The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
Kathryn Reinhardt

 Kathryn Reinhardt is the Marketing Coordinator at Music for All. Kathryn plays the clarinet and has been involved with music-focused philanthropies such as People-to-People and Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies. She is a graduate of the Murray State University Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business and previously worked at a public relations firm in New York.

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Congratulations to one of our favorite volunteers, Paige Rauschuber, for receiving the Indiana Music Educators Association Outstanding Future Music Educator Award! 

Paige, originally from Louisiana, has been involved in music since she picked up the saxophone in 4th grade. She fell in love with the instrument and practiced every day during recess. In 6th grade her family moved to Indiana and she became a part of Mr. Josh Weirich’s middle school concert band program. Mr. Weirich was also a saxophonist and would often play for the class. 

After witnessing her director's talent and enthusiasm to teach, Paige became inspired to become a music educator herself. Ten years later, Paige is only a few months shy of graduating with a degree in Music Education and plans to impact her students in a similar way. 

The IMEA Outstanding Future Music Educator Award is given annually to a NAfME collegiate member who is nominated by a music instructor for his or her dedication to teaching and involvement in the organization. Paige has been an active member of Butler University's NAfME Collegiate Chapter for four years and has served on the executive board for two. She was nominated for this award by one of her professors, and after filling out an application detailing her involvement with NAfME, her teaching experiences, and the other ways she's given back to music, she was selected for the award.

"I'm incredibly humbled to have received this award and I owe it all to the fantastic music educators that I have had over the years, the teachers who have allowed me to work in their classrooms and have mentored me, as well as my incredible family who have always been extremely supportive of me and my dreams of one day being a music educator," said Paige.

Paige started volunteering with Music for All during her Freshman year of college. She helped coordinate the Music for All National Festival and decided to come back to every other event we've hosted near Indianapolis ever since. During the summers she's spent her time at the Music for All Summer Symposium as a part of the SWAG team, a group of counselors who make sure the camp runs smoothly and all the campers have positively life-changing experiences. In the fall Paige has helped out numerous times with our Indianapolis Super Regional Marching Championship and Grand National Championships. 

"The best part of volunteering with Music for All is the people I have gotten to know and taking part in the wonderful experiences that MFA creates for its students," said Paige. "My favorite memories have been when serving as part of the SWAG team because I remember how the SWAGs at camp impacted me when I attended Summer Symposium as a student and to know that I could have the same impact on someone else is an incredible feeling."

Post-graduation Paige aspires to find a job teaching Elementary General Music. Some of her goals include instilling a love for music like her teachers did, helping them recognize their fullest potential and teaching them the job in pursuing music in life, as either a career or a hobby. 

"There is so much that can be taught through music that extends beyond the four walls of a classroom. I learned so much through my music teachers over the years about leadership, how to treat others, and simply how to live a life that you can look back on and be proud of," said Paige. "If I can do that for my students I will consider myself to be a successful teacher."

We wish Paige the best in her future endeavors and hope that she continues to be a part of the MFA family. 

"I have grown so much as a musician, educator, and person because of Music for All and can honestly say that I would not be who I am today had it not been for this organization."

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Registration is now live for the 2016 Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha, June 27- July 2!

This positively life-changing week-long summer camp is aimed to provide students and directors opportunities to learn from highly regarded music educators from across the nation and boost leadership skills that tailor to success in all areas of life.

Music for All is committed to creating a unique camp experience for every student, offering seven different divisions including:

  • Marching Band
  • Color Guard
  • Percussion
  • Concert Band
  • Orchestra 
  • Jazz Band
  • Drum Major

New to camp this year is a Middle School Concert Band Division! Directors and new music educators are also invited to join us for the Summer Camp Directors' Academy for a week of innovative tailored professional development. 

Lastly, don't miss out on Leadership Weekend on June 25-26, 2016 to "Kick It In" with Fran Kick and other leadership experts. You'll gain skills and strategies to becoming an example for your peers and colleagues. 

You can find more information and register by visiting our new MFA Summer Symposium website at http://camp.musicforall.org/.

The deadline for the Super Saver Discount has been extended to February 29, 2016.

