music education

For Immediate Release
Contact: Catherina Hurlburt or (571) 323-3395

National Association for Music Education Members Elect
2021–2023 Presidents-Elect for the Eastern,
Northwest, and Southwestern Divisions

RESTON, VA (February 17, 2021)—On February 12, 2021, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) announced the 2021–2023 Presidents-Elect for the Eastern, Northwest, and Southwestern Divisions, elected by NAfME members.

Every two years, NAfME members in these three divisions cast their votes for the next person to lead their respective divisions in the association. NAfME is comprised of six divisions—the other three divisions (North Central, Southern, and Western) elect their Presidents-Elect every other two years along with the NAfME National President-Elect.

The association values the contributions to music education from all the candidates who take part in this process and looks forward to the newly elected Division Presidents-Elect carrying forth the long tradition NAfME holds of leadership in the field of music education.

Learn more about the elected Presidents-Elect:

Eastern Division president-electEastern Division President-Elect: Michael W. Brownell. For more than 30 years Michael W. Brownell has been a music educator at McGraw High School, located in central New York State. He is currently serving as a Presidential Advisor on the NYSSMA Executive Council. Brownell was also asked to serve on the NYSSMA Advocacy Ad Hoc Committee because of his expertise and passion in providing music education for all students. This committee’s charge is to focus on assisting its members in navigating the challenges during and after the COVID crisis. Music: Success for All! was the theme during his tenure as NYSSMA President (2016-2017). He guided the approval of the new State Arts Learning Standards and developed a professional development program for the membership. He advanced his state association to acknowledge the changing demographics of the state’s students and schools, and continues to champion the issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access for all students. Learn more.

“Music education is extremely fluid. Our members have the capacity, resilience, endurance, passion, and empathy to face any challenge,” said Brownell. “NAfME has the responsibility to deliver on what we know. By empowering our members, music education must embrace the art of the possible.”

Dusty Molyneaux headshotNorthwest Division President-Elect: Dusty Molyneaux. Dusty Molyneaux is the Music and Art Supervisor for the Great Falls Public Schools. In this position, he oversees 40 teachers that reach out and deliver art and music instruction to more than 10,000 students in 20 buildings in the Great Falls school system. He is a past-president of the Montana Music Educators Association and Montana Bandmasters Association, and is an active trumpet player in the region. In January of 2014 he was awarded the National Federation of High Schools Outstanding Montana Music Educator of the Year by the Montana High School Association. He is also a member of the MHSA Music Committee.

“NAfME has done a good job of partnering with other arts organizations in providing essential services to membership during the pandemic. The aerosol studies, the copyright guidance and agreements with print publishers, and virtual professional development have been stellar,” shared Molyneaux. “I think we need to continue to lead in these matters and find even more ways to make NAfME membership essential for all music educators, no matter what field you teach in.”

electionSouthwestern Division President-Elect: Martha Gabel. Martha Gabel has been a music educator for 33 years, teaching elementary General Music, directing children’s choirs, and is currently the District Fine Arts Coordinator for the Olathe Public Schools. Located on the southwest corner of the Kansas City metropolitan area, the Olathe school district serves more than 30,000 students in five high schools, 10 middle schools, 36 elementary schools, and two early childhood centers. In her position, Gabel provides support and leadership for all Fine Arts programs, working with a staff of approximately 200 arts educators in the areas of band, choir, orchestra, general music, visual art, theatre, forensics, and debate. Gabel has provided professional development for practicing and pre-service teachers on a variety of topics including music standards, curriculum design, assessment, classroom management, engagement strategies, and leadership. She has served on numerous state writing committees and training cadres, most recently leading the revision of the Kansas State Music Standards.

“Advocacy will continue to play a very important role in NAfME’s response to many of the potential long-term impacts of this pandemic,” Gabel emphasized. “Through maintaining a strong and consistent statement that the arts are essential and taking decisive actions to support that statement, we can ensure that access to music education continues to be a priority.”

Learn more about the history and leadership of the association.


National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 60,000 members teaching millions of students nationwide, the organization is the national voice for music education in the United States.

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For additional information, contact Catherina Hurlburt at or 703-860-4000.

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