Category Archives: Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes (5-9-2017)

Northern Illinois Music Conference
Board of Directors meeting
May 9, 2017

  1. Call to order 4:07
  2. Approval of Minutes from 8/25/16 Board meeting: EM, SS
  3. Officer reports
    1. President’s report
      1. Contest surveys
        1. very positive
        2. all warm-up rooms should be supervised
      2. Sites/Dates for 2018
        1. Organization at Beach Park Middle School (Not yet confirmed)
          1. March 9, 10
          2. band and orchestra at the middle school
          3. looking for an elementary in district for choirs
        2. Cooper Jazz site is a possibility  (not yet confirmed)
          1. March 13 (Tuesday)
          2. decision within a month
        3. Solo and Ensemble: Feb 24th
          1. Big Hollow
      3. Officers for 2017-18
        1. Treasurer – need interim ASAP
        2. Judging – Two names on slate (manageable)
      4. Fall meeting date
        1. September 18
        2. 7PM start
        3. LZMSN
    2. Vice-President’s report
      1. Rubrics
        1. Consistency between judges
        2. Phrasing- Language
      2. Solo and Ensemble:
        1. Training judges – recorded example during judge’s meeting
        2. Differences between rooms
          1. Numbers of I’s II’s…. I+
          2. Score when with the end  in mind
          3. Medal purchases over the last 20 years: the numbers don’t change
          4. Share the chart: % of medals awarded by judge (Riley B)
      3. Plaques
        1. Indiana- No tax
        2. $10 a plaque
    3. Treasurer’s report
      1. Income/expense report
      2. Tax exempt status
        1. Letter of state tax denial – because we charge fees vs. fundraising
        2. We’ll purchase medals this year to fill out our contract, then find a new vendor in the future.
      3. Officer stipends for 2016-17
    4. Judge Hirer’s report
      1. Google drive was great!
      2. Follow up with host school for meetings, etc.
      3. Need to continue to build a list of judges, especially string and vocal. (Band is OK)
        1. Judges talking with each other after a performance- influencing the outcome.
        2. Judges can confer for the first one but not share scores
        3. This will be added to the agenda for the judge’s meetings 
    5. Webmaster’s report
      1. Great to have one location for information
      2. Front Page:
      3. Renewal of membership through website
  4. Old Business
    1. Grant writing (Laura)
      1. holding off on this – we must have 3 years of data
      2. need to have a specific purpose for the funds (probably piano purchase)
    2. Paperless scoring (Riley/Steve)
      1. Committee to come with a process
      2. pilot one room (minimum)
      3. hidden fees? Are there any?
    3. Honors Invitational (Ellen)
      1. 1 school signed up
      2. the board recommends we drop this for now
      3. if interest is there, we revisit later
      4. remove from website at this time.
    4. How to Host Guide (Riley/Steve)
  5. New Business
    1. Medal vendor (Ellen)
      1. one year left on the contract
      2. follow through with the contract
      3. Sales tax is the issue
      4. the purple was too close to blue
      5. keep the stripes
    2. Organization Contest
      1. 30-minute jazz spots
        1. change from 40 minutes to 30
        2. more groups, not as late since it’s a school night
        3. bring to membership in September
        4. board is open to discussion
      2. 2019 dates ( dates to approve at meeting)
        1. S/E 4th weekend : Feb 23
        2. Organization: March 16
        3. Jazz: March 19th
    3. Solo and Ensemble Contest
      1. 2019 date see above
      2. North Shore band contest ideas (Steve)
        1. This was discussed and tabled based on Laura’s experience as a judge.
      3. Change wording: “Percussion soloists will perform rudiments and instrumental soloists will perform scales from the required lists. Ensembles do not perform scales.”
        1. Percussion soloists will perform rudiments from the required lists.
        2. Instrumental soloists will perform a scale from the piece that is being performed.
        3. Vote on language at Sept. meeting
    4. Google Drive organization (Elise)
    5. Event names:
      1. Motion to change the name to Solo and Ensemble Festival
        1. Do we keep “contest” to liken it to a sport?
      2. Organization festival to NIMCON Music Festival
      3. Vote at September meeting
  6. Adjournment:
    1. motion to adjourn SS, EM

Board Meeting Minutes (10 April 2016)

