Saskatchewan Music Educators Association
Saskatchewan Music Educators Association (SMEA). Founded 24 Apr 1957 at a meeting organized by Rj Staples at the Teachers' College in Saskatoon and chaired by Lloyd Blackman. Membership began at 73 and neared 500 in 1990. In addition to the general membership, there are four member organizations - the SRMTA; the Canadian Music Competition, Saskatchewan Division; the Saskatchewan Orff Chapter; and the Saskatchewan Suzuki Piano Teachers' Association. The SMEA became affiliated with the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation, as a special subject council, and also with the CMEA. Its original aims included improving practices in music education and advising the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation. The SMEA has organized a variety of programs and workshops, including Summer Brass Days (1989-1991); the Saskatchewan Instrumental Ensemble Competition (1991); the Saskatchewan Teen Composers Competition (1993); and the Summer String Workshops (1985-1993). The association sponsors The Heart of the City Piano Project, a program that provides free piano instruction to students in inner-city schools in Saskatoon. Over the years, the SMEA has produced and distributed films including an Orff video featuring Jos Wuytack, and I Was Born Here...In Ste. Madeleine, a video documenting the Métis way of life in Ste Madeleine, Manitoba. The SMEA has also produced two songbooks with accompanying recordings entitled Songs of the Northern Plains and Métis Songs.
The SMEA comprises an executive and representatives from seven regions, from various special-interest groups, and from the universities of Regina and Saskatchewan. An official magazine was published intermittently beginning in 1957 under the titles Bulletin, Journal, Newsletter, and Cadenza. In 2004 the SMEA had four publications: NOTZ, a newsletter appearing twice a year; CADENZA, a journal published annually; MEO (MusicEductionOnline), a website; and The Teacher Resource Package.
In 1972 a fund was established in honour of founding member Rj Staples to provide scholarships for two music-education students each year, one at the University of Regina, the other at the University of Saskatchewan. A similar scholarship was established in 1979 as a memorial to Frank Connell. The SMEA recognizes volunteer work of its members with the SMEA Outstanding Achievement Award and the Honorary Lifetime Membership Award.