On October 15th, 2022, thousands gathered at The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Missouri to witness the marching band performances at the Bands of America St. Louis Super Regional Championship, presented by Yamaha. Among those in attendance were music educators from St. Louis Public Schools. These educators received a backstage tour of the event and participated in professional development sessions with Music for All clinician Nolan Jager Loyde. Loyde is also a Bands of America Adjudicator, Director of Fine Arts at Round Rock Independent School District, and Music Director of the Central Texas Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Loyde’s presentation, “Where Do We Grow From Here,” focused on the improvement of Fine Arts programming in public education by utilizing the creative process. In the weeks leading up to meeting Loyde, teachers were asked “What has been your biggest challenge so far during the 2022-23 school year?” Loyde was able to use these responses to customize his presentation to the challenges faced by educators in St. Louis Public Schools.
Kaye Harrelson, Performing Arts Curriculum Specialist at St. Louis Public Schools, appreciated the introspective style of Loyde’s presentation. Her biggest takeaway from the presentation was the “great value in teachers owning what the visual/audio experience is, or should be, in their rooms.” Moving forward, Kaye feels inspired to collaborate with educators to collectively lobby for change in their district. Similarly, Carolyn Kramkowski, instrumental music teacher at Shaw Visual and Performing Arts Elementary, felt empowered and equipped with the necessary tools to advocate for her programs at the district level.
Music for All is proud to partner with St. Louis Public Schools and looks forward to helping provide more positively life-changing experiences for students and educators in the district.