Call to order

Officer reports

President’s report

  1. Contest surveys
    1. Overall, everything went well for our first year!
    2. Quotes in letter and on website (directors, judges, parents, students)
  2. Sites/Dates for 2017-2/25 Jazz in the Meadows
    1. S&E Feb 25 @ LZ North
    2. Possibility of a second site to accommodate Jazz in Meadows
      1. May need a second site if membership increases as well
      2. Runner issue with ten minute increments…give rubric to room monitor after each performance.  Allows runners to get forms even if judge is busy.  Getting scores online is crucial.
    3. Organizational:  Hawthorn Middle North will be hosting March 10/11
      1. May want to seek second site/date depending on membership
      2. Some question about Friday night times, too late?
      3. Provide clinician with mic so that audience can hear feedback
    4. Jazz Contest following Tuesday

Vice-President’s report

  1. Percussion Concerns at organizational and s&e
  2. Complaints about rubrics
    1. Dynamics score
    2. Jazz soloist
    3. Should possibly use low numbers for the higher scores

Treasurer’s report

  1. We have a remaining $1148 after both contests
  2. 21 Districts participated
  3. Pianos were quite an expense-look at fees-fourth level?  Tiered district fee?
  4. Bring total costs to membership and see how directors feel about increases in fees

Judge Hirer’s report

  1. A lot of positive feedback about the rubric from judges
  2. We should send a “save-the-date” to judges now for next year
  3. Add a button to the webpage for judges to apply and present a resume for consideration

Webmaster’s report

  1. We have a Facebook page…and it should be changed to a private/closed group
  2. We love the website and the fact that everything is in one place

Old Business

  1. Medals
    1. Ordered two more years of medals and have a great deal with the company
    2. We need to apply for 501c3 status to save on taxes
  2. State contest site
    1. Art and Jim will take on this endeavor for next year
    2. High Schools are filling out calendars now for next year
    3. Aim for last two weekends in April
  3. Rubrics
    1. Two tweaks to be considered (mentioned above in VP Report)
  4. Grant writing
    1. Laura will look into IL Arts Council, Kickstarter, etc.
    2. Need money for clavinova purchases
  5. Paperless scoring
    1. Jen and Riley will work together on this

New Business

  1. letter to new directors
    1. Ellen will spearhead this letter
    2. Long discussion about fees for districts v. schools v. directors
  2. Invoice vs. fee sheet
    1. Online entering system that produces an invoice (better accuracy)
  3. Organization Contest
    1. how much of 40/30 minutes for organization is performance
    2. No organizations shall warm up in the performance area
    3. Did not get to the following agenda items:
  4. Solo and Ensemble Contest
    1. One solo per student per instrument
    2. Time requests for EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES ONLY (more than 10% of entries w/ requests will require explanation?)
    3. Changes to solo/ensemble after deadline (adding students, schedule changes)
  5. Host stipends

Adjournment – 4:15

Board will meet again in early August

Date TBD for Fall Membership Meeting


Minutes (9-15-2015)

Lake Zurich North Middle School
6:30pm dinner
7:00pm meeting

Action Items

The following is a list of action item(s) resulting from the meeting. Please read the minutes prior to participating. Thank you!


  • Carolyn Awe
  • Laura Blanchard
  • Jessica Brown
  • Renee Brown
  • Margaret Delligatti (representing 1 of 4)
  • Heidi Flowers
  • Steve Flowers
  • Jim Garbrecht
  • Jen Grabo
  • Kelly Harper
  • Art Hildebrandt
  • Elise Matusek
  • Samantha May
  • Jessica Nellis
  • Keith Nowickas
  • Riley Broach
  • Ellen Singer
  • Steve Stenzel
  • Kate O’Connor

7pm: meeting called to order, introductions made individually

7:08pm: Ellen provides overview and current state

  • 22 schools signed up
  • 77 directors on the list
  • For info on due date and where to send, click here for the Membership Fee Invoice or to join NIMCon


  • Possible conflict of PARCC timing vs contest discussed, specifics of PARCC test and upcoming changes, some of it is still in update status
  • NIMCon will keep contests dates as published
  • discussion of locations for contest,timing of event and earliest performance times
  • Organization Contest is at Woodland; earliest we could start is Friday 4pm and Sat 8am. Jazz Contest is at Nippersink and will start at TBA.
  • Looking to get next year planned or build a rotation schedule; looking for hosts for 2017; if you are interested please let us know what needs would you have, which contest you are interested, what dates you could host (we can be flexible) – looking to maintaining 3rd weekend in Feb for Solo and Ensemble Contest.
  • no volunteers at this time; we will continue seeking locations

