How State Associations Can Support School Music Programs

By Craig Manteuffel, sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations


“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” – Confucius, Book of Rites

As a former music educator of 29 years, I live by these words. Currently, as a state association music administrator at the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA), we strive to provide outstanding music education opportunities for our young musicians.

The KSHSAA has a very good relationship with the Kansas Music Educators Association (KMEA). The KSHSAA listens to its music directors through the KMEA Festivals Committee, which meets one to two times each year. This advisory committee includes band, choir, and orchestra leaders from across the state and includes all school classifications. These beneficial meetings provide opportunities to discuss many aspects to improve our KSHSAA music festivals system.

Abstract blurred image of Conference and Presentation in the conference hall | Pratchaya


The KSHSAA music administrator writes one to two articles each year for the Kansas Music Review, which is the KMEA online publication. These articles include: 1) KSHSAA music updates and manual rule changes; 2) overviews and web links for applicable NFHS Learn courses; and 3) contact information for the KSHSAA staff.

The KSHSAA music administrator sits on the KMEA board of directors as the KSHSAA advisor. I submit an annual KMEA board report and present this material at the annual board meeting at the KMEA In-Service Workshop in February. The KMEA Executive Council makes a presentation to the KSHSAA Executive Board each April with rule change proposals and a PowerPoint presentation with updated KMEA news. The KMEA president (or designee) is a voting member on the KSHSAA Board of Directors.

Being visible and available to music teachers at various events throughout the year is very important. During the three-day KMEA In-Service Workshop in February (6,000–9,000 attendees), I present two to five sessions and have the opportunity to speak during the first-year music teachers breakfast and the retired music teachers luncheon. During these events, we address current and relevant music topics, and also listen to key individuals to gain ideas and suggestions to enhance our programs.

2016 ANHE Horn

Photo: Victoria Chamberlin |


“M & M” miles and madness is how we refer to February–April each year. The KSHSAA offers five regionals and one state piano festival in February; 17 regional solos and small ensemble festivals; 18 state large group festivals; and six state solos and small ensemble festivals in March and April. I attend 20–25 music festivals on a rotation basis each year. The KSHSAA is here to support our festival host site managers and staff, music teachers, and students. Being onsite helps to create and further our mission as a student-centered organization.

As an activities association, the KSHSAA believes in rewarding excellence for performing arts. The NFHS Music Association Outstanding Educator Awards are extremely important for honoring each state’s finest music educators. State association music administrators should submit the appropriate forms on time and present the award personally at a school assembly or appropriate school event.

In 2018, a Kansas school was chosen as the NFHS Performing Arts School of Excellence. The KSHSAA has continued the NFHS model for this award and annually presents its KSHSAA Performing Arts School of Excellence award to deserving high schools in Kansas.

Shako at the feet of drum major in marching band | Pat Shrader

The KSHSAA continues to stand ready to help promote and enhance school music education programs. We listen to our teachers. We are visible and available, and we encourage music student participation. Through our extensive music festivals program, the KSHSAA promotes the improvement of our student musicians and musical ensembles through positive adjudicator feedback.

About the author:

Craig Manteuffel headshotCraig L. Manteuffel is assistant executive director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association. He can be reached at

Prior to joining the KSHSAA staff, Craig was a music educator for 29 years. From 1996-2015 he was Director of Bands at Hays High School USD #489 f and from 1986-1996 he taught 5-12 band and 6-12 choral music at Otis-Bison USD #403. Widely known throughout Kansas as an outstanding music educator and advocate for the fine arts, Manteuffel completed a six-year term of the executive offices of the Kansas Music Educators Association on March 1, 2015. During this span Manteuffel served as KMEA President from 2011- 2013. In 2013 he was chosen by the National Association for Music Education and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. to attend the Kennedy Center Arts Alliance Symposium. Manteuffel was one of three music education leaders from the United States invited to share music advocacy ideas with other leaders of the arts from the nation.

In 2019, James Weaver, NFHS and Bill Faflick, KSHSAA Executive Director nominated Manteuffel to become the NFHS National Music Committee Chairperson. In the summer of 2019, he was selected for this position and will serve in this capacity for four years.

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The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) provides a number of forums for the sharing of information and opinion, including blogs and postings on our website, articles and columns in our magazines and journals, and postings to our Amplify member portal. Unless specifically noted, the views expressed in these media do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Association, its officers, or its employees.

February 25, 2020. © National Association for Music Education (

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