Chipman elected president of Florida Music Educators Association

Shelby Chipman, a FAMU grad, is best known as director of the Marching 100.
Photo Submitted by Mitchell, B.

Shelby Chipman, director of FAMU’s acclaimed March 100, has been named president-elect of the Florida Music Educators Association.

Chipman is the second FAMU alumnus and the third FAMU professor to be named president-elect. He will serve as president-elect for two years and then from 2021-2023, he will become the organization's official president.  Chipman was awarded the honor Saturday at the organization’s annual convention in Tampa.

Lindsey Sarjeant, chair of FAMU’s Music Department, said, “I’m very elated he’s been elected. He has the character to be able to do that. Out of all the schools in the state of Florida our music department has produced the best music educators as you can see with Shelby’s numerous accomplishments not only in the state of Florida but nationally.

“As an African American Shelby has proven himself time and time again,” Sarjeant added. “He’s going to be an outstanding addition to the board.”

Chipman was nominated in December for this two-person race. This was not his first attempt at running for his new position. In 2016, he lost the 2019 president's position to FSU professor Steve Kelly. He was nominated again by a member on the board of directors.

All votes were submitted through electronic ballots. He found out around 2 p.m. and members were notified via mass email at about 3 p.m. on Saturday.

He will oversee all of the component organizations which includes the Florida Music Supervision Association, Florida Orchestra, Florida Vocal Association, and the Florida Elementary Music Educators Association.

One of the new responsibilities at hand will involve having to set up all seven annual Florida Music Associations' conferences in the years of his presidency.

“I’m just humbled to have the opportunity,” Chipman said. “Of course there is a six-year commitment in this position and we just finished our two-year theme, which was artistry. I plan on centering back to the basics; that way we can reach all Florida students in the classrooms and bridging the gap to those schools who have not yet developed a music program. It is humbling to know that I follow the likes of those who I admire and who came before since my time at FAMU not only as a professor but also as a former student. I promise to serve the state of Florida to the best of my ability. ”

FMEA also celebrated its 75th year anniversary of the conference and the association. FMEA consists of roughly 20,000 plus educators as well as all music students in the state. The conference itself houses over more than 10,000 music students and educators every year in January from  Wednesday through Saturday.

“I'm not surprised. Dr. Chipman is well deserving and possesses the highest qualities of character, musicality, leadership, and dedication for his position as president-elect. He is a great example of how with hard work toward something you have a passion for can be so rewarding,” said Justin Fitzpatrick, a senior music education major from Tallahassee.