We hope to see you there! If you have further questions, please call Music for All at 800.848.2263.

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The Bands of America Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have had a positively life-changing impact on Music for All’s Bands of America programs, participants, and music education. 2016 inductees were announced during the Finals of the 2015 Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, Saturday, November 14th, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. 

Music for All has announced the industry leaders who will be inducted into the 2016 Bands of America Hall of Fame: Frank Bischoff and Frank Troyka. 

Frank Bischoff has been one of the most familiar faces of Bands of America for more than four decades, serving as the dean of BOA’s front sideline field and timing and penalty management.  Frank has been a contributor through the years in the development and evolution of Bands of America’s show operational rules, as we migrated from a posture of rule enforcement to one that emphasizes smooth operations and field management designed to embrace performance creativity in a safe and fair competitive environment. 

Frank is a living encyclopedia of Bands of America rules and an active contributor to the BOA’s Adjudication Handbook rules committee.  Through his proactive approach of working with bands to comply with the rules while achieving their creative objectives, Frank has helped transform a “historically “got you” role and approach to one that embraces and actualizes our “positively life-changing experience” attitude, and environment.

Frank has been on the field for more than 150 Bands of America Regional and Grand National events, logging more than 2,500 hours of on-field service in support of BOA and the pageantry arts in America.  Beyond Bands of America, Frank has also loaned his services and expressed his passion for the marching arts to drum and bugle corps shows and color guard competitions. While he gladly served all over the Midwest for drum corps and color guard contests (including Winter Guard International) in the late 70's and 80's, Frank’s passion has always been for band through his association with Bands of America events (since 1976), the Illinois State University “Band Day” (since 1977), and the Lake Park “Lancer Joust” (since 1981).

Frank Troyka began his career in 1984 as an assistant band director in Richardson, Texas’ Forest Meadow Junior High School and Lake Highlands High School. In 1991, Frank moved to Houston where he taught in the Spring ISD serving as assistant director to Philip Geiger at Westfield High School. In 1999 Frank joined the faculty of Cypress Falls High School in the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD as its Director of Bands. During his year-seven tenure, the Cypress Falls Band was a featured ensemble at The Midwest Clinic, the Music For All National Festival, and was the recipient of the Sudler Flag of Honor. Frank moved back to Richardson in the summer of 2006 when he assumed the role of Director of Bands and Coordinator of Fine Arts at L.V. Berkner High School.

A teacher for over 30 years, Frank Troyka has been a part of and served Bands of America in almost every capacity possible. He has been a participating director in our Fall and Spring events and sent dozens of students to our national and regional summer camp and leadership experiences. He has been a clinician at the Summer Symposium, led the Symposium’s Marching Band track, and served on the staff of each Bands of America’s Honor Bands in the Tournament of Roses Parade. He has also demonstrated his support and passion for the organization with volunteer service on the Bands of America Fall Programming Advisory Committee.  From 1997 to 1998, Frank was Bands of America’s Director of Events, bringing educator supportive initiatives and approaches to our operating model.  Frank coordinated Bands of America’s first European Honor Band experience, leading more than 70 students, faculty, chaperones and guests on a tour that included performances in France, The Netherlands, Germany and the World Association for Symphonic Bands & Ensemble (WASBE) conference in Austria. 

Since retiring in 2014, Mr. Troyka has been a clinician for the Wind Bands Association of Singapore, The Midwest Clinic and an active lecturer and clinician, presenting annual student leadership workshops in Texas and across the nation. 

Music for All will induct these newest members into the Bands of America Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 12, 2016 during the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis. They will be permanently recognized in the Bands of America Hall of Fame at Music for All’s Indianapolis headquarters, along with all the BOA Hall of Fame members inducted since the first in 2003.

Bands of America Hall of Fame Members

2015
Remo D. Belli
Richard L. Saucedo
Mark Jolesch 
Dr. Nicholas Valenziano

2014
Eugene Migliaro Corporon
Fred and Marlene Miller
Camilla M. Stasa

2013
James Campbell
Bruce Dinkins
Vic Firth (1930-2015)

2012
Chuck Campbell
Chuck Henson
Stu and Sharon Holzer

2011
Debbie Laferty Asbill
Richard Floyd
Michael Rubino

2010
Anthony Maiello
L. Scott McCormick
H. Robert Reynolds

2009
James F. Keene
Norman Ruebling

2008
Marie Czapinski
Colonel Arnald Gabriel
Alfred Watkins

2007
Gary Green
Michael Kumer
Wayne Markworth

2006
Ray E. Cramer
Gary Markham
George N. Parks (1953-2010)

2005
Greg Bimm
Bob Buckner
Richard and Gayle Crain

2004
Tim Lautzenheiser
Tom McLeRoy (1929–2003)
Kenneth M. Snoeck

2003
Col. Truman W. Crawford (1934–2003)
Frederick Fennell (1914–2004)
L.J. Hancock (1952–2002)
Larry McCormick
John P. Paynter (1929–1996)
Dr. William D. Revelli (1902–1994)

The Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster Award recognizes the extraordinary commitment, dedication, support and sacrifice of music parents and boosters across the nation by shining a spotlight on a recipient who exemplifies these qualities.

The award is named in honor of Patrick John Hughes, the father of Patrick Henry Hughes. Patrick Henry is a remarkable young man who, despite physical challenges that would seem overwhelming to many, has excelled as a musician and student, singing and playing piano and trumpet with the Louisville Marching and Pep Bands, with the help of his father, who tirelessly maneuvers his son’s wheelchair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band.

On Friday night during Grand Nationals the 2015 Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster award was awarded to Derek Greer of Owasso, OK. 

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Every winner of the Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award shares the common traits of selflessness, savvy, and passion to better the band. Derek Greer of Owasso, Okla., is no different, but his desire to help others has extended beyond the barriers of the school to touch the life of a young band alumna with a life-threatening condition. Greer and his wife April began working with the Owasso Band Patrons of the Pride of Owasso band when their eldest son Nate entered the program in the fall of 2006. They became mainstay volunteers, working in the pit crew, selling at concession stands, and sponsoring events.  

“Derek and April have always been involved with the band, giving of their time and efforts in every way imaginable...and now, unimaginable,” said Cindy Craft, Owasso Band Director. 

While chaperoning a band trip Greer met band member Yennifer Gutierrez. He noticed she was ill and later learned she was battling lupus, an autoimmune condition that greatly impacted her life. While the two didn’t develop a close relationship at that time Derek didn’t forget her. 

In 2011, he ran across a Facebook page Gutierrez created seeking help to find a kidney donor. Lupus had attacked her kidneys, leading her to dialysis to stay alive. Moved by a childhood friend who had received a life- saving kidney donation, Derek jumped into action, going through the initial tests and screenings to learn if he was a match. 

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“It came as no surprise when we heard Derek had volunteered to donate his kidney to help save Yennifer’s life,” said Owasso Band Patrons Club co-presidents Pam & Rob Braisted. 

But his generosity alone wasn’t enough. He wasn’t a match.

Despite the setback he was still determined to help, agreeing to join the Paired-Donation registry with Gutierrez. This program lists a willing donor and recipient together to be matched with another incompatible pair. His quick and selfless decision to join the registry led to the kidney she needed. 

In 2014, Greer and Gutierrez were notified they were compatible with a Texas pair. Despite the fact Greer had undergone shoulder surgery in the months prior, complete with a scary moment of recovery when he momentarily stopped breathing during rehabilitation, he returned to the hospital with Gutierrez.

They underwent the transplant process in the summer of 2014. Gutierrez received the kidney of Texas band mom Susan Clark, while Greer’s kidney was donated to a man in Texas. Theirs was the first paired kidney donation surgery for the state of Oklahoma. Although The transplant programs at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas and Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth have together performed nearly 3,000 kidney transplants since the kidney transplant program began in 1985, theirs was the first paired kidney donation surgery that Baylor performed.

The surgeries were a success, with Yennifer so far making great progress with her new kidney Susie, which she named after her donor.

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Despite Greer’s own recovery period, he didn’t miss a beat with a band.

“Derek is on the mend and right back to work with the Pride of Owasso,” said Ammie Sullivent, a Owasso Band Patrons member who also nominated him for the award.

