Updated: Mar 29
Every February, Texas administrators and educators from all around the state come to the heart of Texas to celebrate their careers and learn more from one another in a giant convention called Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA).
This is a time when all musicians are encouraged to join together in harmony to recognize students who participated in the All-State Competition, learn from each other during lecture-style meetings regarding the music they teach, as well as visit a large convention catered to aid in the pursuit of an education filled with music.
TMEA is to be hosted in San Antonio at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center where it has been held for the last several years. Every hotel in town is booked for half a year in advance for this crowded event full of eclectic musicians. San Antonio must prepare itself for a whirlwind of different sounds blasting from the center of town, from Beyoncé to Chopin, making the convention one of the most diverse yet harmonious events held in the great State of Texas.
Music teachers, young, seasoned or retired, gather every year to see old friends and some even get to watch their talented students perform in the All-State Clinic and Concerts. Band, choir and orchestra students prepare complex pieces, contemporary and classic, and begin auditioning in the fall semester. The hard work of these young people pays off if they make it past the fourth and final audition, clearing them for the All-State Clinic and performance, where they will be taught by musicians from around the world and have the chance to perform in front of the entire music staff of Texas. The diverse music and introduction to other cultures, within the music and all of the people represented in the All-State groups, help to teach everyone something new and offer a learning environment where it is encouraged to ask hard questions.
Between rehearsals and lectures, there is also an opportunity to go to a convention area where music businesses from around the United States come to sell and offer experiences to people who may not have had the chance otherwise. The best thing about the convention is its ability to cater to anyone, no matter their race, gender identity or culture. All music is welcome to anyone, and it encourages the growth in knowledge about other cultures, as well as a way to express our gratitude for our world and each other. It is a wonderful way to celebrate everyone’s differences, and learn to harmonize with one another.
A part of the convention that Hardin-Simmons University was proud to participate in was the college fair. Many music schools from around the United States come and set up booths to give their program exposure and answer any questions the students might have about attending their university, or what the pursuit of music as a career looks like. Lacey Bilyeu, the Hardin-Simmons Choir President, said, “TMEA was an amazing opportunity to connect with alumni and with future students. I had a wonderful time and learned so much but mostly through the music itself, I was reminded of God’s love for me and plan for my life. It made me excited to be a music educator.”
There is no arguing that music is powerful and can be an important tool for expressing God’s love for us. The love we should all exhibit toward one another can be seen in the words sung by the choir, the passion held in the bout of a cello or in the melody of a french horn. Music helps to bring us all together, and TMEA is such an inspiring and creative way to achieve the harmony our world so desperately needs.