The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
 

Atlanta Stadium Announcement Header

We are pleased to announce that we have officially confirmed Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the 2017 Bands of America Championship season.

The Atlanta Super Regional Championship will be on Saturday, October 28th.

We hope to see you in Atlanta as we bring BOA to this beautiful new stadium. Take a look at the progress that has been made on construction so far, we can't wait to see it in person!

Music for All Intern Spotlight: Maxwell Cathala

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 01:40 Written by Lucy Wotell

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

Music for All Staff Spotlight: Erin Fortune

Monday, 17 July 2017 11:15 Written by Lucy Wotell

This is the sixteenth 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!

Erin Fortune header 2

Name/Job Title: Erin Fortune/Marketing Manager

Hometown: Yale, Michigan (if you could see me right now I’m holding up my hand map, and showing you it’s in the thumb!)

How long have you been with Music for All?
8 magical years on August 23rd!

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
This is tough. I truly do love all of our events and here’s why:

BOA Marching Season: I really love traveling all over the country. I get to see so many directors and students from all over, I get to hang out with our AMAZING event staff that volunteer their time with us on weekends, I get to spend a ton of time on the road with my work friends who are like another family to me. I love it. I’m in my element when I’m on the road with Music for All.

Festival: It’s such a classy event. Everyone is dressed up, and it’s polished and professional, and I love that. I love seeing students both making, but also enjoying music at a really high level.

Camp: It’s so much fun! Because of the length of camp, I have much more time to really get out there and see sessions, and interact with directors and students; and that’s awesome. We do A LOT of video at camp and that’s honestly one of my favorite parts of my job.

BOA Honor Band in the Rose Parade®: I’ve been lucky enough to be able to be one of the staff members who travels with this group, for both the 2013 and 2017 bands. In 2013 I went as an event coordinator helping our event team with logistics. In 2017 I got to do what I love, and did extensive interviews and video work. It’s such a cool trip because, hello California, but also to see the growth in students during that trip…to see them come together as one band, and form these friendships – it’s incredible. I hope I’m lucky enough to be able to go on the 2021 trip because it’s such a unique experience and I love every minute of it. Also, In & Out Burger.

With Brian for Video at TORTOR TripTOR Trip with our Media Credentials

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
This is the easiest question anyone could ever ask me. It’s the relationships I’ve formed.

Music for All staff, past and present have become a second family to me. I love them in a way I have a very hard time explaining to people who don’t do this type of work.

I’ve also been able to meet other amazing people from all over the country who volunteer their time to join us in 23-hour days, to put on marching band competitions, or to go to band camp – simply because they believe in the mission. There are SO MANY of these people who I’ve become close to in the eight years I’ve been at Music for All. I again think of them as my extended family.

In addition to that, there are music educators who I’ve met from all across the country who have become my friends even outside of the work that we do through Music for All and BOA.

Then there are students and their parents that I end up forming special bonds with because of how often I see some of them, or because I worked with them on a particular project. Being here for the length of time I have been now there are students who I remember lining up as Drum Majors my first two years at Music for All and now they are college graduates or will soon be. As much as this makes me feel like I’m getting old, it’s a really cool thing to see. Some of them have even come to work at Music for All as interns and they too, have become great friends.

I don’t know if I could go anywhere else and have all of these deep connections with people that all happened through my work here. I love it, and that is part of what keeps me here when the days get long and the “work” seems never-ending.

Friendships Section Erin Debbie CamErins First Midwest December 2010Tacoma Dome with my work BFF Seth

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
I have SO many memories. But here’s just two quick ones.

1. I have a photo at my desk, of my very first Super Regional championship with Music for All. It’s a photo of Laura Blake (our Director of Events), Me, Larry Harper, Jr (Seasonal Event Coordinator at that time), and Ashley Rogers (my very first intern!) and we have strips of field tape all over our pant legs. This was at St. Louis, and that year there was only one Texas band…and there weren’t Texas hash marks on the field. So in the short time between bands, we had to run our on the field (both times they performed) and lay down these hash marks, but do it really fast, hence the pre-cut tape that was prepped and ready on our legs. At this time, I didn’t even know what a hash mark was three months prior…so it’s a memory that makes me smile every time I see that photo.

2. I have a selfie collage currently on one of the cabinets on my desk that I see every day, of me with a few of the members of the 2017 BOA Honor Band in the Rose Parade. For this trip I worked on a special documentary project, and these members were chosen by video submission to be subjects for the project. During the trip, we chatted SO MUCH, as we talked every single day, sometimes multiple times a day about their experience and what was going on. I had such a great time, and every single one of them are amazing young adults. I can’t wait to see what they do in the future. It’s another little display in my office that reminds me of why I love my job when I’m having a tough day.

