Derrick Brookins & Brian Coatney
Present Position: Dean of Music K–12, Trivium Academy, Carrollton.
Previous Position: Director of Choral Activities, Plano Senior HS (2003–2017), Adjunct Professor of Choral Music, Univ of Texas/Dallas (2011–2015), Director of Choirs, Williams 9th & 10th Grade HS (1997–2003), Assistant Director of Choirs, Travis MS (1996–1997).
Education: Bachelor of Music, University of North Texas (1996); Master of Education in Texas Administration, Concordia University (2011).
TMEA Offices and Positions Held: Vocal Division Vice-President & State Vocal Chair (2017–present); Vocal Division Clinic & Volunteer Coordinator (2014–2015); Convention Performance Ballroom Choral Concert Coordinator (2011–2013); Ways and Means Committee Chair (2010); All-State Men’s Choir Organizer (2007–2008); All State Mixed Choir Section Leader (2006); Area C Vocal Chair (2005); Region 25 Vocal Chair (1999–2001); Region 24 Vocal Chair (1998–1999); Region Choir Organizer (2012–2014); Region & Area Audition Site Host; Vocal Division Facilities Team (2013–2015); Region Choir Guest Clinician (with various Region Middle and High School Choirs throughout Texas).
Other Offices and Positions of Leadership Held: Multicultural & Ethnic Music Division Chair, for Southwest American Choral Directors Association (2009–2011); Coeditor of Common Times Magazine for SWACDA (2009–2011); Director of Music, St. James Episcopal Church, Dallas (2003–Present).
Professional Affiliations: TMEA, TCDA, TMAA, ACDA, SWACDA.
Honors/Accomplishments: TMEA Invited Performing Choir Conductor-Plano Senior HS A Cappella Women (2009, 2017); Missouri All-State Mixed Choir Conductor (2014); National American Choral Directors Association Invited Performing Choir Conductor, Plano Senior HS A Cappella Men’s Choir (2017), A Cappella Mixed Choir (2013), A Cappella Women’s Choir (2007), National MENC Invited Performing Choir, Plano Senior HS A Cappella Mixed Choir (2005); TCDA Convention Choral Clinic Presenter (1999, 2001, 2005, 2016); 13-year member of the Moses Hogan Chorale; Teacher of the Year, Williams HS (2000); Teacher of The Year, Plano Senior HS (2008); Plano ISD Teacher of Excellence Award (2008); Plano ISD Diversity in Leadership Award (2014); Plano ISD Educational Foundation Award (2012, 2017); American Choristers Guild, Convention Clinician; guest lecturer for choral music education, University of North Texas, Texas State University.
Personal Information: Born in Fort Worth, and the son of a preacher, my faith is a very important factor of my life. As a young man I first began singing in the Texas Boys Choir and playing violin in the FWISD Middle School Youth Orchestra. I am a lifelong learner of music. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. When not involved in a music endeavor (the three weekends out of the year), I enjoy traveling, cooking, and classic movies. I’m very proud to have been the high school teacher of 17 students who have gone into music education and are presently working as music educators throughout Texas. I have devoted my life to teaching, serving others, and education through music. My motto has always been: A life given to music, is a life given to serve.
Statement: I am honored to have the opportunity to be considered for the office of President-Elect. My 23 years of teaching in this amazing state have afforded me the opportunity to work with all levels, from kindergarten to middle school, high school, and at the collegiate level. TMEA’s invaluable resources and support system are integral to the success of music education in Texas. I seek the office of TMEA President-Elect for several reasons. My specific goals for TMEA that I feel I am uniquely qualified to promote are:
• Continue to enhance and enable the edification of each TMEA Division in understanding the unique challenges and opportunities each division holds.
• Not only to maintain, but also to strengthen the formal recognition of music as part of the fine arts in the curriculum of every Texas student.
• Create even greater opportunity to publicly acknowledge the outstanding achievements of our students in the greater community.
• Strengthen efforts to educate local administrators and district leaders of the importance of the work done by their music educators and individual students.
• Work to actively participate in TMEA’s effort to present effective evidence to our state legislators, supporting the creative and educational benefits successful music programs provide our students across the state.
