The Music for All Blog - Music for All
The Music for All Blog - Music for All
 
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Today for Throwback Thursday we are posting a guest throwback photo! The Franklin High School band from Franklin, Tennessee sent us this throwback from their very first band at their school, in 1937!
 
The Franklin band is trying to find any of the original members. They would be 91 years old or older. Help them spread the word with this post!
 
Does your band have an awesome Throwback photo that you want to share? Send it to us along with your story! We'd love to see it. You can send your photos and stories to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

April is Jazz Appreciation Month and the very last day, April 30, is International Jazz Day with cities all over the world hosting special events.  One of them will be a celebration of David Leander Williams’ new book “Indiana Jazz: The Masters, Legends, and Legacy of Indiana Avenue” with book signing and music by Indiana Jazz Legacy artists Clifford Ratliff and Hank Hankerson accompanied by Monika Herzig at Topo’s 403 in Bloomington.  The event is produced by Jazz from Bloomington with support by the Jazz Education Network.

 

Indiana holds a special place in the history of Jazz in America.  We asked Indiana University Lecturer and author of “David Baker – A Legacy in Music,” Monika Herzig to share her knowledge of Indy’s Jazz roots.

 

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 Except for the historic Walker Theatre just north of downtown there seems to be nothing unique about Indiana Avenue these days and especially no jazz venues that are worth dedicating a book to. The legend of Indiana Avenue dates back to the Jazz Age when musicians would embark on the Chitlin circuit, a network of venues in towns around the Midwest and South featuring safe engagements for black touring groups during segregation. The central geographic location of Indianapolis at the crossroads of America made it a favorite touring stop and clubs and dance halls blossomed up and down the Avenue. . Known as "Funky Broadway," "The Yellow Brick Road," and "The Grand Ol' Street," black business was thriving during the heydays of segregation in the 1930s and 40s in the blocks around the Madam Walker Theater. There was jazz six nights a week in more than 30 clubs lining the Avenue, and great touring bands such as Count Basie and Duke Ellington could be heard regularly at the Sunset Terrace.

 

In addition, Crispus Attucks High School was established in an effort by the Indianapolis population to segregate the school system.  It turned out that bad intentions turned into great results. Here is an excerpt from Lissa May’s chapter in David Baker – A Legacy in Music (IU Press, 2011):
 

The attitude of excellence that permeated the school was exemplified by the music department. Instrumental music teachers LaVerne Newsome, Norman Merrifield, and Russell W. Brown were outstanding musicians, trained at some of the finest music schools in the country. LaVerne Newsome, a graduate of Northwestern University, taught orchestra, string classes, and music appreciation and was known for his dedication to his students. Merrifield, chairman of the Attucks music department, was a pianist, choral director, band director, composer and arranger. He held bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Northwestern University. The music department thrived under his leadership, embodying the values of post-Reconstruction black American life which blended African heritage with European art music.

 

The result of this nurturing environment and the nightly exposure to great music was a crop of young jazz musicians that excelled at their craft and was essential at codifying the language of jazz. Trombonist J.J. Johnson is acknowledged as the most virtuous and prolific jazz trombonists in history. Guitarist West Montgomery created a new style of playing using his thumb to mute strings and his Riverside Recordings have become models for jazz guitarists around the world. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard became known for his high-energy approach to ensemble playing and his modern jazz songs became standard repertoire for every aspiring jazz musician. Trombonist Slide Hampton was the youngest member of the Hampton family, a family band of 12 siblings that toured for years before settling in Indianapolis and becoming mentors to the music community.  Bassists Larry Ridley and Leroy Vinegar left for New York and played with most prominent musicians at the time.  And David Baker’s combo including David Young, Al Kiger, Joe Hunt, and Chuck Israels, a regular feature at the Topper, was recruited by composer/ theorist George Russell for a string of legendary recordings on Riverside Records. The list goes on with many more notable musicians – a wonderful mural picturing several of them can be found now in Indianapolis at 332 N College. 

