President’s Corner (Jerry Young, ITEA President)
I hope everyone from the sunny beaches in Melbourne and Buenos Aires to the frozen tundra of Regina and Fairbanks had a good holiday season in December. As I’m writing this in late December we’re enjoying a good, traditional Wisconsin winter with several inches of snow on the ground and no sign of temperatures above freezing for several weeks now. That situation makes one turn to more time behind a tuba or euphonium, something that’s always welcome for me. Wherever you are and whatever the situation out of doors, I hope that daily music making is part of your life and that you’re making music for the special people around you.
Speaking of special people, I just learned that my high school band director (Northside High School, Fort Smith, Arkansas), William N. Shaver III, passed away. Mr. Shaver had a rich career and had been retired for many years. In January of 1969 he changed my life forever when he asked me to volunteer to play the tuba to help out the band program. (I was a very mediocre euphonium player at the time.) I’m so glad that I took the time on many occasions since then to thank him for what he did for me. He knew no more than I did the direction my life would take, but his confidence and support at a very vulnerable time in my life set the course for me as a musician and educator. And he cared for and supported every student he had in that same way over the years. I can only imagine how badly I would feel today if I had not said thanks to him often, especially in recent years. Have you said “thanks” to a teacher, friend, or colleague who has made a difference for you lately? One piece of baggage none of us wants to carry through life is regret. Take a minute today to pick up the phone, write a letter, or send an e-mail to that teacher who made a difference for you. I’m including Mr. Shaver’s photo with this President’s Corner to honor his memory and his legacy as a teacher and to remind you to consider making that contact.
William N. Shaver III
Looking towards ITEC in May, the Conference Committee tells me that more than two hundred proposals have been received for lecture sessions, recitals, concerts, panel discussions on various topics, and so on. Some twenty-nine college ensembles have submitted proposals for performances. The Committee is working with Mr. Perantoni to construct a schedule of events that will be interesting for everyone. With the cast of characters who have submitted proposals, we are all guaranteed an unforgettable experience during our week together. Keep visiting the ITEA web page for updates on plans. You can register for the conference and make your housing arrangements (either with the University or hotels who are offering special conference rates) right now at the web site.
As I mentioned in this column in the Fall issue of the Journal, numerous people over the past several months (and, in fact, over the past two years) have approached me and continue to ask regularly about “doing something” for ITEA in a direct and material way. This is happening often enough that I want to remind everyone that the best avenue to being put to work is to contact a member of the Board of Directors whose area of responsibility is compatible with your interests. If you’re a military band person, Mark Jenkins is ready to hear from you! If you’re a student, contact Danielle Duron VanTuinen. Orchestral musicians – your contact is Nimrod Ron… And the list goes on. See page four of your Journal for the complete list of Board members and their areas of responsibility. Even if you don’t especially want or need to volunteer your time towards a particular end, maybe you have an idea to share. We’re interested in hearing your thoughts. Do you have an idea for an article for the Journal? Ben Pierce would really like to hear from you. While Ben welcomes your original article submissions, ideas for articles from others, or articles on topics from particular artists, teachers, music industry people, etc. are also welcome at his desk.
In case you missed it on page nine of the Fall Journal, go back to that issue and take a look at our new benefits for ITEA Life Membership. If you’re in a position to consider taking this step, give it some thought. The Association has made it easier to purchase a Life Membership through a variety of payment plans, and I think you’ll enjoy the things that go with Life Member status.
The year 2013 was a good one for ITEA. Our membership grew and continues to grow, and we are financially stable and able to look to the future with a measure of confidence. This promises to be another year of accomplishment. Outstanding new works are being written for our instruments via a variety of consortium commissions and privately funded commissions, exciting young artists are popping up in every corner of the globe, and more and more people, both within and outside the world of professional musicians, are experiencing the artistic viability of our instruments and the people who perform on them. As I mentioned in the Fall issue, you can assist the efforts of our great Association simply by performing to the best of your ability wherever you are and in whatever settings are available to you. We need to be all about making music and bringing its magic to as many people as we possibly can.
I’m looking forward to seeing you and, hopefully, getting to hear you play-and maybe getting to play along with you-in May. And remember to contact that special teacher as soon as you put this Journal down…