I believe my career and life experience have positioned me in a very distinct way to assume the duties of this important position. My varied experiences help me support the diverse challenges experienced by all our membership and appreciate the educational success we achieve each and every day as Texas music educators. I sincerely ask for your vote.
Present Position: Orchestra Director, Plano Senior HS, Plano ISD (2007–present).
Previous Position: Orchestra Director, Klein HS, Klein ISD (2003–2007).
Education: Bachelor of Music Education, Northwestern State University (2001); Master of Music Orchestral Conducting, James Madison University (2003).
TMEA Offices and Positions Held: TMEA Vice-President and Orchestra Division Chair (2017–present); Region 25 Orchestra Chair (2011–2014); Region 25 Vice-President (2013–2015).
Other Offices and Positions Held: TMAA Committee on Standards of Adjudication and Performance Practices; Plano Senior HS Department Head.
Professional Affiliations: TMEA, TODA, ASTA, TMAA, Mu Omicron.
Honors/Accomplishments: Marjorie Keller Young Teachers Award; TMEA High School Honor Full Orchestra (2009, 2012, 2015); Midwest Clinic Invitation (2017).
Statement: I am humbly seeking your vote in the 2019 TMEA President-Elect election. It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as TMEA Vice-President and Orchestra Division Chair, and I am proud of the progress we have made together as an Orchestra Division. Working with the Board, we have converted the All-State String Orchestra into a new full orchestra that will utilize the 5A wind players. Students enrolled in 5A band programs will no longer have to move to the 6A track to experience being part of an All-State orchestra. We were also able to devise a plan that adjusts the orchestra recording apportionment to help competitive Regions while not putting other Regions at a disadvantage. In the past, we invited one college orchestra that would perform a featured concert and accompany the All-State Choirs. This has often made the preparation process difficult and stressful. We now invite two college orchestras to perform at TMEA, with one orchestra presenting a featured performance and the other orchestra accompanying the All-State Choirs. This change has led to better experiences and gives another college orchestra the chance to be featured at TMEA.
All of these changes would not have happened without input from membership and the diligence of the Executive Board. I have enjoyed learning more about the audition process in each division and inner workings of TMEA. My hope as President is to continue this dialogue and find resolutions to issues that TMEA is currently facing. We have a positive plan in place for Small School Choir, but we need to continue to evaluate and tweak the process to ensure students and teachers are getting an educational experience that is both memorable and cost-effective. I would like to work with the Board to provide more membership benefits to elementary teachers by awarding more elementary grants and investigating the idea of establishing satellite TMEA conventions for our members who have to travel long distances. A growing concern in the Band Division is whether we are giving our percussionists the same experience that other All-State musicians receive. Creating an All-State percussion ensemble has been discussed and I think more dialogue is imperative. As TMEA’s membership continues to grow, it becomes easier for members to feel like they do not have a voice and cannot make a difference. I believe this concern is most prominent in our College Division. We need to expand our mentoring program and find more ways we can help college students become involved. I am also excited to carry on our Urban School initiative, as this will be an invaluable resource for our membership.
TMEA has a rich history of success that I attribute to passionate members and outstanding leadership who have always had the foresight to adjust to our ever-changing needs. We live in exciting times and I anticipate that more than ever, we need to remain forward-thinking while maintaining our tried and true traditions. I will actively seek input from regional leadership and membership to address any concerns or issues we face as an organization. My hope is to continue TMEA’s rich tradition of collaboration, provide inspiring All-State experiences, and creatively advance music education. I am grateful for everything our association has provided me and I am passionate about the mission of TMEA. I would greatly appreciate your support and vote.
Michael Stringer & Jason Thibodeaux
Present Position: Coordinator of Fine Arts, Arlington ISD (2017–present).
Previous Position: Director of Orchestras, Martin HS, Arlington ISD (2006–2017); Director of Orchestras, Midway ISD, Waco (2000–2006).
Education: Bachelor of Music, University of Texas at Arlington (2000); Master of Education, Stephen F. Austin State University (2018).
