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"After Hours:  Conversations for Music Educators" is a podcast just for band directors, orchestra directors, music instructors, and other music educators. Each episode features a conversation with music educators trying new, innovative ways to tackle today's challenges. We will exchange questions, ideas, best practices, and lessons learned. To access recordings, resources, and other helpful items from each session, visit the pages below.

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Director Spotlight: Richie Williams (Part Two)

Panelist - Richie Williams

“Richie” Williams has been the Director of Bands at Paragould High School since 2008 and is the 13thdirector of the programs successful 83 year history. Mr. Williams previously taught band in the Westside School District of Jonesboro, AR. At Paragould, Mr. Williams conducts the Symphonic Band, the Paragould “PRIDE” Marching Band, the Sr. High Jazz Band, team teaches beginning brass & woodwind classes, team teaches Jr. High Intermediate Bands, and is the Instrumental Music Coordinator for the Paragould School District.

To read the rest of Richie's bio, visit the page from his first episode on After Hours.

 

 

 

Description

Nick Averwater continues his conversation with Richie Williams, Director of Bands at Paragould High School in Paragould, Arkansas. In this episode, Richie talks about the challenges that success can bring to a music program, and shares some of the things he would have done differently in his early days as a band director. Our chat with Richie is presented in two episodes. This is Part 2.

Podcast

 
Posted by Amro Music at Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Director Spotlight: Richie Williams (Part One)

Panelist - Richie Williams

“Richie” Williams has been the Director of Bands at Paragould High School since 2008 and is the 13thdirector of the programs successful 83 year history. Mr. Williams previously taught band in the Westside School District of Jonesboro, AR. At Paragould, Mr. Williams conducts the Symphonic Band, the Paragould “PRIDE” Marching Band, the Sr. High Jazz Band, team teaches beginning brass & woodwind classes, team teaches Jr. High Intermediate Bands, and is the Instrumental Music Coordinator for the Paragould School District.

Mr. Williams is a Native American of the Cherokee and Apache tribes. His given Indian name is Guianta Mescatero, which when translated means “Red Magic”. Born in Parsons, TN; Mr. Williams has resided in both Memphis & West Memphis, and has now lived in Paragould for the past 27 years, where he is a graduate of Paragould High School (formally known as Ridgecrest) . His previous public school directors and mentors include George Pokorski (Marion Schools), Trey Reely (previously of the Paragould Schools), and he interned with Steve Warner (Jonesboro Schools). Mr. Williams’ high school accomplishments include Student Council President, President of the Arkansas Schools Student Council Board, All-State Trumpet, Lead Trumpet in the Inaugural All-State Jazz Band, and regular member of the First Band on the Regional level from 8th-12th grade on both French Horn & trumpet.

Mr. Williams attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR, where he studied trumpet with the legendary Richard Jorgensen, who has been Principal Chair Trumpet of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra since 1976. He received both his Bachelors in Instrumental & Choral Music Education, as well as his Masters in Instrumental Wind Conducting. He has studied conducting with Dr. Tom O’Neal, Dr. Timothy Oliver, Dr. Neale Bartee, Dr. Jack Stamp, Dr. Ricky Brooks, and Dr. Gary Hill.