Laura presents budget

Elise presents rubric

  • need a revised rating sheet, former sheets have been in use for 22 years or so without updates, but we know there have been changes to our demand, research shows there are new directions so seek and formats to make it clearer for the judges about the type of direction we are looking for with young performers; looked at GOOD-BETTER-BEST recommendations (please see rubrics folder)
  • 12345 – makes a 1 and 5 rating near impossible to achieve; adjust the BEST rating of 15 to smaller weighting – it is too much for middle school, less emphasis on stage presence, suggest weightings of 1-3-5 for “other category”, too many words in BEST, final recommendation is to make a synthesis of BETTER and BEST;
  • general statement made that we need to adjust our discussion with students and parents what a 2-3-4 rating system really implements – we want to focus on the developmental tasks – an adjustment of thought
  • Action Item: Rubric Discussion

Ellen presents Old Business

  • 2nd level contest
  • John Harshey looking into sites
  • contact Ellen (  if you can help with facilities and ideas
  • looking for a high school facility perhaps
  • seating for audience is needed
  • we are concentrating on the performance space

Riley presents Logo and Website

  • Website
  • features: reflects our name and purpose (music), inclusive logo (does not specify a music type – violins, trumpets, treble clefs vs bass clefs)
  • differentiated from other logos
  • looks professional, clean, and simple

Grant writing – anyone who is interested – please contact Ellen Singer

Riley presents paperless / automated scoring

  • on a trial basis
  • minimal contest office
  • less volunteers needed
  • more efficient and fewer errors
  • Jessica (HawthornS) volunteered her experience

8pm: Motion to adjourn

  • Jen motions
  • Steve 2nd
  • All in favor

Minutes (15 June 2015)

Agenda and Minutes

June 1, 2015, 7pm

Members present: Ellen Singer, Elise Matusek, Jim Garbrecht, Steve Stenzel, Art Hildebrand, Riley Broach, Jen Lydigsen, Carolyn Awe, Tony Passaro, Ben Gray,John Harshey, Laura Blanchard, Oksana Lukaszewskyj, Kelly Harper, Megan Ames, Margaret Delligatti, Renee Brown, Bart Medlicott

Guests present: Carol Munn, Allison Rakickas, Jessica Nellis, Tracie Tatz, Marc Smith, pat Cantagallo, Steve Thomas, Jeremy budrow, Kathie Logan, Cindy Severino, Heidi Flowers, Alaina Gibbons, Keith Nowickas, Leslie Paul-Osterbur

