Lucy Wotell
Lucy Wotell

Lucy Wotell has been a Marketing Coordinator and media contact for Music for All, since August 2016. She focuses on social media, media relations, and web content management. She is a graduate of the University of North Florida, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations.

 Tom Benson

The 2017 Fall season is approaching, with less than one month left and Music for All could not be more thrilled! There are 21 Bands of America regional championships across the country, including the Grand National Championships that will be taking place November 8-11 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. It’s a privilege to have positively life-changing events in world-class facilities across the country, where students get the opportunity to perform in good-natured competition and where people get to witness the showcase of some of the most talented students in the nation. 

This year Music for All is excited to be holding the Bands of America Northeast Ohio Regional Championship, presented by Yamaha at the new Tom Benson Stadium in the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, September 16. This event will bring the arts and sports together, and will give students, teachers, and spectators a unique experience. This Regional will be the first marching band competition to take place in this stadium! As Music for All’s partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame continues to grow, not only will students get the unique experience of performing in an incredible venue, they will get free admission to the Hall of Fame museum!  Spectators will also get to share in the excitement with 20% off admission for the museum! If you’re interested in attending the Northeast Ohio Regional be sure to check out the ticket options here: http://www.musicforall.org/what-we-do/boa-marching-championships/ticket-information

We hope both participants and fans will enjoy this unique and fun perk from the Pro Football Hall of Fame! We look forward to seeing everyone in Canton, Ohio very soon!

DCI Champs

With the marching band season approaching and summer ending, Music for All’s Strategic Partner Drum Corps International’s (DCI) 45th season came to an exciting conclusion on August 12 with the Blue Devils taking their 18th Champion title. 

As a Strategic Partner of DCI, and a fellow organization based in Indianapolis, Music for All took part in DCI World Championship week festivities. Music for All staff attended the DCI Hall of Fame event to kick off the week, participated in the Future Music Educators Experience, volunteered at events throughout the week, and hosted guests and VIPS during quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals. One-hundred and six shows took place across the country from June through August. Fans and spectators also got to enjoy the DCI Central Indiana show that took place at the Music for All Summer Symposium. DCI wrapped up their diamond anniversary with World Championships, from Thursday, August 10 through Saturday, August 12 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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(Members of the Music for All Summer Symposium Drum Major Institute stopped by the Music for All booth during DCI week at Lucas Oil Stadium.)

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(Various members of Music for All staff volunteer at DCI Showcase, August 9.) 

DCI kicked off their Championship’s Week with Open Class Prelims and Finals in Michigan City, IN on Monday, August 7. Vanguard Cadets who are celebrating their 50th anniversary placed first, with Blue Devils B placing second. Things kicked off in Indianapolis on Wednesday with the DCI Showcase at the Indiana Convention Center and Indianapolis Arts Garden. This is an event that takes place before the Preliminary, Semifinals, and Finals performances that gives corps members the opportunity to perform in a solo and ensemble setting outside of their regular corps repertoire, with vocal and woodwind categories included as well. Forty World and Open Class Corps performed in Prelims on Thursday, with 25 corps advancing to Semifinals performances on Friday, and with 12 corps moving on to Finals on Saturday. However, it was not just all corps performances. DrumLine Battle kicked off the final day of performances at the SoundSport International Music and Food Festival at the Pan Am Plaza with drumlines from high schools, colleges, and different corps performing.   

Blue Devils took the Drum Corps International World Championship title in front of a record-breaking crowd of 23,342. Santa Clara Vanguard who is celebrating their 50th anniversary placed second. The remaining top 12 corps in placement order include, Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, Bluecoats, Boston Crusaders, The Cadets, Blue Knights, Phantom Regiment, Blue Stars, Crossmen, and Madison Scouts. Additionally, Blue Devils took two World Class Caption awards for Best General Effect and Best Visual Performance, with Santa Clara Vanguard taking Best Percussion Performance and Best Color Guard Award, and Carolina Crown took home the Best Brass Performance Award. 

Congratulations to all of the corps, the age-out performers, and to DCI on another fantastic season! We can hardly wait for the 2018 season!

This is the thirteenth installment of the Intern Spotlight series that will highlight the Music for All interns who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing summer interns, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All.

