The annual Texas Music Educators Association conference showcases new teaching methods, technology

By Michael Clarke | Assistant Copy Editor

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Senior Ben Quarles and Kevin Sedatole, director of bands for Michigan State University, at the 2014 Texas Music Educators Association yearly convention.

Selected Pearce students and music educators attended the Texas Music Educators Association’s annual conference in San Antonio from Feb. 12-16. The convention serves to showcase anything and everything music related in the state of Texas and beyond from a wide array of music-affiliated organizations and partners.

“I tried out so many different types of clarinets at one booth, then went over to see the sheet music you could buy from Penders and then the marching uniforms from FJM,” senior Ben Quarles said.

The convention is organized by Texas’ largest group of music educators, and one of the convention’s prominent roles for educators who attend is to instruct them through clinics, hosted by leaders in their field, on new methods of teaching music to their students.

“This year’s clinics were a lot more technology based,” band director Dan Suniga said. “There was an iPad seminar, showing what’s new in the activity of being a band director.”

The TMEA is the regulating body for all aspects of the All-State musicians program, and the concert performed by the members of the distinguished All-State bands is the closing event for each year’s convention.

“Watching the All-State symphony orchestra was overwhelming,” senior Adam Neel said. “You see the best players in your state being able to play such beautiful music.”

Also invited to play at the yearly convention is a rotating list of exemplary high school and college bands.

“TMEA invites different ensembles to play at the convention,” Ben said.

According to Ben, UT’s Wind Ensemble and Texas Christian University performed, in addition to other music groups from around the state.

The convention hosted approximately 30,000-40,000 students and educators during its five days at San Antonio’s Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

“It was really amazing. There was so much there, so much knowledge to absorb and to take in,” Ben said. “It was overwhelming at first.”

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