  

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The lesson to be learned is that a nurturing community and exposure to excellence has tremendous impact on young learners. Especially during the month of April, let’s celebrate our regional legacies and jazz heroes. And throughout the year, let’s create a community of support and role models to foster excellence in our next generation.

 

monikapicMonika Herzig teaches classes on the Music Industry, Creativity, Programming, and Community Arts Organizations at Indiana University. She is the co-founder of Jazz from Bloomington, a jazz society fostering exposure and education about Jazz, and currently serves on the board of the Jazz Education Network, the largest international jazz organization. Her jazz record label ACME Records is home to the jazz ensembles Monika Herzig Acoustic Project, Kwyjibo, Third Man, and BeebleBrox. Herzig received a B.A. from Paedagogische Hochschule Weingarten, Germany in 1988, an M.A. from the University of Alabama in 1991, and a D.M.E. from Indiana University in 1997.

 

 

For more information on the Jazz Band Division of the Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha, please visit http://musicforall.org/what-we-do/summer-camp/students/jazz-band.

 

Wilco's BOA Connection

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:41 Written by John DeRoss

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I’ve been on a huge Wilco kick lately. Seriously. In the past two weeks I’ve listened to everything from “A.M.” to “The Whole Love,” and enjoyed every second of it. Jeff Tweedy’s songwriting, and the group’s skill constantly left me in awe. I was hooked. I had to learn more about these people who had brought me so much joy. So, like most would, I did a quick Google search and soon found myself lost in an endless maze of Wikipedia articles, learning things like Jeff Tweedy’s early influences included The Ramones and country music, and that bassist John Stirratt was a member of Phi Kappa Tau. 

As I kept digging through the Wilco archives, I stumbled onto a video interview with current drummer, Glenn Kotche, from 2007. During the interview Kotche mentioned some very interesting information. He revealed that he was member of the Lake Park High School drumline and… wait for it…. a former Bands of America participant, and Summer Symposium Percussion TA!

I was shocked, and honestly a little embarassed that I didn’t already know this for a couple of reasons.

1. I am a Music for All Staff Member.

2. Wilco is one of my all-time favorite bands

3. Glenn Kotche is an amazing drummer!

After letting this sink in, I realized, it made perfect sense. Of course Kotche is a BOA alum. He is one of the most talented drummers in music, a strong supporter of music education, and uses percussion in an intelligent and very interesting way. In the video above (you have to take a look, just trust me) he mentions how his music background has influenced playing with Wilco. Specifically, he talks about approaching percussion as not just a method of keeping the beat, but rather of contributing to the musical experience by adding texture or color, as it would in an orchestra or another setting*. This is something Kotche attributes to his years spent studying percussion at Lake Park and with MFA adjudicator, clinician and evaluator, James Campbell at the University of Kentucky. He says that these past experiences gave him the ability to play a variety of different styles, whether it’s backing a soft ballad, or creating chaos in a rock environment. 

The skills Kotche picked up during his education/BOA career aren’t all musical, either. As we hear from many former students and participators, Kotche’s experiences taught him how to work, think quickly, and play in front of a large audience. It gave him confidence and an increased ability to muli-task and analyze. His success is due to, in part, the instruction he received from, and interactions he had with music educators throughout his life.

*Check out this song, “I am trying to break your heart” from Kotche’s first album with Wilco, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” for a great example of using percussion as a texture or color.

The moral of story here is this: there are BOA alums all around us, in all sorts of fields. From lawyers, to doctors, to teachers, to rockstars, those who benefitted from music education can be found everywhere. Individuals like Kotche were afforded the opportunity to pursue music in their childhood, and we must ensure that coming generations receive the same chance. Because who knows? The next Glenn Kotche may be competing in the Bands of America Championships this fall, and we could sure use a few more like him around.

 

MFA Staff Profiles - Michelle Maloney-Mangold

Monday, 14 April 2014 12:14 Written by John DeRoss

Music for All is full of outstanding employees and we want you to meet them! Each month you'll have the opportunity to learn about a different staff member with our Staff Profiles. 