  1. Membership form-have available for people to fill out (Riley)
    1. Website should be a “one-stop shop” for everyone
    2. Easy layout – laptop/tablet/phone accessible
    3. Your feedback is appreciated!
  2. Discussion on: bylaws, contest rules and procedures
    1. By-Laws Discussion:
      1. No discussion – looks good!
    2. Solo/Ensemble Procedures:
      1. Entries due by Dec. 1 which is earlier than IGSMA
      2. Medals – Stars v. Ribbons
        1. Supportive of the cheaper ribbons
      3. Rigorousness of Judges – Lack of consistency discussed
      4. Instead of years played, perhaps Directors rank kids for difficulty
        1. Class A/B/C?  Would require repertoire list
        2. Perhaps a check box if it’s their first contest
      5. More well-defined rubric
        1. Define what the 1/2/3/4 means (standards-based)
        2. Use Arts Standards descriptors? Align with standards
      6. Let’s put a committee together to explore rubrics
      7. -Percussion Rudiments?  Why aren’t winds/string then responsible for scales?  There should be consistency here too.
        1. Sometimes scales serve to “settle down” a nervous kid
        2. If this is a solo/ensemble contest…where do scales fit?
        3. What about vocalists?  Scale/Arpeggios?
      8. Any restrictions on types of vocalist repertoire?  Should we restrict pop music?  Is this a Director issue – perhaps we need a “Director Feedback” sheet.
        1. A clear rubric would be the guideline
      9. We’re in favor of fewer rules…as long as they are good rules
      10. Clinic – 10 minute slots if it is scale, piece, clinic.  Would this require more judges with the longer time slot?
        1. We could start a database on the website for interested judges
      11. Piano Solos – should we require the piano soloists to be part of a school ensemble in order to compete.  These solos are just taking up time and become a recital for outside private teachers.
        1. Acoustic pianos cost extra if they need to be rented and tuned
    3. Organizational Procedures:
      1. Do the bands need a march?  Can we say contrasting styles?
      2. Sight-reading component?
      3. Clinic portion?  Perhaps the clinician chooses an appropriate sight-reading piece based on the group’s performance.  This could serve as the clinician jump-off platform.
      4. Do we need to expand the time limit then?  We suggest the clinic takes place directly after performance in the same room.  Schedule 40 minutes total including clinic time and set-up/break-down.
      5. State Contest with NIMC?  We propose that “state” level kids can play in a professional venue.  (Insurance question asked from organizational standpoint – it is the school’s insurance that must be submitted)
      6. Should judges give verbal feedback along with written?
      7. Possibly the first weekend in May
    4. Clavinovas:
      1. First idea would be to rent from IGSMA
      2. Back-up idea is to rent from elsewhere
    5. Fees:
      1. Solo costs – $6 per soloists or ensemble member
      2. Organizational – flat $5 with medal, $4 w/o medal
      3. Judge compensation – perhaps pay per hour ($25 per hour)
  3. Contest dates/hosts:
    1. Solo/Ensemble- Feb 20 at Lake Forest Country Day School
    2. Band/Choir/Orchestra- April 8 & 9, Lake Zurich MS North
      1. **PAARC testing may be moving to April
      2. Deer Path is looking into a back-up date in March
      3. Hawthorn can also look into being a site
    3. Jazz Band-March 17 at Nippersink MS
  4. Adjourn those who are not members
  5. Voting on  bylaws, rules
    1. By-Laws – Motioned by Renee, Seconded by John
      All in Favor
    2. Contest Entries Procedures – Motioned Steve, Seconded by Tony
      All in Favor
    3. Ribbon Color (any available) as opposed to star – Motioned by Riley, Seconded by Caroline
      All in Favor
    4. Eligibility
      1. #1/2/3 – Motioned and passed as is
      2. #4 & 5 – change to 40 minutes for set-up, performance, clinic, and break-down
      3. #10 – Concert bands will play three selections (same as #12)
      4. No sight-reading
      5. All in favor of changes
    5. Solo & Ensemble Rules
      1. #3 – Change to 10 minutes
      2. #6 – Remove piano solos from entire contest
      3. ADD #13 – Percussion soloists will perform rudiments and solo instrumentalists will perform scales
      4. All in favor of changes
    6. Adjudicators
      All in favor
    7. Fees
      1. Raised to $6, $5, and $4
        All in favor
    8. Compensation
      1. #1 – Judges will be paid $25 per hour and rounded up as needed
      2. #4 – Stipends will be honored at the end of the fiscal year, and officers can waive portions of the stipend at their discretion
      3. All in favor
  6. Voting on officers
    1. Ellen Singer – President
    2. Elise Matusek – Vice President
    3. Jen Lydigsen – Secretary
    4. Laura Blanchard – Treasurer
    5. Riley Broach – Webmaster
    6. Steve Stenzel/Art Hildebrand/Jim Garbrecht – Judge Hirers
  7. Set date for fall meeting
    1. A date will be determined via the website (meeting board)
  8. Adjourn 8:58pm

Flagship Meeting Minutes

Northern Illinois Music Conference

Minutes for April 22, 2015 7:00 PM
Lake Zurich North Middle School

Ellen Singer, Jim Garbrecht, Art Hildebrand, and Elise Matusek introduced themselves. Apologies were shared from Steve Stenzel who was unable to be there. Thirty-six directors representing twenty-six different schools attended the meeting.

Why a new organization
A brief overview was given of specific events that have occurred over the past few years, and why we feel it is time for a new organization. Ellen, Jim, Art, and Elise each stressed that NIMC will be an organization that will listen to directors, will value input and suggestions and that NIMC will be an organization that wants the best for everyone (students, directors, schools alike). That is IMPORTANT.

Why you should join
Discussion was focused on increased educational opportunities for students and directors both short and long term, the possibility of clinics for S&E, as well as Organization Contests; flexibility in scheduling contests to accommodate issues related to long weekends and PARCC testing; opportunities for a second-level contest in a professional venue for groups that qualify, and lower cost for participating schools and Directors.

Financial/budget info
Ellen shared a spreadsheet showing potential budget for the organization. The bottom line shows that we could realistically keep costs the same or LESS as compared to other organizations currently running contests.

Questions from the directors included which S&E contest a director could attend (having a choice of dates), to just joining to participate in Organization Contest (yes), to having 4 judges and clinics, to size and classification (for 2nd performance), to having everything on email and establishing a google docs page, to S&E contests once a quarter to keeping things simple the first year. This is a short list of the questions discussed.

The meeting concluded at 8:15 pm. Many Directors stayed around to converse and talk to Ellen, Jim, Elise, and Art about NIMC.


Art Hildebrand