Check out the awards photos from the 2014 Bands of America Regional Championship at Powder Springs!
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Check out the awards photos from the 2014 Texas Dairy QueenÂ® Bands of America Regional Championship at Austin!
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Check out the awards photos from the 2014 Bands of America Regional Championship at Dayton!
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Check out the awards photos from the 2014 Bands of America Regional Championship at Monroeville!
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Check out the awards photos from the 2014 Bands of America Regional Championship at Louisville!
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Music for All announced yesterday that the U.S. Army has partnered with Music for All (MFA)/Bands of America to educate young musicians, band directors, educators, parents and others about the unique opportunities to serve in the Army.
Saturday, September 20, members of the U.S. ARMY will be on site at the Bands of America Regional Championship at Papa Johnâ€™s Stadium in Louisville. Students can participate in special U.S. Army challenges and activities created just for them at the BOA Louisville Championship. If youâ€™re attending the event, please visit the area located at the northwest corner* of the stadium, just under the stands near the band entrance gate. See the locator map at the bottom of this page.
The U.S. ARMY Challenge area will be open throughout the event until the start of Finals, including the break between Prelims and Finals.
Be sure to visit goarmy.com to learn more about scholarships and hundreds of career opportunities available in the U.S. Army.
** Location pending, check on site for any location changes.
U.S. Army partners with Music for All to encourage consideration of Army service
Pilot program engages musicians and educators to explore career and scholarship opportunities
As part of a new pilot program, the U.S. Army has partnered with Music for All (MFA)/Bands of America to educate young musicians, band directors, educators, parents and others about the unique opportunities to serve in the Army.
Through the partnership, the Army will support nine championship events across the country this marching band season, reaching approximately 75,000 competitors from 27 states and more than 170,000 event attendees. Each event will feature an interactive Army Strong Zone display where student band members and other attendees can test their mental agility, critical thinking skills, and knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Based on their performance, students are matched to potential Army careers where they can learn more about the Army and scholarship opportunities.
â€śThe Army is proud to partner with this outstanding organization that shares our commitment to motivate, educate, train and develop todayâ€™s youth to be our future leaders, decision-makers and active citizens,â€ť said Mark Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing. â€śAs a former bandsman myself, I know the dedication, teamwork and technical expertise required for a successful band. These talented young musicians possess a similar set of strengths to Army Soldiers and embody the Armyâ€™s core values. They demonstrate a loyalty to each other and are willing to work hard memorizing music and drills, while balancing academics. We look forward to working together through this sponsorship.â€ť
U.S. Army Soldiers and Army Band members will be on site to perform, interact with participants and present several awards at the following MFA/Bands of America events, culminating with the Bands of America Grand National Championship event in November.
â€˘ Sept. 20: Bands of America Regional Championships (Louisville, Ky.)
â€˘ Oct. 4: Bands of America Regional Championships (Denton, Texas)
â€˘ Oct. 11: Bands of America Regional Championships (Jacksonville, Ala.)
â€˘ Nov. 12-15: Bands of America Grand National Championships Expo (Indianapolis, Ind.)
â€śIt is an honor to partner with the U.S. Army and is a positive way to expand our commitment to help educate, enlighten, and inspire the next generation of Americaâ€™s leaders through music and the arts," said Eric L. Martin, president and chief executive officer of Music for All. â€śThe Army recognizes the positive skills students gain from participating in music education, which translate into successful futures, whether they choose to pursue careers in music or not.â€ť
For more information on the Army, visit www.goarmy.com, or follow the Army on Twitter @goarmy, Facebook (www.facebook.com/goarmy) and goarmy Google+.
Music for All has added a new professional, James P. Stephens, to its Indianapolis staff, as Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources. Stephens joins Music for All having most recently served as a music educator for one of the nationâ€™s most respected scholastic music programs, at Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma.
Music for All uniquely combines regional and national music-event programming with awareness and advocacy efforts aimed at expanding access to music in schools and communities, including Indianapolis.
The Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources is a new position created to meet key organizational objectives and initiatives. This high-level management position will develop and implement the organizationâ€™s existing and new scholastic music-related arts advocacy initiatives. The position will also work with and assist the organizationâ€™s educational team as it develops, recommends and crafts organizational initiatives, ensuring the organizationâ€™s events and programs support and reflect its high educational standards and commitment.
