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December, 18, 2024
09:45 AM - 10:45 AM




Brian Coatney

Brian Coatney

Annie Ray

Annie Ray

Developing and Maintaining a Parent Orchestra

Clinic Synopsis:

Music has the power to bring people together, foster creativity, and create a sense of community. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in parent involvement in their children's musical education. One innovative proposal is the creation of a parent orchestra within school programs. This session will explore how to properly create a parent orchestra and the benefits of establishing a parent orchestra.

Brian Coatney - Biographical Information

Brian Coatney, a native of Arlington, Texas, discovered his passion for music at a young age. After graduating from high school, Coatney set his sights on pursuing a career in music. He enrolled at Northwestern State University, where he excelled academically and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in music education. Coatney's dedication and talent led him to further his studies at James Madison University, where he earned a Masters in Orchestral Conducting under the guidance of Dr. Robert McCashin in 2003. During his tenure at Plano Senior High School, Coatney's leadership propelled the school's orchestra to new heights of success. The orchestra consistently earned multiple Sweepstakes awards at UIL competitions and received Best in Class accolades at national music competitions. In recognition of their exceptional talent and dedication, the orchestra had the privilege of performing at the prestigious Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. Under Coatney's direction, the Plano Senior High Symphony Orchestra achieved the distinguished honor of being chosen as the Honor Full Orchestra three times, in 2008, 2011, and most recently in 2014. This recognition solidified Coatney's reputation as an outstanding conductor and educator. In 2020, Coatney embraced a new opportunity and joined the Wylie ISD fine arts team as the director of orchestras at Wylie High School. Despite the program being relatively new, Coatney is enthusiastic about its growth and the potential for inspiring performances.

Annie Ray - Biographical Information

Annie Ray currently serves as both the Orchestra Director and Performing Arts Department Chair at Annandale High School (AHS) in the Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) system. Annie is an advocate for providing universal access to quality music education and is known for founding and developing creative opportunities to make music accessible to students of all demographics. Her establishment of the FCPS Parent Orchestra teaches about 200 caregivers annually to learn to play their student’s instrument and provides mentorship to upcoming music teachers. Annie also developed the Crescendo Orchestra program (inspired by Giving Bach and United Sound) to make Orchestra curriculum accessible to students with significant developmental or intellectual disabilities. In January 2022, this program was featured and acclaimed on the cover of the Metro section in The Washington Post. TEDx invited Annie to give a talk in April 2022, The Sounds of Success, based on her approach in the classroom and how to meet students where they are at. She has presented at numerous colleges and national/international conferences and was named the 2024 Grammy Music Educator Award recipient and the 2023 FCPS Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the Year for her work on equity in education. Annie is a member of the StringRise professional development team and her mentors include Dennis Langevin, Brian Coatney, Dr. Elizabeth Chappell, Dr. Jaymee Haefner, and Naoko Nakamura. She is an active performing harpist and currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Dr. Irving Ray and their daughters Eloise and Millie. Annie is an adventurer at heart, and her biggest bucket list item is to one day win The Amazing Race.