WIAA’s Colbrese to be Honored by WMEA
RENTON, Wash. – The Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) selected Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s (WIAA) Executive Director Mike Colbrese to the Class of 2016 Hall of Fame.
Colbrese will enter the WMEA Hall of Fame as an honorary member during the annual WMEA Conference in Yakima, Thursday. The membership was designed to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to music education in the State of Washington, but are not active, retired or associate members of the WMEA.
“I am truly honored and grateful to accept this Hall of Fame induction,” Colbrese said. “The fine arts have been influential in my life and I am proud of the positive impact it has had on the participants in Washington.”
The State Solo and Ensemble Contest has evolved into one of the premier state music contests in the country under Colbrese’s leadership. He was also influential in adding the ensemble division into the State contest. Co-managed by the WIAA and the WMEA, the two-day event takes place at Central Washington University in the spring. The event has grown to showcase over 2,000 students in ensembles and another 600 in solos.
“Mike was an easy decision,” said Scott Ketron, the Executive Director of the WMEA. “He always shows up at the State Solo and Ensemble contest, he is easy to communicate with and is 100 percent about the students’ experience with an eye toward improving that experience annually.”
Colbrese has been an advocate for the fine arts long before his career in education and administration. He received a music scholarship (vocal) from Eastern Montana College (now Montana State University – Billings) in 1969.