â€śAs the Music for All vision continues to broaden, Mr. Stephens will be a wonderful and valued asset to the staff. Advocacy is paramount to music education and he will provide needed insight and direction,â€ť stated Gary Markham, Senior Music for All Educational Consultant. â€śAdditionally, he has the background, energy and experience to help facilitate and expand all of MFAâ€™s educational initiatives. The Education Team and I are tremendously excited to work with him for a bright future.â€ť
As an educator, Stephens worked closely and passionately with Music for All at various programs and events and has served on the faculty at the Music for All Summer Symposium.
Prior to joining Music for All, Stephens was the former Associate Director of Bands at Broken Arrow High School where he taught since 2006. Stephensâ€™ teaching responsibilities included three concert bands, music theory and assistant marching band director for the Pride of Broken Arrow. While at Broken Arrow, the marching band was named the Bands of America Grand National Champion twice (in 2011 and 2006), was a seven-time national finalist at the Bands of America Grand National Championships, and was presented with the prestigious Sudler Shield of Excellence by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The marching band performed by invitation in the 2009 and 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
Under the direction of Stephens, the Broken Arrow Wind Bands have performed multiple times at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association state conventions and most recently in New York City's renowned Carnegie Hall.
Stephens brings both large and small band program experience, prior to his appointment at Broken Arrow, Stephens taught at Jamestown High School (NY), Marion Local High School (OH) and Mad River Middle School (OH). Bands under Stephens' direction have performed in venues across the United States and have consistently received superior ratings and have been awarded numerous honors in concert and marching venues.
Note: This week will be my final "Fanfare" blog post as a MFA staff member. I begin a new journey next month in Los Angeles, where I'll be attending graduate school. It's been a pleasure bringing you music education and advocacy news for the past few months. Please be sure to stay tuned to the MFA Blog for advocacy news and more!
Last week, you may have heard about results from the latest Harris Poll that were promising for music education. According to those surveyed in the Poll, over three-quarters of Americans were involved in school music, an increase from a 2007 Harris Poll. More people surveyed also said that music education prepares students better for their careers and for problem solving. Some have speculated that the increased presence of music education in pop culture, including shows like "Glee," "The Voice," etc., have helped expand participation in school music. While many of these shows display a distorted view of what school music classes are really like, are they valuable advocacy tools?
When you think arts integration, or utilizing music, dance, theatre or visual art into core lesson plans, you may envision it only for elementary students, for making learning fun or interesting. Bucking that trend, Alexandra Pannoni from the U.S. News & World Report showed us three ways to incorporate music into high school classes in a recent article. From rap in an English class to music production in science and engineering classes, music is a universal, relatable vehicle for student learning. "We found that once we began to balance both the creativity and the academics, that their academics became more important to them," said a San Diego high school English teacher who utilized songwriting to assist in character analysis.
As schools across the nation begin to ring in a new year, its a perfect time for teachers to think about professional development, re-charging the batteries for a new school year. In this month's School Band & Orchestra Magazine, professional development was a big focus, including an article from Marcia Neel and the Music Achievement Council. One of the biggest takeaways in this article for me was the importance of engaging and inspiring students through setting goals, creating mottos and encouraging community service. SBO also featured an interview with MFA Summer Symposium faculty member and former Wando H.S. director Scott Rush. This year, Mr. Rush will serve as Director of Fine Arts for the Dorchester School District 2 in Summerville, SC. Scott Rush penned the valuable "Habits of a Successful Band Director."
I've been an Ingrid Michaelson fan for years, and her latest album, including the single "Girls Chase Boys Chase Girls," has finally brought her mainstream. Long a supporter of music education, Michaelson is giving back to her hometown in the form of quality music education through the VH1 Save the Music Foundation: "In 2012, I accompanied the VH1 Save the Music Foundation on a visit to a school in my Staten Island hometown. My heart melted not just because of the adorable kids, but also because I was so inspired by their talent and love for music. Seeing their faces light up as they walked into the music room, ready to place their tiny hands on newly donated musical instruments and start their music exploration, I decided to take a stronger stand on saving music education."
From Daniel Levitan's This Is Your Brain on Music to recent brain studies in the news, we know that listening and performing music is a great exercise for our brains. The folks famous for short, impactful speeches have created a new video, which displays the benefits of playing an instrument in an animated and entertaining way. The video emphasizes that while listening to music involved much brain activity, playing an instrument is akin to a full-body workout for your brain. The video also speaks to the number of qualities and personality traits in musicians, such as high executive function, which may explain why so many of our nation's business and community leaders played music. You can watch the video for yourself below: