Western Division President-Elect 2022-2024 Candidate
After receiving a BA degree in Music Education from Utah State University in 1987, Rhonda Rhodes taught instrumental music in the Washington County School District in Southern Utah for 25 years. Concurrently, she taught Woodwind courses and ensembles at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. She taught for the 2013-14 academic year at Utah State University-Eastern in Price, Utah, directing the band and choir programs. Beginning in August 2014, she became full-time faculty at Dixie State University and is currently an Assistant Professor of Woodwinds and Music Education. Dr. Rhodes holds an M.M. in Instrumental Conducting from Northern Arizona University and a D.M.A. in Music Education from Boston University.
Specializing in woodwind doubling, Dr. Rhodes plays saxophone, oboe, english horn, clarinet and flute. She has studied with Dr. Larry Smith, Dr. Max Dalby, Dr. Patricia Hoy and Dr. Rebecca Scarnati. She plays oboe/eh in a community orchestra, and plays woodwinds for music theater productions at Tuacahn Amphitheater in Ivins, Utah. She performs regularly with the USU Summer Alumni Concert Band in Logan, Utah and in the Rebel Jazz Band in St. George, Utah. Dr. Rhodes is an active music adjudicator and honor band clinician in Utah. Highly involved in the Utah Music Educators Association (UMEA), she has served as a Region Music Chair, State Solo & Ensemble Festival Scheduler, Jazz Vice-President, Business Manager and UMEA President. She completed her term as UMEA Immediate Past President in July 2021. Dr. Rhodes is faculty advisor to the Dixie State University Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).
What do you see as the major challenges music education will face during your term and in what ways can you transform these into opportunities during your presidency?
Challenge: Music-making opportunities not accessible to all students.
Opportunities: Traditional means of “music making” are not the only way to involve students in music’s creation, processes and emotion. Making and manipulating music digitally is an exciting avenue I am willing to explore and promote.
Challenge: Music educators that are not willing to be flexible in the ensembles and genres they promote.
Opportunities: State MEAs promoting ways to showcase school music program excellence in festivals or contests featuring ensembles outside of, or in addition to, band/choir/jazz/orchestra. Opening up the offerings will not deplete current ensembles, but widen the music footprint in schools and bring in more parent and community support for the subject in schools. I know we can’t do it all immediately, but a growth mind-set is critical. How about region and state-level composition festivals, music theory “knowledge bowls,” digital music production festivals, guitar/mariachi/modern band festivals? Some states in the western division already have these in place. States can learn from each other’s successes and challenges.
What do you see as the major challenges the association will face during your term and in what ways can you transform these into opportunities during your presidency?
Challenge: Staying relevant in professional development.
Opportunities: Help promote professional development where it is closest to the teacher – at the state and local level.
Challenge: Growing the membership.
Opportunities: Aggressively involve teachers as they enter the profession. Give full voting rights at the national level to collegiate membership. Bringing professional development closer to the teacher will also improve association membership. Benefits of membership are immediately evident.
How do you plan to advance equity/DEIA in NAfME during your term of office?
To look for exemplary programs throughout the division and encourage the documentation and demonstration of the work being done. In the western division the tenant of access, for example, presents in many ways. Find how music educators are reaching students in remote areas. Find out how music educators are reaching students in districts with limited resources. Find the success stories, share them, and encourage similar approaches to those teaching in similar situations. Improve contacts with more teachers in the division so they know where they can turn for resources they need.