Serving Students and Teachers of the Performing Arts
Welcome to the online home of the Southwest Music Education Association! Whether you are a student, teacher, parent or community member, we trust that you will find something here of interest. We are deeply dedicated to the value of experiences in music, theater and dance for people of all ages, but especially for students. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via the contact page. Thanks for visiting!
Beginning in the 1950’s, the All-American Judges Association provided adjudication for marching events all across the country, including Southern California. Judges in Southern California, concerned about the high dues required by the national office, made the decision in the early 1980’s to create a new, independent judges association to serve local parades and winter guard contests. At the forefront of this effort was Don Porter, Sr., who had previously served as the director of the very first DCI champion, the Anaheim Kingsmen. Mr Porter would serve as SCJA’s very first president.
Through the 1980’s and early 90’s, the SCJA served in the winterguard, field band and parade arenas. With Don’s passing in 1998, new leadership took the helm and the organization continued to flourish. In 2005, the very first SCJA field band Championships were sponsored. This annual contest would later grow into the California State Band Championships, or CSBC.
With the passage of the years, fewer and fewer competitive parades were held, and the field tournament activity, featuring fine marching bands and color guards, grew substantially. The California State Band Championships continued to grow until it outgrew the judging association that originally created it.
A new home was needed for the California State Band Championships, and in 2015 the CSBC was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. At the same time, it was decided to create a parent organization with a much larger purpose - the Southwest Music Education Association, also a 501(c)3 non-profit.
Since that time, the SWMEA has continued to evolve, providing it first educational event in September of 2017.
The first competitive season was held in the fall of 2016 and served over 120 bands. A partner organization to CSBC was also created to provide high quality judging service for CSBC shows and the greater community – the Southwest Judges Network.
Since that time, the SWMEA has continued to evolve, providing their first educational event, The SWMEA Marching Arts Experience, in September of 2017.
Through articulated partnerships, advocacy and philanthropy, SWMEA will convene, unify and support all individuals and organizations engaged in the performing arts.
Our Mission Statement
SWMEA will be a nexus for performing arts education throughout the region. We will be:
A conduit for philanthropic support.
Recognized as a provider for training and continued education
Seekers of new methods, techniques and mediums of performance
Promoter of new constituents
Advocates for the arts