February 2014





What's New...

Mark your calendar for 2014 Convention dates: 

July 27 - 30, 2014

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

Join us for the TODA reception held during TMEA

Thursday, February 13, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Hilton, Mirador Ballroom

We are grateful to acknowledge our sponsors:
Brook Mays & H&H Music Co.
William Harris Lee


From the President...
by Pat Leaverton


As I sat down to write this article I have been reflecting on the passing of Karan Pitts.  It was very touching to read all of the testaments to Karen from former students, co-workers and friends.  What struck me besides the deep love, respect and admiration we all have for Karan are the things that people remembered about Karan.  Comments like caring, passion, inspiring, musical, and fun were often heard.  I do not remember hearing or seeing one comment about contest scores.  As we approach our crazy time of the year where we tend to focus on ratings, it may be healthier for us to focus on the music, the student’s relationship to that music, and most important our relationship to the students instead.  Over time you will not be remembered for the scores received at contest but instead on how you touched the lives of your students.  Some of those students in your class today may be moved to become orchestra directors because of the way you inspired them with your passion about music and learning.  I invite you to honor Karan by keeping the students in mind, and perhaps giving a donation in her name to the TODA Barbara Eads Scholarship fund. 

The legacy of Karan shaping the future of Texas Orchestras can continue by helping the next generation of orchestra teachers afford their college experience.  Please click here to make your online donation.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the TODA reception during the TMEA convention on Thursday, February 13th.  It will be from 6:00-8:00 at the Hilton Hotel in the El Mirador room.  Be sure to stop by and greet old friends and meet new colleagues.  I encourage everyone to invite the new orchestra teachers from your district or region so they have a chance to meet the TODA membership.


First High School Student Day!

TODA is pleased to announce the first High School Student Day, in partnership with the Texas Choral Directors Association on Monday, July 28.  This is a tremendous opportunity for your student leaders to experience an energizing day with valuable leadership training lead by experienced and engaging clinicians.

  • High School Student day registration is done through convention registration
  • Each student and chaperone will receive a TODA Student Day Badge for Monday, July 28
  • Activities for students from 9:30 am until  3:15 pm include Leadership Training with highly acclaimed clinicians and students will be able to go through the exhibit hall.
  • Lunch break will be at noon; students on their own for lunch.
  • Cost for the entire day is only $15 per student
  • Check the TODA website for more information to come!

TODA Financials

Balance Sheet
As of December 31, 2013
   Current Assets  
      Bank Accounts  
         Chase Bank, CD 20,072.60
         Chase Bank, Checking 15,816.17
         Chase Bank, Scholarship 4,808.68
         Petty Cash 50.00
      Total Bank Accounts $40,747.45
      Accounts Receivable  
         Accts Rec, Magazine Adv 925.50
         Accts Receivable, Gen 120.47
         Accts Receivable, TCDA 0.00
      Total Accounts Receivable $1,045.97
      Other current assets  
         Exchange, Funds transfer 0.00
         Prepaid Expenses 4,070.00
         Scholarship Awards Paid 0.00
      Total Other current assets $4,070.00
   Total Current Assets $45,863.42
TOTAL ASSETS $45,863.42
      Current Liabilities  
         Accounts Payable  
            Accounts Payable, Gen 0.00
            Accounts Payable, TCDA 690.00
         Total Accounts Payable $690.00
         Other Current Liabilities  
            Accounts Payable TBA Academy 0.00
            Accounts Payable, Scholarships 1,500.45
            Contributions, Eads Sch 0.00
            Deferred Income 945.00
         Total Other Current Liabilities $2,445.45
      Total Current Liabilities $3,135.45
   Total Liabilities $3,135.45
      Open Balance Equity 47,358.77
      Retained Earnings 0.00
      Net Income -4,630.80
   Total Equity $42,727.97



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 Past President...
by David DeVoto

TODA Service Has Many Rewards!

It’s time for YOU to serve as a TODA Board Member!  

Most of us try hard to find reasons why we shouldn’t run for a Board position, serve on a Committee, or do anything outside of our normal Orchestra jobs.  I’ve heard very convincing reasons from those who want to wait until another time to serve, if at all. Sure -  we all have family matters to attend to, growing orchestra programs, and other things which seem to keep us from doing more.  The more we think about it, the more convinced we are that we cannot add on another obligation.  However, after serving on the Board for five years, I want to share what I know for sure.

I have found out the secret to doing more:  you can handle it.