TMEA Offices and Positions Held: Region 8 Orchestra Chair (2001–2004); Region 8 Vice-President (2004–2006); Region 5 Vice-President (2006–2016); Region 5 President (2016–2018); Computer Coordinator for All-State Orchestra Auditions (2006-present); Chair of Agenda Committee (2018).
Other Offices and Positions Held: Associate Conductor, Waco Youth Symphony (2003–2006); CSAPP, TMAA (2014–2016); Vice-President, Mu Omicron (2018–present).
Professional Affiliations: TMEA, TODA, TMAA, TMAC, Mu Omicron, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Honors/Accomplishments: TMEA High School String Honor Orchestra (2015); TMEA High School Full Honor Orchestra (2017); 71st Annual Midwest Clinic Performance (2017); TMEA Honor String Orchestra Finalist (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015); TMEA Honor Full Orchestra Finalist (2010, 2012, 2015, 2017); National Winner, Mark of Excellence (2011); Arlington ISD AWARE Award for Educational Excellence (2014); James Martin HS Teacher of the Year Nominee (2017–2018); James Martin HS Fine Arts Wall of Fame Inductee (2018).
Personal Information: I have been happily married to my wonderful wife Sara, a former band director and current school counselor, for 15 years. We have two children, Matthew (12) and Kari (2) who are the pride and joy of our family. Matthew is an active member of his school’s orchestra and choir programs and Kari sings every chance she gets!
Statement: It is with a most humble heart that I accept the nomination for the office of TMEA Vice-President and Orchestra Division Chair. Throughout my career, I have sought to advance orchestral music in this great state and believe that I can continue the growth and enhancement of our division as a member of the TMEA Executive Board. With the rapid growth of orchestral programs in Texas, I believe it is time that we fully review and update our All-State audition process. Each year, we have panels who judge from 8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. at the area level, which leaves questions about the accuracy of rankings, judge fatigue, and if we are listening to enough content per student to make an accurate assessment of each performance. Alongside a committee of our membership, I believe we can find an outcome that addresses and solves these concerns. I also believe that we can recommend a revised selection criterion that will include and recognize the amazing musicians across the state.
In my role as a fine arts administrator, I have witnessed the burnout and fatigue that occurs in the first years of teaching. As a young teacher, I was lucky enough to be mentored by legendary teachers who took the time to make sure I was set up to be successful in my classroom. Current mentoring programs rely on the new teacher to reach out and ask for help, when it should be the veteran teachers who reach out to our newest colleagues. As Orchestra Division Vice-President, I will work to continue the growth and development of new teachers and help us work toward expanding the mentoring program to be more personal and sustainable for the mentor and mentee throughout the first years of teaching.
Through passionate and ever-evolving leadership, TMEA has continued to stand at the forefront of music education in our nation. As a membership, we must continue to challenge standards while maintaining traditions. As Vice-President and Orchestra Division Chair, I will work tirelessly to continue the advancement of orchestral music in our state and address the concerns of the membership through our Region leadership and committees made up of the membership. It is my most sincere hope to continue to showcase inspiring teaching with our Honor Orchestra concerts, provide once in a lifetime experiences through our All-State performances, and fully develop our instruction during our convention clinics. TMEA has given me so much throughout my career, and I now hope that I can give back to this great organization. Thank you for considering me in the TMEA Orchestra Division election.
Present Position: Director of Orchestras, HS Orchestra Director, Winston Churchill HS, North East ISD, San Antonio (2004–Present).
Previous Position: MS Orchestra Director, Ed White MS, North East ISD, San Antonio (2002–2004).
Education: Bachelor of Music, Southwest Texas State University (2002).
TMEA Offices and Positions Held: Region 12 Orchestra Chair (2009–2014), (2018–present) All-State Symphony Organizer (2010, 2012), TMEA Area Adjudicator, All-State Chairing Adjudicator and Tabulator (2002–2009) and Honor Orchestra Contest Volunteer and Participant.
Other Offices and Positions Held: Texas Orchestra Directors Association Executive Board (2011–2016).
Professional Affiliations: TMEA, TODA, TMAA, Mu Omicron.
Honors/Accomplishments: “Remember the Heroes” performance at the Pearl Harbor Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii (2006); Churchill HS, a 20-year history of performing Children’s Concerts for local elementary school students as well as special performances for Title I elementary schools in the Texas Hill Country; Carnegie Hall performance (2010); Performed for dedication of the historic Lila Cockrell Theater following its renovation in 2011.