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Name: Michelle Maloney-Mangold

Position: Administrative Assistant and Receptionist

Hometown: La Porte, IN

How long have you been with MFA?

Seven months.

What is your educational background?  Where did you go to school, and what did you study?

I have a bachelor’s degree in music and English from Butler University, a master’s degree in English from the University of Connecticut, and in one year (hopefully) I will have a Ph.D. in English from the University of Connecticut.

What is your musical background?  (What instruments have you played? Played in groups or bands? Just enjoy music in general?)

I started playing the clarinet when I was in sixth grade, and I played all through college and still play it today. I was also a drum major in high school and college. I majored in music education, so I had to learn most of the wind instruments, percussion, and some string instruments. I was so bad at the trombone, though, that my director named a syndrome after me, and my piano playing is pitiful. The only instrument other than the clarinets that I would play in public would be saxophone and maybe, maybe trumpet.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

I have loved rock music since I was born. I was the kid in middle school who only wore band t-shirts (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Bush, Pearl Jam) and dyed her hair with Kool Aid to try to look as much like Kurt Cobain as possible. Today, I mostly listen to alternative, indie, and classic rock, although I also love music I can dance to. The thing I miss most about college is listening to and discussing classical (especially the Romantics and the Modernists and 15th-century polyphony) and jazz (especially Cool Jazz) on a daily basis. I also have a ridiculous schoolgirl crush on Eric Whitacre.

Why is music important to you?

Music was my whole life growing up. My parents taught me to love rock music from the time I was a baby (some of my first words were Bon Jovi lyrics), and I always wanted to be a musician. In high school in particular, music gave me a place to belong—I was pretty much queen of the band kids, and I loved it so passionately. My band directors took a special interest in me from the beginning; I went into high school thinking I was going to quit after one year, but on the very first day of high school concert band, I knew I’d stay all four years. In college, I had a built-in group of friends from the day I stepped on campus, and those people are still some of my best friends today. I don’t get to play very much anymore, but music is still crucial to my everyday life. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

Why do you believe in music education?

For all the reasons I listed above and more. I used to be really big about throwing statistics about SAT scores and grades at people, but now I just say that music—like literature, dance, theater, visual art—is integral to our experience of being human and understanding what it means to be human. I strongly believe in the value of a liberal arts education, and you can’t have that without art.

One of my favorite quotations has always been, “Music is essentially useless, as life is.” In other words, music is key to our humanness, to what it means to be alive. To dismiss the value of music is to dismiss the value of life and the beauty of the world.

What sort of things do you do in your free time?

I read, a lot, for school and for fun. I obsessively watch TV and see movies, and I love going to concerts and good restaurants. I’m also pretty loyal to my sports teams, especially to Butler Basketball (go Bulldogs!), the Chicago White Sox and Blackhawks, the Indianapolis Colts, and Liverpool F.C. In general, I love being around my friends and family, so I love to combine the above activities with them as much as possible.

What led you to Music for All?

I recently moved back to Indianapolis to finish my dissertation, and my friend Laura Blake (one of the people I met on my first day at Butler in 2002) let me know about the opening. I had marched in BOA events in high school and volunteered for them in college, so I knew the value of the organization and that Laura had loved working here for years. So I applied and here I am!

What do you enjoy the most about working for Music for All?

I love seeing the looks on students’ faces at our events. I get choked up a lot when they are walking off the field or the stage or Chuck has just given a particularly epic announcement or Dr. Tim has just given a big speech and enthralled everyone. Our events really do change students’ (and their families’ and directors’) lives. That’s the best part.

I also adore my co-workers. Their passion and sense of humor makes it a joy to come to work.

What is your favorite Music for All event, and why?

I haven’t gone through Symposium yet, so this could change, but probably Grand Nationals. It’s aptly named, because it really is grand. There are just so many students, spectators, and schools in attendance, and the level of performance is so incredibly high. I just love it, the grandeur and pageantry.

What’s one interesting thing about yourself that some on staff may not be aware of?

