This email contains follow up information from our virtual state conference, the virtual district solo and ensemble contest, OMEA award recipients, the OMEA Composition Contest winners, reminder to register for the All Northwest virtual conference, announcing our new OMEA 2nd Vice President, and new recommendations and guidance for music programs and the reopening of school buildings follow Gov. Brown's December announcement.
For more details, continue reading below.
2021 Virtual Conference Success!
Congratulations to Kristi Stingle for running a fantastic virtual state conference this weekend!

If you weren’t able to attend and would still like to see the recorded sessions, you can still register through Opus through Saturday, January 23. 

If you attended the conference and would like to view sessions you missed, they will be made available soon. Visit our website for updates Conference Information Page

If you attend the conference and wish to receive a certificate for PDUs earned, submit your hours through this google form
OMEA 2021 Virtual District Solo & Chamber Contest
In light of the many challenges facing schools across the state and the difficulties in planning events, OMEA is hosting and facilitating all “district-level” Solo & Ensemble events.

District S&E festivals will take place digitally and all applicants will register through OPUS.

A summary of key points is provided below. For more details, please see this slide show: < >.

Additional resources are provided on the OMEA website as
General Information

  • The State OMEA organization is hosting, managing, and funding a digital High School “district-level” event for all districts.
  • NO districts need to plan their own High School solo & ensemble event, in-person, digital, or otherwise. There is no cost to district organizations whatsoever.
  • If desired, districts can easily arrange their own middle school event following the same guidelines and using the OPUS platform. Reach out to your district chair and OPUS Contact, Rick Lysen at  
  • Students will upload VIDEO only Solo or Ensemble files through OPUS. They can record live using the OPUS platform or upload pre-recorded files.
  • Submissions must be recorded live and in one take. Editing or altering of video submissions is still not allowed and will disqualify the student  
  • Students must adhere to all county and school COVID guidelines when recording
  • Submissions will be adjudicated at a District level so there can still be first place winners, alternates, etc. These individuals will advance to the state level as usual.
  • This is a one-year only plan. The goal is to return to on-site events run by individual districts for the ‘21-’22 school year.

  • January 18: Registration via Opus opens
  • February 27: Registration closes
  • March 13: Submission deadline
  • April 5: District level results released/Registration for State events begins

District Level Fees:
  • $15 per solo
  • $15 per ensemble (regardless of size)
  • OPUS is charging $5/entry and we are paying judges $10/entry rather than a flat fee. Please know that OMEA is making NO money on this event.
State Level Fees:
  • ~$25 per ensemble (regardless of size)
  • TBD pending decisions from OSAA. This might be as much as $25 per solo

Notes on the Video Recordings
  • Submissions must be video recordings clearly showing the student(s).
  • No ceiling fan shots, please. As usual, editing of recordings is not allowed.
  • Can be pre-recorded and uploaded or recorded live using the OPUS platform.  
  • Recordings must be completed in one take. If a student performs multiple movements or selections, they must all be presented in a single, unedited video.
  • Accompaniment is allowed but not required. Accompaniment may be live, pre-recorded, or electronic (SmartMusic, etc.)
  • If playing with a pre-recorded or electronic accompaniment track, the track must be played live with the student during the video recording. Adding the accompaniment track to the video recording afterward is considered digitally altering the video and will disqualify the student.

ENSEMBLE NOTE: Ensembles MUST BE RECORDED LIVE for consideration to the state event. Ensembles must follow any COVID modifications for their county or school district.

Digitally combined ensembles are only permissible for comments and will not be eligible for the state event. 

Adjudicating Notes
  • All submissions will be tagged with their district number. A single judge will hear all the entries from an entire district, resulting in uniform and fair judging in that district. Students will only be compared to other applicants in their district. 
  • If you are unsure of which District your school is in, please use this link to identify your District:  
  • There will still be first place winners, alternates, etc. These individuals will advance to the state level as usual.
  • Students will receive scores (unless participating for comments only), written comments, and may receive audio or video comments also. 

State Solo and Ensemble Events

  • State Championships for Solo and Ensemble both are still happening.
  • It is unclear at this time if OSAA is still going to host the state solo championships. If they do, these electronic submissions and plans will gain students admittance to the state event.
  • If OSAA does not host state solo this year, OMEA will host instead.
  • Costs and exact details for Championship events are TBA at this time but there may be a cost, even for State Solo (this would be new this year and a temporary situation.)
  • State Ensemble has always had a fee, and this year’s entry fees would actually be a reduction compared to a normal year. 
  • Students who advance to either the state solo or state ensemble events are encouraged to make a new recording but are not required to do so.
  • For Ensembles to qualify for the State event, all students in the ensemble must be present at the time of the recording and be following all county and school COVID guidelines. No video recordings with digitally combined ensembles will be considered for State participation.

School Reopening Guidance
OMEA Membership, 

In late December, ​Governor Brown eased restrictions​ around reopening Oregon schools, giving control of reopening timelines to individual school districts. As many districts re-evaluate these timelines, music teachers across Oregon are now being asked to prepare for Hybrid or In-Person learning. 

District leadership teams and music teachers alike have many questions on how to teach music safely and effectively in these models during a pandemic. Misinformation and confusion are making an already stressful situation even more taxing on music students, parents, teachers, and decision-makers. 

OMEA wants to assure you and music program stakeholders that ​music education CAN take place safely​ with proper precautions and leveraging scientific evidence.
At our recent board meeting, OMEA adopted the​ ​Recommendations for Re-Entry: K-12 Music.​ This document is a compilation of available and pertinent information on how to meet with your students safely. This is not a document of rules, it is a document of recommendations--​you and your district can choose to use this information in whatever way works best for you.​ 

Please take time to read the a​ uthor's perspective​ on page 3 for some narrative descriptions and advocacy talking points. This document can be a valuable resource to educate stakeholders around safely playing, singing, and making music together. 