Mr. Williams’ twelve year stint as Director of Bands at Paragould High School have seen the program receive a remarkable list of accomplishments and growth. Prior to teaching, he spent the previous ten years in management & sales, with the last six as a Regional Sales Director for a soft drink corporation. He is the 2012 Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Young Band Director of the Year for the State of Arkansas. He is also the 2015 School Band and Orchstra "50 Directors in America Who make A Difference". In addition, he is a 2016 & 2018 Recording Academy & GRAMMY Museum National Music Educator of the Year national quarterfinalist (top 188 music teachers in America). He is the 2016 Kiwanis Club of Paragould Business Person of the Year and the 2017 Paragould Christmas Parade Grand Marshall. Under his leadership, the band program has received a Blue Ribbon Award from the National Band Association as one of only 8 programs to receive this in 2017. NAMM has named the Paragould School District one of the Best Communities in America for four straight years for music education. His Symphonic Band was the featured Honor Ensemble at the 2017 Arkansas All-State Music Conference for Class AAAA. The Paragould Pride Marching Band is the 4-Time Consecutive Arkansas Marching Band State Champions for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and they received 7th place in the nation at the US Bands National Championship in 2017. His bands are 11-time consecutive recipients of the ASBOA Sweepstakes Award (Arkansas’ highest honor awarded to band programs), consistent recipients of Superior Ratings in Concert & Marching performances, National Champions of the Heritage Music Concert Festival, St. Louis, MO in 2010, 38-time Grand Champions and Reserve Grand Champions at various Arkansas, Tennessee, & Mississippi Invitational Marching Events. Mr. Williams’ marching bands have received hundreds of awards & honors for various captions, class, & overall accomplishments. The program has also been one of the leaders in placing students in All-Region concert & jazz bands, as well as on the state level. Under Mr. Williams' leadership, the program has seen tremendous growth growing from 140+ students (7th-12th grade) in 2008 to it's current state of over 400+ students (7th-12th grade). Over 75% of the entire 7th grade class participates in beginning band each year, with over 35% of the entire 7th-12th grade campus participating in the band program!

Mr. Williams is an active marching & concert band adjudicator and his professional memberships include ASBOA, ABA, Phi Beta Mu, and National Band Association. He is a Board Member for Dixie Band Camp, the South's oldest band camp & the second oldest in the United States. He is also the Arkansas School Band & Orchestra Association (ASBOA) Region V Chairman and a member of the ASBOA Executive Board. He is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi. He was the Director of Music for the West View Baptist Church (SBC) in Paragould, AR from 2006-2018. From 2007-2017, Mr. Williams was the Public Address Announcer & “Voice of Lady Red Wolves Basketball” at Arkansas State University.

He has a gorgeous twelve year old daughter, named Dixie Danielle and a remarkably handsome seven year old son, named Dexter Alexander. In his “free time”, Mr. Williams enjoys yard work, is the Master of Ceremonies and singer/performer in a local music variety show entitled “The Ultimate Oldies Show” at the Historic Collin’s Theater, frequently serves as a Public Address Announcer, Master of Ceremonies, and a Public Speaker throughout the state of Arkansas, and enjoys the role of "The Best Daddy Ever", as awarded by his children.  He attends All Saints' Episcopal Church in Paragould.

Description

Nick Averwater talks with Richie Williams, Director of Bands at Paragould High School in Paragould, Arkansas. In his 13 years there, the music program has gained a reputation as one of the best in the state. Our chat with Richie is presented in two episodes. This is Part 1.

Podcast

 

 

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, February 26, 2021

Hacking Music Practice

Panelist

Dan Emery

Dan Emery is dedicated to bringing the thrill and pride of guitar playing to all who desire it. He is the founder of NYC’s friendliest and fastest growing guitar schools, New York City Guitar SchoolBrooklyn Guitar School and Queens Guitar School.. He is the author of the Amazon best selling guitar book “Guitar For Absolute Beginners” and several other books on guitar playing and deliberate practice. He has a Masters in Education from Columbia University Teachers College, and extensive performing experience as songwriter and guitarist for The Dan Emery Mystery Band. Besides loving to play guitar and teach guitar, he enjoys coaching new business owners in the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Accelerator Program, learning about music from his three kids, going for long walks with his wife, and reading books. His official life mission is “coaching personal greatness, one lesson at a time.”

 

Podcast Summary

On this week's episode, we hosted Dan Emery. Dan is the Founder and CEO of NYC Guitar School, one of the fastest growing guitar schools in the country. Dan attributes much of his explosive growth to their emphasis on teaching students how to fall in love with music through effective practice. During this conversation, we discussed what science tells us about effective practice when learning an instrument, how to help your students form great practice habits from the get-go, and why will-power alone isn't enough when learning an instrument.

 

Video Recording

After Hours S2E10: Hacking Music Practice with Dan Emery

 

Podcast

 

 

Resources

Downloadable PDF of NYC Guitar School's Student Workbook, "A Journal Of Personal Greatness One Lesson At A Time"

Dan has provided 20 lessons that you are welcome to copy and share with your students, or just read on your own. Although the workbook is focused on guitar, most of the lessons are useful for any music student. 

