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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, October 7, 2013


Palen Music Center is dedicated to helping children experience excellence, personal growth, and joy through involvement in music. We carry out this mission by supporting area band directors through weekly service, support, educational programs, and quality products. This weekly Quick Note newsletter strives to highlight topics that are immediately helpful in the classroom. Comments, suggestions, ideas, and articles are always welcome.


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Thanks to Marvin Manring, Director of Music at Stockton, Missouri Schools and the Historian of MMEA for calling this to our attention.  This article also appeared in the Fall MSM Missouri School Musicl.  In addition to the well deserved recognition of Claude T. Smith, we also have the opportunity to expose our students to important contributions in all fields by noted citizens of Missouri or our respective states.  Thanks to Marvin for his efforts! - Bob Hopkins

And the Rest is...Music History
by Marvin Manring

I'll say it again: “Put Claude In The Hall!”...the Hall of Famous Missourians, that is.

Claude T. Smith's accomplishments as an internationally-performed composer, well-traveled conductor and clinician, and contributor to Missouri music education certainly make a great case for one of our own.

Dr. Tom Trimborn's latest contribution to the MMEA archives is a collection entitled “Important Composers Who Wrote for the Band,” a publication that is a staple for each instrumental music student at Truman State. Among these are names like Vaughan Williams, Persichetti, Reed, Chance, Holst...and Smith.

Up to now, enshrinement in the Hall has been determined by the Speaker of the House, currently Tim Jones of Eureka. Nomination of a deserving individual had no established process and it was necessary to re-nominate each year. MMEA submitted Claude's credentials and petitions for his consideration in each of the last three cycles, with no luck. (Then, as noted below, the process changed!)

That's where YOU come in...and, since we're talking about advocacy in this issue, if “Mr. Smith Goes to Jefferson City,” it will have to be done with your help.

Contacting your state representative is as simple as pointing your browser to and using the legislator look-up tool. A short note (don't forget, “Honorable” goes a long way) advocating for Claude's enshrinement, copied to the Speaker's office, will help make the difference! Politics and party don't matter if we can all agree on 7/8 meter.

Bonus: You've established a point of communication with your state representative. Continue to advocate during the school year/legislative session and see it through!

Do you need a form letter? Not if you've played or conducted any of Claude's pieces...but e-mail me if you need one. What a great opportunity to communicate the “electric thrill” his music conveys. Need a bio? Check out for a few notable facts.

We know he belongs there, but we need to lead the charge. MMEA, let's get this done!

Band fans and friends of music education have the opportunity to endorse legendary composer Claude T. Smith for membership in the prestigious Hall of Famous Missourians in the state capitol building.

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