music education

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

Washington, DC, Music Education Association Chapter Relaunches

National Association for Music Education
Announces New Chapter in the Nation’s Capital

RESTON, VA (June 14, 2019)—The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) proudly announces the new federated music education association relaunched in the nation’s capital, the DC Music Education Association (DCMEA). Since January 2019, a small group of volunteers has met virtually and in person to strategize, review bylaws and a mission statement, and elect officers. The next in-person meeting will be held June 19, in conjunction with the NAfME National Leadership Assembly, taking place at the Washington Hilton June 17-21. Learn more about DCMEA at

music education association


“This is an exciting time for NAfME and the future of music education,” said Mike Blakeslee, NAfME Executive Director and CEO. “As we are well into the new millennium, and both our student populations and the direction of music education are changing, it is critical that NAfME keep pace with all students’ needs and the new opportunities in the ever-growing discipline of music education, while also upholding the updated music standards in giving direction to promoting the understanding and making of music by all. This relaunch of the DCMEA chapter with fresh voices and new ideas to meet the music education needs of all Washington, DC, students is a significant step toward that goal.”

“As the new president of DCMEA, I am dedicated to our goal of advocating for and advancing music education across Washington, D.C.,” added DCMEA President Joshua Krohn. “DCMEA will also provide professional growth opportunities, encourage interaction among music education professionals, foster public support for music in schools, offer quality musical experiences for students, cultivate a universal appreciation of and lifetime involvement in music, and develop and maintain productive working relationships with other professional organizations​.”

“DCMEA will provide professional growth opportunities, encourage interaction among music education professionals, foster public support for music in schools, offer quality musical experiences for students, cultivate a universal appreciation of and lifetime involvement in music, and develop and maintain productive working relationships with other professional organizations​.”

music education

Joshua Krohn, Washington, DC, MEA President

Joshua Krohn has been an elementary music specialist, band and choral director, elementary music clinician, professional developer, and private music instructor. Over the last sixteen years he has led full-scale Broadway-style musicals, before-school orchestras, choirs, wind ensembles, guitar ensembles, recorder ensembles, theater clubs, and after-school tutoring for thousands of Washington, DC, Public Schools (DCPS) elementary students. Since 2009 Krohn has led close to 60 music professional development sessions both locally and nationally. By 2010 Krohn was leading more than 110 DCPS music teachers in quarterly professional developments. Since 2012, he has been nominated for D.C. Teacher of the Year five times, and since 2014, he has been nominated for the National LifeChanger of the Year award three times. Krohn has also been twice nominated for a Grammy Music Educator Award. In 2016 Krohn was a District Course Chair for DCPS music as well as one of the A.C.E. Fellows for Music in DCPS. Krohn has also educated students with mild cognitive impairments through severe cognitive impairments, students with learning and emotional disabilities, and students in urban settings, and has led professional development sessions based on teaching special learners.

The DCMEA President-Elect is Christopher Steele, the Upper Campus music teacher at Oyster-Adams Bilingual School in Northwest DC since 2017. He holds a Master of Music degree in Trombone Performance and a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Therapy from Howard University. He is a low-brass freelance musician (Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, Euphonium) in the Washington, DC, and Baltimore, Maryland, areas performing in symphonic, musical theater, and commercial music styles. Steele is an active performer with the Heritage Trombone Ensemble and the Slide Artist Trombone Quartet. He taught private trombone lessons in the DC area for five years while a student at Howard University. He is an active arranger and clinician for middle school, high school, and collegiate band programs. Steele has performed with musical greats including Gloria Estefan, Tony Bennet, Lady Gaga, McCoy Tyner, Dr. Billy Taylor, and Hubert Laws, among others. He is currently pursuing a second Masters degree in Wind Conducting from Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

Benita Gladney is the Immediate Past President of DCMEA. Gladney is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Music Education at Howard University. She earned her D.M.A. degree at the University of Georgia and holds a Master of Music Education degree from Howard University and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. Gladney has more than ten years of teaching experience in high school band programs and elementary general music, primarily in Atlanta and Chicago Public Schools. As a band director, her performing groups consistently received superior ratings in music festivals. Along with her teaching duties, she has served as an adjudicator for both concert and jazz band festivals. In 2010, Gladney established a band program at Moi Girls’ High School in Eldoret, Kenya. ‘Kenya Play It’ has provided more than 30 wind band instruments to the school. Since band instruments are uncommon in Kenya, she travels every summer to the school to teach instrumental music lessons. Thanks to her efforts, this project has provided these Kenyan students with an opportunity to learn to play a band instrument in a school setting. Gladney’s primary research interests include music improvisation, urban music education, and music teacher preparation.

DCMEA Treasurer Chad Harris has spent 15 years creating dynamic and engaging music lessons for his students. He has taught in Florida, Alabama, and South Korea, and now teaches elementary music at Stanton Elementary School in Southeast Washington, DC. Harris’s DC performing groups have participated in music festivals at the Kennedy Center’s Millennial and Family stages, where their performances have received the superior rating. Additionally, Harris has received two “Teacher of the Year” awards while teaching in Florida and Alabama. In DC, Harris currently serves as the Teacher Selection Ambassador for Music, conducting all job interviews for incoming music teachers. During his first year in DC, he was awarded the very selective Capital Commitment Fellowship and was given a seat on the DC Chancellor’s Teachers Cabinet. Harris was also placed on the music curriculum writing team, and his lessons are now in the DC music curriculum.

DCMEA Secretary Gilette Brown has been a music educator for more than 15 years. A proud graduate of the world-renowned Boys/Girls Choir of Harlem, Brown earned her BA in music education from The University of Maryland Eastern Shore and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from George Mason University. She currently teaches at Savoy Elementary school where she has piloted various music initiatives including: Savoy Glee Club, annual musicals, and partnerships with various performing arts programs. Brown is a true advocate of partnerships through music education, including Kennedy Center DC Collaborative Partnerships and Washington Performing Arts program that allow students to connect through field trips, on-site residencies and various learning opportunities. Brown believes that music educators can play a significant role in student achievement.

Washington, DC, music educators are encouraged to join colleagues on June 19 at the Washington Hilton to discuss DCMEA next steps, including professional development opportunities and events. Music educators may RSVP by sending an email to Elizabeth Lasko, NAfME Director of Membership and Marketing Communications, at

June 19 is also the annual NAfME “Hill Day.” Music educators from around the country will participate in meetings with members of Congress to advocate for provision and funding for music education. DC music educators are encouraged to join advocacy training in the morning and visit Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton after the training (the DCMEA meeting will take place in the afternoon). Music educators who plan to participate in the Capitol Hill visit must notify Thomas Stefaniak at NAfME ( for scheduling arrangements. 


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 of music education in the United States.

Follow NAfME on Twitter ( and on Facebook ( For additional information, contact Catherina Hurlburt at or 571-323-3395.

April 2024 Teaching Music

Published Date

June 14, 2019


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June 14, 2019. © National Association for Music Education (

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