Oh, gosh. I’m a pretty open person, so I’m not sure there’s much people don’t know. I think my two defining characteristics, though, are that I’m the oldest of six kids and that I’m basically a nerdy, 14-year-old fangirl. (That’s not an insult to 14-year-olds. I mean it in the best possible way.) When I love something, I tend to obsess over it, which leads to lots of embarrassing rambling and my buying posters and dolls I don’t need and my owning so many books that my husband threatens to cut me off. I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, so everything I love is in earnest. (There goes my hipster cred…) But less this be known: my obsession with vampires has earned me a great deal of ridicule, yes, but it also led to my first academic publication and several conference presentations. So kids—stay nerdy. 

 "Fanfare: The Week in Music Education" is a weekly collection of news and stories about the latest in music education and music advocacy. Get your week started right with the latest news in music education, as well as timely music advocacy resources so that you may promote music education in your community. If you would like to share a story or announcement in "Fanfare," feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and it could be featured in an upcoming post.

Challenges facing school music programs in rural communities

Because of small school sizes and the distance from arts resources, rural schools often face an uphill battle in providing quality music education. Growing up in a small, rural school district, I grew up with the struggles of instrument and private lesson availability. I am grateful to my parents for moving to a surburban community, which provided many more opportunities and resources as a high school music student. This article features Valley Middle/High School in Idaho, where a music program just resurfaced after many years without. Robbie Hanchey, music teacher in the 600-student district, said band students learn teamwork, dedication, how to listen and “taking something they’re not good at and cleaning it up," which translates to their other classes. Other schools in the area only provide music instruction from a part-time teacher to elementary students. For resources to promote music education in your rural school district, visit the Advocacy Resources section of our website.

NAMM Foundation brings music education focus to National School Board Association Conference

SupportMusicLogoMusic for All's Strategic Advocacy Partner, NAMM, recently attended the National School Board Association (NSBA) Conference in New Orleans to promote music education in our nation's schools. The NAMM Foundation provided advocacy sessions, an open wind ensemble rehearsal and a culminating drum circle event for conference attendees April 5-7. "I see the wonderful things music education does for students. The value of music and the arts are paramount to a child’s success and well being," said former NSBA president Sonny Sovoie. Additionally, the NAMM Foundation hosted a SupportMusic Coalition webinar from the NSBA Conference, which featured experts in music education and advocacy, including administrators from Louisiana's St. Charles Parish Public Schools.

Music is medicine for Fresno, Cal. high school student

Music empowers all of us in different ways, but it is often theraputic. For many, like Edison H.S. senior Anthony Gonzales, music can be an escape from a challenging home life. A fifth grade teacher encouraged Anthony to join band and learn an instrument, and the rest is history. Anthony now plays seven instruments and wants to become a music educator himself. "That's the beauty of the instrument is you fill up with air, and you get this puffed-out chest, and you have to stand up tall, and it's really hard not to think highly of yourself when you have a puffed-out chest and you're all the way standing up straight," said Anthony. We wish Anthony the best of luck! You can view his story below.

 

Community honors McAllen ISD's 2014 Best Communities for Music Education recognition

BCME 1South Texas school district and Bands of America participant McAllen Independent School District was recently designated as a 2014 Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. Last week, the district held an awards ceremony that featured musicians from the Homer J. Morris Middle School Orchestra. According to district fine arts director Karen Herrera, 60% of the 5,700 middle schools in McAllen ISD are involved in music. “There’s a rich history of dedication to the fine arts in McAllen,” said Superintendent James Ponce. “This is important to our community.” Congratulations to McAllen ISD and the McAllen community for being named a Best Community for Music Education!

"Happy" Artist Pharrell Williams grateful to his music teachers

Just like many of us, famous musicians and artists got their start in a school music classroom. One of this year's most active artists, Pharrell Williams, is no different. The 41 year old, whose collaborations with Daft Punk and Robin Thicke earned him many honors at the GRAMMY Awards in Februrary, shared his story on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday. Pharrell was grateful to the many people in his life who inspired him to follow music: "My story is the average story, you know. It was filled with special people...What am I without them? Just try that for a second. Take all of my band teachers out of this. Where am I? I'm back in Virginia, doing something completely different." Click here for the full story, or watch a clip of the interview below.