I also have a selfie collage in another place in my office, with event staff, Music for All full-time staff, band directors, clinicians, Eric Whitacre, John Mackey, etc. that I’ve met through Music for All. Selfies are kind of my thing. I used to get teased about it by my co-workers, but now people seek me out, for the selfies…so now I just embrace it as part of me. 

Hash Marks StoryErins Office when talking about the selfies memories

What is your musical background?
Well I think I’ve fooled quite a few people over the years because I believe in the “fake it until you make it” adage…but I was never in band!

I was however, in choir. I LOVED choir… and went to a fairly small, rural school so my choir director, Ms. Oneil, was actually one of my general music teachers since Kindergarten through elementary school. From there, I of course chose choir as my elective and was with her from 6th grade until I graduated high school. Proud to say when I graduated I received an award for being the top vocal student of my class! I’d say I cherish that distinction more than any other I received that year. I’m 100% sure Ms. Oneil contributed to why I am so passionate about music and music education, and without her, I would certainly not be where I am right now.

I also played piano for a little while, though I didn’t practice as much as I should have (sorry, Mr. Willenburg!!) But I can still play a few things without music, so I’ve retained what I did learn!

And then I dabble in guitar once every three months haha, but struggle to nail the F chord. One day I’ll take lessons again.

One thing you couldn’t live without?
I’m sure this is cliché since you’re reading this profile about me on the Music for All website…but music! I can’t imagine my life without it.

What kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to a little bit of everything and it depends on what mood I’m in. But I MOST OFTEN listen to acoustic singer-songwriter type music. Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Joshua Radin, Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow, Damien Rice-you get the idea. I also have a deep love for Jimmy Eat World and the Goo Goo Dolls that just never ends. And then of course the Hamilton, Come from Away, and Dear Evan Hansen original Broadway cast recordings are on repeat, constantly.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I karaoke as much as possible. It’s fun, it’s social, and singing is a release for me…so when someone asks me if I want to go, the answer is yes 9 times out of 10. I also like to travel, I specifically like to use any airline points I have to book trips to NYC to see Broadway shows.

What are you currently reading?
This year I have a goal to read at least 26 books. I’m also focusing on some professional development by reading on how to be a better manager. I’m in the middle of three different books right now. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, Bridging the Soft Skills Gap by Bruce Tulgan, and for fun I’m reading A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones Book #2!!)

Do you have a favorite quote?
I’m an unapologetic lover of inspirational quotes…so yes, yes I do.

This week’s quote is: “You can anything. But you can’t do everything.” That one is supposed to help me to remember to not take on too much because you can probably guess from everything else I’ve told you, I’m a little type A.

One of my all time favorite quotes is:

“It is our choices that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Dumbledore (I may also be a Harry Potter nerd… #SlytherinForLife)

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
I’m currently binge-watching season three of Madame Secretary.

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
Earlier this year when I was recovering from tonsil surgery I rented the remake of Annie, with Quvenzhane Wallis, Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx. I became OBSESSED with that movie and had to buy it, I watched it five times that week, and then even ordered the DVD to put in my mom’s Mother’s Day gift box because I wanted her to see it too. I wouldn’t say it’s my all-time favorite movie, but I’m pretty into it right now

Music for All Intern Spotlight: Rachel Drake

Wednesday, 12 July 2017 11:55 Written by Lucy Wotell

This is the ninth 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.

Rachel Drake header

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

Where did you go to high school? Where did you go to college and when did you/will you graduate?
Center Grove High School; Capital University (OH), graduating in Spring 2018.

What is your major/degree?
Double major in Communications and Business Management

What is your musical background? This could be instruments you play and involvement in musical activities such as choir, DCI, theatre, winter guard, etc.
Played flute for seven years, participating in my high school concert band, marching band, and pep band programs.

What are you most looking forward to in your internship this spring?
Taking part at the Summer Symposium.

What is an interesting fact about you?
Favorite super hero group is the X-Men.

Who are your top three favorite artists? This could be any genre of music.
Panic! At the Disco, Regina Spektor, and The Beatles.

Rachel Drake1
Rachel Drake3Rachel Drake2

Music for All Staff Spotlight: Lori Smith

Monday, 10 July 2017 14:10 Written by Lucy Wotell

This is the fifteenth 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!