Sarah Keck header

What is your hometown? Altamont, MO

Where did you go to high school? Where did you go to college and when did you/will you graduate?
South Harrison High School in Bethany, MO; graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in May 2017

What is your major/degree?
Music Education

What is your musical background? This could be instruments you play and involvement in musical activities such as choir, DCI, theatre, winter guard, etc. 
I grew up in a musical family with my mother as a guard instructor, and father and sister as band directors. Choir and band were a large part of my life during high school. I went on to study instrumental music education in Kansas City with my main instrument being tuba. College gave me an opportunity to play in chamber groups and solo competitions, as well as perform in the wind bands. I loved the variety of teaching experiences I received in the metro area as I worked with musicians ranging from young children to senior citizens learning how to play an instrument for the first time. During the summers, I got to be a member of the SWAG Team at the Music for All Summer Symposium for four years. 

What are you most looking forward to in your internship this spring?
I am looking forward to learning strategies that I can take back and implement in my community to create events that help facilitate more positively life-changing experiences through music education. 

What is an interesting fact about you?
I am learning to speak Italian with my roommate and fellow intern, Tori.

Who are your top three favorite artists? This could be any genre of music.
Sarah Vaughan, Michael Buble, and Ingrid Michaelson

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This is the twelfth installment of the Intern Spotlight series that will highlight the Music for All interns who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing summer interns, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All.

Tori Bingham header

What is your hometown? City, State.
Tulsa, Oklahoma 

Where did you go to high school? Where did you go to college and when did you/will you graduate?
Bixby High School in Bixby, Oklahoma. University of Arkansas, graduated Spring 2017 

What is your major/degree?
Bachelors in Music Education

What is your musical background? This could be instruments you play and involvement in musical activities such as choir, DCI, theatre, winter guard, etc. 
My main instrument is oboe, and I played in the UofA Wind Ensemble, University Symphony Orchestra, and chamber ensembles. I played flute with the Pride of Bixby, and saxophone in the Razorback Marching Band at the University of Arkansas. Last summer, I got the opportunity to travel to Schladming, Austria and perform with the World Youth Wind Orchestra Project! 

What are you most looking forward to in your internship this spring?
I’m looking forward to growing more with Music for All. Having spent four years as part of the SWAG Team at Summer Symposium, I am excited about learning a new aspect of the organization. This fall, I’m looking forward to working with so many incredible people to provide “positively life-changing experiences” for so many students! 

What is an interesting fact about you?
I hope to be the proud mother of a beautiful, fluffy Pomeranian one-day. 

Who are your top three favorite artists?
Frank Sinatra 
Snarky Puppy 
Beyoncé

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This is the nineteenth installment of a new series that will highlight the Music for All staff members who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing staff members, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All. A new post will be featured every week!

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Name/Job Title: Debbie Laferty Asbill/Vice President of Marketing and Communications

Hometown: I grew up in the Air Force, so no hometown, but I did go to high school and college in Morehead, Kentucky (Rowan County High School and Morehead State University).

How long have you been with Music for All?
Since 1985, started as Promotions Coordinator with Bands of America.

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
All :)

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
I’ve been able to combine the passion of my youth with a career; that, and the great people I get to meet and the friendships both inside the office and outside. 

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
There are many, but being at the first Bands of America Honor Band experience in the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade stands out in particular, seeing and hearing the band turn the famous “TV corner.”

What is your musical background?
Played flute in school and drum major in high school, music minor for a short time in college (flag in Morehead State University marching band and ’84 Garfield Cadets). Learning lately to play ukulele. Now, I’m a band mom of an incoming 6th grade bassoon player. I grew up in a musical family: my mom plays piano and sings, my dad played guitar, and both of my brothers are kick-butt guitar players that regularly gig in and around Chicago and beyond.

One thing you couldn’t live without?
Oxygen.

What kind of music do you listen to?
Some of my favorites are Kirtan artists (Nirinjan Kaur, Jai Uttal, Ben Leinbach, Sean Johnson, and the Wild Lotus Band), Bach, Stravinsky, John Adams, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Yoga, hike, meditate, boulder (mostly inside lately), reading.

What are you currently reading?
Just finished “The Push: A Climber's Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Going Beyond Limits” by Tommy Caldwell and just started “The Other Shore” by Thich Nhat Hanh.