Thank you,
OMEA Executive Board 

2021 OMEA Award Recipients
We are so proud to announce this year's OMEA Award Winners. They are all so deserving of recognition.

Excellence in Elementary Music Award
Kendra Kay Friar
Outstanding Contributor Award
Randy Graves and Peter Heithoff of Bend Instrument Repair
Outstanding Administrator Award
Lara Tiffin, South Salem High School Principal
Outstanding Administrator Award
Guadalupe Guerrero, Superintendent of Portland Public Schools
Outstanding Music Educator Award
Dijana Ihas
Exemplary Service Award
Larry Graves
John C. McManus Award
Steve Peter
If you know of someone you feel should receive an award next year, be sure to submit a nomination through our website. You can view the past winners of these awards along with descriptions for each category. OMEA Awards Page
OMEA 2021 Student Composition Contest
We are excited to announce the 2021 OMEA Composition Contest Winners!

Elementary – no submissions

Middle School:
o   Co-Champion: Nocturne in E-minor by Russell Martino; John Daly, teacher
o   Co-Champion: City Night by Haruka Sakiyama from Athey Creek Middle School; Ryan Uldall, teacher
o   Honorable Mentions:
§  Jazz Song by Ashton Cochrun from Sherwood Middle School; Mike Dyer, teacher
§  Just a Piano, Finale (4th Movement) “The Fruits of My Labor” by Micah Dahl from Highland Park Middle School; Mandy Burton, teacher
§  Mythical Conquest by Alexander Denny from Athey Creek Middle School, Ryan Uldall, teacher

High School:
o   Co-Champion: Kintsugi Theme and Variations by Sam Ibarra from McKay High School; Alexander Figueroa, teacher
o   Co-Champion: Suite du Cirque by Koharu Sakiyama from West Linn High School; Kevin Egan, teacher
o   Honorable Mentions:
§  In Waning Winter by Jake Billard from Sandy High School; Alec Chase, teacher
§  Overcome by Colin Hamilton from Molalla River High School; Matthew Farris, teacher
§  Cloudburst by Henry Stubbert from Sheldon High School; Kami Hendrix, teacher

Visit our website to hear recordings of each piece!

Congratulations to our new 2nd Vice President - Chris Nelson!
Our new 2nd Vice President, Chris Nelson, will begin his term July 2021, and he will chair the 2023 state conference.

Register for the Northwest Conference & the NAfME National Conference!

NW NAfME Virtual Conference Thursday, February 11 through Sunday, February 14 2021
  • Pre-register for best prices by January 31, 2021.
  • Registration will remain open February 1-10 at higher prices.
  • NAfME member delegates from the six Northwest Division states may register online and via mail, fax, or scan/email.
  • NAfME member delegates from all U.S. states outside the Northwest Division may register via mail, fax or scan/email only (not online).
  • Click here for conference information including headliners, policies and pricing, registration instructions, link to online registration through OpusEvent, mail-in registration form and conference schedule.

Advocacy and Online Resources
Advocacy and Music Education Supports

We all know that music is an essential part of our students’ academic and social-emotional learning. As the music education expert in your building and district, we strongly encourage you to reach out to your leadership, be involved, and advocate for your students, your music colleagues, and yourself. Remind your administrators that music is part of a well-rounded education, as defined at the federal level by the Every Student Succeeds Act. Here are a number of resources for you:
  • National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Music Directors & Adjudicators
  • Articles on Performing Arts COVID-19 Guidance, COVID-19 Instrument Cleaning, Online Learning, Publishers Allowing Educational Use of Copyrighted Music, etc.

OMEA Executive Director Announcement
The OMEA Executive Director, Carolyn Sutton, will be on maternity leave beginning Tuesday, January 19, and will be checking and responding to emails intermittently. 

If you have a question regarding our virtual OMEA Conference, please visit our website and our conference information page Or you can contact the Conference Chair, Kristi Stingle,

If you would like to submit your hours attended at the conference and receive a PDU certificate, fill out the google form

For questions regarding the virtual OMEA District Chamber and Solo Contests, visit our website here

For State Chamber Contest questions, email Gary Riler at

For State Solo Contest questions, email Nathan Irby at

For Opus Event website related questions, email Stuart Welsh at

Other district contest committee members are: 
Kristi Stingle, strings:
Erika Lockwood, vocal:
Branden & Megan Hansen, band:

Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Wallowa Music Camp
Fellow Oregon Music Educators,

Andy Nelson here, band director and music teacher for the past 29 years here in Oregon and Idaho, and I have a request for you. I have been fortunate to be part of the Music at Wallowa’s Camps for 9 years now and can honestly say they are the finest, most enriching music camps I have been involved with. Most of you have sent students, and I am sure would agree that the camps are exceptionally enriching. Check this link for more info about the camps...Wallowa Music Camp 

In an effort to move forward for our students and their music education, the Music Camps at Wallowa Lake Board has been hard at work planning our camps for this coming Summer 2021. Please complete this short survey ( to help us plan the safest and most rewarding camp for our students.  Also, please share this email with your colleagues, students, and their families...all are encouraged to complete the survey by January 22 to give us a wide perspective as we look to move forward and provide the best, safest, most enriching music camp/educational experience possible.

Thank you most sincerely,

Andy Nelson
North Albany Middle School Band Director
Head Counselor, Woodwinds at Wallowa Music Camp

Oregon Music Education Association
560 NE F ST STE A PMB 732
Grants Pass, OR 97526