The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
Debbie Laferty Asbill
Thursday, September 23, 2010


oconnor_webMusic for All is proud to announce that Grammy Award-winning violinist/composer/fiddler Mark O'Connor will be guest soloist with the Honor Orchestra of America at the 2011 Music for All National Festival, March 17-19 in Indianapolis. Larry J. Livingston, University of Souther California, will conduct.

MFA has also extended the application/audition deadline for strings for the 2011 Honor Orchestra until October 15.

If you are familiar with O'Connor, then you already know how exciting this is. If not, here's just a sample of what folks say about his performances:

"One of the most spectacular journeys in recent American music." —New York Times

"One of the most talented and imaginative... working in music -- any music -- today." —Los Angeles Times

"Brilliantly original." —Seattle Times

O'Connor is widely recognized as one of the most gifted contemporary composers in America and surely one of the brightest talents of his generation. The Seattle Times writes: "No matter what he plays, when you’re listening to O’Connor, you know you’re listening to genius." Mark O'Connor incorporates many musical styles and genres into a sound that is uniquely his own. As noted by The Los Angeles Times, Mark O’Connor has "crossed over so many boundaries, that his style is purely personal."

The Honor Orchestra of America will perform two shared concerts with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at Hilbert Circle Theatre, March 18 and 19.

Learn more about the orchestra and download the application and audition requirements.

I enjoyed this remembrance of William P. Foster by Daniel Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind. Dr. Foster, famed director of the crowd-rousing Florida A&M Marching 100died Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla. He was 91.

Posted by Debbie Laferty Asbill

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Making a Difference

How MFA Summer Symposium students and teachers helped unlock a five-year-old’s potential

Tommy Telgenhoff’s mother, Toni Telgenhoff-Garmer, shared this story with us as thanks for the impact MFA and the 2009 Summer Symposium staff and campers had on her little boy:

tommy_storyThis summer, when I took my 5-year-old son to watch drummers practice during Music for All’s Summer Symposium at Illinois State University, he took a liking to the drum majors. He watched a small group of them from the sidelines and practiced saluting and marching along with them. Soon, their director approached Tommy and invited him to watch the entire group rehearse on the field the next day.

Tommy woke up the following day eager to start off. To our surprise, the head director, George Parks greeted us and asked if Tommy would like to tell the 560 campers what he wanted to be when he grew up. Tommy raced to the podium with George and told the kids that his name was Tommy and he wanted to be a drum major when he grew up. The kids cheered. Tommy ran back over to us, all smiles. This was the start of something awesome! Tommy marched on the sidelines all day long, watching the kids and practicing his salute.

When he returned the next day he was greeted by smiles, hugs, and high fives. This continued throughout the week. Tommy called out commands to the entire drum major group. Campers and staff had pictures taken with him. He was walking around, full of pride, saluting everyone. All week long he had the most incredible smile on his face. George made him an “honorary vet” and gave him a vet pin, t-shirt and certificate. Tommy was even included in the group picture and brought onto the field in front of everyone at their final performance.

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