David Zerkel, ITEA President
I hope that this issue of the journal finds you enjoying summer and that at some point you will have the opportunity to take a break from the daily grind to re-energize! I am honored and thrilled to be on board as the new ITEA President and am comforted that the newly elected officers are a superb group of people. I offer each my sincere congratulations and know that they will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will serve the organization well.
Right out of the chute, I would like to take the opportunity to thank two people that have been doing amazing work on behalf of ITEA, and whose work is not acknowledged frequently enough. Without their efforts, it would be a very different (and vastly inferior) organization.
Jason Smith has done exceptional work as the ITEA Journal editor. The journals are always interesting, visually appealing, and are a must read from cover to cover. It is a huge undertaking to produce a journal of this quality, and we are indeed fortunate to have an editor of Jason’s quality and vision. On top of that, Jason has continued on as our web editor and has totally changed the look and functionality of ITEAonline.org. If you have not had a chance to peruse the website recently, I hope that you will take the opportunity to do so.
Jennifer Jester has just completed her second year as the Executive Director of our organization, and what a couple of years it has been! Jennifer has overseen a review of our organizational structure and bylaws that ensures that we are in good standing with the IRS as a non-profit organization. She has also been instrumental in bringing the Tuba Euphonium Press on board as an entity that is entirely managed by the organization, a task whose scope exceeded our wildest imagination. Jennifer has worked many more hours than advertised in the position she applied for and deserves our thanks for being the watchdog of the organization.
Kelly Thomas and Mark Nelson have been quite busy with preliminary plans for the next International Tuba Euphonium Conference, which will take place in Tucson, Arizona in May 2010. The preliminary plans are very exciting, and the conference promises to be very exciting. I hope that each of you will consider attending, as these events have a great rejuvenating effect on our growth and development as musicians. (Plus, it’s a great time to catch up with old buddies and to network with new acquaintances!) The period for submitting proposals to perform or present at the conference will close soon (August 15), so if you have an interest, please take a moment to apply online. One of my stated objectives when I ran for ITEA office was to try to give maximum exposure to the next generation of tuba and euphonium artists—this is your chance to make it happen!
A hot topic of discussion of late among the Board has been how the economic downturn is affecting ITEA. There are few places in our world where the effects of the economic downturn have not been felt, and unfortunately ITEA is no exception. We are experiencing a moderate downturn in memberships and are generating fewer advertisement dollars in the Journal, as businesses are forced to do more with less. We are also wrapping our heads around how to present a spectacular ITEC in Tucson in 2010 with a more conservative budget model. This may sound remotely familiar to you, as virtually every household and business seems to be facing the same challenge. The board officers plan to tackle these challenges head on, so that our organization comes out the other side meaner and leaner.
Having said that, the ITEA Board will be mounting an aggressive membership campaign to find new members and bring back those members who for whatever reason have let their memberships lapse. If you know someone who is serious about the tuba (whether as a student, teacher, performer, or hobbyist) but is not a member of the organization, please ask him or her to consider a membership. The services that ITEA strives to offer its members (such as conferences, journals, websites, and the press) do have costs. It is our hope that a growth in membership will allow us to keep up with the associated expenses.
Sorry for preaching to the choir! I want to thank you for your membership in ITEA. Your continued support is certainly appreciated, and we have no plans to go away any time soon! If there is a way that you feel ITEA could enhance the membership experience or you have any observations about the organization you would like to share, I’d like to hear from you.
I hope that you will enjoy the remainder of your summer!