PMEA Advocacy Leadership

PMEA Director of Public and Government Affairs

Mark Despotakis

Advocacy Council Chair

Emily Brumbaugh, Loyalsock Township School District

“Tell me, and I forget. Show me, and I remember. Involve me, and I understand.”

Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM) Chair

Chuck Neidhardt – Retired


District Advocacy Representatives

District 1

Galen McKinney, Brentwood Borough School District

“Some people think music education is a privilege, but I think it’s essential to being human.”

District 2

Jillian Melchitzky, Northwestern SD

“Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.” – Frank Zappa

District 3

Tina Bennett, Retired

“If not you , then who?”

District 4


District 5

Lee Caldwell, Ellwood City Area School District

“The world is in great need of more music education.  When students play music, it allows their artistic mind to express itself, which is very important in helping to balance a child intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally.” – Paul Reed Smith, President of PRS Guitars

District 6

Catherine Kasun, Conemaugh Township School District

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” -Victor Hugo

District 7

Russell McCutcheon, Gettysburg College

District 8

Emily Brumbaugh, Loyalsock Township School District

District 9

Jennifer Gerhard, Hazleton Area School District

“We are the same. There is no difference anywhere in the world. People are people. They laugh, cry, feel, and love, and music sees to be the common denomination that brings us all together. Music cuts through all boundaries and goes right to the soul.” Willie Nelson

District 10

Rob Arnold, Catasuqua Area School District

“Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.” -Plato

District 11

Debbie Lynn Wolf, Cairn University

“Music enhances the education of our children by helping them to make connections and broadening the depth with which they think and feel. If we are to hope for a society of culturally literate people, music must be a vital part of our children’s education.”  – Yo-Yo Ma

District 12

George Weaver, Chichester School District

“If we are to hope for a society of culturally literate people, music must be a part of our children’s education.” -Yo-Yo Ma

Industry Representatives

Cindy McAllister – C.F. Martin & Co., Inc.

Joel Menchey – Menchey Music Service

Peter Sides – Robert M. Sides Family Music Centers

“Anyone can be an advocate for music education.”

Beth Schiemer – Brighton Music Center

“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.” – Plato