Overview of Basic Practice Concepts

Ready, Set, Play! Free Guitar for Beginners Video Quick Start

This is a free course for beginner guitarists with 24 videos and a 22 page PDF. Please share with your students!

Purchase the Beginners Guitar Songbook

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, February 19, 2021

Kick-Start Your Beginner Recruiting Efforts for Fall 2021

Panelists

Marcia Neel

Marcia served as a public school music educator for 36 years—14 of those as the Secondary Fine Arts Coordinator for the Clark County School District, the nation’s fifth-largest, headquartered in Las Vegas, NV. She currently serves as president of Music Education Consultants, Inc., a consortium of music education professionals working with a variety of educational organizations, arts associations, and school districts to foster the growth and breadth of standards-based, music education programs.

She also serves as Education Advisor to the Music Achievement Council, a 501(c)(6) organization whose purpose is to enable more students to begin and continue in instrumental music programs through effective professional development programs for educators. In 2016, Neel was named Senior Director of Education for the Band and Orchestral Division of Yamaha Corporation of America and more recently, Marcia was named a Yamaha Master Educator. In 2018, Marcia accepted a position on the Board of Directors of the Percussive Arts Society. 

 

Barry Trobaugh

Barry Trobaugh is in his 39th year as a music educator and in his 26th year as Director of Bands at Munford High School in Munford Tennessee.  His bands have been recognized for their outstanding performances through marching band, concert ensembles and jazz ensembles.  Among the awards, Munford is the USBands 2011 National Champions, three-time Southern States Champions and three-time TN State Champions.  Most recently, the Munford Band has performed “coast to coast” with their 2015 “This is Elvis” presentation in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC and the 2019 “The Music of Memphis” presentation in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena CA.  Barry has served as President of both the Regional and State Band Associations and continues to lead as the All State Chair for West TN School Band and Orchestra Association. Barry is a member of TnMEA, ASBDA, WTSBOA, Tennessee Bandmasters Association and the Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu.

​Trobaugh’s work has been chronicled in the 2011 School Band and Orchestra Magazine as one of the “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” in the 2015 Tennessee Magazine, in Sharlene Habermeyer’s book:  Good Music, Brighter Children as well as the feature article in April 2018 issue of the Instrumentalist.

​Barry has been chosen twice as Teacher of the Year at Munford High School and was selected as a finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year in 2016.  He has also been recognized twice by the CMA Foundation for his role as a leader in music education.

 

Tyler Swick

Tyler Swick is a music educator and performer residing in Las Vegas, NV. Swick was recently awarded the Heart of Education Award, one of the highest honors for Nevada teachers. His passion for education and all things music can be found on his YouTube Channel, Swick's Classroom. Tyler is a trained in leader in Me, School-Wide Positive Behavior, CHAMPS, and The Ron Clark Academy House System. He has performed on stage with Bad Bunny in the 2019 Latin Grammy's. Swick has also performed with Mike Portnoy, Kieth Urban, Tracii Guns, Billy Sheehan, Stephen Perkins and Logic. Swick's compositions have been selected for festivals and competition across the country. Winning 2nd and 3rd place in the 2013 PASIC Composition Contest and selected as the finale to the 2017 Steel Pan New Literature concert.

 

Podcast Summary

In this week's episode of After Hours, our panel of expert music educators shared how to get a jump on your beginner recruiting for Fall 2021. In part one of this two part conversation, we discussed how to proactively plan for a great recruiting season, including important conversations to have with your building principal, elementary teachers and counselors to maximize your efforts.

 

Video Recording

 

Podcast

 

Resources

Sign up to receive the Post-Pandemic Planning Guide at www.msfq.com/org

View previous editions of the Post-Pandemic Planning Guide at https://yamahaeducatorsuite.com/post-pandemic-planning-guide

 

Professional Development Letter

Download Letter

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, February 12, 2021

Director Spotlight: Greg & Hope Bruner

Panelists

Greg Bruner

Greg Bruner teaches the Senior Band, Senior High Jazz Band, assists with Junior Band and teaches Beginning Band Percussion Class. Mr. Bruner is a 1987 graduate of Highland High School. Growing up as a Methodist minister’s son, he attended many schools before finishing 8th-12 grade at Highland. He attended Arkansas State University (BME/MME) . After teaching six years at Corning, Mr. Bruner returned to Highland and is in his 21st year as the high school band director.

