Yesterday Katherine Mason of RB Oppenheim Associates, on behalf of the Florida Music Educators' Association, sent me an email about the "Just Sing! Florida" contest and the search for a new state song. With her kind permission, I'm copying her message here, as an update to my previous postings about the song.
In case you haven’t heard, Florida is holding a contest for a new state song.
Since your post, “Florida’s State Song,” on January 9, a lot has developed towards an official initiative to adopt a new state song. I thought you might be interested in learning more about current efforts and perhaps updating your readers with a follow-up to your last post on the issue.
As of May 15, a contest, titled “Just Sing, Florida!,” has been launched, and it is being coordinated by the Florida Music Educators’ Association (FMEA). The FMEA is managing the process as experts in the field of music and is currently collecting and culling song submissions. The contest runs from May 15 – October 1, 2007.
Additionally, Sen. Tony Hill (D-Jacksonville) and Rep. Ed Homan (R-Temple Terrace) plan to pre-file a bill for the 2008 Florida Legislative Session in order to begin the political process for adopting a new state song.
The top three finalists the contest’s judging panel selects will be announced to the media and public by December 2007, and the songs will then be posted on the contest’s Web site, www.justsingflorida.org. Thereafter, Floridians will have the opportunity to cast their vote online.
The winning song with the most votes will be included in the bill for the 2008 Legislative Session.
Ultimately, the decision to change the state song is up to Florida’s Legislature.
We agree with your posting, “Updates on State Song and Mini Golf” on January 20, you wrote:
“Whether or not the song ever changes is not as important as getting people talking about what it means to be a Floridian.”
It is FMEA’s hope that Floridians will seize this opportunity to engage in music and the arts and appreciate the unity it can bring to Florida’s communities.
Our goal now is to raise awareness about “Just Sing, Florida!” and to encourage musicians of all ages and levels of experience to submit an entry.
The state song hasn’t changes since “Old Folks at Home” was adopted in 1935. This is an exciting opportunity for Floridians to participate in making Florida’s history and for musicians to potentially be the writer of Florida’s new state song.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the FMEA at (850) 878-6844, or visit www.justsingflorida.org. Additionally, you can visit our MySpace page www.myspace.com/justsingflorida.
On behalf of the Florida Music Educators’ Association,
RB Oppenheim Associates