Texas Orchestra Directors Association February 2013
Letter from the President

by David DeVoto


As I am writing this article, I am also preparing for our school musical, UIL contests, and Spring Trip, all within a month of each other (what WAS I thinking!)?  I know I am not alone - most of you are also getting ready to present your student's work to parents and judges.  It can be a stressful time, but remember that it can also be a joyous time for you and your students as the practice turns into wonderful performances.  Also, remember that we have a fantastic network of orchestra directors ready to help you and your students be successful.  The TMEA Convention, coming up February 13-16 in San Antonio, always comes at the right time because we have an opportunity to experience orchestra clinics and concerts to help us focus on our own programs.  I hope all of you get a chance to join us at the Convention!


At TMEA, please come to the TODA Membership Reception on Thursday, February 14 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. in the Hilton La Vista Ballroom.  This is an event to see old friends and meet new ones!  The reception is always well attended by the orchestra directors from Texas as well as visitors from out of state.  This is also a great place to glean ideas from other directors and secure judges or clinicians you may need.  The TODA Reception is always a great time - we hope to see you there!

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Jason Thibodeau
Members Matter!


by Jason N. Thibodeaux


This year's convention will be Sunday, July 21 through Wednesday, July 24, in San Antonio. Pre-registration will begin on February 11th and end on July 1st. Early registration will save you $20.00 so don't wait.


If you have not arranged for your hotel room, check out the TODA web site for housing information. Often the hotel rates are cheaper when booked through TODA!


I look forward to our convention every year because of the people I have met and the new people I hope to meet. I enjoy the reading sessions and learning new tricks, and the convention is one of the few events where I get to socialize with adults! The best way to meet new people is to volunteer during convention. There are many ways to volunteer: you can work with the committee that organizes the reading session folders, join the Hospitality Committee; or the ultimate, run for Member at Large! If you are interested in meeting new people and volunteering during convention, please contact any TODA Board member.


Volunteering is fun and a great way to network! I hope to see everyone this July and please remember to pre-register! It will save you time and money!



Important Dates
February 11 - TODA on-line membership renewal and convention information. Visit website at www.todaweb.org for more information.

February 14,
12:30 p.m. TMEA Orchestra Division Business Meeting

February 14, 6:00 p.m. TODA Reception at TMEA Convention ( TMEA President's Concert follows with performance by Dallas Wind Symphony)

July 21 - 24 TODA Convention and Clinic in San Antonio 

Check the TODA website for on-line forms and deadline information about the Barbara Eads Scholarship, the Orchestra Director of the Year, and the TODA Composition Contest. 

Call the TODA Office at 512-474-2801 with Questions; use the Contact Us Form on the web; or contact a TODA Board Member.

Thanks for your support and participation!



Issues and Answers
Margaret Brown


Issues and Answers

by Margaret Brown, Past President


Are you the next TODA "MAL"?


"Member At Large" or "MAL" (as the TODA Board lovingly refers to this position) is one of the most interesting on the TODA Executive Board. You write TODA News articles, attend board meetings, take a copious amount of photos ......and observe. During the first board meeting concluding the TODA convention, you sit a bit amazed and might wonder...."what did I just get myself into?!!" 


You observe the exhausted President smiling in relief, the Vice President/Treasurer a bit anxious about "their" upcoming convention. The Secretary anticipates the crash course in Quickbooks and learning all about budget codes, while the MAL looks forward to moving up the board chain of command - happy to not be the "newbie." You see the Past President looking the most relaxed and at ease, reflective and perhaps a bit sad, knowing that after lunch, they are going to be taking the traditional "boot off the board" picture.


One of the great things about the TODA Board is the way it's designed. One makes a five year commitment when elected as the MAL, knowing that you move through each office on the board, serving a year per office: Member At Large, then Secretary, Treasurer/Vice President, President and Past President. Each office has a timeline of duties, with a meeting in September, in February at TMEA, and in June. The Board has a dinner meeting the night prior to the TODA Convention and meets immediately following the convention. The meetings are organized by the current president and every officer supports and works together for the planning and running of the convention.


We have a wonderful Executive Director, Sharon Lutz, who provides a strong sense of business, support and professionalism for both TODA members and the TODA Board. Beverly Schlegel is our TODA office manager, providing office and member support whenever calling the TODA office. 


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Money Matters
Sandra Vandertulip
Article Solicited by Sandra Vandertulip, Member-at-Large 


Five Orchestra Recruiting Tips

by Carolyn Vandiver



1.  Duty time = Recruiting time. There are opportunities before school, between classes, at lunch and after school - anyplace where parents or kids gather. Be visible, be positive and meet the public. Get out of your comfort zone. I danced in front of the student body while the Navy Jazz Band played. Did I plan on it? Of course not! The singer came over, took my hand and the kids started clapping, so I danced and started working the crowd, pulling kids out of the audience. The kids loved it and so did I. Go out in the hall and talk to the kids, make friends, and find something to comment on, like their clothes. Or just say hello!
2.  Make a professional and colorful brochure explaining orchestra and its merits, and take a few to the MS and HS Counselors.  Include testimonials from all ethnic groups, talking about their experiences. 
3.  Cost of instruments if often prohibitive.  It is helpful to include a range of prices for rentals per instrument, for example, Violin at $20 - $30 a month.  I love to say that a trip through McDonald's for a family of four can pay for an instrument. Also, let parents and students know if you have instruments for those unable to afford the cost.
4.  Be visible in the community, and play at every opportunity (small groups, quartets, etc.). Make a sign displaying your group's name.
5.  Use giveaways to promote your group. We play the National Anthem for the Astros every year and it makes the paper.  Use car signs and t-shirts when recruiting. Ask orchestra members to write personal invitations and congratulatory notes to MS students when they make the honor roll or region. We always have a beginning orchestra at the HS so that we can recruit. When playing for elementary or middle schools, give free tickets to the students, and plan an event for them, for example, when they arrive hand out bags of treats (Halloween) or candy canes (during Winter). 


TODA Board of Directors
President, David DeVoto, Allen ISD
Past President, Margaret Brown, McKinney ISD
VP/Treasurer, Pat Leaverton, Arlington ISD
Secretary, Jason Thibodeaux, Northeast ISD
Member-At-Large, Sandra Vandertulip, Round Rock ISD

Executive Director, Sharon Lutz
Member Services, Beverly Schlegel