The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
Erin Fortune
Erin Fortune is the Marketing Manager focusing on digital marketing at Music for All and has been working with Music for All since 2010, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. She is a graduate of the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.

 

Bands of America is grateful that “Mother Nature” allowed completion of the entirety of the Preliminary Competition at the Austin Regional.  We were not as fortunate during Finals.  Due to extreme weather conditions, Finals were cancelled before the performances commenced.  By rule the preliminary results became the final results of the competition. 

The overriding ticketing policy for Music for All/Bands of America events is that tickets are “non-refundable.”  Nevertheless, where extraordinary circumstances, like severe weather, cause the cancellation of all or a substantial portion of an event, Music for All has established refund polices for that event and offered full or partial refunds as appropriate.

Following are Music for All’s policies concerning ticket refunds for the Austin Regional:

Cooperative Tickets (issued to bands) - No refund
Day-Pass - $9 refund
Adult Finals Ticket - $17 refund
Military or Senior Finals Ticket - $14 refund
Student Finals Ticket - $10 refund
 

We request that our patrons note that the costs of the event (stadium rental, stadium personnel, judges’ fees and other expenses, and the like) were still incurred and paid by Music for All.  We invite you to consider foregoing any refund.  If you require a refund, we ask that you consider donating the value of the refund to Music for All.  If you choose to donate your refund, Music for All will provide you with an acknowledgement of your charitable contribution for your tax records.

To request a refund, please send your name, address, and copy of your ticket to:

                  Music for All, Inc.
                  39 W. Jackson Place, Suite 150
                  Indianapolis, IN  46225
 

Alternatively, you may fax your request to 317.524.6200 or e-mail it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you choose to donate the value of your ticket refund, please indicate this in your request.  Refund requests must be received by November 30, 2013 and will be processed by December 7, 2013

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding our refund policies for the Austin Regional event, please do not hesitate to contact us at 800.848.2263.

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Congratulations to all of the bands who participated in the 2013 Texas Dairy Queen® Bands of America Regional Championship at Austin, presented by Yamaha! We know the rain put a slight damper on the day, but we thank everyone for being patient through delays and for staying positive. The students definitely put on some amazing shows despite the less than ideal weather!

Here are some photos from both the Prelims and Finals awards ceremony. Looking for more action photos of your band? Jolesch Enterprises will have photos available on their website coming soon - so make sure you check here  for group photos as well as action shots that they took at the event.

Can't view the slide show? Click here.

Looking for Results and Scores from the event? You can find those here. Congratulations to the 2013 Austin Regional Champions: James Bowie H.S., TX!

Monday, September 30, 2013

BOA Regional Championship at Toledo

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Congratulations to all of the bands who participated in the 2013 BOA Regional Championship at Toledo!

Here are some photos from both the Prelims and Finals awards ceremony. Looking for more action photos of your band? Jolesch Enterprises will have photos available on their website coming soon - so make sure you check here  for group photos as well as action shots that they took at the event.

Can't view the slide show? Click here.

Looking for Results and Scores from the event? You can find those here. Congratulations to the 2013 Toledo Regional Champions: Lake Central H.S. from Indiana!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday: 1976

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's everyone's favorite day of the week, Throwback Thursday! Today we are going back to the beginning. 1976 in Whitewater Wisconsin. If you are a true BOA historian you know that 1976 marked the first ever Bands of America marching band championship, the Grand National Championship in Whitewater, WI, part of the Summer Workshop/Festival!

76 Whitewater Throwback

We are particuarly fond of this photo that has William Revelli presenting an award to one of the Drum Majors from Jenison High School (MI)**

**Update: Facebook fans are weighing in that this is a Drum Major from Sturgis High School in Michigan, and not Jenison. I apologize for the error - that was noted incorrectly on the back on the photograph! But thank you for those who pointed it out so we can fix it!

Were you at the 1st Grand National Championship in Whitewater? We'd love to hear your stories, share them with us in the comments!

 

ErinSignatureinJennaSueFont

Erin Fortune is the Marketing Coordinator focusing on digital marketing at Music for All, and has been working with Music for All for three years, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. She is a graduate from the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.

