Stephen Shoop

Hist. of Mus. Ed. in Tex

A Brief Historical Timeline of Public School Music Education in Texas from 1920 to the Present



This brief outline is a concise historical timeline of public school music education in Texas from 1920 to the present.  The primary purpose is to provide the pre-service Texas music educator with general information about how things developed—that is, how we got to where we are today.  This outline only highlights some of the most significant events, milestones, and professional organizations-- and should in no way be considered comprehensive.  The history of public school music in Texas is well documented.  Interested readers are strongly encouraged to consult the considerable number of sources dedicated to the various facets of this topic.  Many of these resources are housed at college/university libraries around the state, in addition to the substantial amount of archival materials available for study at TMEA headquarters, in Austin.  Dr. Steve Shoop, March 4, 2012. 



1920            Under the leadership of Annie Webb Blanton, Superintendent of Public Instruction, children could now earn credit for high school (general) music courses.


Texas Bandmasters Association is formed in Waxahachie.  First band contest is held (also in Waxahachie).  Note:  This is the forerunner organization of the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) and “modern” Texas Bandmasters Association (TBA).


1922            First music memory contest is held.  These contests were organized under University Interscholastic League (UIL) sponsorship.


1924            Name of the band association is renamed Texas Band Teachers Association (TBTA)—reflecting the change taking place municipal bands to the public school bands.


1933            Efforts are successful to get band and orchestra into the public school curriculum.  A four years course of study is approved by the State Department of Education.


1936            Name of the organization is changed to Texas School Band and Orchestra Association (TSBOA) to include orchestra directors and also to reflect a loose affiliation with the National School Band and Orchestra Association (NSBOA).  The NSBOA was set up to administrate national and regional band contests.


1938            Name of the organization is changed to Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) as vocal music teachers are admitted to the organization.  In addition, there is the first official association affiliation between Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) and Music Educators National Conference (MENC).


The national bandmasters fraternity- Phi Beta Mu, was founded.  Primary vision for the fraternity is by Texas bandmaster Earl Irons.  A small group of charter members were organized in 1938;  the first “class” of new members was inducted in 1939.


1940            Texas Bandmasters Association is reactivated to provide for an organization exclusive to band directors.  While some had become disenchanted with the newly formed TMEA, others wanted a state bandmasters association to exist in addition to TMEA.


1946            Takeover of music contests by the University Interscholastic League (UIL) happened at the insistence of school superintendents.


1948            First annual Texas Bandmasters Association clinic-convention of the “modern” era is held in San Antonio with primary emphasis on new music and the marching band.   (All subsequent TBA clinic-conventions have been held in San Antonio).  


1950            Elementary Division of TMEA is formed.


1951            College Division of TMEA is formed.


1955            Texas Choral Directors Association (TCDA) is founded.


1962            Texas Orchestra Directors Association (TODA) is founded.


1965            African-American music educators are admitted for membership in TMEA.


1975            TMEA becomes officially separated from Music Educators National Conference (MENC).  Texas MENC affiliate Texas Music Educators Conference (TMEC) is organized.


1981            Texas House Bill 246 is passed (defining what is basic to education and includes the fine arts).


1984            Texas House Bill 72 is enacted (including formulation of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills [TEKS] and no-pass, no-play).


1995            Fiftieth Annual Texas Bandmasters Association clinic-convention is held in San Antonio.

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