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My Experience at TMEA by: Lauren Sincerney

This past weekend, Hardin-Simmons University music students attended the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Convention in San Antonio.

TMEA is made up of music educators and students planning to pursue music all across Texas. Once a year, everyone is invited to come and learn from skilled clinicians and also get the opportunity to watch invited ensembles and all state students perform. HSU allowed its music students to attend this event to learn from the different clinics, watch the different ensembles perform and also to help recruit new music students during the college fair. 

The first day of the convention was Feb. 8. Most students left early in the morning to take the four hour drive to San Antonio. Once we arrived, we were instructed to pick up our badges from registration. Then we were free to split up and check out either the clinics or the exhibit hall.

In the exhibit hall, there were many shops and companies that sponsored booths. They sold music, instruments or souvenirs. Others would talk about their company to try and persuade teachers to use their various products. After the exhibit hall, some HSU students decided to check out some clinics. Students learned a lot of valuable information about how different instruments can work or how we can better help teach a class when we get a job.

If not at a clinic, students were hanging out at the HSU music booth at the college fair. Students were all required to sign up for two shifts to help bring in new students, but this also provided a place to relax and get a break between clinics. When the day was done, most of the HSU students got together for dinner  and then headed back to the hotel to rest in preparation for the next day’s activities. 

On Friday, students went back to the convention to attend more clinics and also to watch some performances from invited ensembles. Friday was the day of my shifts so throughout the day I would go to the booth to help recruit. One of my shifts was on college night, which is when all of the all-state high school students were free to check out the college fair. There were hundreds of students who attended and it was our job to interest them in our booth. We talked to many people about our program and a number of them seemed interested.

 We also talked about the brand new College of Arts and Media that the HSU Board of Trustees approved just a few days before. Under the new  college heading will be the department of art, department of communication, school of music, department of theater and also the fine arts educators. We told the students about the advancements that it is expected to bring to HSU. After the college fair, there was an alumni reception. We were allowed to go and we got to talk to HSU alumnus and get to know them. That event ended the second day. 

The last day of the convention was filled with a few clinics, but the main part was the All-State performances. All-State is where highschoolers go through rigorous rounds or auditions until just the best of the best are left. They then attend the convention and learn music to be performed for the TMEA members on the last day. I was lucky enough to attend four of these concerts. I got to see the Small School Choir, Treble Choir, Tenor-Bass, choir and the All-State Mixed Choir. They each had an amazing performance with incredible songs. Some of the songs were commissioned just for them. My favorite of the choirs was the All-State Mixed Choir. When we were in the audience and went to listen to them sing, it was beautiful. You could really tell just how much work they each put into their music and you knew exactly why they were chosen to be in the top choir. It was my favorite part of the entire convention. After the concerts were over, all of the HSU students headed back to campus.

Overall, the convention was an incredible experience and I would suggest to all students who are pursuing music to attend. It was a great time to learn and also to meet new people who are studying exactly what you are studying. I had a spectacular time and will definitely be attending for years to come.


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