Iowa Bandmasters Association
October 2020 eNews
Membership News
Mid-October Zoom Week

Now that most of us have all made it through six weeks of school and hopefully are starting to feel like we have our feet underneath us a little bit more, I would like to invite you all to attend our Mid-October Zoom Week. Our Elementary Affairs, Junior High/Middle School Affairs, Concert Band Affairs, and Jazz Affairs committees will all be hosting an hour long Zoom meeting the week of October 19-23. This will provide an opportunity for us to get together and share successes, difficulties, and questions with one another. The sessions will all be recorded and posted for your reference. Please visit the Mid-October Zoom Week page for specific dates, times, and meeting links.

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.

November Business Meeting 

With the cancellation of the Iowa All-State Festival, our November business meeting will be moved online. The meeting will be on Saturday, November 21 over Zoom. A link for that meeting will be sent out in November. If you have items that you would like to see included at that meeting, please contact me at
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.
Jazz Educators of Iowa
The Jazz Educators of Iowa have commissioned three new pieces specifically designed to help band directors provide meaningful musical experiences to our students during these challenging times. The pieces emulate “flex” compositions, which can be practiced and performed regardless of your instrumentation. The three pieces, which include a grade 2, 3, and 4, come with play-a-long tracks and suggestions for how to teach improvisation. Finalé notation files are also included, which will allow directors to make edits, create SmartMusic files, and help with distance or virtual learning.
The compositions are free to JEI members, which also includes access to other teacher resources, mentoring from experienced directors in all school sizes, and a discount on audition fees for All-State Jazz. Visit to learn more, or contact JEI president Dennis Green at
IAAE Monthly Newsletter
The IAAE Mentorship Committee is currently connecting young professionals with retired and/or active mentors within their disciplines. If you have a 1st or 2nd year arts teacher (or someone who may be new to the arts teaching arena) who would like a mentor, please find more information here.

In addition, the Young Professionals Fall Symposium will be held virtually on Saturday, Oct. 31 from 9:30-2:20pm. The event will include many opportunities for young educators to connect with other arts professionals, learn from experienced mentor/mentee pairs, and attend a variety of sessions from current statewide arts educators. Plus, all first and second year teachers who register for the event will receive a free one-year membership to the IAAE.

Look for registration for this FREE virtual event coming the week of October 12th - all state arts educators are invited to attend!

Many have shared that this year feels like a first one again! We encourage everyone to come together for this fine arts community event!

Find more at our newsletter

From the Podium
It can be easy for us as career teachers to get bogged down by the difficulties of this year, or to adopt the attitude of “we just have to survive until next fall.” That may be true, and there may even be wisdom in that approach. However, if we wish this year away too quickly, we are going to miss out on some truly magical moments with students we will never have together again after this year.  

We can’t lose sight of the fact that while this is just one year of many for us, for our students, this may be the only year they get to be in our classroom, or it may be the last. Of course we have to keep our students safe, but at the same time, we must make sure that we continue to provide experiences that our students can carry with them forever. They won’t be the same experiences that students have gotten in other years, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be just as special. 

Many of our regular events have been canceled this year, and I suspect that many more will go before we are done. We were all saddened by the cancellation of this year’s All-State Music Festival. But at the same time, we support Alan Greiner and the IHSMA Board as they made this difficult decision. We know that it was the right decision for this year. As we look ahead to our conference, which is still seven months away, we know that it may not be able to happen in person either. The Executive Board will continue to evaluate the circumstances surrounding our upcoming conference and will communicate our thought process as we wrestle with what could be another difficult decision.

In the meantime, take care of yourself, take care of each other, and remember that we are all doing the best we can under difficult and changing circumstances.  

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