MIOSM: A Letter from Chuck Deen

Music in Our Schools Month dates back to 1973 and began as a single statewide Advocacy Day and celebration in New York. It has grown over the past decades to become a month-long celebration of school music dating back to 1985. March certainly provides the SCBDA with many celebrations! To date, we have enjoyed the return of Marching Band Championships, Region Band Auditions, All-State Auditions, All-State Jazz Auditions, SCMEA In-Service Conference, and Region Band Clinics. This week brings the return of All-State Jazz, Jazz Performance Assessment, and the Winter Ensemble Championships. Our All-State Band Clinic and Concert Performance Assessment are right around the corner! I am proud of your perseverance and dedication to “saving band” for your students, schools, and communities. Let’s also not forget the impact you continue to have upon the SCBDA.

Your contributions have created a true celebration of musical triumph. It could not be more fitting, in my opinion, that we are also celebrating the 85th Anniversary of the SCBDA. So many have led the way over the past decades, and they have been at the forefront of my mind. I often think back over my 34 years of teaching and recall the influence of so many. I am thankful for these men and women. Without them, the SCBDA would not be what it is today. What is it today? I believe that the SCBDA has grown into one of our country’s most respected musical organizations. 

I want to encourage you to reach out to your former directors and retired colleagues and thank them for their contributions to your musical education. I believe that Music in Our Schools Month is about celebrating the present and recognizing the past and the roads we have traveled.

Consider shifting your focus from the rating your ensembles may or may not receive in the coming weeks to the realization that we are returning to Jazz Performance Assessment and Concert Performance Assessment. The fact that we are holding live, evaluated performances is monumental for our student musicians. Enjoy your performances and what you have programmed for this year. Many colleagues have told me how excited their students have been for the return of region clinics, and I’m sure that this excitement will be present at JPA, All-State Band, Indoor Championships, and CPA.

I look forward to seeing you next week at our All-State Band Clinic. Remember that for your voice to be heard, you must be present at our General Business Meeting on Saturday, March 12, 2022, to serve on one of our many committees. Lastly, you are reminded of our deadlines this week: Solo & Ensemble, OPA, and Marching Host Applications.
Chuck Deen
SCBDA President