As an engineer his skillset has been well utilized by the band through the years.

“He has created innovative designs for much of our equipment and has spent countless hours constructing them,” said David Gorham, Owasso High School’s retired band director. 

The Greers participation as band boosters hasn’t waivered. Their son and daughter Natalie graduated from the program, and daughter Noelle is currently a member.

“It takes a special kind of compassion and patience to be with one activity for almost ten years, but the Greers have never shown any sign of regret in their involvement. Their efforts are truly inspiring,” said Maggie Matheny, Student Band Council President. 

“The dedication Mr. Greer has provided to the stakeholders of the Owasso Band program has raised everyone to the next level of musicianship, success, and humanity,” said Chris Barber, Associate Director of the Owasso High School Band.” For lack of better words, Mr. Greer is the Batman of band parents, always waiting for the beacon.” 

Even in talks of nomination for this award Mr. Greer remained humble.“Derek expressed his hope that it would be a great way to raise awareness for paired donation, leading to more donor matches,” said Shawn O’Kelley, Assistant Director of Bands at Owasso High School.

But his participation in just one match will be felt for a lifetime by Gutierrez.

“Derek Greer is an amazing man,” she wrote on her Facebook page following the transplant. “It’s because of his choice to stick with me for the past three years, that I have received my Gift of Life.”

Read more about Patrick John Hughes and his family and the Parent/Booster Award and find out how to nominate the exceptional parent or booster in your music program here.

Music for All’s efforts to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences include awarding a number of scholarships each year. This year, at one of the organization’s largest events, the Bands of America Grand National Championships, three students were given substantial support to use for upcoming college tuition expenses. 

The 2015 recipient of the Yamaha Marching Band Scholarship, a $1,000 award presented by Music for All’s National Presenting Sponsor, the Yamaha Corporation of America, was Lisa Gudan, senior drum major at Homestead High School in Cupertino, CA. Gudan was a Music Ambassador for 2015 World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles Conference and was invited to perform with the All-State Honor Band Wind Ensemble for California. 

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The Fred J. Miller Family Fund, a $1,000 award through the Music for All Foundation, was presented to Clayton Ehlers, senior at Waukesha North High School in Waukesha, WI. Ehlers showcases the high caliber of passion, talent, and dedication that Mr. Miller had for music education and the marching arts. Playing several instruments such as bassoon, mellophone, trumpet, oboe, piano and ukulele, Ehlers is eager to continue learning and teaching music. 

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Another scholarship presented by the Miller family was the Fred J. Miller Music Education Fund, which was awarded to Rebecca Singletary, senior drum major at Fred J. Paige High School in Franklin, TN. Singletary received this $2,000 scholarship based upon her many impressive accomplishments including her participation in the 2015 Music for All Honor Band of America, selection to be a Myra Jackson Blair Vanderbilt Scholarship Recipient and leadership in the Tennessee All-State Band. 

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To learn more about Music for All and stay up to date on scholarship opportunities offered through the organization, please visit www.musicforall.org

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Music for All has earned 17 industry awards from the International Festival and Events Association (IFEA).The awards in recognition of the best festival and event programs in the world were given at the International Festivals and Events Association’s 60th Annual Convention and Expo in Tucson, Arizona on September 21st-23rd, 2015.

“Music for All is thrilled to have been recognized by its festival and event peers again this year,” said Debbie Laferty Asbill, Music for All’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “These awards are a recognition of the talents, hard work and dedication of everyone who is a part of the Music for All family.” 

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Music for All received 17 Pinnacle Awards – 5 Gold Pinnacles, 7 Silver, and 5 Bronze in various categories for events, multimedia, marketing, sponsorship and merchandise. 