Mr. Bruner is the immediate Past President of the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association where he has served on the board for seven years, and he is the Executive Secretary of the Arkansas chapter of Phi Beta Mu, an honorary band fraternity. He also serves on the Board of DIrectors of Dixie Band Camp.

Under Mr. Bruner's direction, the Highland Bands have earned regional, state, and national recognition for having a superior band. Each year many students from the Highland Band go to college because of band scholarships and many have gone on to be band directors and professional musicians.

Mr. and Mrs. Bruner have three sons: Harrison, Luke, and Evan. In his spare time, Mr. Bruner enjoys any type of DIY project, and his band kids joke “Mr. Bruner can build anything out of PVC.” In the summer you can find Mr. Bruner building or landscaping something, or possibly playing Zelda.

Hope Bruner

Hope Davis Bruner is a 1989 graduate of Highland High School. She graduated from Arkansas State University in 1993 and taught at Biggers-Reyno and Piggott before moving home to Highland. Mrs. Bruner is the director of the Junior Band and teaches the beginning band brass (trumpet/trombone) class. She also assists with Senior Band and Jazz Band. Mrs. Bruner has played the trumpet for over 30 years. She loves teaching middle school students - especially beginners - and she loves wearing hats! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Nick Averwater talks with Hope and Greg Bruner, band directors in the Highland School District in northeastern Arkansas. They talk about what it's like maintaining a successful band program in a small, rural community, balancing family time and work time, and techniques for recruiting and retaining new students.

 

Podcast

 

Posted by Amro Music at Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Improving Student Morale and Engagement during COVID-19

Panelists

Stephen Price (South Gibson County H.S., Medina, TN)

Kaitlin Roll (Annie Camp Jr. High School, Jonesboro, TN)

Jacob Campos (Franklin High School, Franklin, TN)

 

Podcast Summary

Our panel of expert educators shared how they are addressing student morale and improving student engagement during the spring semester. We shared curriculum ideas, communication techniques, and more to help you stay connected with your students and improve morale.

 

Video Recording

 

 

Podcast

 

 

 

Professional Development Attendance Letter

Download Letter

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, February 5, 2021

Make 2021 Your Best Year Yet

Panelists

Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser

Vice President of Education - Conn-Selmer, Inc.

Tim Lautzenheiser's career spans ten years of college band directing at Northern Michigan University, the University of Missouri, and New Mexico State University.  After serving as Executive Director of Bands of America, he created Attitude Concepts, Inc. to accommodate the many requests for student leadership workshops, convention speaking and professional development presentations for educators. Tim's books, produced by G.I.A. Publications, are best-sellers in the music profession. He is also co-author of Hal Leonard's popular band method, Essential Elements.

 

 

 

 

Podcast Summary

Dr. Tim joined us to share his thoughts on the impact of COVID-19 on music education, what challenges are on the horizon, and what steps we can take to make 2021 our best year yet.

 

Video Recording

 

Podcast

 

 

Professional Development Attendance Letter

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, January 22, 2021

Recruiting Resources from Yamaha

Panelists

Lisa Steele-MacDonald

Director of Marketing -  Yamaha Band & Orchestra Division

Lisa Steele-MacDonald is responsible for promotion and brand management of Yamaha band and orchestral instruments in the United States. Steele-MacDonald has more than a decade of experience in marketing across all media. She works to strengthen communications and interactions with Yamaha customers and supporters, and has helped to deepen the company’s impact in the band and orchestral instrument realm. Her areas of expertise include brand strategy and positioning, building strategic partnerships, social media and content marketing, executing integrated marketing programs and delivering promotions/ communications campaigns designed to achieve corporate objectives.