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
I binged watched Game of Thrones recently again to catch new things before Season 7; now watching The Americans on Amazon Prime.

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
Meru. I am obsessed with documentaries about big wall/big Alpine climbing.

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This is the eighteenth installment of a new series that will highlight the Music for All staff members who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing staff members, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All. A new post will be featured every week!

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Name/Job Title:  Kim Mann, Program Coordinator for the National Choir Festival

Hometown: I grew up in a little town called Bluffton, Indiana, but now I call Cincinnati home.

How long have you been with Music for All?
My choral “side-kick” Lori Lobsiger, and I started talking with Music for All while producing the 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati, and have been actively working to incorporate CHOIR into the Music for All family of student musicians for the last two years.

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
The premiere National Choir Festival, March 15-17, 2018!!!! This is when we truly become Music for ALL!!!

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
Working with my mentor, Henry Leck, artistic director for the National Choir Festival, and choral conductors & singers across the nation in hopes thst they too can enjoy “positively life-changing” experiences through Music for All, just like instrumentalists have for so many years.

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
While presenting at Leadership Weekend during Summer Symposium, it was thrilling to lead all the participants in singing while they performed movement they had just learned from Vincent Thomas.

What is your musical background?
I started by singing Goldfinger on the fireplace hearth and tap dancing with Mary Lynn Lautzenheiser, fell in love with singing when elementary music teacher, Miss Sellers, taught us Little Red Caboose, The Muffin Man, and Valderie, Valdera, and was deeply inspired by my Norwell High School choral director, David Jordan. I received my undergrad and masters of choral music education from Indiana University, where I was introduced to opera by Joseph Myers, and have continued to teach pre-schoolers through adults ever since.

One thing you couldn’t live without?
CHOCOLATE! I mean MUSIC! Nope….CHOCOLATE!

What kind of music do you listen to?
My car radio is set on Mo-Town, I listen to every choral post on social media, clean the house with Broadway, and chill out with jazz. I’m listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons right now.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Water the flowers, dig in the dirt, create something…in the kitchen, in the garage, at the studio.

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Devil’s Bargain by Joshua Green, re-reading Orwell’s 1984, and will continue to reference Make Your Bed by Admiral Wm. McRaven, probably forever.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“It’s not what happens that matters, it’s how you handle whatever happens!”

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
“Julie’s Greenroom!” It’s terrific…meant for kids, but I was mesmerized and watched the entire series on a Sunday afternoon. Great lessons presented by the Jim Henson Company and the legendary Julie Andrews with amazing weekly guest artists.

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
If you’re lucky, you’ve seen Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz as many times as I have. “It’s show time, folks!”

Kim surrounded by VOULeadership weekend SS17

Jason Ferdinand

Music for All is proud to recognize Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand, member of the Music for All Choral Music Artistic Committee, and the Oakwood University Aeolians for their recent designations as “Choir of the World” and “Outstanding Director.” The honors were granted during the World Choral Festival during the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, Great Britain. The annual festival features thousands of singers, dancers, and instrumentalists from countries around the world.

As many of you know, we are truly becoming “music for all” as we expand our National Festival to include the National Choir Festival in 2018. The Oakwood Aeolians will be featured in performance during this premiere festival, where Dr. Ferdinand will be joined by Choral Music Artistic Committee members Dr. Kent Hatteberg, Ms. Ly Wilder, Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt, Dr. Rollo Dilworth, and Music for All Artistic Director, Mr. Henry Leck, to provide evaluation, master classes, and a massed-choir with orchestra experience to all invited choirs.

Additionally, Music for All will launch its first Affiliated Regional Choral Music Festival, The Southern Invitational, October 26 and 27, 2017, under the leadership of Dr. Shannon Jeffreys, Director of Choral Activities at Georgia Southern University. Dr. Ferdinand will serve as our “Music for All” clinician and evaluator during the Southern Invitational.

Dr. Ferdinand enjoys watching the up-and-coming composers and conductors he mentors become composers and conductors in their own right. Music for All is honored to provide further opportunity for Dr. Ferdinand to positively influence young musicians through its exciting and emerging choral programming.

This is the eleventh installment of the Intern Spotlight series that will highlight the Music for All interns who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing summer interns, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All.

