- Cullman, Alabama


January 24, 2013

STATE: Music educators' conference spotlights students and faculty of UNA

FLORENCE — The University of North Alabama was one of two universities in Alabama whose choruses were invited to perform at the Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA) conference in Montgomery this month. Dr. Ian Loeppky, associate professor of music, said the weekend was a success for UNA’s choral ensembles, and particularly for junior Ethan Lolley, who became the first student from UNA to be elected president of the Alabama chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Collegiate.

NAfME Collegiate is a professional organization for future music educators. Eight universities with NAfME Collegiate chapters were present for the conference.

“I came into the conference knowing I wanted to run for president, but also knowing that UNA’s chapter is very young — just two years old,” Lolley said. He added that he thought his chances of winning were slim because one of the other candidates brought almost 30 delegates, while UNA brought 10.

“Having a state officer in UNA’s chapter will improve our communication with other NAfME chapters in Alabama, so we can share ideas and ultimately improve music education here in the Shoals,” Lolley said.

Lolley said one of his biggest responsibilities during his yearlong presidency will include the organization of a statewide conference for NAfME Collegiate members, a challenge he said he is ready to take on.

Lolley is drum major of the Pride of Dixie marching band and a baritone in the Collegiate Singers and Chamber Choir. He also spearheaded the revival of UNA’s NAfME chapter after a five-year period of inactivity, Loeppky said.

While at the AMEA conference, the UNA choruses gave one of the event’s highest attended performances – an 11-song, 45-minute performance to an audience of more than 500, Loeppky said.

Loeppky presented a conference session titled “Using Your Computer Tablet As a Music Folder.” The session, which he delivered to an audience of nearly 100, addressed his experimentation and success with using iPads to view sheet music electronically in choir rehearsal as an efficient alternative to music folders.

“This just shows that the UNA’s Department of Music and Theatre is taking its place as one of the stars of collegiate music education in Alabama,” Loeppky said. “We really made our mark in the state.”

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