February 13, 2021
The challenge to play over 100 times collectively in chamber ensembles in our community was accomplished in 6 months during the 2015-2016 school year. What began as a service learning project aimed at getting students to embrace chamber music and share their music with the community suddenly became something much more: as students played at nursing homes, middle and elementary schools, homeless shelters, hospitals, churches and other community events, a sense of purpose in each and every musician took on a life of its own.

Michael Pavlik is the Director of Bands at York High School. He received his Bachelor of Music Education and performance certificate in trumpet from Elmhurst College, and a Masters in Wind Band Conducting from University of Northern Colorado. Mr. Pavlik has received six Citations of Excellence from the National Band Association for Outstanding Contribution to Bands and Band Music. He has had both middle school and high school bands perform at the prestigious Illinois SuperState Band Festival. He has been invited twice to speak about York’s Chamber Ensemble Program at the Midwest Clinic, an International Band and Orchestra Conference. In 2018 he was invited to speak about the York Music Outreach Program at the National Association of Music Educators National Conference in Dallas, TX. He was the recipient of the 2017 Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra Music Inspiration Award and has presented at the Illinois Music Educators State Conference. As Director of Bands at York, Mr. Pavlik oversees the Symphonic, Concert, Cadet, Marching, Pep and Jazz Bands. He lives in Elmhurst with his wife Carol and they have 4 children: Clark (24), Ben (20), Reese (16), and daughter Eva (13).
A total of 204 students from 40 teachers participated in the online January AIM Theory exam for levels 5 through 12.

AIM Levels 3-9 Performance Exams will be held on Sunday, March 14, 2021. Video of Repertoire Submission Deadline: March 6, 2021

AIM Levels 10-12 Performance Exams will be held Sunday, April 18, 2021. Registration Deadline: March 11, 2021
Video of Repertoire Submission Deadline: April 10, 2021
Level 12 Recitals by July 31, 2021

The camp scholarship has 2 divisions: Junior division, up to 8th grade - Senior division, 9th through 12th grades. This is for any instrument, but the student must be studying the instrument with a teacher who belongs to NWSMTA for at least 2 years. 1st place winners in each division receive $300 and 2nd place winners in each division will receive $200. The checks will be made out to the camp that the student will be attending. The scholarship is open to students attending a music camp in person or virtually if that might still be the case this year. Enrollment form, and information regarding rules and requirements are on the website. Click on FOR MEMBERS, STUDENT EVENT INFORMATION, CAMP SCHOLARSHIP. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.

Deadline to apply is April 15th.

Pat Borchardt


The $1000 college scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors who will be either majoring or minoring in music at a college or university. The scholarship is open to all instruments and the teacher of this instrument must be a member of NWSMTA for at least 2 years. The scholarship will be paid in 2 installments, the first installment of $500 will be sent to the school for the Fall Semester and the 2nd installment of $500 will be sent to the school after the student has sent the chairperson a copy of acceptable grades from the first semester. Enrollment form, information regarding all requirements and rules are on the website. Click on FOR MEMBERS, STUDENT EVENT INFORMATION, COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact me.

Deadline to apply is April 15th.

Pat Borchardt    
I served as a judge for the first two AIM exams. It was a delight to see how prepared the students were, how appreciative the parents were and how well the registration and judging were handled. 

Behind the scenes is where all the real excitement is. I am getting a better appreciation of how difficult creating software is. Apparently, it is well-known among software engineers that at some point it is time to shoot the engineer. Every change that's made runs the danger of creating multiple new problems. The only way to stop them from creating problems is to just stop. Computers do what you tell them, not what you want them to do.

Only fifteen students were "misplaced" during registration. Most of them were found. Electronic score sheets were a new addition.  As last minute changes crept in, it caused judges' score sheets to go to the wrong location. Luckily, they were only cyber locations. We also have a new online Aural Skills test that works so well, we may never want to go back to the old way. 

The response to online AIM exams was so positive that we had 500 students, in multiple chapters, attempting to take their Aural Skills exam on the same day. People had difficulty getting in due to the large number of users. The software had to be restructured and should not be an issue for future exams. 

The day of the second exam we received a polar amount of snow. I remember a few years of trying to get through the Harper parking lot to judge exams. This year I sat at my own piano in my warm living room sans shoes.

Helen Chang was beyond Wonder Woman with her super powers. We are where we are, because of her calm in the midst of a storm in unchartered waters. It was wonderful to be aboard with her at the helm. We owe her much for filling a position that remained open to the point of possibly cancelling the exam. NWSMTA continues to lead, because of its own powerful leadership.

Deborah Lynch
Newsletter Editor