The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
Debbie Laferty Asbill

Watch live video of A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of George N. Parks on Saturday, October 16, beginning at approximately 11:30 a.m. The video will remain on this site after the event.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst celebrates the life and legacy of Professor George N. Parks, who led the Minuteman Marching Band to national prominence during his 33-year tenure. Professor Parks was in the BOA Hall of Fame, led his Drum Major Academy of the Music for All Summer Symposium and directed the BOA Honor Band in the 2009 and 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Professor Parks died September 16 after suffering a heart attack following a performance with the band at an Ohio high school.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Volunteers needed for Pontiac Finals

Music for All is seeking volunteers to round out our event staff team for the Bands of America Regional Championship at Pontiac, Michigan, in the Silverdome, this Saturday, October 9. Volunteers are needed for a variety of positions for the evening Finals shift.

If you’re able to volunteer for a Finals shift, in addition to our heartfelt appreciation and a volunteer t-shirt, we will donate $5 per hour for your work during the event to the Booster Organization of your choice. two Grand Nationals Finals tickets

Although we still have needs for the daytime shifts, at this point we're very much still in need of Finals shifts. Shifts are available at three different times of day:

‘Morning’ – Beginning between 7am and 9 am and lasting until Noon or 1 pm.

‘Afternoon’ – Beginning around Noon or 1 pm and lasting until around 5 pm.

‘Evening’ – Beginning around 6:30 pm and lasting until the end of Finals competition.

To sign up, or for more information, e-mail Larry Harper at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and phone number.  Experience is not necessary and students, parents, boosters and fans of the activity are all welcome to sign-up.  If you do have previous experience please include that information in your e-mail so that we may assign volunteers to areas which most strongly meet their skill set.

Please help us make this a positively life-changing experience for the participating bands as we return to the Silverdome!

Larry Harper, Event Coordinator, Music for All

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Future Music Educators' Experience


Attention NAfME Collegiate Members and students currently majoring in music education:

Bands of America invites you to attend the 2017 BOA Championship event for FREE!

3cBOA Logo

BOA Grand National Championships: Semi Finals

Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana
Saturday, November 11, 2017
9:00 A.M. - 5:30 P.M. (Semi-Finals Awards)
   BOA event


If you’re a college student currently majoring in music education (undergraduate or graduate level), you can attend one or both of these championship experiences as our guest. You’ll experience the event inside and out, KICKin’ off the day with Fran Kick, Michael Cesario and a series of marching music education insiders. Complimentary tickets included so you can see, hear and feel what’s possible in today’s marching music activity. Plan now to attend one or both of these amazing opportunities to experience some of the nation’s finest marching ensembles inside one of the best stadiums in the country.

8:00-9:00 a.m.   Students sign in, VIP Stadium Entrance (southeast corner of stadium)
9:00 a.m.           Welcome in Lucas Oil Lower Level meeting Rooms 8+9
9:10 a.m.           VIP Roundtable with Eric Martin and Dan Acheson
9:30 a.m.           Behind the scenes tour of Lucas Oil Stadium for students
9:45 a.m.           Meet-the-Masters guests report to Quarterback Suite
10:15 a.m.         Meet-the-Masters Session, Quarterback Suite
11:35 a.m.         Students receive “Resource Bags” and sign Thank-You notes
11:45 a.m.         Enjoy BOA Grand Nationals Semi-Finals

4:45 p.m.           End of Semi-Finals Competition
                          Exhibition – The Miami University Marching Band

5:30 p.m.           Expo Closes/Stadium Clears
                          Note: Finals requires a separate ticket

6:30 p.m.           North Gate Opens for Spectators
                          Expo Re-Opens
7:00 p.m.           Grand National Finals Opening Ceremony
                          National Anthem

8:00 p.m.           First Competing Band in Finals Competition
11:00 p.m.         End of Finals Competition – Bands on field for Finale/Awards Ceremony
11:30 p.m.         Expo Closes/Stadium Clears

To register for the Future Music Educators Event at the BOA Grand National Championships use the form below!


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Patrick Rutledge at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 1-800-848-2263.

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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