All that Jazz at OMEA

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All that Jazz at OMEA

Morgan Spearman, Staff Writer

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The Ohio Music Education Association held their Professional Development Conference on Jan. 31- Feb. 2, 2019. It was the 86th anniversary in 2018. The OMEA PDC is the third largest music conference in the United States. This organization serves over 1 million Ohio student and universities around the state. This organization includes many different people, including music teachers, retired music teachers and etc.

Students involved in orchestra, band and choir have the ability to send in a submission to audition for this conference.  Each director has the choice to nominate up to 10 of the top playing high school students. These students are asked to audition for the OMEA Conference. The selection committee makes sure there is representation from every school, a minimum of one student. The students are given there audition information and music they need perform on a recorded video and send it to the selection committee. The applications for the conference are online, you have strict guidelines to follow. You must fill out the application, make a digital recording of yourself, have your director’s contact information, including your directors 9-digit identification number and a credit card for an application fee of $15.00. The students receive their decisions around the same time each year.

Miles Spearman, a Boardman High School senior attended the OMEA All State Jazz Ensemble. Miles has attended this conference two times, in his high school years, his sophomore and currently his senior year. He has been playing the trumpet since he was in 5th grade and is progressing very well. He is involved in Jazz 1, marching band, and concert band.

Miles stated that, “I really enjoyed going to All State Jazz Ensemble OMEA.”

 Miles thoroughly enjoys playing the trumpet all the time. He has a band called that PHAT FOUR, where they perform old to new pop music on youtube. He is also involved in a couple other bands outside of the PHAT FOUR, like No Funk No Justice and others.

Miles really benefited from this conference  he said that, “It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.”

He learned many things from being surrounded by other musicians, he believed that, “Being surrounded by musicians that challenged me to up my game was exciting for me.”

Miles was surrounded by students that had the same passion of music as him, helping him grow as a musician and gain new friends that he could relate with through music.

Miles’s last thoughts of the conference was, “ It was an honor to perform with the OMEA All State Jazz Band and I will miss this conference and performances dearly.” I feel that Miles really had a great experience at the OMEA All State Jazz Ensemble and that students interested in going to this conference should audition!

This event took place in Cleveland, Ohio at Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. There was around 300 different sessions on the practice of music education, they had many different vendors that related to music and technology now. Many ensembles performed during this event, ranging from elementary choirs to professional bands and orchestras. The next OMEA conference will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio Jan,. 30- Feb. 1, 2020 at the Duke Energy Convention Center. For 2020 conference the coordinator is Micah Ewing.  Band chairs are Jim Blakenship and Micah Ewing. Choir chairs are Rick Hand and Chelsea Hilliard. Jazz ensemble chair Avious Jackson and Ed Protzman and orchestra chairs are Angela Santangelo and Brian Fey. If you are interested in getting information for your students or administration, you can check out the website at, https://www.omea-ohio.org/.  Let’s represent Boardman Schools at the OMEA PDC conference for more years to come!