August 2013


2012 - 2013 TODA Board

What's New...

Highlights of the 2013 convention are on our website including session handouts.

Good times and food at the Fiesta Welcome

From the Past President...
by David DeVoto

I cannot thank everyone enough for a great 2013 Convention! Thank you to our 2013 TODA Board: Margaret Brown for getting us through the tough transition years, Pat Leaverton for keeping us on course and writing the checks, Jason Thibodeaux for going above and beyond his board duties by still dealing with equipment, Sandra Vandertulip for honoring our leaders by presenting our beautiful ODY and Past-President plaques at Convention, and to our new Board Member Lamar Smith.

Thanks to those who I owe so much for their help and service: TODA Executive Director, Sharon Lutz and TODA Membership Assistant, Beverly Schlegel for all of their work to produce such a great Convention for our members, Dr. Clif Evans and the University of Texas, Arlington for sponsoring the U.T.A. string faculty to present at TODA, Tim Kjos and Kjos Music for sponsoring Deborah Baker Monday and Jeremy Woolstenhulme, Andrew Goins for presenting scores at every reading session - and presenting 2 clinics of his own! Jenny Gann for being a fantastic new Margarita Mama in our new venue and dealing with so many last minute details. Mark Williamson for ALWAYS being at TODA and letting us play on Williamson's wonderful instruments. Ron Gilbert for donating his wonderful instruments from Dallas Strings for the TCDA Honor Choir Performance, our DJ for the TODA BBQ, Brian Coatney, Our Hospitality Committee: Ashley Johnson, Jaclyn Friday, Corey Spratlan, Amanda Su, Matt Cross, Rebecca  Farrar, Tara Cesario, Lacey McCoy, Ragan Whatley, Colleen Le Bourgeous (Whatley), and Clay Ratliff.  Our Ression Sessions Committee:  Howard Williams, Janet Zeilinski, Drew DeJong, Ann Roberts, Frank Roberts, Barbara Nelsen, Brett Nelsen, Jay (Gerald) Klich, Natalie Murray, Desiree Overree, and Ron Grimm. And of course Joanna DeVoto who has put up with all of this for four years and helped me in every way to make sure things got done!

If you presented, presided, helped, or even just came to TODA - THANK YOU! We cannot do this without our members! We have a great future ahead - please continue to encourage new and not so new teachers to attend TODA. As the Southwest Music Summer Exhibition grows, we will be able to provide more benefits to our TODA members! Thank you again and have a great 2013-2014 School Year!


Meet the latest addition to the TODA Board;  Member At Large Lamar Smith
by Sandra Vandertulip, Secretary

Lamar Smith is the Director of Orchestras at Newman Smith High School in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. At Newman Smith he directs the Symphonic, Full Symphony, and Concert orchestras and is the cluster leader for the programs at Ted Polk Middle School and DeWitt Perry Middle School. An active clinician and adjudicator, Lamar is frequently invited to work with groups for UIL and All-Region performances. His entire career has been spent in C-FBISD, starting as the assistant director at Creekview High School followed by being the head director at Barbara Bush Middle School.

Lamar graduated from the University of North Texas in 2001 with a Bachelor of Music degree with Magna cum laude honors. As a violist, he has performed with many orchestras in North Texas and in the Houston area. A native of Pasadena, he was raised in quality orchestra programs led by legendary directors. He is also the son of two retired public school teachers and the brother of a college professor.

Professional memberships include TMEA, TMAA, Choristers Guild, and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. When he is not teaching at Smith, Lamar is probably working at his other job as Director of Music Ministry at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch.

TODA Board of Directors

President, Pat Leaverton, Arlington ISD
Past President, David DeVoto, Allen ISD
VP/Treasurer, Jason Thibodeaux, Northeast ISD
Secretary, Sandra Vandertulip, Round Rock ISD
Member-At-Large, Lamar Smith, Carrollton ISD

Executive Director, Sharon Lutz
Director, Member Services, Beverly Schlegel

7900 Centre Park Drive, Suite A
Austin, TX  78754

From the President
by Pat Leaverton

Huge thanks are owed to David DeVoto for leading the TODA Board through a successful convention.  The President of TODA is tasked with leading the planning for each year’s convention, and this year had many new challenges that David successfully overcame.  The sharing of the convention center with TBA in addition to TCDA went off without a hitch.  It was great to retain “our usual” rooms on the river level of the convention center, giving us that intimate feel that separates TODA from TMEA.  It was also wonderful to see the exhibit hall so full of vendors and people.  We are indebted to David for leading us to this joint venture to ensure the financial health of TODA.  With the loss of LaVillita for our BBQ, David had to scramble to find a new venue.  I heard many positive comments about using historic Sunset Station.  We are still waiting to see if LaVillita will be available next year, but we may be back at Sunset Station next summer.  I like the idea David had of inviting an entire university faculty to be featured clinicians.  If your local university faculty would be a wonderful fit for our TODA convention, please forward me their names.

I hope everyone had a wonderful time at the convention.  My wish is that you found time to reconnect with your colleagues, got to meet some new orchestra teachers, heard some new music that you can’t wait to teach to your students, and learned some new techniques in sessions to help your students succeed.  For me the TODA convention is where I become charged with the energy and ideas to enter the new school year.  As you go back to school this semester think about orchestra teachers in your area who did not attend the convention.  Let’s make a concerted effort to tell them about the wonderful things that happen at the TODA convention and encourage them to make plans to attend next summer.  It’s not too soon to start planning for July 27-30, 2014.


A Few Pictures from Convention

Bryan Buffaloe and boys

So Funny!!


        BBQ at Sunset Station             David & Margaret

Dr. Clif Evans & Sabrina Behrens

Gary & Craig Needham

Sue Ewing, 2013 ODY


Submissions for clinics for the 2014 Convention can be sent into the TODA office now.  The form is on our website.  Let us hear from you.