Latest posts by Kaelei Whitlatch (see all)
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Senior Ila Greenawalt has been selected to attend the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Future Music Educators Honor Symposium.
Greenawalt, who has been playing the flute since elementary school, is “extremely excited” for this opportunity.
According to PMEA’s website, while at the symposium, “students will be making connections with their future peers and mentors, creating a support system for their career preparation, and having opportunities to discuss and reflect on all aspects of their future careers with college music education majors and professional educators.”
“It’s basically ‘band director for a day’ over the course of the PMEA state festival,” Greenawalt said. “It was a really quick turn around from region band. I had to submit letters of recommendations, general information, and proof that I have been accepted to college for music education.”
Band director Mrs. Jamie Gore is attending the festival with Greenawalt, along with senior Dylan Opalinski, who will be playing tuba in the PMEA All-State Honors band.
“This year’s festival is different because its the NAfME (National Association for Music Educators) and PMEA Conference at the same time. NAfME is made of (students from) 13 states, so it’s bigger than it usually is,” Mrs. Gore said. “The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is the opening act, and that’s insane.”
Along with the orchestra at Heinz Hall, Greenawalt will attend other performances from Navy Band and Choir along with the PMEA Jazz, Choir, Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Concert Band.
Mrs. Gore says its “been a few years” since any Southmoreland students have gone, but it is a “great opportunity granted by the school.”
“It is a lot of paperwork, but the students are encouraged to share what they learned in the workshops with their peers and use it in their future careers,” Mrs. Gore said. “I hope that (Greenawalt) is inspired by this. The students she is with will be her future colleagues. Music is a small world, and I hope she makes relationships and can use them as resources and encouragement in the future. As teachers, they may end up in the same building, or district, or even across the country while still sharing ideas. But I hope that she has a great time. I know she’s gonna love it.”
Greenawalt says she is excited for this conference, especially with Mrs. Gore, who she says “started it all.”
“Mrs. Gore developed my passion for music. I had to make the decision between going to technical school for culinary arts or taking elective classes at the high school. I made the choice to stick with band, and I’m so glad I did,” Greenawalt said. “Mrs. Gore is a role model to me. I watch the way she does things, and how she teaches, and I learn more than just music from her.”
Greenawalt explained that Mrs. Gore has a way of “sparking passion” within her students.
“Mrs. Gore inspires her students every day. Even though it doesn’t seem like she’s doing much, just a small gesture can impact many lives,” Greenawalt said. “I want to pay it forward and give that passion to my students as a music educator.”
Greenawalt is attending the PMEA Future Music Honors Symposium in Pittsburgh from April 3-6. She will be attending Slippery Rock University this fall, majoring in music education.