Today's guest post is from our 2012 Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award Winner - PJ Littleton from Franklin, Tennessee. Learn more about the Parent/Booster Award here.

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Everything I ever needed to know, I learned at Band Camp.

"Let me leave you with this piece of advice: Set your goals high because it is very likely that you will achieve them. Make sure that whatever you aspire to do with your life (and it won't be marching band) that it is noble and worthy of the time and investment that you will make in it. If you compromise this, I promise you that in the end you will feel empty and disappointed for not challenging yourself to be all that your potential would have allowed. Don't let this happen.  You are better than this. Give your life away for something good!"

I sat restlessly fidgeting in my seat in the Creative Arts Center Concert Hall at West Virginia University while these words were being spoken from the dimly lit stage by then Director of Bands, the legendary Don Wilcox. I just wanted to get outside, learn drill, play my horn. Hey, it was the first day of Band Camp. This was no time for a long lecture. Let's get on the field and do this!

Our "Chief" knew better.

Funny how thirty-four years later I have long since forgotten my dots in the drill, but these wise words still resonate deep within my core and have helped guide and shape me as a man, as a husband and as a father. This is just one of many lessons I learned while buzzing my pursed lips behind a mouthpiece.

Today you can find me in Franklin, Tennessee, straddling myself between two bands, The Hillsboro Middle School Band and The Franklin High School Band where I respectively serve as Band Booster President and VP of Fundraising. These days have become the days of my life as I aim to apply everything I learned from being in the band so long ago, now for the betterment of not only my two band kids but for the other 339 kids that I love.

Honestly, I'm tired. Really tired. I am sitting in the back row of the balcony of the fabulous restored Franklin Theatre right now, my face aglow from my iPad, listening to FHS alum and daughter of Vince Gill, Jenny Gill perform for a Franklin Football fundraising music event called "Punt, Pass and Pick.” Jenny just spoke of how much it meant to her attending Franklin High where she kept so busy with cheerleading et al that she was able to stay out of trouble and make great memories of her time in school. Some of our current Franklin Band set the tone tonight, kicking off the evening lining the aisles with spirited Rebel music to energize the crowd as they so ably do!

It's been mentioned more than once between songs how laudable it is that our Franklin parents care enough about their children to go to such great lengths to provide the very best experiences for them. We have been able to establish an inspirational and cooperative culture that will nourish not only the football program tonight but the equally admired (and respected) band program as well. This is a rare and wonderful thing--we are so blessed that we can boast of this.

The 45 graduated seniors from last season's BOA Jacksonville Regional Champions and Grand Nationals semi-finalist Franklin Band collectively received in excess of $5.6 million dollars in scholarship funds. This is an average of $125,000 per musician scholar! I contend that they too may have learned a few things at Band Camp as they now embark on the next season of their young lives.

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Core Value #1 at The Franklin Band is Community -- "The community in which we live and our own community within Franklin High School shape who we are and in return, we shape it." I witnessed community at its finest tonight as I sat next to a fellow band booster executive board member as he shared band challenges and victories with a football booster standing behind him, listening with mutual appreciation, admiration and respect.

These are some of the things that I learned about life at Band Camp and this is indeed all I ever needed to know. And you know Mr. Wilcox, as it turns out, it was all about marching band for me after all!

"The only ones among you that will really be happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve." -- Albert Schweitzer

 

- PJ Littleton

 

We thank PJ for his perspective, the Franklin community is lucky to have such a great advocate! To learn more about PJ, read his 2012 Parent/Booster award story. Know an amazing advocate of your music program? Learn more about the Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster award and how to nominate someone here.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

BOA Regional Championship at Monroeville

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Congratulations to all of the bands who participated in the 2013 BOA Regional Championship at Monroeville! While the weather was somewhat unaccomodating to us last Saturday, everyone took it in stride and made the day fantastic. As our good friend Chuck Henson pointed out on the BOA Facebook wall, "It certainly was a challenging day. But everyone pulled together and made it happen. No Rain or fog could stop the #excellence on Saturday! Congratulations to all!"

So again, congratulations to all who were a part of the Monroeville Regional. Directors, students, parents, staff, volunteers and fans - thank you for showcasing excellent attitudes and leadership. You truly were legendary!