 

 

San Joaquin Valley Concert Band Invitational

Friday, 11 April 2014 09:00 Written by John DeRoss

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 Music for All is proud to partner with concert band festivals across the country to present "Affiliate Regional Concert Band Festivals."

This new initiative is part of our ongoing support of the essential "core" of every band program: the concert band. Music for All will provide one National Concert Band Festival evaluator to participate, as well as student and teacher scholarships to the Music for All Summer Symposium.

We spoke with San Joaquin Valley Concert Band Invitational Festival Coordinator, David Lesser, about the event, and what it means to partner with Music for All. Mr. Lesser is the Director of Bands at Clovis North H.S.

Why did you decide to host an Affiliate Regional Concert Band Festival?David Lesser Clovis North

It is an honor to be associated with an organization that believes in the educational value and artistry in creating music. MFA has helped to increase the resources available for our festival which will also increase the musical and educational experience for each student and director involved with performing at our festival. MFA has allowed us to continue with a truly musical and educational approach to providing a great performance opportunity for music programs while enhancing certain areas of the experience.

How many groups are performing, are they all from around your area?

There are eleven groups performing. This year all are from the Central California. In the past we have had groups from all areas of the state.

Have you presented something similar to this in the past? If so, how is hosting this festival different?

This is the 6th Annual San Joaquin Valley Concert Band Invitational. The festival was created to provide a musical performance opportunity to celebrate artistry and camaraderie between performers rather than apply a score to art. MFA has been very supportive of maintaining that vision.  The only main difference is the support MFA has given to enhance what we have previously been doing.   

How have your parents and students been engaged in helping plan and prepare for the festival?

Our festival is facilitated by each of our students in the band program. They all will volunteer 4-5 hours assisting prior to and throughout the day of the festival.

Who will be evaluators for your festival?  What criteria did you use to select them?

Mr. Ramiro Barrera, Director of Bands, James Logan High School, Union City California. Retired

Col. Arnald Gabriel, Conductor, United States Air Force Band, Retired

Dr. John Locke, Director of Bands, University North Carolina, Greensboro

Mr. Alfred Watkins, Director of Bands, Lassiter High School, Murrieta Georgia, Retired

These gentlemen were selected as collaborators because of their extreme high standards and dedication to music education as well as their expertise in our country. The ability to have such outstanding adjudicators along with our performing venue is what drives directors to choose to attend our festival.

How much are tickets? Are there still more tickets available?

The performances throughout the day are free. Attendance to our evening gala concert is $10.00, and we have about 300 seats still available.

Any special performances planned (not HS ensembles)?

We have a gala concert beginning at 7pm where each of the adjudicators for the day will conduct a piece with the Clovis North High School Wind Ensemble. Following will be our featured performer, the California State University Fresno, Wind Orchestra conducted by Dr. Gary P. Gilroy.

What has been your past involvement with Music for All/ BOA?

This is my first personal involvement with MFA and BOA.  I have had students perform in the Honor Band of America as well as am colleagues with many educators who have adjudicated for BOA or had ensembles perform at MFA or BOA events.

How many volunteers does it take to run a festival like this?  How did you recruit them?

It takes about 80 volunteers to run the event at this time. They were recruited through our monthly parent meetings, phone calls and the wonderful colored hand button on the CHARMS Office Assistant calendar.

How long have you been teaching at Clovis N. H.S.? 

I have been teaching at Clovis North since the first day the school opened a short 7 years ago in 2007,and this is my 13th year teaching.

What is your favorite part of teaching? 

My favorite part of teaching is seeing the “light bulb” moments students have on a daily basis while witnessing them become greater than they thought they could be. 

Proudest moment as an educator? 

