Choral Excerpts, Percussion Rudiments, and Instrumental Sight-Reading Excerpts have been released! CLICK HERE TO ACCESS COMPLETE AUDITION GUIDE AND INFO

AUDITION WINDOW OPENS MONDAY, 11/14/22 at 12:00am Submittable link: https://pmeadistrict12.submittable.com/submit

Sat 11/19/2022 Audition window CLOSES on Submittable at 11:59PM 


All auditions for District Ensembles will be held through video submission this November, using the Submittable platform. Students will register themselves and pay the registration fee using the Submittable link. Please review our official D12 Audition Policies HERE.


Directors who have students submitting an audition, be sure to do the following:

1) Fill out the Director Registration Form (must be a current PMEA Member).

2) Read the Audition requirements,  D12 Audition Policies, and Video Audition Guidelines in full

3) Communicate all information about auditions promptly to your students

4) Directors of participating students will be assigned video scoring duties. Be prepared to complete your judging assignments in a timely manner. (11/21 – 11/27)

5) Plan to attend the mandatory meeting on Sat, Dec 3 at 10am, Garnet Valley High School.  Folders will be distributed and important information discussed.

Mon 11/21/2022 Directors of participating students review and score submissions
Sun 11/27/2022 9pm Deadline for participating directors to complete assigned scoring
SAT 12/3/2022 10am MANDATORY in-person meeting for directors of students who have auditioned. Garnet Valley High School, 552 Smithbridge Rd, Glen Mills, PA. Breakfast served starting at 9am. Important information will be discussed, folders/paperwork will be distributed.


District 12 Chorus Jan 12-14 at Octorara HS (Scott Cullen), Guest Conductor Dr. Marci Major
District 12 Orchestra Jan 26-28 at Conestoga HS(Chris Nation), Guest Conductor Dr. Timothy Dixon
District 12 Band Feb 9-11 location TBD, Guest Conductor, Dr. Andrew Yozviak

Region 6 Chorus Feb 16 – 18* at West Chester University (Jon Kreamer, Ryan Battin, hosts) Guest conductor Dr. Amelia Garbisch. (note – this is one week earlier than originally scheduled.)
Region 6 Orchestra Mar 9 -11 at Bayard Rustin HS (Katrina Kelly, host), Guest Conductor Emily Freeman-Brown
Region 6 Band Mar 23-25 hosted by District 11 – details coming soon.


  • READ THE GUIDELINES BELOW AND FOLLOW THEM. Deviation from the guidelines below can result in a lowered score, or disqualification.
  • Review the posted audition requirements for your instrument or voice part carefully.
  • The deadline for auditions to be submitted is 11:59PM on 11/19/2022. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your audition. Technology or internet issues can cause delays in submitting. Late auditions will not be accepted.
  • Use a device or app that will record a video in a file format compatible with the Submittable website. The built-in microphone and video camera of most modern phones and laptops is sufficient for an accurate recording. However, it is recommended that students review their recordings for sound quality and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Each music excerpt must be recorded from start to finish without cuts and/or splices. Students’ hands/body/face must be visible in the video.
  • Each separate excerpt and scale should be recorded in a separate video (exception: percussion scales are recorded in a single uncut video and percussion rudiments are recorded in a single uncut video).
  • When recording an audition video, no identifying clothing may be worn (i.e. no school t-shirts, no name identification, no PMEA, NAfME All Eastern or National shirts). Additionally, please do not include any identifying information in the video file name or in the content of the recording (i.e. your name or school name).
  • There is no requirement to perform from memory. Students are permitted to read from sheet music for any of the audition requirements.
  • There can be NO use of any device that can be perceived to give aid to a student (i.e. no earphones,airpods, tuner, metronome, etc.)


Students should prepare the pieces listed below in their entirety. Selected portions to be recorded for the audition will be posted on Nov 13.

Just as the Tide Was Flowing
Vaughan Williams – Galaxy Music Corporation
JW Pepper #380972 https://www.jwpepper.com/Just-as-the-Tide-Was-Flowing/380972.item#.YqtQdhPMKrN
Practice Tracks: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1aG0oxeZVloS1IdmTodhs0BwKq2urtXAi?usp=sharing

In Remembrance
(from “Requiem”)
Eleanor Daley – Jubilate Music Group, LLC
JW Pepper #3037793 https://www.jwpepper.com/In-Remembrance/3037793.item#.YqtQcRPMKrM

Students should prepare the accompaniment to the above choral audition pieces. In addition, students should prepare to play open score for both choral audition pieces (i.e. S/A, T/B, S/T, A/B, etc.).


