Press Release – Celebrates Centennial in 2007 with Centennial Congress, Commemorative Books, and World-Record-Setting Performance of The Star-Spangled Banner

MENC: The National Association for Music Education Celebrates Centennial in 2007 with Centennial Congress, Commemorative Books, and World-Record-Setting Performance of The Star-Spangled Banner  

World’s Largest Arts Education Association Seeks to Advance Music Education by Encouraging the Study and Making of Music by All  

RESTON, VA (January 5, 2007) — MENC: The National Association for Music Education celebrates one hundred years of advancing music education in 2007. Founded in April 1907, at a meeting of 104 music supervisors in Keokuk, Iowa, MENC has grown to more than 130,000 active and retired music educators, collegiate students studying to become teachers, high school music honor society members, corporate members, music supervisors, and parents and community supporters of school music.

“Numerous dramatic comparisons can be made between music education in 1907 and 2007, but the most significant similarity is how the founders of 1907 and music educators today share an optimistic belief in the endless possibility of music education,” said Lynn M. Brinckmeyer, president of MENC and assistant professor of music at Texas State University-San Marcos. “High quality music education in American schools, which began as the dream of a few determined individuals, is no longer the privilege of a few, but a necessity for all.”

Several special events will mark MENC’s Centennial. June 14-16, 2007 will see the finale of the National Anthem Project, MENC’s multi-year campaign to restore America’s voice through music education. The National Anthem Project is an advocacy campaign that aims to reteach Americans to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and to encourage support for school music programs “the very place where most citizens learn patriotic music, an important cultural tradition.” At the finale events, student ensembles will perform at various national monuments in the Washington DC area, followed by a world-record-setting performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” on the National Mall by thousands of singers from around the nation. (For more information, visit

Keokuk II: Centennial Symposium for MENC: The National Association for Music Education will be held May 31-June 2 in Keokuk, Iowa to commemorate the founding of MENC. The symposium is presented by the History Special Research Interest Group (SRIG) of the MENC Society for Research in Music Education, with support from MENC, the University of Michigan, and the City of Keokuk. Along with presentations and panels, the symposium will include a sing-along of period school music pieces and the dedication of a commemorative plaque.

The official Centennial Celebration will be held June 24-29 in Orlando, Florida. Featured events include the Centennial Congress, a gathering of arts education leaders; the MENC National Assembly, the annual meeting of the leaders of MENC’s state affilates; and the Centennial Gala Concert, featuring students and teachers from around the nation. MENC will make available portions of the Centennial Congress as a special Webcast to teachers who cannot attend the event.

An official Web site, offers a timeline of MENC history, archival photos, biographies of MENC presidents, and more. In addition, MENC and M.T. Publishing Company will publish MENC, 1907-2007: A Century of Service to Music Education, the official centennial book, in 2007. This hardbound 160-page volume, to include 200 photographs from 1907 to the present, will tell the story of MENC through narrative, pictures, anecdotes, and more. To further commemorate this occasion, MENC members have contributed recipes and teaching tips to a Centennial Cookbook to be published in 2007.

MENC commissioned new music to serve as an audio logo for the Centennial Celebration. MENC member Sean Boyle’s composition Perpetual Canon in Four Voices was chosen from among a wide variety of entries and was first performed by MENC members at the MENC 2006 National Conference in Salt Lake City, UT. Members are encouraged to create their own recordings of the canon and submit them to MENC for possible inclusion on the Centennial Web site.

For more information, visit the web site.

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. More than 130,000 members represent all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education.