 

Tyler Swick

Music Educator and Performer

Tyler Swick is a music educator and performer residing in Las Vegas, NV. Swick was recently awarded the Heart of Education Award, one of the highest honors for Nevada teachers. His passion for education and all things music can be found on his YouTube Channel, Swick's Classroom. Tyler is a trained in leader in Me, School-Wide Positive Behavior, CHAMPS, and The Ron Clark Academy House System. He has performed on stage with Bad Bunny in the 2019 Latin Grammy's. Swick has also performed with Mike Portnoy, Kieth Urban, Tracii Guns, Billy Sheehan, Stephen Perkins and Logic. Swick's compositions have been selected for festivals and competition across the country. Winning 2nd and 3rd place in the 2013 PASIC Composition Contest and selected as the finale to the 2017 Steel Pan New Literature concert.

 

Podcast Summary

Lisa Steele-MacDonald, Director of Marketing for Yamaha's Band and Orchestral Division and Tyler Swick, music educator, join us to discuss Yamaha's unique partnership with Disney to grow music awareness and participation featuring Disney Pixar's newest release, Soul. We left the session with ideas and resources to grow our program during the upcoming semester.

 

Video Recording

 

Podcast

 

 

Resources

 

Professional Development Attendance Letter

Posted by Amro Music at Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The State of Music Education and Deciding Where to Go from Here

Panelist

Scott Lang

For over a decade Scott Lang has been educating and entertaining audiences of all ages. As a nationally known leadership trainer, Scott conducts over 120 workshops annually and works with some of our country’s finest educational groups and performing ensembles.

As a highly decorated veteran teacher of sixteen years Scott's bands have had many notable performances including the Pasadena Tournament of Rose Parade, the Music Educators National Biennial Conference and for the President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton. Scott is a well regarded author with over ten publications to his credit including; Seriously?!, Leader of the Band, Leadership Success, Leadership Travel Guide, Leadership Survival Guide, Sound Leadership and is the creator of the highly successful Be Part of the Music series.

Mr. Lang currently resides in Chandler, Arizona with his beautiful wife Leah and their sons, Brayden, Evan and their highly irrational Golden Retriever Rexie. He has breathed in and out approximately 264 million times and plans to keep on doing so until he doubles that number.

 

Podcast Summary

Scott Lang, founder of Be Part of the Music, discussed the "State of Music Education" survey that was recently completed by 2,100 music educators across the country. We discussed the survey's findings, what it means for music education, and where we go from here.

 

Video Recording

Coming soon!

 

Podcast

 

 

Resources

State of Music Education Survey Results

 

Professional Development Attendance Letter

Posted by Amro Music at Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Developing Student Leaders in Your Music Program

Panelist

Dr. Brandon Robinson

Marcia Neel

Dr. Brandon E. Robinson is a devoted music educator, clinician, drill designer, music arranger, and composer with more than twenty years of service. A native of Blytheville, Arkansas, Robinson has traveled the southern United States working with groups of all sizes. He is passionate about instilling a love and appreciation for music in all students he works with- from D1 university wind ensembles to rural beginning band students.

Robinson is currently the Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, MS. He has presented workshops across the United States including The Midwest Clinic, the Music For All Summer Symposium, and the Texas Music Educators Association Annual Conference. Kappa Kappa Psi presented Dr. Robinson with the “Outstanding Sponsor” award for his service as a sponsor of the Kappa Zeta chapter at Wake Forest University during the 2017 biannual national convention.

Robinson received his Bachelor of Music Education and Masters of Music in Instrumental conducting from Arkansas State University and completed his graduate studies from his Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education from the University of Mississippi.

When not in the classroom, Robinson can be found playing gigs with local jazz combos, watching any and all college sports, or catching the latest game by his beloved St. Louis Cardinals with his family.

 

Podcast Summary

In this episode of "After Hours: Conversations for Music Educators", we hosted Dr. Brandon Robinson, the Assistant Professor of Music Education and Director of Bands for the Mississippi University of Women. We discussed the following questions:

  • Why is it important that we develop student leaders in our program?
  • What are the signs of a healthy student leadership development program?
  • What are some intentional ways to develop your student leaders?
  • How can we develop student leaders during COVID?