Music for All received the following IFEA/ Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards:  

Gold Pinnacle Awards

  • Best Event/Organization E-Newsletter (Music for All Summer Symposium)
  • Best Event/Organization E-Newsletter
  • Best Event/Organization Newsletter
  • Best Cover Design (Music for All National Festival)
  • Best Educational Program (Music for All Summer Symposium)

Silver Pinnacle Awards

  • Best Miscellaneous Multimedia (Chamber Music National Festival)
  • Best Miscellaneous Multimedia (United Sound Partnership)
  • Best Promotional Brochure (Music for All Summer Symposium)
  • Best Cover Design (2014 Bands of America Grand National Championships)
  • Best T-Shirt Design (Bands of America Super Regional Championships)
  • Best New Event (Chamber Music National Festival)
  • Best Vendor/Supplier (Jolesch Enterprises)

Bronze Pinnacle Awards

  • Best Company Image Pieces (40th Anniversary Logo)
  • Best Single Newspaper Display Ad (Summer Symposium)
  • Best Event Promotional Photograph (Bands of America Grand National Championships)
  • Best Miscellaneous Clothing (Bands of America Grand National Championships)
  • Best Event Within an Existing Festival (Future Music Educators’ Experience)

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We are immensely honored to have recieved these presigious awards and we'd like to thank the rest of the Music for All team, friends, sponsors, directors, instructors, parents and, most importantly, students who have made it possible for us to do great work.

Music for All is a proud member of the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA), an organization that has more than 2,000 member festivals from around the world. Each year, the IFEA Pinnacle Awards competition honors the best special events, festival materials, promotions and ideas among the organization’s membership. Learn more about what they do at http://www.ifea.com/.

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In celebration of Music for All’s 40th Anniversary in 2015, we are featuring profiles of music educators who have made a difference in Music for All and in band and orchestra education. In this post we feature a band director who currently participates in all of Music for All’s programs and makes it his personal mission to help educate other directors about them as well.

40 for 40 David Aydelott

David Aydelott is the Director of Bands at Franklin High School in the Williamson County Tennessee School District. During his tenure at those schools, students distinguished themselves on the marching field, the concert stage, and in individual and chamber settings. A recipient of the National Band Association’s Certificate of Merit and the Citation of Excellence, Aydelott is President of the Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, past Band Chair for the Tennessee Music Education Association and has served two terms on the Executive Board of the MTSBOA. Mr. Aydelott is an elected member of Phi Beta Mu International School Bandmaster Fraternity and holds membership in MTSBOA, Tennessee Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Tennessee Bandmasters Association, and Professional Educators of Tennessee.  In December of 2014, Aydelott was presented as a John Philip Sousa Foundation Laureate of the Bandworld “Legion of Honor.”  

How long have you been teaching?
This is my 24th year.

Where do you teach now?
I’m the band director at Franklin High School in the Williamson County, Tennessee District.

Where have you taught in the past?
I taught four years at Lexington High School, six years with Jo Ann Hood at John Overton High School, five years at Ravenwood High School (the first five years of the school's existence), and this is my ninth year at Franklin.

Where did you go to college? What degrees do you earn?
I have a BM in Instrumental Music Education from Middle Tennessee State University.

What is one thing you'd say to a new band director who asks you "what is the one thing you wish someone had told you just starting out?"
Impossible to list only one, so I'll list 5.


1. Focus on the experience of the kids, not your own career. When you're starting out, you want to prove to your friends and mentors that you know what you're doing, and you tend to be focused on yourself. But the way to do a good job is to take the focus off your own goals, accomplishments and actions, and look at what your students are doing. It's not about how good of a time you're having, but what your students do in rehearsal, how they feel about your program, and if their experience is worth what you ask of them. When the students are learning and happy, all the other elements take care of themselves.

2. Surround yourself with people that lift you up, not drag you down. Choose the right people to spend your life with, those who value this strange profession that we're engaged in. That doesn't mean that these people should always agree with you, in fact, it's good when they don't.  But as long as they share your vision of what music education can be, it works out. I'm lucky enough to have found my wife Renee early in my career, and she has been a true blessing!

3. Seek national level professional development​. This sounds a little campy, but my career changed in 2008 when I began attending the MFA Summer Symposium.  Being around the people in our profession who are the "guiding lights" gave me perspective and raised my own expectations that I could improve as a teacher.

