At the NASMD Annual Convention, NAMM’s Joe Lamond and Mary Luehrsen used a three-tiered approach to emphasize the important role of the industry’s school music segment on the Federal, State and District level.
During the morning plenary keynote session, Joe Lamond, President and CEO of NAMM, spoke about taking the long and winding road that led to the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) federal education law. He encouraged attendees to get involved from wherever they are, reiterating our right and responsibility to engage in the democratic process.
Focusing on state and local advocacy, Mary Luehrsen moderated two sessions: the first highlighted The NAMM Foundation’s Coalition on Coalitions effort and featured examples of state level advocacy work currently in process by Robin Walenta, West Music; Mark Goff, Paige’s Music; Mike Kamphuis, Conn-Selmer; Mark Despotakis, Progressive Music; and Tristann Rieck, Brass Bell Music. The second featured personal experiences from past NAMM Advocacy Fly-In participants who shared how the experience emboldened them to take local action. The sessions ended with a mock policy debate offering NASMD attendees the opportunity to defend music education using ‘relentlessly positive’ tools and tactics.