Iowa Bandmasters Association
November 2020 eNews
Membership News
November Business Meeting 

With the cancellation of the Iowa All-State Festival, our November business meeting has been moved online. The meeting will be on Saturday, November 21 at 10:30 am. Please click on the following link to join us!

Meeting ID: 838 0383 7954
Passcode: 8vuYui

All meeting reports are due to by Saturday, November 14. If you have items that you would like to see included on the agenda for that meeting, please contact me at 

Date Changes for IBA Honor Bands

It is time to start thinking about submitting your ensemble to perform as a part of the 2021 conference. While I recognize that all of our programs have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is my hope that we will still be able to feature a full slate of concert bands and jazz bands in May. In order to better accommodate bands who’s rehearsals have been impacted by COVID-19, both the application and recording deadline for bands interested in performing at our conference have been pushed back. 

The Band Performance Application Form must be uploaded to by 11:59 pm on December 18, 2020. Recordings must be uploaded to by 11:59 pm on February 10, 2021. Please contact with any questions.

Mid-October Zoom Week

Thank you to those of you who attended our second Zoom Week of the year. The discussions were very good and insightful. If you did not have an opportunity to attend, recordings of the sessions can be found at the Mid-October Zoom Week page.
2021 IBA Conference May 13-15
We are actively looking for members to contribute sessions and clinics for the 2021 conference. So if you have a specialty or would like to share something with our membership that you are doing within your program, I would encourage you to apply to present a clinic. 

Please fill out the Conference Clinic Application Form and let us know what you’d like to propose! Applications are due November 15th.
IMEA Fall Professional Development Online Conference
The IMEA Fall Professional Development Online Conference is happening on Saturday, November 21 from 8:30am-5:30pm. The conference will provide sessions for all aspects of music education including choral, orchestra, band, general music, technology, new teacher/collegiate, and best practice.

Presenters from across the United States will share their latest research and methodologies. Sessions will be recorded and available to registrants following the conference. The conference is free for IMEA/NAfME members, students, first year teachers, and retired teachers, and only $10 for non-IMEA members. Please click here to register.
From the Podium
Students learn a lot of different things in band. That’s what I love about it. They learn to play their instruments, they learn about melodies and harmonies, and they learn about musicality. But they also learn about cooperation and interdependence. As members of an ensemble, they learn to be subject to one another, working together to create something of great beauty. It is through this process of give and take, through continual commitment to others and to the achievement of communal goals, that students learn the real lifelong lessons that band has to offer.  

Regardless of where on the ideological spectrum you happen to fall, it’s hard to deny the fact that things in our country are as divided as they have been in a long time. In his 2011 lecture Music as Metaphor, Wynton Marsallis discusses the fractured, often selfish nature of our society. “How do we achieve a common ground when individual victories are so much more valued?” he asks. This is a difficult question, but one that we as music teachers are in a unique position to address.  

Our band rooms attract students from every corner of the school. In our ensembles, members of the debate club sit next to football players, who sit next to writers for the school paper and members of the homecoming court. Through band, our students can learn to see past their differences and recognize the humanity in one another. Wynton says that the divides that exist between us have “been resolved harmoniously in our musical arts for more than a century.” And it’s true. Through band, our students have the opportunity to learn how to be the kind of citizens we all hope they will become. Our job as teachers is to help them become those people.  

Imparting this sense of communal sacrifice for the greater good onto our students is critical, perhaps more now than at any time in recent memory. What band teaches about not just coexisting, but about cooperating and working together to achieve more than we ever could on our own will illuminate a path forward towards a more unified, inclusive society. So be good to each other, help your students to see the best in one other, and don’t ever forget the massive power and responsibility we wield every day to elicit positive change for our future in this country.

Chris Strohmaier
IBA President
Iowa Bandmasters Association
94th Annual Conference
May 13 - 15, 2021