Here are some photos from both the Prelims and Finals awards ceremony as well as a few photos taken by our staff. Looking for more action photos of your band? Jolesch Enterprises will have photos available on their website coming soon - so make sure youcheck here for group photos as well as action shots that they took at the event.

Looking for Results and Scores from the event? You can find those here. Shout out to our 2013 Monroeville Regional Champions: Norwin H.S.!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

BOA Regional Championship at Kettering

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Congratulations to all of the bands who participated in the 2013 BOA Regional Championship at Kettering! A very special thanks to our hosts, Kettering Fairmont High School, it was a wonderful day and we couldn't have done it without all of the fantastic volunteers who helped us out all day!

Here are some photos from both the Prelims and Finals awards ceremony as well as a few photos taken by our staff. Looking for more action photos of your band? Jolesch Enterprises will have photos available on their website coming soon - so make sure you check here  for group photos as well as action shots that they took at the event.

Looking for Results and Scores from the event? You can find those here. Shout out to our 2013 Kettering Regional Champions: William Mason H.S.!

 

Can't view this slideshow? Click here.

 


Today I nearly forgot about Throwback Thursday. It was a day full of writing and formatting our e-newsletter and spending way too much time looking at lines of code to make sure everything was just right (by the way- keep a look out for your September e-newsletter hitting your email Saturday morning!)

But the good news is, I remembered. Throwback Thursday is probably one of my favorite things to do- so I didn’t mind having to quickly skim through a few piles of photos I pulled from an archive box last week.

As I was flipping through photos- this one made me pause right away. There was something about the faces in this photo that just drew me in.

Plymouth Canton 1990This is Plymouth Centennial Education Park (Plymouth-Canton, Michigan) in 1990 after they were announced as the Grand National Champions. Under the direction of Glen Adsit, they came in first place with a score of 95.35

So what strikes me about this photo?

It’s so familiar. When I saw this photo I couldn’t help but smile. The happiness on their faces just jumps out at you.  I’ve seen those looks before.

carmelDo you see what I mean? This is a photo of the Carmel High School Marching Greyhounds after they were announced as the 2012 Grand National Champions. 22 years between these photos. But the look on their faces is the same: pure joy.

Uniform styles change, hairstyles definitely change- but the joy felt when you are a Bands of America Grand National Champion is timeless!

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Do you have a BOA memory from 1990? Share it with us in the comments!

 

ErinSignatureinJennaSueFont

Erin Fortune is the Marketing Coordinator focusing on digital marketing at Music for All, and has been working with Music for All for three years, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. She is a graduate from the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.

Today's guest post is from Caleb Chapman, award-winning performer, author, music educator and producer and the 2014 Conductor of the Jazz Band of America, part of the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha.

 new calebI have been blessed to have many fantastic mentors in my path to become the musician and educator I am today. Two of my absolute favorites are the legendary John Clayton and Dr. Lou Fischer. So, you can imagine how much of an honor it was when I was invited to follow both of them as director of MFA’s Jazz Band of America!

MFA has asked for me to describe a bit about my approach to directing a big band. While there are dozens of philosophies I espouse, there are two that immediately jump to mind.

Improvisation Defines Even Big Band Jazz
It is becoming harder and harder to identify what styles of music fall under the umbrella of jazz. But to me, the one constant is the element of improvisation. While many people associate this strictly with soloists, I love to carry it over into the actual performance by the big band as a whole.

As a matter of fact, as a director, I love to “play” the band like an instrument. I actually practice directing in the same way I do my sax, and take it just as seriously. Changing the dynamics of a section or the form of a chart on the spot creates a spontaneous excitement that the audience can feel. Altering the feel or texture behind a soloist creates new sonic environments to explore. The musicians become engaged at a much higher level than simply playing notes on a page.

While not squarely in the jazz wheelhouse, I had the opportunity to see this in action with a different type of band last week when I got to hang with Dave Matthews and my very good friend, GRAMMY-winning saxophonist, Jeff Coffin, at the Dave Matthews Band’s Utah concert. As I was watching the show from backstage, I was given in-ear monitors that allowed for a unique concert experience as I could hear everything the band said to one another during the show.

