The Erie County Music Educators Association (ECMEA) is a non-profit organization that represents and supports music education throughout Erie County and Western New York.
ECMEA's purpose since its inception in 1949 has been to advance and strengthen the cause of music education in Erie County. ECMEA not only provides leadership in the professional growth of teachers, but offers special opportunities for musical growth to elementary and secondary school pupils by sponsoring music festivals throughout the school year.
Throughout the school year ECMEA sponsors:
Three solo evaluation weekends are held in January, hosted by various school districts, servicing over 4,500 students from grades 4-12. Through these evaluations, Erie County Students audition for placement in one of twenty all-county elementary, junior high, or senior high ensembles.
In March, five weekend festivals, encompassing seven choruses, four orchestras, five bands, and four jazz ensembles, showcase the talents of our All-County musicians. These 2100 students perform for a combined audience of close to 10,000! ECMEA selects conductors with the primary goal of enriching each student's artistic development. Conductors are chosen from highly respected local programs, nationally recognized collegiate programs, and the ranks of professional conductors.
Each year, ECMEA awards music scholarships to deserving high school seniors who plan to pursue a career in music. These students compete in a rigorous application, audition and interview process administered by selected music educators in Erie County. ECMEA has awarded nearly $300,000 in music scholarships since 1957.
ECMEA sponsors an annual Western New York Conference Day for Music Educators at the Buffalo Convention Center. Each January, nationally acclaimed educators and performers present and discuss the latest trends in music education.
ECMEA also sponsors an annual Classroom Music Festival and other programs designed to meet specific music education issues.