When I know students have developed a life-long appreciation for music and it is due to our work together in band. 

Keys to a successful career in music education? 

Surround yourself with great people, people who are better than you, and always keep learning.

Anything at all that you would like to add? 

I am extremely proud of all the work that the volunteers and students do in order to run an event such as this. We are extremely privileged to have the facilities we do and are overjoyed to be able to share those facilities with ensembles from outside our area. We are also thankful that Music For All has recognized the experience we provide for students, educators and parents and have agreed to support our festival!!!  

 

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We are proud to announce that we have officially confirmed The Glass Bowl at The University of Toledo for the 2014 Bands of America SE Michigan/ NW Ohio Area Regional. 
 
The Regional Championship at Toledo, OH will be on Saturday, October 4th.
 
Learn more about the stadium here.
 
We hope to see you at the Regional Championship at Toledo, OH!
 
 

Chicagoland Invitational Concert Band Festival

Monday, 07 April 2014 10:24 Written by John DeRoss
Draft FB Cover Photo John Hersey HS 2014FINAL
 
Music for All is proud to partner with concert band festivals across the country to present "Affiliate Regional Concert Band Festivals."

This new initiative is part of our ongoing support of the essential "core" of every band program: the concert band. Music for All will provide one National Concert Band Festival evaluator to participate, as well as student and teacher scholarships to the Music for All Summer Symposium.

We spoke with Chicagoland Invitational Concert Band Festival Coordinator, Scott Casagrande, about the event, and what it means to partner with Music for All.  Mr. Casagrande is the Director of Bands at John Hersey H.S., and an educational consultant for Music for All.

Scott Casagrande picWhy did you decide to host an Affiliate Regional Concert Band Festival?

It's a win-win for everyone involved. MFA lends its considerable resources to our festival, improving the educational experience for every student and band program involved. Music for All fulfills their mission statement to support music education in any way they are able and they extend their "brand" to students and programs that might be unfamiliar with them.

How many groups are performing, are they all from around your area?

There are 39 bands and app. 2400 students participating in this year's festival. Most are from the Chicago area, but some are coming from the St. Louis area, as well as the Quad Cities on the Iowa border. 

Have you presented something similar to this in the past? If so, how is hosting this festival different?

This is the 14th year of the Chicagoland Band Festival and the 2nd year that MFA has been directly involved. The format of the festival, when it was originally established, was based on the MFA National Concert Band Festival so the format of the festival really hasn't changed. The biggest difference I have seen is more exposure due to publicity, as well as interest from band programs because of the respect that MFA demands in our band world.

How have your parents and students been engaged in helping plan and prepare for the festival?

Every student in the band program volunteers 3-4 hours of time and 90% of our families provide at least one parent to volunteer. Our festival steering committee has been meeting monthly since the beginning of the school year. 

Who will be evaluators for your festival?

Prof. John Casagrande
George Mason University, Emeritus

Mr. David Morrison
Prospect High School, Retired

Mr. Don Shupe
Libertyville High School, Retired

Mr. Dallas Niermeyer
John Hersey High School, retired

Dr. Michael Fansler
Western Illinois University

Mr. John Thomson
New Trier High School, Retired

Mr. Dan Farris
Northwestern University

Mr. Richard Floyd
University Inter-Scholastic League, TX, retired
Music for All Clinician

Dr. Barry Houser
University of Illinois

Prof. James Keene
University of Illinois, Emeritus

Mr. Gary Markham
Music Coordinator, Cobb County School District, GA, retired

Dr. Mallory Thompson
Northwestern University

What criteria did you use to select them? 

These are some of the most respected musicians and educators in the United States and the main reason that so many bands participate in our festival.

How much are tickets? Are there still more tickets available?  

Yes. Tickets are $8. 

Any special performances planned?

Elmhurst College Wind Ensemble 

What has been your past involvement with Music for All/ BOA?

Our Symphonic Band has participated in four National Concert Band Festivals and I have been personally involved with the National Concert Band Festival as a band host or participant in all but 2 years since it's inception in 1992. I am currently an Educational Consultant for Music for All.