 Lori Smith header

Lori Smith/Accounts Receivable Clerk

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

How long have you been with Music for All?
10 months

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
Grand Nationals. The enthusiasm and excitement from the bands; how they pull together as a team and give their all during their performances.

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
The staff! How we all come together to make an event happen and provide an amazing experience for all involved.

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
Absolutely! Being on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium during Avon High School’s performance at the 2016 Grand Nationals. Being that up-close, it was sensational!

One thing you couldn’t live without?
My husband and family

What kind of music do you listen to?
Pop, Rock, and 80’s music

What do you like to do in your free time?
Spend time with my husband and little girl watch Netflix, read, and do word search puzzles.

What are you currently reading?
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Love the life you live; live the life you love.” ~Bob Marley

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
Orange is the New Black

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
Four Weddings and a Funeral

2B17CC98 3555 4D48 BAD5 9F3E83FB8064IMG 2101

This is the fourteenth 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!

 Jess header

Name/Job Title: Jessica Hjellming, Participant Relations Coordinator

Hometown: Bolingbrook, IL

How long have you been with Music for All?
Almost 2 years. I started as an intern in the fall of 2015, and got hired on full time that December.

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
I really like the Summer Symposium. I was a camper in 2008, 2009, and 2010, so it is very neat to be on staff and know that I am helping create the same experiences for other students.

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
The best part of my job is getting to travel across the country and meet new people. I love working with directors from all across the country, and helping them bring students to our events.

What is your musical background?
In middle school I started playing the tenor saxophone, but when I went into high school I wanted to be in the marching band. The band was filled based on seniority, and then any left-over spots would be given to the freshmen. When I found out that I wouldn’t be able to join until my sophomore year, I taught myself to play the clarinet and re-auditioned for the marching band! I then started taking lessons on both instruments and when college came around, I decided to play clarinet full time. At the University of Illinois, I was in the Marching Illini, Basketball Band, and Volleyball Band. I spent a few semesters in concert band, but I really enjoyed the athletic bands because of the atmosphere!

One thing you couldn’t live without?
That’s easy…pizza.

What kind of music do you listen to?
I don’t really have one kind of music. I just like songs that are fun to groove to!

What do you like to do in your free time?
My husband and I started taking dance lessons before our wedding, and we loved it so much we are now regular students! Ballroom dancing is so much fun, and a great way to spend some time together!

What are you currently reading?
Now that I am FINALLY done with grad school, I am going to keep reading the book I started in January; The Book of Joy, Book by 14th Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
I just finished Mad Men, and now I’m going to start watching West World on HBO.

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
Well, we all know that I haven’t seen many movies, so anything I have seen, everyone else has as well……but my favorite movie is Top Gun.

Music for All Staff Spotlight: Emily Ambriz

Monday, 26 June 2017 07:40 Written by Lucy Wotell

This is the thirteenth 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!

Emily Ambriz header

Name/Job Title: Emily Ambriz, Administrative Assistant/Receptionist

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

How long have you been with Music for All?
Just over a month.

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
I haven’t worked an event yet, but I’m excited for my first camp experience.

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
Working with the staff. Everyone is so passionate and it shows in absolutely everything they do.

What is your musical background?
I’ve been playing the flute since I was 10 and I minored in Flute Performance at Ball State. I was in every ensemble a flute player could be in while I was at Pike High School, as well as marching cymbals in the winter drumline. I also marched cymbals at Ball State with the Pride of Mid-America Marching Band and played with the Flute Choir.

One thing you couldn’t live without?
It’s a very solid tie between string cheese and Twitter.

What kind of music do you listen to?
Everything under the sun!

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to stay busy, so you’ll catch me traveling, reading, staying way too invested in pop culture, binge watching shows on Netflix, hiking, or hanging out with my friends and family…or at Chili’s.

What are you currently reading?
It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Okay Too): A Memoir by Nora McInerny

Do you have a favorite quote?
“I believe in the good things coming.” –Nahko and the Medicine for the People
“Nevertheless, she persisted.”

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
I just got caught up on House of Cards and I’m almost done with Orange is the New Black. I also can’t wait for the new season of Game of Thrones.

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
American Beauty. Kevin Spacey is the man.

ambriz 1 1ambriz 2 1ambriz 3 1

Music for All Staff spotlight: Brock Eveland

Monday, 19 June 2017 11:20 Written by Lucy Wotell

This is the twelfth 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!

Brock Eveland header

Brock Eveland/Administrative Assistant (to the President and CEO)

Hometown: Vincennes, Indiana.