Personal Information: I maintain an active private studio that includes middle and high school students from the San Antonio area. I have had the privilege to serve as a TMEA Region Clinician/Conductor across the state and enjoy working the Texas State String Camp during the summer. When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy spending time outdoors and traveling. In 2017 I completed the Texas Water Safari ultra-marathon canoe race. When I am not teaching music or paddling, I can usually be found working on a home project.
Statement: I am honored to be nominated for the office of TMEA Vice-President and Orchestra Division State Chair. I appreciate the support and encouragement of my colleagues across the state. I believe that I can be a positive influence, strategist, and problem-solver as our orchestra division continues to move forward toward excellence in the 21st century.
During my service on the TODA Executive Board I was charged with facilitating membership growth of the organization and learned first-hand the various factors that must be considered when making decisions to benefit both members and state associations. I believe that with the expertise and cooperation of our membership, we can develop an audition procedure that meets the needs of all orchestra students in Texas.
As our programs grow, the need for orchestra directors increases. Through opportunities in the Texas Future Music Educators Chapters and with the TMEA Mentoring Network, I believe TMEA can be an encouraging and supporting organization to help increase the number of aspiring music educators and to serve as a resource for the first-year music educators. As Vice-President, I will be an active and visible advocate for both programs.
If elected, I will humbly accept the position of State Orchestra Vice-President, knowing the importance and responsibilities the position requires. I will keep an open line of communication and transparency always to seek the best way to serve our directors and students. I will continue the tradition of excellence in providing professional development and designing the best possible experience for all students in the audition process. As the Region, Area, and State auditions and TMEA Honor Orchestra contests are evaluated, I will seek equity in serving the orchestra division members and students. I support and believe in the goals of TMEA and will strive to maintain its highly-respected role in music education.
Thank you for your consideration in the upcoming Orchestra Vice-President election. I look forward to seeing everyone at convention and respectfully ask for your vote!
Present Position: Choir Director, Tomball Memorial HS, Tomball ISD (August 2016–present).
Previous Position: Head Choir Director, Cy-Fair HS, Cy-Fair ISD (2005–2016); Assistant Choir Director, Jersey Village HS, CFISD (2004–2005); Assistant Choir Director, Langham Creek HS, CFISD (1998–2004).
Education: Bachelor of Music, Southwestern University (1998); Master of Education with Principal Certification, Lamar University (2009).
TMEA Offices and Positions Held: All-State Mixed Choir Organizer (2018–present); Area F Chair (2016–present); Vocal Division Clinic and Convention Coordinator (2016–2017); Area E Chair (2014–2015); TMEA Facilities Manager (2012–13); Region 27 Vocal Chair (2006–2008); All-State Choir Section Leader (2006); Region Weekend Organizer; Region Weekend Host; Auditions host; TMEA Ways and Means Committee; TMEA Facilities Team Member.
Other Offices and Positions Held: TCDA Ways and Means Committee; TCDA Hospitality Chair; Youth Choir Director, Church of St. John the Divine; Trinity Vineyard Church Homegroup Leader and Sound Engineer (2006–present).
Professional Affiliations: TMEA, TCDA, ACDA, ATPE.
Honors/Accomplishments: TMEA Invited Performing Choir-Langham Creek HS Varsity Men’s Choir (2004); Region Choir Clinician; Bobcat Leadership Award, Cy-Fair HS.
Personal Information: I’m married to the most wonderful, patient, and caring person in the world, Vanessa Ragsdale, and I’m the father of two incredible children, Avery and Aidan. Being balanced in both the professional life and the personal life is very important to me, for my children must feel just as important, even more so, as the students I teach. I’ve also loved being involved in Trinity Vineyard Church since its beginning stages 14 years ago. The church, my family, and I have grown so much during this time.
