Since we weren’t able to meet at Choral Arts, I wanted to touch base with you to give you some information and to get your feedback on some things. First, I can’t say this enough, thank you for what you do for choral music education in South Carolina. You may think of your leadership position with the Choral Division as service to SCMEA, and it is, but it’s also service to the thousands of choral students across the state. So, THANK YOU!
Here’s the update. Read it as you have time, note the information that affects you and your committee’s event, and provide feedback where appropriate.
Choral Arts Update
I’ve looked into rescheduling Choral Arts for a time later this year. For a lot of reasons, it’s not going to be possible. So here’s what will happen.
- Tom Shelton is available for next year’s Choral Arts (September 7 & 8), so I’ll go ahead and book him now.
- USC is currently available on those dates, but we won’t be allowed to book the facilities officially until January because their organizations get first preference. That’s completely understandable. The $200 rental fee we paid this year will carry over to next year.
- Members who registered for Choral Arts will be offered refunds. I’ll create a Google Form they can fill out to request their refund. If they would like, members can keep their registration fees “on file” and they’ll carry over to next year’s Choral Arts. Registration fees can not be applied to other events. The bookkeeping for that would be a nightmare!
- Unfortunately, we will not be able to refund the processing fees for those who paid for Choral Arts with a credit card at Eventbrite.
Lisa Pecarina wanted to remind you about some of our financial guidelines. Please remember that if you are in a position to handle money for an official Choral Division event, you have legal fiduciary responsibilities. Mishandling money is not only inappropriate, it’s illegal. Please handle money responsibly.
- Financial Guidelines
- All events must be self-funded. Expenses can not exceed income. Ever.
- Individual members who eat meals while on official Choral Division business must pay for all their own meals and submit receipts for reimbursement. Choral Division funds can not be used to pay a restaurant directly for a table meal. This does not apply to meals brought in for judges and workers for events. But event organizers must be judicious in their use of Choral Division funds for food. This is one of the main things that can get us in trouble with the IRS.
Performance Submission Guidelines
We don’t have codified rules that pertain to ensembles that submit to perform on the Choral Division track at the SCMEA Professional Development Conference. I’ve created a document I’d like you to take a look at and provide feedback on. Thoughts? Disagree with anything on there?
Why do we do what we do?
I would like each committee to find time to discuss this question: Why do we do what we do? The question needs to be answered in specific terms. This is what you would have discussed at Choral Arts. *shakes fist in Hurricane Irma’s general direction* The committee needs to understand its event’s purpose because if the committee doesn’t understand it, then perhaps we need to rethink that event.
Ideas for new events:
- Sweepstakes (I hate that name. Let’s find something better.). The response for offering an event that follows up on our Choral Performance Assessments was overwhelmingly positive. A couple of thoughts. I don’t think we need to offer two separate autonomous events. They would end up competing with each other. I think we need to offer an event wherein those ensembles who earn Superior with Distinction at CPA will compete at a follow up event. This is the idea that you overwhelmingly supported. To that end, I’ll exercise the authority granted in the bylaws to the President to appoint a special committee to research this. If you’re interested in serving on this committee let me know.
- Middle School All-State. Can anyone tell me why we don’t offer an honor choir event at the middle school level? Anyone? I’ll be appointing another special committee to research this. I will also be contacting SC ACDA to discuss our use of the term All-State. We can’t have criss-crossed names on these events because that just causes confusion. Since our use of the term predates theirs, I anticipate we’ll be able to come to an agreement that our events will use the term All-State and SC ACDA’s events will be called Honor Choirs. Please understand I am making no comment on which I think is more important. Both are equally viable in my opinion, and whenever possible, my students participate in both. But I represent the Choral Division.
Please be thinking about prestigious awards that we might be able to offer to students or teachers to recognize effort, talent, skill, whatever you think needs to be rewarded. SCMEA is asking each division to offer awards that can be presented at the Professional Development Conference. So let’s think through that together.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for providing thoughtful feedback.