*Aug 8, 2022: 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.

Auditions for District Band and Orchestra will consist of the following:

  • Two prepared excerpts. Excerpts are listed below by instrument and should be performed in their entirety for the recorded audition.
  • Selected major scales. Students should prepare the complete list of required scales posted by instrument. Selected scales for the recorded audition will be posted on November 13.
  • A short-term preparation piece (“sight reading”) that will be posted on November 13.

INSTRUMENTAL DIRECTORS: Please review the audition excerpts and let us know as soon as possible if you see any need for corrections. Email corrections to president@pmea12.org. The deadline for any updates/corrections is August 15, 2022. After that date, all excerpts will be judged exactly as posted. All of the excerpts below are transcribed from published sources, and will be judged exactly as they appear below.

All-State/At-Large Auditions

Click here for the complete schedule of At-Large All-State auditions. Including Harp, Jazz, Accompanist, and Concert Band, Wind Ensemble At-Large instruments.

Information about All-State auditions can be found at the PMEA website


PMEA D12 Scholarships for Music Ed Majors

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 2022 will be $1000.00.

The money will be sent directly to the student in 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 15th, 2022.


  • 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 by May 22nd, 2022.   The award will be presented to the winners at his/her own school during an appropriate ceremony, if possible.   

Fests & Festivals 2021-22

D12 Colleagues:
I hope everyone is surviving the Fall and things are going well for you! Please check in and let us know how things are going on our D12 Facebook Group (private only to members): https://www.facebook.com/groups/pmea12

We have some very important information to share with you regarding our 2021 PMEA Fests and Festivals. Read below and mark down the important dates!

Steve Selfridge
PMEA District 12 President
Garnet Valley High School

Elementary & Middle School Fests
It is time for fest hosts to start planning to host their fests, but after surveying hosts and participants in D12, we have decided to put our fests “on hold” at this time.  School districts are reluctant to give permission to allow students from other schools in their buildings and administrators are reluctant to allow students to go out of their own building on a field trip. We are also very concerned about 5/6 fests since most of those students are not vaccinated.  If things loosen up and there is still time to plan and execute a fest in March or April, we will do our best to help make it happen.  We welcome your comments and concerns.   (Fest Coordinator Kathleen Boyer -fests@pmea12.org)

High School Festivals
Our 2022 High School Festivals remain on schedule as planned.  Any plans are subject to change as needed due to the current COVID situation in our state, local counties, and/or host school districts.  We will communicate any changes if and when they happen.  For now, we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to hold the festivals.  Note that this year we have made the adjustment that all high school festivals will be held as single-day events.  Note our audition and festival dates below. Audition information can be found on our page here.

All-State Update
There are several important changes to the All-State Festival for this year. 

  1. All-State Auditions will be held via Submittable and will be conducted as “At-Large” auditions. (See the PMEA State website here) In order to be eligible for All-State auditions, a student must be accepted into the Region VI ensemble AND participate in the Region festival.  If a student is accepted and then doesn’t participate in their Region VI ensemble, they cannot audition for All-States. District 12 (along with District 11) will be holding re-auditions earlier than normal so participants will know if they are a Region VI ensemble member before the All-State Submittable Window opens.  All dates listed below.
  1. All-State rehearsals will be staggered by ensemble and require only two nights lodging. As schools may be hesitant to allow students to room with students from different school districts, schools/directors will be responsible to make housing arrangements for the 2022 All-State festival for their students. A large block of rooms will be set aside for the individual arrangements that will be made. 
  1. As a result, the state board has decided to move up audition dates (will happen at the end of each D12 event) to allow participating directors more time to make housing arrangements and relay needs to their school districts if necessary.

