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.

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Music for All and Bongo Boy Music partnered to host The “Art” of Drum Circle Facilitation with IPS arts educators on September 7 at Bongo Boy Music School, a private percussion music school located in the Castleton area of Indianapolis. The event was part of an ongoing effort to bring nontraditional music-making to Indianapolis Public Schools. The pilot for this project began with an IPS professional development session on July 26, during which John Fitzgerald from Remo, Inc. gave the keynote address.

Having had my first drum circle experience at our most recent Summer Symposium, I was excited to be back in such a welcoming environment, where creativity reigns. Lisa Colleen and Ed Gaus of Bongo Boy Music led the drum circle that included 11 arts educators and four of our staff from Music for All. I decided to observe the learning process through my camera.

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Everyone began to participate in the drum circle, with call and response techniques where the leader or participants play a rhythm and everyone else plays it back; and sculpting where a certain group or individual is playing in order to hear the different rhythms that ultimately turn into one harmonious rhythm. They even used their voices as the beat!

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Drum circles are an excellent way for people to come together in a space that is “inclusive and non-judgmental.” What it did for me was strengthen my communication with others, verbally and non-verbally. In fact, that was the main point discussed at the drum circle, learning how communicate effectively.

These arts educators came to this session to learn different techniques on communicating with their students. Bringing drum circles into the classroom, while unconventional, can aid in classroom management and engagement, and has proven to keep students focused. Also, instruments are not necessarily required in a drum circle, as you can contribute your body and voice to the group. There are students that do not have access to instruments nor prior knowledge of the traditional elements of music education. Inside the drum circle, while the teachers are creating musical life-changing experiences, the students can play what they’re feeling in the moment.

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The session was small enough that people in the group had the opportunity to demonstrate techniques and ask questions. It was interesting to see them demonstrate their unique techniques of facilitating a drum circle. An interesting point Lisa Colleen brought up during the session was that each person has to lead their drum circle in their own way that works for them. Attempting to mimic the way someone else facilitates a session simply doesn’t work.

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At the end of the session, everyone joined in on the community drum circle that takes place every week on Thursday night. People brought friends, family, and even their kids to join in on the fun. Every person in the session, including myself couldn’t stop smiling. As someone who is incredibly passionate about music and the advocacy of it, I was moved watching everyone come together. Drum circles are a place to learn and a place to feel the rhythm of who you truly are.

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The Bands of America Grand National Championships brings bands from across the country, as they all converge to Indianapolis making it the epicenter of the marching arts. This season we have seen amazing performances both by competing bands and special exhibition groups. We are excited to announce our 2017 Grand National Championships exhibition bands as we continue the tradition of iconic collegiate programs. 

Music for All is proud to announce that The University of Alabama Million Dollar Band will perform at the 2017 Grand National Championships. The strong tradition of the Million Dollar band has been an Alabama Crimson Tide tradition for 104 years. What would college football be without the excitement and thrill of the marching band? 

This 400 plus member marching band covers almost every major and department with the university, easily making the Million Dollar Band the largest student organization on campus. The band is no stranger to Bands of America, having made an appearance at the 2007 Grand National Championships.

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To continue the excitement we are also proud to announce that the Bowling Green State University Falcon Marching Band and the Miami University Marching Band will also be performing in exhibition. 

The Bowling Green State University Falcon Marching Band, also known as FMB, has a rich history. Earl Claire Powell established the first marching band in 1923, which only had 20 members, but now the 240 plus member band showcases the finest in musical and visual performances, as well as a centerpiece in BGSU athletic spirit.

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The Miami University Marching Band is a game-day tradition for the Redhawks, dating back to 1935 making it one of Miami’s oldest and most active student organizations. The 260-member ensemble has performed across the country including the 2003 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and two bowl games: the 2003 GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama and 2004 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana. The band is excited to perform their 2017 production “Top Secret”, which features music from film and TV, as well as showcasing their new uniforms for the 2017 season.
We kick Grand Nationals week off Wednesday night with the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament. In exhibition we will have Indianapolis’ own Marian University Marching Knights.Since its rebirth in 2009, the band has performed for many prestigious events on and off campus. The band performs for home football games, parades, pep rallies, campus sporting events, community concerts, and private events. 

