History of OAKE

The Organization of American Kodály Educators was founded in March 1974 at the MENC meeting in Anaheim, California. During these same meetings, the International Kodály Society was also formed, with the intention to begin formalization in Budapest in 1975.

At the time, two of OAKE’s founders Lois Choksy and Christine Kunko Jordanoff were co-editors of the Kodály Envoy, which had been recently published for the first time. Lois proposed that in order to continue supporting such a publication it would require organizational support.

A constitution and by-laws for the proposed Organization of American Kodály Educators was drafted and was ready for approval. At the close of the session where this proposal was made, Lois Choksy stated, “we believe that such an organization must be an open one. Active membership should be available to all professionally engaged in Kodály-inspired music education.”

Later that day, a caucus was formed where they decided upon the name OAKE, goals to hold a founding conference to be held in the “Mid-West”, a tentative constitution and by-laws, a motion and enactment of a Board of Directors, and the first price of dues at $15 which included a subscription to the newly published Kodály Envoy. The newly minted by-laws were published in the second issue of the Kodály Envoy. 


Organization of American Kodály Educators Founders

Lauren Abernethy
Lois Choksy
Rita Concannon
Doris Englehard
Sr. Mary Alice Hein
Stephen Jay
Christine Kunko Jordanoff
Shirley Linscott
Betsy Moll
Norman Weeks
Mark Williams
Sr. Lorna Zemke


The founding OAKE Board of Directors

Organization of American Kodály Educators Past Presidents

Kevin Pearson – 2022-24
Donna Menhart – 2020-22
Ann Leffard – 2018-20
Mary Epstein – 2016-18
Paul Baumann – 2014-16
Kelly Foster Griffin – 2012-14
Joy Nelson – 2010-12
Georgia Newlin – 2008-10
Brent Gault – 2006-08
Kathy Hickey – 2004-06
Sandra Mathias – 2002-04
Jill Trinka – 2000-02
Ann Kay – 1998-2000
John Feierabend – 1996-98
Patricia Teske – 1994-96
Pamela Wade – 1992-94
Betsy Moll – 1990-92
Virginia Irvin – 1988-90
Lauren Abernethy – 1986-88
Laurdella Foulkes-Levy – 1984-86
Jean Sinor – 1982-84
Christine Jordanoff – 1980-82
Sr. Lorna Zemke – 1980
Helen Wyzga – 1979
David Buttolph – 1978
Mark Williams – 1977
Stephen Jay – 1976