Important Festival Dates
All auditions will be held through video submission using the Submittable platform. Audition materials and complete information are available on our 2021 Auditions Page. The submittable link will be posted on the 2021 Auditions page on Nov 3. Directors do not need to pre-register students – Students will register themselves and pay the registration fee using the Submittable link. Sight-reading and scale selections will be posted Nov. 2. (Please note that we have corrected errors in the excerpts as reported by PMEA members up through mid-September. At this point, we will not make any further corrections and students should play the ink on the page). All-state audition materials can be found here (sign-in required)

D12 Audition window OPENS on Submittable at 12:00AM

D12 Audition window CLOSES on Submittable at 11:59PM

Directors of participating students review and score submissions

Deadline for participating directors to complete assigned scoring

10:00am Rustin High School – MANDATORY in-person meeting for directors of students who have auditioned. Results will be released and folders/paperwork will be distributed. Breakfast available starting at 9am.

DISTRICT RE-AUDITIONS – Band/Chorus/Orchestra – window OPENS on Submittable at 12:00AM

DISTRICT RE-AUDITIONS – Band/Chorus/Orchestra – window CLOSES on Submittable at 11:59PM

District 12 Orchestra @ Penncrest HS. Ben Weaver, host; Ovidiu Marinescu, Guest Conductor, Concert at 7:30pm

All-State Orchestra Submittable Window Opens

District 12 Band @Marple Newtown High School – Mark Stanford (Springfield HS), host; Dr. Jenny Neff, Guest Conductor, Concert 7:30pm

All-State Band Submittable Window Opens

District 12 Chorus @Unionville High School – Hannah Knauss (Interboro HS), host; Arreon A. Harley-Emerson, Guest Conductor, Concert at 7:30pm

All-State Chorus Submittable Window Opens

Region 6 Orchestra @ Lower Merion HS, Jessica Villante, host

Region 6 Band @ Rustin HS, Mike Shoremount, host; Tim Holtan, Guest Conductor

Region 6 Chorus @ Methacton HS, Liz Francisco, host

D12 September Update

PMEA D12 President’s Update – September, 2021

Steve Selfridge, Garnet Valley High School

Welcome back, colleagues!  Several weeks into the new school year, I’m willing to bet that many of you are feeling somewhat exhausted and stressed (like me), but also happy to be back making music with students again!  I would love to know how things are going for you and your program.  If you aren’t already a member, please join our private Facebook group – PMEA D12 Educator Community and I welcome you to contribute to the discussion on my latest post.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/pmea12/

AUDITIONS for our District Ensembles are coming soon!  Some of our audition excerpts and requirements have been updated, so please check our website for the most current audition informationhttps://www.pmea12.org/auditions2021

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/

Updates From Your PMEA D12 Committee Chairs

Advocacy – George Weaver

Now is the right time to ask your administrator about the ESSER federal funds.  They are being dispersed on a rolling basis. Your district may have already allocated some of the first-round funds, but they will still have additional funds becoming available that you can get in line for. Remember, they can’t say ‘No’ until you have asked!  Watch this PMEA Webinar if you are interested in further details: PMEA Federal Funding for Arts Education Webinar

Archdiocese – Sister Lauretta Linsalata, IHM

Auditions for All Catholic Concert Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra, and Chorus will be held through video submission.  All Catholic festivals will be held in-person on 3-day weekends. 

PMEA Choral Music Performance Assessment – Tuesday, April 5, 2022, Immaculata University

HS Festival Coordinator – Jeff Hart

We are looking forward to returning to a somewhat abbreviated version of in-person Festivals this coming school year! The Festivals will be one day long, with rehearsals beginning in the morning and continuing through the afternoon, and a culminating concert that same evening. Like initial District auditions, Region re-auditions will be done via video submission. I am very grateful to this year’s hosts: 

  • District 12 Band at Springfield (Mark Stanford, guest conductor Jenny Neff)
  • District 12 Chorus at Interboro (Hannah Knauss, guest conductor Arreon Harley-Emerson)
  • District 12 Orchestra at Penncrest (Ben Weaver, guest conductor Ovidiu Marinescu)
  • Region VI Band at Rustin (Mike Shoremount, guest conductor TBD)

Elem/MS Fest Coordinator – Kathleen Boyer

We are still exploring the feasibility of hosting fests at the elementary and middle school level.  A decision will be announced soon, thank you for your patience!

Professional Development – Maryellen Byrne

With COVID safety protocols still in place to varying degrees across our counties, our Professional Development Committee has decided it is best to postpone our traditional Nov 2 In-Service.  The committee is exploring options for a winter or late-spring professional development day.