Timeline of AOSA: 1968 – 2018

AOSA has accomplished much in our first 50 years with the chartering of more than 100 chapters, growth in membership, and expansion of programming to meet the ever-changing needs of Orff Schulwerk educators. These timelines serve as a way of documenting our progress, allowing us to pause and see where we came from on the way to where we are going next. Special thanks to the AOSA History Subcommittee, including Mary Shamrock and Esther Gray, for all their work compiling all the information in these timelines. Enjoy your trip through the first 50 years of wildflowers in the United States

Association History Leadership History Conference History

Association History

Founding meeting: May 11, 1968, Muncie, Indiana.
Name assigned: Orff-Schulwerk Association (OSA)
Primary motivator: Norm Goldberg
Structure: Management year scheduled to coincide with the academic year
Primary activity: annual Professional Development Conference
Governance: Board to meet twice yearly plus at the conference
Founding members: Arnold Burkart, Norman Goldberg, Ruth Pollock Hamm, Joachim Matthesius, Elizabeth Nichols, Jacobeth Postl, Wilma McCool Salzman, Jacques Schneider, William Wakeland, Lillian Yaross
Other key member: Isabel Carley (not in attendance but very involved in early organization and governance)
First Executive Headquarters: School of Music, Ball State University


1968-69
Publication: The Orff Echo (including supplements) – bulletin format; first issue November 1968; Editor: Isabel Carley. Editorial Board also established, with membership to change as needed


1969-1970
Chapters chartered: Greater Chicago, Greater Cincinnati, Greater Cleveland, Delaware Valley (now Philadelphia Area), Greater Detroit, Greater Rochester, Greater St. Louis
Event of Note: Changed name to American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA)


1970-1971
Chapters chartered: Long Island, Memphis, Middle Atlantic (VA), Middle Tennessee, Mid-Michigan, Northern Louisiana, South Central Minnesota (now Minnesota)
Activity of Note: Advisory Board of chapter CEOs/Presidents established


1971-72
Chapters chartered: Berkshire Hudson Valley (NY), Connecticut, Indiana, New England (MA)
Event of Note: AOSA accepted into the National Music Council


1972-73
Chapter chartered:
Los Angeles


1973-74
Chapters chartered: First Iowa, Greater Milwaukee, Northern California, Portland, Rocky Mountain (CO), Western Michigan
Publication: AOSA: the First Five Years. Echo Supplement #2, Arnold Burkart


1974-1975
Chapters chartered:
Central Texas, Pittsburgh Golden Triangle, New Mexico, Southwest Florida
Event of Note: International Orff Symposium, Orff Institute, Salzburg, June 27-29, 1975 – attended by AOSA president


1975-1976
Chapter chartered: Arizona
Publication: Guidelines for Orff Teachers: Level I Course Outline (Echo Supplement, Summer 1976)

 1976-1977
Chapters chartered:
Evergreen (WA), Orange County (CA), Texas Gulf, Western New York
Publication: Orff Re-Echoes (selected articles from the first eight years of the Orff Echo)
Events of Note:

  • Gunild Keetman Assistance Fund, – designed to provide financial help for promising students in need and for the completion of special projects
  • Liaison Committee established, representing four geographical areas of the USA
  • Past President Chapter Workshops – program enables first five chapter applicants with 80% national membership to invite a past president to present an all-day chapter workshop, with fee paid by the national organization

1977-1978
Chapters chartered: Greater Des Moines, Central New Jersey, Kansas, Northern New Jersey


1978-1979
Chapters chartered: Atlanta, Central Carolina, North Texas (Dallas Metroplex)
Publication: The Orff Echo (4 issues a year) – changed to magazine format
Event of Note: ISME Conference in London, Ontario, August 12-20 – several AOSA clinicians presented


1979-1980
Chapters chartered: Heart of America (Greater Kansas City), San Diego, Piedmont North Carolina
Activity of Note: Completion and conference premiere of a 26-minute AOSA film, “Orff-Schulwerk: An American Odyssey.” Available for rental or purchase
Publication: AOSA Guidelines for Orff-Schulwerk Training Courses, Levels I-III. Mary Shamrock, Committee Chair
Event of Note: Orff Institute International Symposium, Salzburg, June 27-July 2. AOSA represented by Donald Slagel, Judith Thomas, and Lillian Yaross


1980-1981
Chapters chartered: Inland Empire (CA), Kentucky (formerly Kentuckiana), Nevada Desert Valley
Event of Note: Executive Headquarters moved to Chagrin Falls, OH


1981-1982
Chapter chartered: Idaho
Event of Note: Death of Carl Orff (July 10, 1895-March 29, 1982)