4. To avoid burnout, keep music close to you. It's easy to get bogged down in all the administrative aspects of what we do, so go back to what your original "hook" was, your own musical experience. Go to concerts, listen to music that inspires you, and remember the joy that a musical life brings. One of my good friends and current band boosters always says regarding the superfluous, "It's in the noise." Don't let the urgent and non-musical issues affect your ability to pass on that "hook" to your students.

5. Have a plan. Don't just do "band things" without thought. Have a reason for what you do, whether it's how to construct your band budget or what's on the docket for this week's rehearsals. Get into the nitty-gritty, especially your values and score study, and make a plan for your students' success.

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.
Franklin is relatively new to Music for All events. The first event we participated in was the 2008 Summer Symposium.  Since then, we've been a participant in every program that Music for all/Bands of America offers. The best thing about these past seven years is the relationships that our Franklin students have forged with students from other bands across the nation.

What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to Music for All/Bands of America?

  • Shedding tears with our students
  • Being around such great people at Summer Symposium
  • Having three groups perform at the Music for All National Festival including our Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble in 2013 and a Chamber Group in 2015
  • Broken Arrow's band applauding us during our first performance at Grand National Championships
  • Seeing my oldest daughter Katherine perform in the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Honor Ensembles at the Music for All National Festival
  • Getting to medal my youngest daughter Meredith
  • Growing the Tennessee director contingent at Summer Sympsoium from one (me) to nearly 20 during this past year

What would you like to see MFA focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?
I’m from a very small town in Tennessee, so the rural school initiative is very appealing to me. I hope that Music for All continues to find a way to reach students from rural and urban areas that may not be a part of a strong program.  Those kids deserve positively life-changing experiences, too.

In celebration of Music for All’s 40th Anniversary in 2015, we are featuring profiles of music educators who have made a difference in Music for All and in band and orchestra education. In this post we feature a band director and musician who has a long history of participating in Bands of America events. 

40 for 40 glen adsit

Glen Adsit is the Director of Bands at The Hartt School in West Hartford, Connecticut, where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and the Foot in the Door ensemble and guides all aspects of the graduate wind conducting degrees. Professor Adsit was appointed the Director of Bands at The Hartt School in the fall of 2000 and was awarded the 2014 Larsen Prize for outstanding teaching at the University of Hartford.

Ensembles under his direction have performed at Hill Auditorium (Ann Arbor, Michigan), the Musikverein (Vienna, Austria), Benroya Ilsley Hall (Seattle, Washington) Carnegie Hall’s Stern Hall (New York, New York) and the Central Conservatory (Beijing, China), among others. Adsit’s performances have won praise from such notable composers as John Corigliano, Joseph Schwanter, Bright Sheng, Susan Botti, Joan Tower, Michael Colgrass, and William Bolcom.

How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching now for 29 years.

Where have you taught in the past?
My career started in the Plymouth-Canton School District in Michigan. Following that role I took a position as the Associate Director of Bands at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico and have been at The Hartt School for 16 years now.

Where did you go to college? What degrees did you earn?
I received a Bachelor of Performance and Music Education degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s of Music in Wind Conducting from the University of Michigan.

What is one thing you'd say to a new band director who asks you "what is the one thing you wish someone had told you when you were just starting out?”
My advice would be to seek out as many opportunities as you can with more experienced educators and musicians and ask as many questions as you can.

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.
The marching band I directed at Plymouth Centennial High School participated in many Bands of America competitions. We won Bands of America Grand National Championships in 1990, 1991 and 1999.

What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to Music for All/Bands of America?
I don’t think I can pinpoint just one moment, but I have always been impressed by the incredible degree of creativity I witnessed at the competitions. They’re always filled with so many creative people.

In celebration of Music for All’s 40th Anniversary in 2015, we are featuring profiles of music educators who have made a difference in Music for All and in band and orchestra education. In this post we feature a clinician, show designer and highly regarded music educator who was recognized by NAfME as the 2015 National Band Director of the Year. 

40 for 40 Kevin Ford

Kevin Ford is the founder and Director of the Leadership Conservatory for the Arts at Tarpon Springs High School. His responsibilities include directing the Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Solo and Ensemble Coach, supervising all Conservatory performance ensembles, and developing the curriculum for the Conservatory Student Leadership Courses. In addition to his duties at Tarpon Springs, Ford is a clinician, guest speaker, and adjucticator across the nation. He's also been a nationally recognized accomplished show designer for the past 25 years. He was selected as the 2015 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) National Band Director of the Year. 