Statement: I am incredibly honored and humbled to be nominated for position of TMEA Vocal Vice-President and Division Chair! I greatly appreciate the support of friends and colleagues from across this great state and if elected, I will continue to need your support and efforts. During the 21 years I’ve been fortunate to work in this profession, I’ve continuously served TMEA in the All-State process and TMEA Clinic/Convention, whether it was producing practice tracks for Honor Choir, writing the sightreading exercises for pre-Area auditions, cleaning up water bottles and various articles of clothing after Region Weekend, or serving in the capacities listed above. I strive to help make things better, smoother, and more efficient, and during the process I continuously look for ways to get as many people involved as possible. Collaboration is key and makes us more productive. I’m constantly on the lookout for the best answer, process, or solution, for as we all know, there’s always room for improvement. My motto is always “Onward and Upward.”
If honored with this position, I would work tirelessly with Board members to find ways that enhance the educational experience for all students in the All-State and All-Region process at the high school and middle school levels, respectively, making it more enticing, encouraging, and inspiring for students who are pulled in so many different directions. I’m excited by the evolution of the Small School All-State Choir process, and I’ll encourage continued research development to make it even more amazing for the students who participate. In everything, there are ideas to be shared and I shall be an eager listener and hope to facilitate dialogue among others to find how we can better reach all students, from preK to college, and assist fellow directors who may need a refresher with instructional strategies, student motivational tactics, and repertoire selection.
Lastly, I wish to motivate and engage our membership by seeking ways to provide even more opportunities to serve the organization that has given each and every one of us so much, professionally and personally, for we are the fabric of TMEA. They say it takes a village, but for this organization, it takes the strongest of teams. I hope to help the Texas Music Educators Association not only maintain a standard of excellence in the world for choral music, but also for membership experience and leadership opportunities. Thank you for your time and consideration and it is my sincere wish to serve TMEA in this magnificent capacity. Here’s looking forward with 2020 vision!
Abigail Hawes & Katherine Johns
Present Position: Elementary Music Specialist, Moore ES, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD (2004–present); Private Clarinet Instructor, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD (2002–present).
Previous Position: Private Clarinet Instructor, various Houston area school districts including Aldine, Fort Bend, Lamar Consolidated, and Wharton (1999–2002).
Education: Bachelor of Music with Teacher Certification (magna cum laude), University of Houston (2004); Master of Music in Music Education (with emphasis in Kodály studies), University of Houston (2017); Kodály Levels I–III (2008–2010).
TMEA Offices and Positions Held: Region 27 Elementary Chair (2011–present); Elementary Division Election Committee (2015); Elementary Division volunteer (2011–present); Elementary Clinician Selection Committee (2016, 2018), Elementary Performing Ensemble Selection Committee (2015–2016, 2018); Clinic Presider (2011–present).
Other Offices and Positions Held: Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Elementary Music Curriculum Revision Committee member (2018); Founding Committee member, Music and Technology Conference of Houston (2015); Planning Committee member, Music and Technology Conference of Houston (2017); Aldine ISD Children’s Music Festival invited judge (2014–present).
Professional Affiliations: TMEA, TCDA, OAKE, KET, Sigma Alpha Iota, Delta Kappa Gamma.
Honors/Accomplishments: Selected as Moore ES Spotlight Teacher of the Year (2010); Professional development clinician for Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and Alief ISD (2009–present); Supervisor for 14 music student-teachers from Texas universities (2007–present); Served as mentor for numerous newly hired music teachers within Cypress-Fairbanks ISD (2007–present); Recipient of TMEA Graduate Study Scholarship (2016).
Personal Information: A native Texan, I enjoy baking, running, taking photographs, a good cup of coffee, spending time with family and friends, and I joyfully share my time and talents as a member of the St. Laurence Catholic Church Music Ministry (2004–present).
Statement: I am honored and humbled to accept this nomination for TMEA Elementary Division Vice-President. TMEA and the passionate educators who make up its membership hold a special place in my heart. I simply cannot imagine where I’d be today without the relationships, experiences, education, and support provided by our wonderful organization. Now, as I consider the opportunity to serve as your Division Vice-President, I am filled with hopeful anticipation and gratitude.
Beginning in 2011 with my election as Region 27 Elementary Chair, I have served TMEA in a wide variety of capacities, including Elementary Division office volunteer, convention clinic presider, and as a member of the election committee. In addition to these roles, I’ve also been involved in other aspects of our yearly convention through service on both the Clinic and Invited Performing Ensemble selection committees.