It was exciting to watch as Dave would change the form of the tunes on the spot, stretching solos or vamping. Drummer Carter Beauford would frequently give audible cues on how many hits the band would play. And the horn section of Jeff and Rashawn Ross would improvise backing figures for the soloists.

All of these elements kept the musicians on stage focused and playing at their highest level, creating a performance for the audience that night that will never be replicated in exactly the same way – a gift to the 17,000+ plus in attendance. That is the beauty of improvised music!

Chasing the Perfect Performance
One of my musical heroes, saxophonist Branford Marsalis said, “Humans are imperfect… We’re on the quest for the perfect performance and every note has to be right. Man, every note is not right in life.” While I agree that there will never be a perfect performance, I don’t think that should keep us from trying! I think because of its perceived loose nature, too often big band music doesn’t receive the diligent attention its classical big brother does. In actuality, there is absolutely nothing casual about a big band performance!

We all want to have the treasured “tight” band. One challenge has been that there is currently no universally accepted method to approaching the notated jazz language. I'm sure other big band directors can agree: it is critical that every musician on the bandstand interpret the charts the exact same way. Over the years, I collected some standard practices to approaching articulation, which has helped my students become unified while playing. This has made a huge difference because it allowed my students follow some key rules so that we can afford the space to improvise and play "within the lines" (Jeff Coffin and I recently published these methods in our book, "The Articulate Jazz Musician").

Once the language is defined, the other aspects of the music can be tackled. As they say, the devil IS in the details. Polishing dynamics, intonation, and groove allow the music to be played as the composers were envisioning. THAT is the difference between a pro band and a student ensemble, not the age level of the musicians. Is it possible to have high school aged musicians play like pros? Absolutely! Our Crescent Super Band here in Utah made up entirely of musicians ages 15-18 has been named Utah’s “Best Professional Band” in any style for 8 years running.

The Payoff
Directing a big band is one of the most fulfilling challenges in music education and getting the students motivated, challenged, and consistent is truly the best part. One of my favorite moments during a show is when the set is coming to a close and the band is at its peak energy. There really is no other experience in my life that quite compares with it! I am excited to be part MFA’s Jazz Band of America and can't wait to work with the talented musicians in this amazing ensemble. See you in Indianapolis!

 

-Caleb Chapman

Caleb Chapman is an award-winning performer, author, music educator and producer. For more information on Caleb's projects and educational innovations visit CalebChapmanMusic.com.

 

Learn more about the Jazz Band of America

Applications to be considered for the 2014 Jazz Band of America are due September 15th- download an application today!

 

1985 Trophies

I know everyone was eagerly anticipating this week’s edition of Throwback Thursday. Well I’m happy to report that this week we are once again taking you back into BOA history.

Finding today’s throwback was no simple task. I searched through boxes of photos for something that represented 1985. I found thousands of other gems from before 1985 and after 1985 (you’ll see some of those in the coming weeks), but today 1985 was evading me. I pressed on because 1985 was a significant year and I wanted to showcase it.

1985 holds significance for a couple of reasons. 1985 was the year that BOA was “Soaring Into a New Decade” for their 10-year anniversary celebration!

But, today I chose 1985 for another reason.

September 5th, marks another anniversary in BOA history. Today is Debbie Laferty Asbill’s (our VP of Marketing and Communications) work anniversary. Debbie started working for Music for All (when Music for All was MBA) in 1985 as the Promotions Coordinator.

Staff photo- 85ish

This is a MBA staff photo- I don't believe it was 1985, but pretty sure it was close! Debbie is in the front in the white.

For 28 years Debbie has been the creative mind behind Music for All’s brand and marketing initiatives. I know that I can confidently speak for everyone here at Music for All- we are so glad she made the decision to join the team back in 1985, and we are thrilled that she is here today, continuing on the tradition of excellence.


Happy Work Anniversary Debbie!

 

Do you have a BOA memory from 1985? Share it with us in the comments!

 

 

ErinSignatureinJennaSueFont

Erin Fortune is the Marketing Coordinator focusing on digital marketing at Music for All, and has been working with Music for All for three years, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. She is a graduate from the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.

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