The start of a new year is a perfect time to reflect on the past year, and to look forward to all that 2017 has to offer us, as members of the MEA. The past fall was bustling with events. Members reconnected and engaged in lively discussions with each other at our three stimulating general meetings. Special thanks go to our new Hospitality chair, Karen Dunn Sundquist, and her committee, for organizing delicious receptions, and to all who contributed to October's Potluck Luncheon. I hope you had a chance to hear one or more of MEA's fall Student Recitals. Our new Student Recital chair, Yudit Terry, ably led them. In November, we also showcased our finest students in two successful Honors Recitals. Congratulations to Chair Marlene Lippman and her committee, and bravi to the student performers and their teachers! I encourage you to attend next year, even if your students don't enter the Honors Recital, just to be amazed at the students' talent, artistry, and hard work. It's an inspiring event!
The Theory Test Program, devotedly headed by Marcia Maull, is off to a good start. Sign up your students! Registration resumes during March. (Have you seen those award ribbons!)
Our two fall presenters, Forrest Kinney and I, focused on ways to encourage students to express themselves musically through improvisation and composition. The responses from the audience were enthusiastic and positive. I hope members take the thought-provoking ideas and innovative activities from those presentations back to their studios and students, and hope many more members' students participate in our Eric Steiner Composition Competition and/or our Original Composition Festival this spring! (Deadlines are in March.)
The Original Composition Festival, a flourishing program headed by Kathy Knittel, Composition chair, has grown each year since its inception. Please encourage your students to convey their own musical ideas, to compose, and to participate in the 2017 Festival. Even if your students are not submitting compositions, plan to attend the festival with your students. Its atmosphere of pure creativity will inspire budding composers and help them gain confidence for future participation. It's a moving event for everyone.
Looking ahead, the Annual Piano Competition's theme is a spirited one, "Song and Dance," selected by the artistic Piano Competition Committee, co-chaired by Anna Katznelson and Barbara Landi Hause. (Deadline Jan. 15th.) The Winners' Recital, March 19th, is at the stunning Concert Hall at Drew University. Don't ignore this extraordinary event!
Thanks to Sophia Agranovich and her MEA Program Committee. General meetings provide incredible educational programs with inspiring presenters, including an annual Teachers' Master Class, always enriching and enlightening, when several performing members are expertly coached. Master Teacher Douglas Humpherys will conduct the class this spring. (March 16th) Don't miss it.
Summer camp and college scholarship applications are due by April 1st. Our capable co-chairs, Sondra Tammam and Charlene Step, and their Scholarship Committee, award these merit-based scholarships. Plan ahead and encourage your students to apply!
There are other ways to stay involved between MEA meetings: share your expertise and opinions in our Friendly Forum, the column for discussions in The Glissando written for and by MEA members, or consider attending upcoming Scherzo Club meetings, organized by Barbara Landi Hause - either as a performer or as an audience member.
Our 90th Year Celebration is in the 2017/2018-membership-year. Planning for celebrating this milestone is already underway. Stay tuned!
It's time to mark your new 2017 calendar for our great MEA meetings; clear the third Thursday of each month now through June. I look forward to seeing you soon on Jan. 19th when the engaging Maestro George Marriner Maull will be our presenter.
I invite you to reach out to any board members or me if you would like to get involved, or have any questions or ideas for the MEA.
The Board is energized; the MEA is vibrant and evolving. We look forward to a great 2017! Wishing you all a happy and music-filled New Year!
Musically yours, Nancy Modell
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