How long have you been with Music for All?
2 ½ years

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
I love spending time observing the Music for All National Festival. It’s a rewarding experience to wander the halls while different members of the Jazz Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America, and Honor Band of America form friendships and practice their music together.

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
Being able to see the impact that our programming has in the local Indianapolis community. Music for All's relationship with the many different school systems and arts organizations has helped me become more aware and engaged in my own community.

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
My favorite memory would be driving through campus during Summer Symposium and seeing all of the different moving parts and instrument tracks working through their daily schedules.

One thing you couldn’t live without?
My trusty travel coffee tumbler

What do you like to do in your free time?
Downtown Indy is such a great area for long distance running. I love running and exploring along the different Indy Cultural Trail paths. I also love going to see bands at the different theatres and venues in Indy.

What are you currently reading?
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
The Keepers mystery docuseries on Netflix

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
Sing Street - A Coming of age tale about a teenager in 1980s Ireland

18882232 10211665325086556 2241704676575165219 n16142857 10208063678261422 6616772989595446979 n

Music for All Intern Spotlight: Cecily Yoakam

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 14:15 Written by Lucy Wotell

This is the eighth 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.

Cecily Yoakam header

What is your hometown? City, State.
Midland, Michigan

Where did you go to high school? Where did you go to college and when did you/will you graduate?
Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am in my last semester at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. I will graduate in December 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.
Started playing the saxophone in 6th grade then switched to oboe in the 7th, haven’t looked back! Did a lot of Bands of America and Music for All events in high school, Drum Major for three years in high school, member of the UNT Green Brigade Marching band, Drum Major in Fall 2015, Spent a little time with DCI and the 2014 Blue Stars as a Conductor,and 2015 SWAG Team member I’ve been lucky enough to work with a few schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area in Texas; mostly with Liberty High School in Frisco, TX as a field technician for their marching band. Also I recently joined the Pride of Indy Community Band

What are you most looking forward to in your internship this summer?
The opportunity to absorb all of this great information about advocating for music and education for people from all walks of life; learning ways to promote music in the community and the opportunity to support and give back to this awesome organization which helps thousands of kids every year; and getting to work with the people I have looked up to and admired since I was 14.

What is an interesting fact about you?
I can speak Hungarian

Who are your top three favorite artists? This could be any genre of music.
Mumford and Sons
Anonymous 4
György Ligeti

image111159486 10153718836459402 3329818444813645035 n 1IMG 2223 1 copy

This is the eleventh 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!

 Matt Markle Mackowiak

Name/Job Title
Matt Markle-Mackowiak/Marketing Coordinator

Hometown:
South Bend, Indiana

How long have you been with Music for All?
3 years

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
By far the fall season is my favorite Music for All event. Traveling during the fall I am not only able to see some of the best marching bands in the country, but I am able to see drum corps friends and family that teach at schools that participate in BOA. Every weekend tends to be a family reunion.

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
Being able to see the reactions of students, directors, parents, and spectators at our events is the best feeling anyone can imagine. For some, our events are the highlight of the year, if not, their life. The best is seeing the raw emotion left on the stage or football field and then seeing them beam with happiness and sometimes tears. I know after our events that I just made someone's day.

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
My favorite memory is now becoming an annual tradition at the Jacksonville Regional. The Music for All staff always grabs dinner the night before the show at the best barbeque/southern style food you will ever have! It is nice to take time and spend time with one another before the craziness of a show day.

What is your musical background?
I come from a family of music let it be music education, playing in the church choir, etc. I have played everything from piano, trumpet, and percussion. In high school I marched on the snare line for two years and then was drum major for my last two seasons, but I also spun in the winterguard.

Post high school I marched two seasons of drum corps. In 2008, I was contracted as a guard member with the Blue Stars, but due to a serious hip injury I had to forgo the rigorous and demanding choreography of Michael Shapiro. (2008 was by far one of my favorite Blue Stars shows!) However, in 2009 I was the drum major for Revolution Drum and Bugle Corps and in 2010 I was drum major for Spokane Thunder Drum & Bugle Corps.

One thing you couldn’t live without?
COFFEE!

What kind of music do you listen to?
I love me some Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, and Malher.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I am doing either one of two things in my free time. It is either playing with my corgi, Elizabeth, or traveling the world with my husband.

Do you have a favorite quote?
The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page. – St. Augustine

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
The Handmaid’s Tale

Matt1Matt3Matt2Matt4

Page 1 of 59
hr-line