Welcome to UMEA


Capitol Hill Day Flyer

Conference Handouts

Some conference presenters have made session handouts available to be posted on-line. Handouts may be accessed under the "Resources" tab on this website or by following this link: Click here for UMEA Mid-Winter Conference Handouts

UMEA President
Sam Tsugawa

Newly Elected UMEA Board Members

Congratulations to the following individuals who were elected to the UMEA Board at the Professional Development Conference in St. George, Utah.
  • President-elect: Rhonda Rhodes, Dixie State University (assumes presidency July1, 2017)
  • Elementary Vice President: Debby Wetzel, Canyons School District
  • Jazz Vice President: Dr. Adam Lambert, Southern Utah University
  • Orchestra Vice President: RaNae Dalglesh, Hillcrest High School
  • Each new member will assume office on July 1, 2015

Click here to see candidate information and photos

UMEA Award Recipients

Congratulations to the following UMEA members who were recognized for their outstanding teaching and service to the organization. Awards were presented at the 2015 Professional Development Conference in St. George on February 6, 2015.
  • Outstanding Elementary Music Educator: Whitney Werner, Provo School District
  • Outstanding Jr. High Music Educator: Chris Earl, South Davis Jr. High School
  • Outstanding High School Music Educator: Steve Shirts, Cedar High School
  • Superior Accomplishment Award: Curtis McKendrick, Lone Peak High School
  • Service to Music Education Award: Becky Anderson, Utah High School Activities Association
  • Outstanding Administrator: Steve Carlsen, Superintendent, Carbon School District and Rhonda Bromley, Principal, Lone Peak High School
  • Presidential Award: Julie Christofferson, Nebo School District
  • Outstanding Music Educator: Claudia Bigler, Box Elder high School (Claudia also received the Utah High School Activities Association Reagon Award)
UMEA Choral Vice President
Rob Reimer

New Choral Vice President named

Pine View High School (St. George) choral director Rob Reimer as been named UMEA Choral Vice President. Former vice president Adrianne Tawa recently resigned due to health concerns. UMEA extends to Adrianne gratitude for representing UMEA's choral teachers with dignity and commitment and sends best wishes for a quick recovery. Rob's name was on the ballot with Adrianne's at the last election, and he graciously accepted the responsibility to complete Adrianne's term of office. The board thanks and supports him in this appointment.

Utah Music Educators Journal

Utah Music Educators Journal
Winter 2015 Issue
Vol. 60 No. 2

Red Rocks Marching Band Competition Results

American Fork HS Drum Majors
Results for the Red Rocks Marching Band Competition are now available. This UMEA-sponsored competition showcases bands from Utah and other Western Region states. Bands are separated into five class divisions according to the number of students participating in the band. Over-all winners in each class are:
  • Class 1A Cheyenne High School, WY
  • Class 2A Alta High School, UT
  • Class 3A Provo High School, UT
  • Class 4A Mountain Crest High School, UT
  • Class 5A American Fork High School, UT

Follow this link for a complete run-down of placing and awards: 2014 Red Rocks Results

New Approval Form for Sanctioning Events

UMEA has been given the responsibility for vetting all music events for sanctioning by the Utah High School Activities Association. The Application for Approval of Music Event form, linked here: Click here for event approval form, must be completely filled out and submitted to Sharee Jorgensenshareekj@gmail.com no later than 45 days before the event. The form must be submitted EVERY YEAR, regardless if it is an annual event.
Events must comply with the following:
  • Compliance to UHSSA eligibility rules must be followed. If participants involved are in grades other than 9 through 12, an open class must be held separately.
  • Each event must show proof of liability and or property insurance. UMEA is only the vetting body and assumes NO RISK OR LIABILITY FOR THE EVENT.
  • Be advised that no music or speech event will be sanctioned, if school time is missed the day prior to the event for travel or participation. In essence, not more than one day of school time may be missed, including travel, to obtain a sanction.

