Greetings Friends & Colleagues!
Whether this is year 1, year 23 (me) or year 40+ I’d like to welcome you to the 2016 17 school year! I hope everyone had a great summer to relax a bit, recharge and regroup for another school year. I hope you had a successful band camp and/or start to your school year and that things are beginning to “settle in” just a bit. It’s very easy to get caught up in the stressfulness of a new school year, but I would encourage you to be sure to take time for yourself. Everyone is dealing with students who’ve decided “band’s not for me”, schedule issues, instrument issues, school issues, etc. It can be overwhelming at times. Make sure you find some time each day to step away and let it go, even if just for a moment. You will feel better and your students will benefit as well! Remember why you wanted to do this to begin with, find 1 positive thing and focus on that. Things always improve and your students deserve the best YOU, that you can give them!
Once again, it is truly an honor to serve as president of the SCBDA and I am excited to be a part of such a strong organization that influences and touches so many lives, both students and adults across our state, region and the nation. As music educators we have a duty to promote music making and to make a positive impact on the young people that we teach. We should set high goals for our students and program both on and off the field and embrace the responsibility to ensure that our students, parents and community learn a lifelong appreciation for music.
The SCBDA Fall meeting will be on Saturday, September 10th at River Bluff High School. The SCBDA Executive board will meet at 8:30am and committee meetings will begin at 10:30 am. At 11:00 AM, we will have an orientation meeting for new band directors. This is a great opportunity for all first year teachers, or directors in their first year in South Carolina, to find out important information that will help guide you through your first year.
And now for a change…
As many of you know I have been an ardent supporter of attendance at our fall meeting. The fall meeting is where I was first introduced to the SCBDA and where I met so many colleagues from around the state, many who are now lifelong friends. Attending the fall meeting back in those days was essential if you wanted to operate a successful band program in South Carolina. In fact, it was at the fall meeting many years ago, where we first heard about SC Bandlink. In the early days it was just a place for people to post marching band scores but as it grew it became a vital part of the SCBDA. The fact is, due to things like Bandlink, social media, text messaging and all the other forms of digital communication, it is easier than ever to get information out to the membership. In the interest of saving as much of another valuable weekend as possible, this year we will not have a general meeting at 2pm. The fall meeting will conclude at 11:45 with the draw for the performance order of our marching band competition/festival. All members are still invited to come to the meeting. If you are not on a committee, you are welcome to visit any meeting and begin to find a place to serve and/or connect re connect with colleagues.
Finally, please remember that you must be a member of NAfME to participate in the SCBDA. If you need to join NAfME, you may do so at the South Carolina Music Educators Association website, www.scmea.net. If you have not already done so, please go to the SCBDA website, www.bandlink.org, and register. Bandlink is our official website and source for information, dates, rules, procedures, etc. so make sure you visit it often.
I welcome your suggestions and I encourage you to be an active participant in the SCBDA. You and your students will benefit from your involvement and it is essential to our profession that we all know what is going on in instrumental music education. I look forward to working with each of you to make the SCBDA a positive force in providing superior educational opportunities for instrumental music students in South Carolina.
I hope to see you on Saturday, September 10th, 2016 at River Bluff High School!
Joe F. Gulledge III, President
South Carolina Band Directors Association