 

Video Recording

 

 

Podcast

 

 

Resources

Contact Dr. Robinson:

By email:  brobinson2@muw.edu

By phone: 901-262-1936

 

Professional Development Attendance Letter

Download Letter
Posted by Amro Music at Saturday, November 21, 2020

Hosting a Beginner Concert In-Person or Online

Panelists

Marcia Neel

Marcia Neel

A veteran of 36 years in public school music education, Marcia Neel has directed successful secondary music programs in Connecticut, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Nevada. She received her Bachelors Degree in Music Education with a concentration in Choral Music from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and her Master of Arts Degree in History from the University of Nevada Las Vegas specializing in 20th Century Labor History. She served as Coordinator of Secondary Fine Arts for the Clark County School District (CCSD), headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, from 1994 until her retirement in 2007. Neel currently serves as president of Music Education Consultants, Inc., a consortium of music education professionals which works with a variety of educational organizations, arts associations, and school districts to foster the growth and breadth of articulated, music education programs for all children. In 2016, Marcia was named Senior Director of Education for Yamaha Corporation of America and in this position, consults with numerous school districts to assist in the development of a variety of facets of their Music and Arts Education Programs. Among others, specialty areas include curriculum development and expansion, professional development, teacher induction programs, and the providing of conductors and adjudicators for honor ensembles and music festivals. She also serves as Education Advisor to The Music Achievement Council, a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation whose main focus is professional development for instrumental educators to reach and serve more music students. In this capacity, she has provided innovative and engaging sessions, keynotes, and in-service trainings in 41 states.

George Quinlan, Jr.

George Quinlan, Jr. presently serves as the CEO and as an educational representative for Quinlan and Fabish Music Company, a family-owned business with 9 locations serving educators in the greater Chicagoland area and surrounding communities and states. George also serves on the board of directors for the Music Achievement Council, on the Board of Directors for the Midwest Clinic, is the past chairman of the VanderCook College of Music's Board of Trustees, and is a past president of the National Association of School Music Dealers.

 

 

Podcast Summary

In this episode of "After Hours: Conversations for Music Educators", Marcia Neel and George Quinlan, Jr. met with us to discuss the many benefits of hosting a beginner concert during the first semester of learning to play. We discussed turnkey materials to make it your easiest (and most fun!) concert of the year, plus great resources if you are teaching online this semester.

 

Video Recording

Podcast

 

Resources

Music Ed Consultants Website 

Music Education Resources from Yamaha

NAMM Foundation Resources for Educators

Download First Performance Materials

Play-along concert video

Promo Clip

 

Professional Development Attendance Letter

Download Letter
Posted by Amro Music at Friday, October 23, 2020

Pandemic Fatigue and Living Your Best Life

Panelist - Scott Lang

For over a decade Scott Lang has been educating and entertaining audiences of all ages. As a nationally known leadership trainer, Scott conducts over 120 workshops annually and works with some of our country’s finest educational groups and performing ensembles.

As a highly decorated veteran teacher of sixteen years Scott's bands have had many notable performances including the Pasadena Tournament of Rose Parade, the Music Educators National Biennial Conference and for the President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton.

Scott is a well regarded author with over ten publications to his credit including; Seriously?!, Leader of the Band, Leadership Success, Leadership Travel Guide, Leadership Survival Guide, Sound Leadership and is the creator of the highly successful Be Part of the Music series.

Mr. Lang currently resides in Chandler, Arizona with his beautiful wife Leah and their sons, Brayden, Evan and their highly irrational Golden Retriever Rexie. He has breathed in and out approximately 264 million times and plans to keep on doing so until he doubles that number.

Podcast Summary

In this episode of "After Hours: Conversations for Music Educators", author and educator Scott Lang joins Nick Averwater to discuss ways to stay positive, and seize new opportunities in the challenging age of Covid 19. 

Video Recording

Podcast

 

Resources

Scott Lang's Website

Scott's COVID-19 Resources

Scott's Publications

Professional Development Attendance Letter

Download Letter
Posted by Amro Music at Thursday, October 15, 2020