Furthermore, my dedication to and passion for elementary music education extends beyond these experiences as a Region Chair. This is demonstrated by my service as a clinician, mentor to both new teachers and student teachers, and through my involvement with the establishment of the Music and Technology Conference of Houston, a biennial conference presented through the combined efforts of several Houston-area TMEA Regions.
If elected, it would be my distinct privilege to give back to this organization and serve as your voice and advocate on the state executive board. By encouraging increased membership within our division, reaching out to teachers in need, and remaining open to suggestions from our members, I will further the positive initiatives of my predecessors while keeping an open mind to the needs of the present.
As TMEA approaches its 100-year anniversary, I am confident that our best days lie ahead, and that, through honoring the strong traditions of our past as well as planning and innovating for our future, the Elementary Division will continue to positively impact the lives of both educators and students across the state of Texas for years to come. With sincerest appreciation, I ask for your consideration and your vote at our upcoming convention in February.
Present Position: Elementary Music Teacher, Floresville South Elementary School, Floresville (1997–present).
Previous Position: Elementary Music Teacher, Queen City Elementary School, Queen City, Texas (1996–1997).
Education: Bachelor of Music, Stephen F. Austin State University (1996); Master of Music Education, Texas State University (2001).
TMEA Offices and Positions Held: Region 12 Elementary Chair (2016-present); Mentor Area Coordinator (2015–present)
Other Offices and Positions Held: Kodály Educators of Texas, Vice President (2006–2010), President-Elect (2011–2012), President (2013–2014), Past President (2014–2015).
Professional Affiliations: TMEA, TCDA, OAKE, IKS.
Honors/Accomplishments: Floresville ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year (2011).
Personal Information: I grew up in a family of educators, with my father being the high school band director and my mother the senior English teacher at New Braunfels HS. I attended Stephen F. Austin State in Nacogdoches and graduated in December 1996 with a music education degree. Upon graduation, I accepted a job at Queen City Elementary, a preK–fourth grade school. In July 1997, I attended Orff Level I Certification at Southern Methodist University. After a year and a half in Queen City, I moved closer to my parents and in-laws and accepted a job at Floresville Elementary School. At the time, the school included only third–sixth grades. I started an afterschool choir for fifth and sixth graders. I completed Kodály certification and Masters of Music Education at Texas State University in 2000.
At the first–second grade feeder campus, a para-professional was assigned to teach music. In an effort to establish music in the lower grades, I wrote lesson plans and taught the para-professional some basic skills to share with the children in first and second grades. After 10 years of teaching older beginners, my campus transformed into a prekindergarten–fifth grade campus. I am so happy to watch these children grow from prekindergarten to fifth grade in their music education. Currently, there are 1007 preK–fifth graders at Floresville South Elementary School. I remain the only music teacher on my campus, and I instruct my students for 45 minutes in a six-day rotation. I love being in the same community with the same families for so many years; in fact, I am teaching children of former students. Although it makes me feel old, I love it. I often tell these parents that I am a much better teacher now than when I taught them. Every year, I look for new ways to prepare, present, and practice music concepts. In the summers, I work as the assistant program director for the Kodály Certification Program at Texas State University.
Statement: I have a unique passion for elementary music with an understanding of how it enhances secondary music education and life after graduation. The major focus for elementary music programs is to prepare future musicians for secondary band, choir and orchestra, right? Yes! However, what about the students who do not take secondary music courses and never take another music class beyond fifth grade? What are they going to leave elementary music class with? What training have we given them to enjoy high-quality music as an adult? We need to create adults who are not afraid to attend an orchestra concert, the opera, and who can sing lullabies and other songs to their children. The goal is to create adults who enjoy, appreciate and understand the basics of music even if they do not join a music ensemble beyond elementary school. I want to work with the different organizations in Texas: Orff, Kodály, and Dalcroze, and draw from their expertise in selecting headliners and presenters. I want to share my passion with my elementary colleagues and keep a strong presence in TMEA. To all my elementary colleagues, thank you for all you do for music education in the mighty state of Texas!