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Fresno-Madera Counties Rural Ensembles Clinic

April 9, 2019 - Liberty High School

In 2018, the California Music Educators Association (referred to as CMEA) Central Section added the Rural Schools Committee to its organization. The purpose of the committee is to provide equal access to opportunities and experiences for music students in rural areas. The Committee also provides resources and support for underserved students in the CMEA Central Section. The CMEA Central Section covers the area from Merced County in the north all the way through California’s Central Valley through Kern County in the south. For the purposes of the Rural Schools Committee, the Central Section was split into 4 main areas: Merced, Fresno/Madera, Tulare/Kings, and Kern. The committee is made of the representatives from each area and the chair.


After the first meeting of the Fresno/Madera area in January 2019 under the direction of Mr. Ryan Dirlam, chair, and Mrs. Janet Tenpas, Fresno/Madera Area Representative, the first major goal of the area became to host a festival for rural school bands and choirs. A festival is an adjudicated event where bands or choirs perform 3-5 pieces and are rated based on four main concepts: quality of sound, technique, musicality, and other factors (such as choice of music with contrasting styles and tempos, group attentiveness, etc.). Many rural school ensembles do not attend traditional festivals due to several factors, including but not limited to: smaller ensemble size, high teacher turnover, lack of funding, and musical immaturity.


This clinic would not be for ratings, but rather to give an exceptional learning experience for students who would not otherwise have one. The Committee has already secured two acclaimed judges: Allan Kristensen, Fresno Unified VAPA Retired, and Erik Leung, Director of Bands, Fresno Pacific University to provide feedback and work with each of the participating bands. 

The registration fee is just $100 which will be used to cover adjudicator costs.  You may register by clicking on the register link below. If you have questions, you can contact Ryan Dirlam or Janet Tenpas

Send your entry fee and form to:
Treasurer, CMEA Central Section

810 W. Northstar Dr.

Hanford, CA 93230

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