During my time on the Board, I have taken our HS groups on Spring trips every year, including trips to L.A. and N.Y.C., hosted UIL & Region auditions and concerts, served on District Committees, ran TMEA All-State auditions, added classes, added directors, worked Summer Camps, conducted school musicals, conducted Region Orchestras, judged UIL and Solo & Ensemble competitions, directed after school full orchestra rehearsals -  you name it, I have probably done it! All the while, I looked forward to my time with the TODA Board.  The time I spent with TODA has always been worth it to me personally. I have met many people in and outside the State of Texas who are incredible educators and musicians.  And even putting on the “show” the year I was President was a joy!  Yes, there were busy and stressful times, but it all gets done.

The other secret is this:  when you serve, you gain more than you give.  

During my service, the interaction with the Board, the clinicians and our members made my “orchestra job” much better.  I have more connections now when I need help, advice, or need a model for my teaching.  I have expanded my contacts to include the best directors and the best programs in and outside the State of Texas, which is very rewarding to me.  My “vision” of success has also changed from not only what I have to “figure out” but from what I see and learn from my interactions during my service at TODA.

Those of us who have served on the TODA Board were once approached by a past Board member.  Let me now suggest to ALL of you that it is worth your while to serve on the TODA Board!  Please do not over-think it…all you need to know is that you will be better for it and you will have a great time in the process!  Please go to www.todaweb.org and fill out the nomination form today! Thank you for your support.


An Interview with Ida Steadman....
by Sandra Vandertulip, Secretary

As a young teacher, we all have master teachers that we all look up to and admire.  I always admired Ida Steadman so much when I got a chance to visit with her, I was eager to share some of her story with our TODA family.  Here is an inspiring interview with Ida Steadman; Past President of TODA 1988-1988 and Orchestra Director of the Year 1997:

What or who was your inspiration to become a teacher?

“I come from a family of music educators so I was naturally influenced by my parents. But what made me decide to become a teacher was another teacher. I, and another dark skinned boy, was the recipient of prejudice in a fourth grade art class in Alta Vista Elementary School. The experience was so hurtful that I determined to become a teacher and NEVER treat students with such meanness”.

What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

“Here in the EPISD we have been very fortunate to meet with our students daily. Yet scheduling is a huge problem because my students tend to be mostly high achievers who think they can do everything. In past years and even now when I am supposed to be 1/2 time, I go back to school to hold rehearsals at whatever hour is convenient for the students. It is worth the effort because everyone shows up”.

What has been your biggest reward as a teacher?

“Today's social media has been very rewarding to me, and I am sure, to many colleagues. We get countless FB messages telling us what an influence we have had on our students' lives. The Principal bassist in the Vancouver Symphony was my student. The Assistant Principal cellist in the Philadelphia Orchestra was my student. Many former students are orchestra directors here in El Paso and across the state and country. I cannot say which is the greatest reward”.

After many years, what makes you continue to still want to teach every day?

“I still want to teach because I still love teaching music to teenagers and enjoying the resulting music after they have learned it. There is a passion and energy in the music performed by teenagers that I have not experienced in any other age group.

We have in the Coronado Orchestra a "junk music" book. It is a compilation of about 100 tunes that we use for various social functions. A Freshman student who had just received his "junk music" book messaged me on FB at 12:30 AM to ask if he was going to be able to keep the book when he graduated. I said usually not, but I could make an exception. I also said, "Shouldn't you be asleep?" He replied that he was fascinated with the music book. The following Monday morning he came in with a leather bound, totally organized book complete with title page and table of contents! Experiences like this keep me amazed about the wonders of teaching”!!

Texas Orchestra Directors Association
Profit & Loss
January - December 2013
   Total Administrative Income $22,465.00
   Convention Income 71,770.00
   Publications Income 7,650.00
Total Income $101,885.00
   Administrative Expenses 29,139.00
   Convention Expenses 39,619.00
   Boards' Expenses 11,619.00
   Publications Expenses 9,125.00
   Reception Expenses 12,998.00
   Technology Exp 4,016.00
Total Expenses $106,516.00
Net Operating Income ($4,631.00)
Net Income ($4,631.00)
TODA Scholarship Report  
Balance, Scholarship Acct, Chase Bank $4,809.00
Due to Scholarship Acct, beginning of yr $3,216.00
Contributions, Jan - Dec, 2013 $1,762.00
Scholarship Income, Silent Auction $1,022.00
   Scholarship Awards give at 2013 Conv ($4,500.00)
Scholarship Fund Balance, 12/31/2013 $6,309.00