Arts & Culture

UWF music students lead the state at Florida Music Educators Association Conference

The University of West Florida Department of Music recently sent nine instrumentalists and nine vocalists to the annual Florida Music Educators Association Conference held Jan. 13-16, 2016. Seven of the instrumentalists were selected from undergraduate music students around the state to play in the All-State Intercollegiate Band, with two of the students placing first chair.

“Participating in the Intercollegiate Band means being chosen among the best undergraduate students across the state in an instrument,” said Richard Glaze, UWF director of bands. “They have an opportunity to work with some of the best conductors in the country. Additionally, being chosen as first chair is truly an honor and reflection of their outstanding abilities.”

Jerre Brisky, director of the UWF Center for Fine and Performing Arts, is excited about the music department’s accomplishments. “This is the most students we’ve sent to All-State since I’ve been at UWF and the first time I’ve seen two chosen as first chair. I’m so proud of what our students are achieving.”

The following UWF students participated in the Intercollegiate Band:

•   Christal Gibson, bassoon – first chair
•   Kevin Fails, horn – first chair
•   Jarrett Watkins, trumpet
•   Colin Slavin, trumpet
•   Jacob Dearrington, trumpet
•   James Fair, tuba
•   Vivienne Boudreaux, percussion

The FMEA Conference is one of the largest music education professional development events in the United States. In addition to approximately 250 clinic sessions and concerts, the conference hosts the All-State bands, orchestras and choruses, and gives students the opportunity to network with peers from other institutions and talk with representatives from potential graduate schools. FMEA is attended by more than 10,000 people – including secondary music directors, elementary music teachers, music supervisors, college students, college music teachers, school administrators, K-12 students performing in the All-State ensembles, students and professional musicians performing with invited performing ensembles, and parents of performing students.

For more information about the UWF Department of Music, visit