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Music News

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No Major Changes For Music This Year

By Richard Floyd | Thursday, August 13, 2009 11:59 AM

The UIL Music Program continues to operate in a relatively stable environment resulting in few rule changes for the 2009-2010 school year. In fact, only six rule modifications impact our music competitions. None of the rules are prohibitive and for the most part the rule changes are intended to create new options within the UIL music contest structure.

EXPANDED OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN MORE THAN ONE MUSIC CLASS. Beginning this year a student enrolled in multiple instrumental music classes may participate in the group representing each class provided the student is performing on a different instrument. For example a student who plays clarinet in the varsity band and wishes to learn to play saxophone and enrolls in a non-varsity band class to do so would be eligible to go to UIL contest with both groups. The same would be true for a string student enrolled in two string orchestra classes. [See Section 1102 (b)(1)(B)].

OPTION TO ZONE AREA MARCHING BAND CONTEST. By action of the Area Executive Committee and approval of the State Director of Music, the Area Marching Band Contest may be zoned to reduce travel for participating schools. A minimum of five bands must compete at each contest site, and one band per each five bands competing will be certified for advancement to the state contest. This accommodation has been made primarily for Area A because of the extensive travel conditions in the western part of the state. [See Section 1106 (j)(6)(A) and (B)]

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Floyd Honored with Distinguished Music Award

By Staff | Friday, May 01, 2009 1:06 PM

The Texas Music Educators Association recently honored UIL Music Director Richard Floyd with the Distinguished Music Award. The award, which was presented to Floyd during the association’s convention in February, is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to Texas music education. “His commitment to guiding UIL music programs in a most professional manner as well as serving as clinician, conductor and a teacher of teachers through in-service presentations throughout our state and the nation has benefited literally tens of thousands of students,” the association’s publication said. Floyd has worked as a conductor, music educator and administrator for 46 years. He previously received the American School Band Directors Association Austin Harding Award in 2002, and the Texas Bandmasters Association named him Bandmaster of the Year in 2006.

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Much Ado About Ethics

By Scott Coulson, TMAA Concert Band Vice President | Sunday, March 15, 2009 1:16 PM

The buzzword in the media today is ethics. Headlines are littered with stories about unethical behavior and those lacking integrity. Investors make poor financial decisions. CEOs of major corporations embezzle shareholder funds. Politicians misuse campaign funds or “forget” to pay their taxes! When I used to get the Leaguer in the mail, I confess that I went straight to the back page to see if I recognized anyone’s name under “Official Notices” and “Public Reprimands.” Come on, admit it, you did too!

The dictionary defines ethics as “principles or standards of human conduct, sometimes called morals” and integrity as “possession of firm principles: the quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards.” The Texas Music Adjudicators has its own Code of Professional Ethics. As TMAA members, it is our responsibility and even our mandate to maintain our professionalism and to be beyond reproach as we execute our judging duties. Though brief, the expectations of ethical behavior are clearly defined as follows:

Adjudicators shall know and uphold all rules for music competition in the current issue of the
Constitution and Contest Rules published by the University Interscholastic League.

Adjudicators shall be physically, emotionally and mentally fit to discharge their duties at music

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Wishing Directors and Students a Successful Contest Experience

By Penny Meitz | Friday, January 23, 2009 11:15 AM

What makes a UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest a success? Certainly it is much more than earning a Sweepstakes trophy or a Division I plaque. A successful contest has multiple components. Was the competition smoothly organized and implemented? Did students learn and grow musically from their preparation and participation? Did you, as director, learn from the UIL experience and/or the judge’s comments? These are all important components of a successful contest experience.

Do you remember participating in UIL as a student and how you felt after a UIL performance? Many of you will recall the exhilaration from knowing you performed well and received a high rating for the performance. Whatever the rating outcome, students should have a positive impression about their participation in the contest.

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Online Prescribed Music List Features and Other Music News

By Richard Floyd | Thursday, January 15, 2009 11:20 AM

While growing up in a very rural Richardson, Texas (main street was two blocks long and there was one traffic light) one of the big attractions each week was to take in a movie at the Ritz. It was an old style movie theater where you could catch the latest Hollywood feature for nine cents. As a bonus there was usually a cartoon and the all-important preview of coming attractions. Those previews always built anticipation and sometimes excitement for things to come. So with that childhood thought in mind, allow me to share a “main feature” and a “previews of coming attractions” with you.



In December, the UIL Music Division launched a new version of the online Prescribed Music List. The new format and search engine is the result of input from the UIL Music Selection Committees, countless suggestions from directors across the state and the work of an Internet technology design team at the University of Texas. With the new system, you can search selections by event, UIL ID, title, grade, arranger/composer, publisher and specifications as in the past. However within each of these features, there are additional options available to customize your search.

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Music Director Makes a Wish Come True for Austin Senior

By Andrea Negri | Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:58 AM

When Make-A-Wish Foundation employees heard Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy senior Alec Gramann’s wish — to lead the band at a UIL state marching contest — they wondered if it could be done.

“There is no way this is ever going to happen. What’s his second wish?” Kathryn Draper, program services assistant at Make-A-Wish, recalled workers saying. “This is just something that’s going to take a huge amount of time.”

But UIL music director Richard Floyd wasn’t so sure it was an impossible wish.

“From the beginning I felt certain, it was something that we could do,” he said. “My primary goal was to find a time in the schedule that would allow the largest possible audience to help make Alec's wish come [true].”

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30-minute Clinic/Critique Offers Students a Great Learning Environment

By Richard Floyd | Friday, November 07, 2008 10:12 AM

The State Wind Ensemble Contest was established in 1976 as a part of the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest. During the years that followed, this event gradually evolved into the festival format that is in place today. It is now referred to as the State Wind Ensemble Festival (SWEF). It is viewed to be an educationally rewarding and positive experience for all participants. This year this prestigious event is scheduled for May 9, 2009.

Much of the success of this event has been attributed to the Clinician/Commentator component of the format. This feature allows each performing group to have a 30-minute post concert clinic/critique with a nationally recognized conductor/educator. The focus of the event is on the subjective, artistic elements of music performance rather than the objective, technical details that tend to dominate critiques in a totally competitive setting.

With the approval of the UIL/TMEA Music Advisory Committee and the UIL Legislative Council the event was modified in 2000 to what many would term a festival format. The intent of this revision was to build on the most successful elements of SWEF, which cultivate the positive aspects of making music for music’s sake rather than the attainment of an objective rating. In addition a listening component has been added to emphasize the very important value of becoming good audience members as well as accomplished performers.

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