President's Message


Your ILMEA Board of Directors has been working very hard to improve ILMEA student events. Central to this is clarifying how those events operate. ILMEA will soon be distributing its Student Events Policy Manual. This single document collects operational policy from several ILMEA sources, including the Constitution and Bylaws, Operational Policy and Leadership Handbooks.

In developing this document, the Board of Directors took an opportunity to review all district and state operations, looking for ways to strengthen and unify those operations to provide the most positive experiences possible for our students. Throughout this process, most of ILMEA's policies and procedure remain unchanged. I would like to highlight a few changes designed to improve operations. Though many of these procedures are already in place in many districts, all districts will work to fully implement these procedures for the 2016-17 school year.

ILMEA auditions select the most highly qualified student musicians to participate in our district and state festivals. The Board of Directors would like to reduce non-musical variables to ensure that auditions focus on the student's musical skill. To that end, blind auditions will be created. Students in the Senior Level will be identified only by an assigned participant number to judges and judges will be instructed to face away from the students. All-State eligibility will be extended to students in grades 10 in all performance divisions (Band, Chorus, Orchestra and Jazz) for the 2017 All State conference. Voice specification in the choral division will be defined by vocal ranges as set by the choral division.

Judges at all district auditions will now be paid on a uniform scale based on a combination of time commitment and number of auditions heard in a single judging day. Districts are encouraged to use outside judges where possible. Fees and approved expenses have also been unified so ILMEA can work to make sure that it's resources are focused on delivering high-quality programming for our students and members.

Terms of Office for the ILMEA Board of Directors are clearly defined in our Constitution. In an effort to detail the expectations of the leadership at the district level and to build participation in the leadership of the association, districts will have no more than one representative for each division and level. The new Terms of Office for District Representative positions will have 1 year as elect with a 2 year term to follow. A representative may then be re-elected one time, for a total of 4 years in the position. After that, the representative must wait for one election cycle to pass before running again. Where feasible, a single representative for both the senior and junior level of a specific division is ideal.

Membership in a professional association is an important expectation as defined in the Danielson Framework. Membership in ILMEA associates you with a large group of educators who believe in high-quality music education for all Illinois learners. With our combined voices we work with policy makers to meet this vision. ILMEA believes very strongly that music educators who participate in our programs should be members of the association. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, ILMEA/NAfME individual membership will be a requirement to nominate students for all ILMEA student programs.

The full document is in final editing and will be made available to everyone on the ILMEA website in a few weeks for your perusal. Finally, I want to thank the ILMEA Board of Directors and our professional staff for their hard work in preparing this important document so that we can continue to offer the very best in music student programming in Illinois. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at



Mark Corey

ILMEA State President

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