1982-1983
Chapters chartered: North Florida, Prairie Winds (NDak), Sioux Valley (SDak)
Activitys of Note:

  • Members-at-Large replaced by Regional Representatives—two from each region, one elected each year. (For the current six regions, see 1] at the end of this document.)
  • Introduction to Schulwerk (IS) – added to conference schedule

Publication: AOSA-approved list of Schulwerk teacher education courses (available on request)


1983-1984
Chapters chartered: Virginia Highlands, Ozark Mountain
Event of Note: Executive Headquarters moved to Department of Music, Cleveland State University


1984-1985
Chapters chartered: Central Florida, Homa/Okla (now Centra Oklahoma), Mount Lassen
Event of Note: Orff Institute and Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria: International Symposium, June 28-July 2, 1985. “Orff Schulwerk in the World of Tomorrow” Program included a presentation by Judith Thomas and Mary Shamrock, with participation by other AOSA members


1985-1986
Chapters chartered: Black Hills (SDak), New York City, Rocky Mountain West (CO), Wyoming, Tallahassee Area
Publication: Orff Re-Echoes Book II
Event of Note: Grant established by Liselotte Orff to support an Orff Institute representative as participant in the annual AOSA Conference
Activity of Note: Conference Guest Administrator program – All expenses paid for up to 2 administrators selected from the local chapter area, and 2 additional from within the region hosting the conference


1986-1987
Chapters chartered: Hawaii, Sierra Nevada, South Florida


1987-1988
Chapters chartered: Alaska, Maine, Northwest Ohio
Activity of Note: AOSA collection of VHS videotapes made available for rental (Donna Marchetti, Film Librarian; ongoing listing and reviews in the Orff Echo)
Event of Note: 1988 Opening in Munich: Orff-Zentrum Staatsinstitut fur Forschung und Dokumentation (Orff Center: State Institute for Research and Documentation)


1988-1989
Activity of Note: Ad hoc Research Advisory Review Panel (RARP) initiated to advise the National Board on research matters and assist in reviewing research grant applications and conference presentations


1989-1990
Chapters chartered: Alabama, Inland Counties (CA)
Distinguished Service Award: Grace Nash
Events of Note:

  • Orff Institute, Salzburg: Symposium, June 28-July 1, 1990 “Orff-Schulwerk: a Continuing Heritage.” AOSA representation: Doug Goodkin, Mary Shamrock
  • AOSA now affiliated with MENC, currently National Association for Music Education (NAfME)

1990-1991
Chapters chartered: Coastal Empire (SC), Great Plains (NE), Utah
Distinguished Service Award: Barbara Grenoble

Activities of Note:

  • Formation of the AOSA Research Interest Group (RIG), Janet Robbins, Chair. AOSA now affiliated with the Orff Schulwerk Forum Salzburg, an independent institution collaborating with the Orff Institute, Orff Foundation and all Orff Schulwerk societies worldwide
  • Shields-Gillespie Scholarship—provides financial aid to teachers of preschool and kindergarten children from minority and limited income populations to develop skills in using music with their students

Event of Note: Death of Gunild Keetman (June 5, 1904-December 14, 1990)


1991-1992
Chapter chartered: Hawaii, South Carolina Foothills
Distinguished Service Award: Jacobeth Postl and Lillian Yaross


1992-1993
Distinguished Service Award: Jane Frazee
Activities of Note:

  • Teacher Apprenticeship program designed for those preparing to become teachers of Basic Orff pedagogy and ensemble classes at approved Orff Schulwerk teacher training courses.
  • Introduction of Audio-Video Library – Donna Marchetti, librarian

1993-1994 AOSA 25th Anniversary
Chapter chartered: Treasure State (Montana)

Activities of Note:

  • 1993 Conference Presentations by Frau Liselotte Orff of an original Carl Orff manuscript (from Schulwerk, Vol. V) in honor of the 25th anniversary
  • On behalf of the Carl Orff Foundation, Frau Liselotte Orff presented the Medal Pro Merito to Joachim Matthesius, recognizing outstanding contributions to the interpretation and adaptation of the artistic and pedagogical legacy of Orff Schulwerk (the first American to receive this honor)
  • Ad Hoc Multicultural Committee (predecessor of current Diversity Subcommittee)

1994-1995
Chapters chartered: American River, Tidewater Area (VA), Mississippi, Twin Tiers (NY)
Distinguished Service Award: Brigitte Warner
Publication: Reverberations (newsletter) now included as an insert in the Orff Echo (Winter ’95)


1995-1996 – Carl Orff Centenary 

Activities of Note:

  • AOSA homepage now available on the internet
  • TAP Fund (Training and Projects), providing financial aid to AOSA members teaching elementary and junior high students of low-income populations

Publication: Orff Schulwerk: Brief History, Description, and Issues in Global Dispersal (monograph), Mary Shamrock. Available from Exec. Headquarters
Event of Note: Orff Institute, Salzburg: International Symposium, June 29-July 2, 1995 “The Inherent—the Foreign—in Common.” Music and Dance Education as a Contribution to Intercultural Pedagogy. Honoring the 100th birth anniversary of Carl Orff


1996-1997
Chapter chartered: West Virginia, Wild Horse Desert
Distinguished Service Award: Konnie Saliba
Activity of Note: Guest Educator program: expansion to maximum of eight at each conference


1997-1998
Distinguished Service Award: Arvida Steen
Activities of Note:

  • The Carl Orff Foundation presented the Pro Merito Award to Jane Frazee (presented by Frau Liselotte Orff)
  • Ad hoc joint committee with the American Recorder Society (ARS/AOSA)

Publication: Revised Guidelines for Orff Schulwerk Teacher Training Courses, Levels I,II,III. Arvida Steen, revision committee chair


1998-1999
Chapters chartered: Greater Tampa Bay, Northern Lights
Distinguished Service Award: Isabel Carley
Industry Service Award: Norman Goldberg
Activity of Note: Added “Meeting of the Minds” to the conference schedule


 1999-2000
Distinguished Service Award: Mary Shamrock
Industry Service Awards: Judy Pine, Gerald Burakoff (posthumous)

Activitie of Note:

  • AOSA National Advocacy Council formed (nationally known performers and personalities willing to endorse AOSA’s mission and to serve as public spokespersons for AOSA and Orff Schulwerk). Charter Member: Gerald McDermott.
  • Requirements for AOSA approval of Teacher Training courses (in Spring Reverberations)
  • AOSA member, Doug Goodkin, received the Carl Orff Foundation’s Pro Merito Award

Event of Note: Carl Orff Volksschule, Traunwalchen (Bavaria) July 6-9: Orff Symposium 2000: “Changing with the Times.” Attended by AOSA president Linda Alstedt and Doug Goodkin


2000-2001
Distinguished Service Award: Nancy Ferguson
Industry Service Award: Sylvia Perry
AOSA National Advocacy Council Inductees: Paul Winter, Rafe Martin, Glen Velez.
Event of Note: AOSA’s Isabel Carley Library moved to Eastman School of Music (Sibley Library)


 2001-2002
Chapter chartered: Heart of Florida
Distinguished Service Award: Betty Jane Lahman
Publication: Reverberations now a separate mailing (Fall ’01)
Activities of Note:

  • AOSA Endowment Fund established to secure the future and ongoing projects of AOSA (managed by the Cleveland Foundation).
  • International Outreach Fund established to assist approved AOSA teacher trainers as instructors for 1-2 weeks in countries demonstrating educational and financial need. The Orff Corp: a group of certified, highly skilled Schulwerk teacher trainers who may apply for travel support for this program

 2002-2003
Distinguished Service Award: Tossi Aaron


2003-2004
Chapters chartered: Indian Paintbrush, Red Stick (LA)
Distinguished Service Award: Barbara Potter
Publication: Gunild Keetman Centenary (b. June 4, 1904; See Orff Echo, Spring 2005 issue, available for sale)
Activity of Note: Isabel McNeill Carley Library relocated to the Eastman School of Music, Sibley Library (Special Collections, David Peter Coppen, librarian)


2004-2005
Chapters chartered: Central Arkansas, Green Country Oklahoma
Distinguished Service Award: Judith Thomas-Solomon
Industry Service Award: William S. Johnson

Events of Note:

  • Cindi Wobig honored for 25 years of service as Executive Secretary of AOSA. Title changed to Executive Director
  • Orff Zentrum, Munich, November 19-20, 2004: Gunild Keetman Centenary. Presentation by Judith Thomas-Solomon and Danai Gagne. Other AOSA attendees: Michael Chandler, Judith Cole, Pamela Stover

2005-2006
Chapters chartered: Heart of Texas, Mountain Laurel (WVa), Northwest Arkansas, Rio Grande Valley (TX), Central Ohio
Publication: AOSA Membership Directory and Resource Guide, 2005-2006. (Replaced several years later by online version for members only)

Events of Note:

  • ISME Conference, July16-21,2006, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Convention Center. Orff Schulwerk strand included: “Carl Orff’s Sentuhan: The Schulwerk in the Lives of the World’s Children” Chairs: Timothy Brophy—USA, and Susie Davies-Splitter—Australia. Other AOSA attendees/presenters included Carlos Abril, Akosua Addo, Judy Bond, Judith Cole, Daniel Johnson, Chet Yeng Loong, Cecilia Wang
  • Orff Institute Symposium, July 6-9, 2006: “In Dialogue: Elemental Music and Dance Education in Interdisciplinary Contexts”

2006-2007
Chapter chartered: Greater Baltimore
Distinguished Service Award: Virginia Ebinger
Publication: Orff Echo Index updated and posted on the website


2007-2008
Chapters chartered: Heart of Illinois, North Central Wisconsin, Southern Appalachian
Distinguished Service Award: Danai Gagne
Industry Service Award: Jim Avinger
Activity of Note: JaSeSoi ry (Orff Association of Finland) Scholarship established: tuition for an AOSA member to attend the annual Finnish “World Village” Conference. (Reciprocal with Finnish attendee at AOSA conferences)
Event of Note: Katherine Johnson named Executive Director


2008-2009
Chapter chartered: Southern Utah
Distinguished Service Award: Carolyn Tower
Industry Service Award: Tim Henry
Activity of Note: Initiation of the AOSA Wildflower Legacy Fund


2009-2010
Chapter chartered: Fox Valley (IL)
Distinguished Service Award: Carol Erion
Industry Service Award: Bob and Laura Bergin


2010-2011
Distinguished Service Award: Shirley McRae
Publication: Reverberations went to the website (2011) Conference Call and registration process completely online
Event of Note: Carrie Barnette named Executive Director


2011-2012
Chapter chartered: James River (VA)

Events of Note:

  • “50 Years Orff Institute: Elemental Music and Dance Pedagogy”—exhibit at conference (collaboration with the Orff Institute)
  • Orff Forum Symposium, July 2012, Salzburg, AOSA President, Karen Benson and Executive Director Carrie Barnette attended

Activities of Note:

  • AOSA Certificate of Completion made available for those who have successfully completed an AOSA approved Level III course. Requires application, with appropriate documentation.
  • AOSA joined the Music Education Policy Roundtable (January 2012), which includes over 20 music education organizations that work collaboratively, thus enabling and strengthening advocacy
  • Advocacy Subcommittee formed to develop materials and programs to promote AOSA and Orff Schulwerk to music educators and the greater education community

2012-2013
Chapter chartered: Southcentral North Carolina
Distinguished Service Award: Nancy Miller
Event of Note: Danai Gagne and Judith Thomas-Solomon presented at the International Orff Conference in Prague, Czech Republic (April 2013). Funded by the AOSA International Outreach Fund
Activity of Note: Introduction of the new AOSA Teacher Education Curriculum for Levels I, II, and III. Carol Erion, Committee Chair


2013-2014
Chapters chartered: Augustana (IL), Four Corners (CO), Capital Area (TX)
Distinguished Service Award: Elizabeth Nichols (posthumous)
Industry Service Award: Michelle Brady
Activities of Note:

  • New location for Headquarters: 147 Bell St., Ste. 300, Chagrin Falls OH 44022
  • Curriculum Oversight Review Subcommittee (CORS) formed to monitor curriculum issues

2014-2015
Chapter chartered: Music of the Valley (VA), Central California Music Fusion (re-chartered)
Distinguished Service Awards: Jos Wuytack
Excellence in Research Award: Mary Shamrock


2015-2016
Chapter chartered: Low Country (SC)
Excellence in Research Award: Cecilia Wang
Grassroots Impact Award: Beverley Bullis
Activities of Note:

  • Rubrics and Assessment Tools section added to the Member section of the AOSA website
  • Digital Mentorship Program established to promote on-going collaboration and support, connecting newer teachers of OS with seasoned OS educators

2016-2017
Excellence in Research Award: Janet Robbins
Activity of Note: Launch of on-line, searchable video library
Activity of Note: National Board of Trustees votes to adjust region boundaries to ensure equitable representation of AOSA membership around the country

  • Region I: Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa
  • Region II: Hawaii, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado
  • Region III: Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri
  • Region IV: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee
  • Region V: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, District of                                            Columbia, Virginia
  • Region VI: Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia

Event of Note: Orff Forum Symposium, July 2016, Salzburg, AOSA Communications Director Marjie Van Gunten attended


2017-2018
Distinguished Service Award: Avon Gillespie (posthumous)
Distinguished Service Award: Arnold Burkart (awarded in 2014, accepted 2017)
Industry Service Award: Kathy Bolstedt (West Music)
Publication: Re-Echo Book III
Activity of Note: New guidelines for apprenticeship in movement and recorder introduced

Prepared by the History Sub-Committee, M. Shamrock, Chair