December 2023 TODA News

A Message From Our President, Colleen Whatley

Dear TODA Colleagues,

Congratulations on reaching the final stretch of the fall semester! It has been a joy for all of us on the TODA Board to witness the successes of your school year–both on social media platforms and in person. Each opportunity I have to step into another director’s rehearsal space, I find myself in awe of the amazing things happening in our orchestra community. I feel so fortunate to continue to learn from all of you.

I know our orchestra community values the lifelong quest for improving our craft, and I encourage you all to keep the momentum going in celebrating both the success of our students and our colleagues. The TODA Awards Nomination site is currently open, and will remain so through December 31st at 11:59 PM. Please take a moment to shed light on the incredible teaching of your colleagues by nominating them for one of our three awards: Orchestra Director of the Year, Director of Distinction, and Young Educator Award. You can find the nomination forms on our website at

Next, I’d like to encourage you all to check out our Winter Clinic “Rehearsal Lab” registration, which opened November 15th, and is available at Pre-Registration pricing is just $25, and on-site registration is $35. We are thrilled to offer this event on January 13, 2024, at three locations: the University of Houston, the University of Texas at Arlington, and the University of Texas at Austin. Just as the TODA Summer Convention rejuvenates us for the start of the school year, the TODA Winter Clinics are there to provide inspiration and support going into the spring semester. With a slightly different format than a conducting clinic, the Rehearsal Lab experience includes tips, ideas, encouragement, and support for directors at all stages of their career. All are encouraged to attend, to take a turn on the podium with a piece of music of their choosing, and/or to play in the orchestra. It’s a really fun, rewarding, collaborative experience that is just the breath of fresh air we all need heading into 2024.

Shortly after the Winter Clinics take place, we look forward to seeing you all at the TMEA Convention in February. Plan to swing by our TODA Booth in the Exhibit Hall to catch up on the latest TODA news, and meet up with us at our annual February TODA Happy Hour. In an effort to use our sponsor and member funds wisely, we’ve moved our happy hour down the road a bit this year, but to a place that’ll meet us with a great atmosphere and plenty of space–The Friendly Spot! We hope you’ll take the .7 mile stroll down S. Alamo Street, hop on a scooter, or grab a Lyft and meet us Thursday, February 8th, from 8 to 10 PM for a drink and some late night snacks.

And finally, please save the date for our 2024 TODA Summer Convention, taking place Thursday, July 25th, through Saturday, July 27th. The TODA Board has been hard at work planning an impactful and inspiring series of professional development sessions, performances, and social events, and we can’t wait to start sharing the details soon!

Cheers to a wonderful end-of-semester, a happy holiday season, and a festive new year.

Colleen Whatley
TODA President


Nominate a TODA Colleague for an Award - DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 31!

TODA presents awards each year to three (3) outstanding and deserving TODA members.  These awards are for:


Click on the image below to nominate a well-deserved colleague for one of these prestigious awards!


TODA Scholarships for High School Seniors and Undergraduate Students

TODA is pleased to offer two types of scholarships to students pursuing a career in music education: one for high school seniors entering University, and one for current undergraduate students studying music education in Texas. Please share this opportunity with your high school seniors and university students! Scholarship applications open January 15, 2024.

For more information, see the TODA website:

TODA Silent Auction Donations

TODA is now accepting member donations for our Silent Auction to be held online at our annual summer convention in San Antonio, TX.  Members attending the convention will be able to see all physical items in-person at the TODA Fiesta on Friday, July 26.  If you have item(s) you would like to donate to the Silent Auction please send a picture, description, and the value of the item(s) to [email protected].  Physical items can be mailed to TODA, 2418 Spring Lane, #50250, Austin, TX 78703, OR can be delivered directly to the registration counter during the convention. 

Proceeds from the TODA Silent Auction help fund many of the programs and benefits offered to our members.

As you begin planning for your spring semester, remember that TODA is here to help you! TODA is family, and your TODA Board works hard to ensure that you feel supported and prepared for the classroom and the stage. Do you need CPE credit? Help managing your rehearsal time during class or teaching a particular articulation? The beauty of the rehearsal lab is that it provides tips, ideas, encouragement, and support for those new to the classroom, seasoned veterans on the podium, and all those in between. Whether you sign up for podium time to receive conducting help and/or rehearsal tips and tricks, or sign up to play in the orchestra, you will walk away with the inspiration you need to start the new year.


TODA Has a Free Job Board

Directors: Browse Available Job Postings on our searchable Job Board.

Employers: Post full-time and part-time opportunities for music educators, church and community ensemble conductors and musicians.


Contact Info:

Texas Orchestra Directors Association

PO Box 50250, Austin, TX 78763

Phone: 512-474-2801

Email: [email protected]