August 2015



Thanks to this 2014-2015 Board of Directors for a great Convention!

2015-2016 TODA Board of Directors

Good-bye Pat Leaverton; Hello Sixto!

From the President...
by Sandra Vandertulip

Congratulations to Jason Thibodeaux for a fabulous, exciting 2015 Convention!  As the preparation of every TODA Convention is mostly done by the Board President, we must certainly appreciate the time and effort Mr. Thibodeaux invested into organizing an outstanding convention. 

Mr. Thibodeaux planned all the clinics, worked with clinicians and organized the best orchestra professional development in Texas.  David Becker led outstanding clinics while Carrie Lane Gruselle shared her music and insight for young orchestras. Kirt Mosier, one of our favorite composers, gave several enlightening sessions.  Jason is the reason these fine clinicians attended our convention. 

In addition, many of our membership shared their expertise with clinics and sessions!  We are so fortunate in Texas to have the wealth of string education knowledge and we are so grateful for the willingness to share.  To accompany the clinics, Mr. Thibodeaux organized reading sessions, the New Teacher Academy and the TODA High School Student Day!  Thank you to everyone who gave their time to make the convention special and huge thank you to Jason Thibodeaux for all of his hard work and dedication to the Texas Orchestra Directors Association.

The TODA Board wishes you a wonderful 2015-2016 school year.  As you began your classes or rehearsals with a new idea from a TODA clinic or program a new piece from a reading session, remember TODA is dedicated to provide support and encouragement to orchestra directors.  If you have an idea or would like to present a clinic during the 2016 Convention please click on this link to enter your clinic or suggestion. TODA is here for you!

A hearty CONGRATULATIONS to Jason!

 Meet the latest addition to the TODA Board;  Member At Large Sixto Elizondo, IV
by Christina Bires, Secretary


Sixto Elizondo IV is the Orchestra Director at Reagan H.S. in San Antonio, Texas, and is in his 15th year of teaching. Under his direction the Reagan Orchestras has tripled in size and has consistently won Sweepstakes awards at UIL. The Reagan Orchestra performs six major concerts a year, including a young people’s concert that serves 1700 elementary and middle school students in the Reagan Cluster.  Members of the orchestra also serve the greater Stone Oak community by performing at events, nursing homes and in Reagan cluster schools. In March of 2014 the Reagan Orchestra performed in Carnegie Hall as a part of the Mid America Productions Ensemble Spotlight Series.

Mr. Elizondo is a graduate of Baylor University where he earned his BME. While there, he was a member of the Baylor Symphony Orchestra and also actively pursued vocal studies.

Professional affiliations include TODA, TMEA, and TMAA. He is concurrently serving a term as Vice President for Mu Omicron, an Honorary Fraternity for Texas Orchestra Directors. As a member of TMEA he has served as Region 12 Orchestra Division Chair, organized three All State ensembles, annually chairs student registration at convention, participated in a Summer Dialogue and annually hosts the Region 12 Orchestra Clinic and concert. He has had the privilege of adjudicating orchestras around the state and has been a guest clinician in several regions.

Mr. Elizondo has been a member of the Corpus Christy Symphony for 19 years and performs frequently as a freelance violinist and vocalist in the San Antonio area. He is a proud husband and father of two children Eos and Sixto V. He is an avid cook, and enjoys preparing food for family and friends.

The Kidwells and Jason Thibodeaux

One of our fabulous sponsors - Lisle Violin

 David Becker Session

 Special Thanks to the "Music Sorting Crew"!!


TODA Board of Directors

President, Sandra Vandertulip, Round Rock ISD
Past President,
Jason Thibodeaux, Northeast ISD
VP/Treasurer, Lamar Smith, Carrollton ISD
Secretary, Christina Bires, Clear Brook HS
Member-At-Large, Sixto Elizondo IV, Ronald Reagan HS

Executive Director, Sharon Lutz
Member Services Coordinator, Hallie Boone

7900 Centre Park Drive, Suite A
Austin, TX  78754

From the Past President
by Jason Thibodeaux

I hope your school year is off to a great start!  There are many new teachers and I encourage you to seek out these teachers and help them in your district and region.  It is the network of support from the orchestra directors here in Texas that helps us continue to grow!

I would like to thank everyone who helped and volunteered with this summer’s convention.  Our convention works because our members take ownership of TODA and lend a hand when needed.   Special thanks to Charlotte Moellering for leading our High School students in leadership activities.  Andrew Goins and his crew did a great job of organizing and projecting all of the music for the many reading sessions.  Jay Lester for organizing the fantastic wind, brass and percussion musicians for the reading session.  The U.T.S.A students  who organized materials.  Sixto Elizondo and the Reagan H.S.Orchestra for their work on the logistics committee.  Thank you to everyone who volunteered to preside.  Thank you to Danielle Prontka  for organizing the beverages at the BBQ.  Christina Bires and her hospitality committee for their work at the BBQ and all the reading sessions.  Sandra Vandertulip and her silent auction committee for the most profitable auction.   Howard Williams and his organizing crew for sacrificing so much of their convention to organize, sort and prepare the give-away packets from all of the reading sessions.

The TODA convention would not happen without all of our corporate sponsors.  Thanks to all the exhibitors at the convention.  Thanks to FJH Music for sponsoring Carrie Lane Grusslle, Texas Tech University for sponsoring David Becker and J.W. Pepper for sponsoring Kirt Mosier.  Everyone needs to thank our convention sponsors for such great support; American Classic Tours and Music Festivals, Fishburn Violin Shop, Alfred Music, Music & Arts, Lisle Violin Shop, Tempo Press, Steinway Piano Gallery, Dallas Strings, and Williamson Music.  Special thanks to Mark Williamson and Antonio Strad for loaning their instruments during the reading sessions and presentations and Yamaha for loaning us percussion instruments.

Thank you to all the members of the TODA board and staff.  It takes a village and more to organize our convention and I cannot thank them enough for everything they do every day.  Finally, I want to thank you, the membership of TODA.  Thank you for attending the 54th T.O.D.A. Convention and being a part of the greatest profession in the world.  Have a great year and I hope to see you again in February!

A Few Pictures from Convention

High School Student Day was a great success! There were almost 100 Texas Orchestra students there!

Great Times at the Fiesta Welcome


   BBQ at Sunset Station   


The Silent Auction was a smashing success!


  A Huge THANK YOU to Sixto and his students for help with all the equipment!