How many volunteers does it take to run a festival like this?  

We have about 200 student and volunteer positions that are filled over the course of the weekend.  

How did you recruit them?  

Blood, Sweat and Tears from the steering committee!

How long have you been teaching at John Hersey H.S.?  

This is my 15th year at Hersey and 25th year of teaching.

What is your favorite part of teaching?

Making music with students and providing "life-changing" opportunities........ (to use a familiar phrase)

Proudest moment as an educator?  

Watching so many of my students continue to perform in college, as well as so many of them continuing on to be music educators.

Keys to a successful career in music education?  

To quote one of my heros, Mr. Ted Lega retired band director from Joliet Central HS:  "Perseverance and drive........."

 

The Chicagoland Invitational Concert Band Festival will be held on Saturday, April 12, at John Hersey H.S. in Arlington, IL. For more information please visit http://herseyband.com/Fest/

 

The Week in Music Education: April 7

Monday, 07 April 2014 15:15 Written by Seth Williams

"The Week in Music Education" is a weekly collection of news and stories about the latest in music education and music advocacy. This series highlights local, regional and national news in music education, as well as provide timely music advocacy resources so that you may promote music education in your community. If you would like to share a story or announcement in "The Week in Music Education," feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and it could be featured in an upcoming post.

Band Directors Kirk Clague and David Aydelott honored by John Philip Sousa Foundation

Last week, David Aydelott and Kirk Clague were inducted into the 2014 Bandworld Legion of Honor. Each year, eight of the most influential band directors are recognized by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The Bandworld Legion of Honor was established in 1989 and promotes dedication to high quality concert band programs. David Aydelott has served as Director of Bands at Franklin H.S. in Tennesee for seven years, receiving top local, state and national honors for his ensembles. The Franklin H.S. Wind Ensemble performed at Music for All's 2013 National Concert Band Festival and the Franklin H.S. Marching Band is a two-time Bands of America Regional Champion and Grand National Semi-Finalist. Kirk Clague has been the Director of Musical Activities at Exeter Union H.S. in California for the past 18 years. Clague and his ensembles have received numberous honors in both concert and jazz band. To learn more about the Bandworld Legion of Honor and its honorees, click here.

National Association for Music Education represented at Congressional briefing

Last week, we told you about an upcoming Congressional briefing where the National Association for Music Education would be brining the "Broader Minded" campaign to Capitol Hill. The briefing was one of the first of its kind in nearly a decade and was led by Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH). NAfME President Nancy Ditmer and staff member Christopher Woodside both spoke at the briefing. You can view a summary and photos of the event here.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month

Each April, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History recognizes the impact of Jazz on American history and society through Jazz Appreciation Month. This year, Smithsonian is honoring John Coltrane throughout the month with special screenings at the National Museum of American History. In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, we hope you enjoy this playlist of jazz charts performed by our 2011 Jazz Band of America led by Shelly Berg and featuring Allen Vizzutti.

 

Wynton Marsalis Speaks on Music Education

Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis recently spoke with the National Association for Music Education on the importance of music education in our nation's schools. Marsalis shares his own musical upbringing in a very musical family, as well as challenges faced in schools by music educations. In addition to being an incredible performer and composer, Marsalis leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, which has provided him opportunities to lead music education intiatives and teach young jazz musicians. His eloquent words are an excellent resource to help make your case for music in our schools.

 

Music Education and STEM

We at Music for All are advocates of including the arts in STEM education, creating STEAM. This post from blogger and educator Erin Galardi presents an excellent argument for music's importance in a STEM curriculum. Galardi is not a musician herself, but she recognizes the way that music instruction can improve important skills such as math, verbal memory and spacial-temporal awareness. She even provides opportunities for parents to provide music instruction in the home. This perspective on music education and STEM is a great resource when advocating to non-music colleagues, friends or elected officials.

Metropolitan Wind Band Invitational

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 12:27 Written by John DeRoss

MWBI Banner 1

 Music for All is proud to partner with concert band festivals across the country to present "Affiliate Regional Concert Band Festivals."