MJ header

What is your hometown? City, State.
Carmel, IN

Where did you go to high school? Where did you go to college and when did you/will you graduate?
I went to Carmel High School before going to Hanover College, where I graduated this past May.

What is your major/degree?
I majored in International Studies with various minors including Philosophy, Theology, Sociology, and Anthropology.

What is your musical background? This could be instruments you play and involvement in musical activities such as choir, DCI, theatre, winter guard, etc.
I participated in the band and marching band program for all four years as a percussionist.

What are you most looking forward to in your internship this spring?
I chose the advancement department because I believe it is the backbone of every nonprofit. If there is no money coming in, then there is no organization. I would like to learn as much as I can about how this department runs before switching to another department in order to have a full appreciation of where the funds are coming from.

What is an interesting fact about you?
I have been to five of the seven continents, most of which I was traveling to volunteer or lead service groups on construction projects.

Who are your top three favorite artists? This could be any genre of music.
Dave Matthews Band
The Beatles
Unknown Mortal Orchestra

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This is the seventeenth installment of a new series that will highlight the Music for All staff members who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing staff members, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All. A new post will be featured every week!

 Maddie Fitzgerald header

Name/Job Title: Maddie Fitzgerald, Participant Relations Coordinator

Hometown: Lenexa, KS

How long have you been with Music for All?
On August 1, I will have been with Music for All for a full year!

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
The Bands of America Championships during the fall are definitely my favorite events. It’s challenging to be on the road during those nine weeks, but I’ve loved the opportunity to see some new places in the country and meet some great people.

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
Music defined my educational experience from 5th grade until I graduated from college. Although it is different to not be playing my horn every day, Music for All still keeps me connected to the musical community now that I am not actively playing in school.  

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
One of my favorite memories is from the first BOA Regional I ever attended in McAllen, TX. It was probably 1 a.m. and we had finally finished loading our truck and moving out of the stadium. The Music for All team went to Whataburger when we were finished. (Which was great, by the way. I’m a fan now.) There is nothing specific about the memory that makes it my favorite, but everyone was exhausted, sweaty, and slap-happy while we sat in this Whataburger and laughed about the craziness of the day. It was a great bonding experience with my coworkers.

What is your musical background?
Like many kids, I started playing in band in 5th grade and started studying privately shortly thereafter. During high school, I was regularly participating in concert band, marching band, pit orchestra, solo and ensemble, honor ensembles, and the Youth Symphony of Kansas City. In college, I had a concentration in music that kept me playing daily. I also joined Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity and was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society during my senior year.

One thing you couldn’t live without?
Diet Mountain Dew. I’m not kidding.

What kind of music do you listen to?
It definitely depends on the setting, but I listen to a lot of Top 40 radio in my car. Some of my favorite artists and bands are Bastille, Sara Bareilles, Walk the Moon, Jukebox the Ghost, and Taylor Swift.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In the past year I have taken up indoor rock climbing, which is so much fun. I also love reading and knitting.

What are you currently reading?
A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin (book #4 in the Game of Thrones series)

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
I’m really ashamed to say this, but I’ve been binging on Dance Moms recently. I completely recognize that this is not quality television, and I could be spending my time finishing the Game of Thrones books so that I can watch that instead. But sometimes I just need my semi-reality TV. I also thoroughly enjoy Parks and Recreation, The Office, The Bachelor(ette), and So You Think You Can Dance.

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This is the tenth installment of the Intern Spotlight series that will highlight the Music for All interns who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing summer interns, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All.

 Maxwell Cathala header

What is your hometown? City, State.
Avon, IN

Where did you go to high school? Where did you go to college and when did you/will you graduate?
Avon High School
IUPUI 2018

What is your major/degree?
Computer Science and Computer Graphics Technologies

What is your musical background? This could be instruments you play and involvement in musical activities such as choir, DCI, theatre, winter guard, etc.
I played trumpet at Avon before becoming the drum major. After that I toured with the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corp. as a conductor in their 2014 show, Tilt.

What are you most looking forward to in your internship this summer?
Gaining experience in a professional environment, while helping to create positively life-changing experiences that Music For All is known for.

What is an interesting fact about you?
I am one of two sets of twins in my family.

Who are your top three favorite artists? This could be any genre of music.
Caleb Hyles, Imagine Dragons, and Thomas Rhett

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