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Make sure to mark your calendar for November 8-11, 2017, as The University of Alabama Million Dollar Band, The Bowling Green State University Falcon Marching Band, The Miami University Marching Band, and the Marian University Marching Knights will be taking the field in Indianapolis!

Check out the awards photos from the 2017 Bands of America Northwest Ohio Regional Championship!

High resolution awards photos (as well as additional action photos of each band) can be viewed and purchased on the Jolesch Enterprises website: http://www.bandgroupphotography.com/BOA/Index.html

Check out the awards photos from the 2017 Bands of America Tennessee Regional Championship!

High resolution awards photos (as well as additional action photos of each band) can be viewed and purchased on the Jolesch Enterprises website: http://www.bandgroupphotography.com/BOA/Index.html

Check out the awards photos from the 2017 Bands of America Austin Regional Championship!

High resolution awards photos (as well as additional action photos of each band) can be viewed and purchased on the Jolesch Enterprises website: http://www.bandgroupphotography.com/BOA/Index.html

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It was an exciting and successful Saturday at McEachern H.S. for the Bands of America Powder Springs Regional! Music for All would like to thank all of McEachern High School volunteers, and band staff for letting us use their facility, as well as Ken Stanton Music, our official music store of the Regional.

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It was a great day with thirteen bands representing six states.. Each band performed in finals and put on an incredible show for our audience.

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We would like to congratulate and recognize some of the overall top performing bands this past Saturday. Milton H.S. from Georgia came in 3rd Place, Mill Creek H.S. from Georgia placed in 2nd with the overall Outstanding Visual Performance, and the Harrison H.S. Marching Band from Kennesaw, Georgia winning the overall Music Performance, General Effect, and being crowned the 2017 BOA Powder Springs Regional Champion.

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Music for All has wrapped up its first weekend of Bands of America Regional Championships! The Northeast Ohio Regional Championship took place at the brand-new Tom Benson Stadium at the Pro-Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Firestone High School and Canton McKinley High School hosted the regional, with 14 bands participating in the Preliminary competition. Thirteen bands went through Finals.

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At the conclusion of the Prelims, Canton McKinley H.S. Marching Band performed their show in Exhibition “24K Gold” by Bruno Mars. 

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At the conclusion of the Prelims, Canton McKinley H.S. Marching Band performed their show in Exhibition “24K Gold” by Bruno Mars. 

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Avon H.S., IN was crowned the regional champion with Lockport Township H.S., IL placing 2nd and Dublin Coffman placing 3rd.  Avon H.S. also took home caption awards for Outstanding Music Performance, Outstanding Visual Performance, and Outstanding General Effect. A great time was had by all. Thank you to our hosts, Firestone H.S. and Canton McKinely H.S., our event staff, and volunteers who made this event possible!

Check out the awards photos from the 2017 Bands of America Northeast Ohio Regional Championship!

High resolution awards photos (as well as additional action photos of each band) can be viewed and purchased on the Jolesch Enterprises website: http://www.bandgroupphotography.com/BOA/Index.html

Check out the awards photos from the 2017 Bands of America Powder Springs Regional Championship!

High resolution awards photos (as well as additional action photos of each band) can be viewed and purchased on the Jolesch Enterprises website: http://www.bandgroupphotography.com/BOA/Index.html

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Music for All is excited to announce confirmation of the stadium at Warren High School in Downey, California as site of the 2017 Bands of America Southern California Regional Championship, presented by Yamaha.

The Southern California Regional Championship will be held Saturday, October 28. 

Seventeen bands from California, Indiana, Arizona, Texas, and Nevada are currently enrolled. Space is still available, with preliminary performance times available on a first-come, first-served basis. Join us for our Bands of America “SoCal” Regional Championship!   

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