This new initiative is part of our ongoing support of the essential "core" of every band program: the concert band. Music for All will provide one National Concert Band Festival evaluator to participate, as well as student and teacher scholarships to the Music for All Summer Symposium.

We spoke with Metropolitan Wind Band Invitational Festival Coordinator, Todd Nichols, about the event and what it means to partner with Music for All. Mr. Nichols is the Director of Bands at Roxbury H.S.

 

 Nichols Headshot MFA 2Why did you decide to host an Affiliate Regional Concert Band Festival?

Ever since our first interaction with Music for All, I have been sincerely impressed by the organization and it’s efforts to provide the very best in music education for all students. For a long time I have wanted to provide the same kind of opportunity and positive influence for school music programs in our area. The partnership with MFA, in my opinion, was a perfect fit!

How many groups are performing, are they all from around your area?

13 groups are performing this ear and all are from NJ. We got hit pretty hard with snow this winter and some additional groups were unable to attend due to make-up scheduling conflicts, etc. Our goal is to have this festival grow and include bands from all over the Northeast.

Have you presented something similar to this in the past?  If so, how is hosting this festival different?

Since 2008, we have presented a similar non-competitive festival striving to provide the very best in evaluation possible. Having the endorsement from MFA helps to solidify our festival as one that is of quality and professionalism. What makes it different this year is being able to add the 45 minute clinic component.

If you had to do this over again, what would you do differently?

I would work even harder to reach out to ensembles outside of our state and encourage them to participate and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

How have your parents and students been engaged in helping plan and prepare for the festival?

For over a year, both our Band Parent Organization and student Band Council have been working tirelessly to make this festival a success for all who attend. Our goal is to provide top notch service for all who attend!!!

Who will be evaluators for your festival? What criteria did you use to select them?

James Keene, Richard Crain, Dr. Terry Austin, and Glen Adsit. All are EXPERT conductors, musicians, and clinicians. Our goal is to bring the incredible artists to tour festival and these gentlemen are just that. They are some of the absolute best in the business!!!

How much are tickets? Are there still tickets available?

Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students, and $3 for seniors. Seating is still available.

Any special performances planned?

Our goal is to annually have a spotlight ensemble perform at the end of the festival. This year it will be the Eastern Wind Symphony, a tremendous ensemble from Princeton, NJ. You can find out more about the ensemble at www.easternwindsymphony.org. In the years to come, we hope to highlight service bands, college and university ensembles, and professional ensembles. What a better way for students to become inspired than to hear great ensembles live!!

What has been your past involvement with Music for All / BOA?

Our wind ensemble performed at the 2008 and 2012 National Concert Band Festival. Our marching band has participated in MFA Regional Championships since 2006. Since 2012, I've provided input and guidance to MFA's educational team on aspects of the National Concert Band Festival.

How many volunteers does it take to run a festival like this?  How did you recruit them?

A tremendous amount. We are incredibly fortunate to have WONDERFUL parents led by FANTASTIC committee chairs. Our MWBI chairman, Mr. George Wendt, also chairs our home marching band show, and along with our incredible BPA president, Mr.. Paul Wasek, they help to make all of this a reality for the kids. Our band parents literally move mountains to make things happen! :)

How long have you been teaching at Roxbury H.S.?

10 years at RHS – 16 total years.

What is your favorite part of teaching?

Providing opportunities for all of my students.

Proudest moment as an educator?

Watching my students realize and accomplish a goal that they thought they couldn’t achieve.

Keys to a successful career in music education?

Determination each and every day.

Anything at all that you would like to add?

Our entire Roxbury organization is tremendously honored that MFA puts their trust in our festival and we are thrilled to host this event with MFA’s support.

 

The Metropolitan Wind Band Invitational will be held on Saturday, April 5 at Roxbury H.S. in Roxbury, NJ.  For more information please visit http://roxburybands.org/metropolitan-wind-band-invitational.

 

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