Upcoming Events:

  • February 6-7, UMEA Professional Development Conference, Dixie Center, St. George More Information
  • February 21, UAOSA Workshop, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Rowland Hall School Link to website
  • March 4, Music on the Hill Day, State Capitol, Noon More Information
  • March 14, BYU Concert Band Festival
  • March 19-20, State Jr. High/Middle Band Festival, Libby Gardner Hall More Information
  • March 21, State Percussive Arts Society Festival, Juan Diego H.S.
  • March 21,UAOSA Workshop, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Rowland Hall School Link to website
  • March 27-28, State Jazz Festival, Murray H.S. More Information
  • April 25, State Solo & Ensemble Festival
  • May 1-2, State Concert Band Festival, Corner Canyon HS More Information
  • May 8-9, State Orchestra Festival, Salem Hills HS More Information
  • May 15-16, State Choir Festival, Libby Gardner Hall More Information
  • May 30, UMEA Marching Band Leadership Clinic, American Fork HS

Join or Renew Membership in UMEA & NAfME

Joining UMEA allows members to receive support and instruction from the state's largest professional music-teaching association as well as membership to NAfME, the largest national music educators organization. Click on the link to see member benefits and receive more information about joining UMEA/NAfME Click here for Membership Benefits


Learn how UMEA supports music education on our Advocacy Page. Click here for Advocacy page.

Featured Advocacy Article:
"Arts Involvement and At-Risk Students"

2015 All-State Band, Orchestra, Jazz and Honor Choir Conductors

2015 All-State Jazz Conductor

Dennis Mackrel
Dennis was born, April 3, 1962. A child prodigy, he began playing the drums when he was two and became a professional musician at the age of ten when he performed in the Anchorage Community Theatre's production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

Developing his craft in various playing situations, Dennis received numerous awards, such as "Who's Who in Music," 1979; National Endowment for the Arts grant for composition in 1983 and 1992; "Outstanding Alumni" from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

While attending UNLV, he was a member of the acclaimed UNLV Jazz Ensemble where his drumming and arranging skills caught the attention of vocalist Joe Williams. In 1981, at 19 years of age, Dennis moved to New York City and landed a gig as a drummer on Broadway. His Broadway credits include "The First" and "A Chorus Line."

In January of 1983, Dennis joined the Count Basie Orchestra on the personal recommendation of Mr. Williams. He would become the youngest member of the orchestra and the last drummer to be hired by Mr. Basie personally. Dennis traveled extensively and worked alongside Mr. Basie until his death in April 1984. He continued with the orchestra under the direction of interim leader Eric Dixon followed by Thad Jones. In 1985, under Mr. Jones's leadership, the Count Basie Orchestra recorded one of Dennis's compositions entitled "And That's That."

Dennis stayed with the band, when Frank Foster took over as leader until December of 1987. Dennis' composition "Bus Dust" was included on the CD "Long Live The Chief" which was recorded during Mr. Foster's tenure as leader.

After leaving the Orchestra, he returned to New York and would soon become the drummer of choice for a number of large ensembles, including the American Jazz Orchestra, the Carla Bley Big Band, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Buck Clayton's Swing Band, the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band.

Dennis's transition from sideman to leader continued with his frequent trips to Europe as a guest conductor, arranger and/or soloist for such outstanding ensembles as the Kluvers Big Band in Aarhus, Denmark, the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Holland, the WDR Big Band in Koln, Germany and in 2010, he returned to the Count Basie Orchestra where he served as its leader and chief conductor until 2013.

In addition to being a seasoned musician, Dennis is also a highly respected composer/arranger whose commissioned works have been recorded by the United States Military Academy at West Point's Jazz Knights Big Band, The Temple University Jazz Ensemble, The Columbus Jazz Orchestra and, most notably, the McCoy Tyner Big Band whose Grammy winning CDs "The Turning Point" and "Journey" included four of Dennis's arrangements.

As an educator, he continues to conduct master classes, seminars, and workshops though out Europe, Asia, Canada and the USA. From 2002-2003, Dennis served as a guest professor at the Royal Conservatory in Aarhus, Denmark and from 2012-2013, he was the Visiting Artist in Jazz Studies at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He is currently a faculty member of the Skidmore Jazz Institute in Saratoga Springs, NY as well as the Birch Creek Summer Jazz Camp in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin.

Some of the other notable musicians Dennis has performed with include: Monty Alexander, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, Hank Jones and Sir George Shearing, who said, "If I ever have a record date coming up that calls for a drummer and Dennis is not available, I'll postpone the session. He's that good."

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