How long have you been teaching?
I am starting my 22nd year of public school teaching. I've been blessed that my entire professional teaching career has been at Tarpon Springs High School.

Where did you go to college? What degrees did you earn?
I attended the University of Florida and earned a Bachelors of Arts degree. 

What is one thing you'd say to a new band director who asks you "what is the one thing you wish someone had told you just starting out?"
I believe the first place to start is to define "yourself" as a leader. Before embarking on this journey, I think it is crucial that you know exactly who you are, what you stand for, and how to measure success. This will provide you with the leadership ability to be consistent, effective, and proactive. I believe your music education program will be a testament of your heart, soul and efforts. Additionally, how the members operate will be a direct refection on your character, your work ethic, and what you represent as a music educator. It is important through your actions that you consistently display what you "value" as a professional.

Your approach to people, your demeanor on the podium, at the rehearsal field, your work ethic, your efforts to help others, your receptiveness to constructive criticism, your enthusiasm - yes, all these things will become a part of everyone in your organization. 


Secondly, I believe it is important that you are able to articulate your "purpose" for the importance of your curriculum and organization. Through articulating your purpose you will be providing everyone with exactly why your music education curriculum exists. You will also be providing the significant educational objectives for everyone involved in the process. As an outcome you will experience more meaningful and efficient results.

Through my experience, I have observed too often, directors who become frustrated. Wrongfully, they assume that everyone involved already understands or should appreciate what music education, the value of performance opportunities, and a well-rounded education that includes music can do for a student, school, and community. I would say to please remember, nearly everyone involved in the learning process will not have the same understanding, appreciation, or experience as you do. This includes students, parents, and especially administrators. It is always worth taking the time to efficiently explain not only the purpose, but also your desired results from a certain exercise, activity, or event. We try our best at Tarpon Springs to be student driven and not event driven. We also do our best to value the process over the achievement. We focus on how the process can directly help our students in all aspects of their lives. 

Thirdly, I believe it is critical that from the beginning, as a leader that you define your organization’s values. To lead your organization with character and integrity, you must set an example. You’re the leader, your organization looks to you. To begin, you must know your own values as well as your organization’s values. 

I think it’s important to remember, “it’s what you DO, not what you SAY, that demonstrates to your organization what YOU care about.” By getting your organization interested in ethical conduct, you will be able to communicate how important these values are to both you and your organization. This will allow you to set the tone and create the right environment for your students and your organization. 

I believe these three ideals have been essential in the development of our organization and the consideration of these concepts could help others in their quest to build an organization that they can be proud of and where students will have the opportunity to excel both artistically and as human beings. Build a culture of excellence, establish expectations, and inspire a culture of achievement. Be ready to work hard...really hard. Have a vision and work relentlessly towards providing that experience for your students every day. Make no excuses and focus on the solutions. Be patient and always remember to try to maintain balance. Most importantly, always put your family first! 

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America
The Tarpon Springs band program began its participation in 1996 where we attended our first BOA Atlanta Regional. At that time, it was the first time in the school’s 100 year history that the band program had ever traveled out of state. We felt this was not only a benefit for our students as a performance opportunity, but we also wanted to expose them to the best of the best. We rehearsed at Lassiter High School and I remember meeting Alfred Watkins for the first time who is one of my professional idols. I think at that time we may have had only about 60 members total in the marching band. When I saw him walking out to our rehearsal I still remember I got really nervous, which is very unusual for me. After he watched the band rehearse, I remember him complimenting them and he could not have been more kind and supportive. Through Bands of America it has allowed me the opportunity to network and learn from so many outstanding educators over the years. 

Bands of America used to host a band booster workshop for parents where Dr. Tim spoke regarding strategies about becoming a better organization and why music education is so important in the lives of our young people. This was very inspiring to our booster organization and really helped to accelerate our improvement as an organization. Since the time we have participated in BOA events we have always participated in the leadership workshops. The information shared with us at these workshops have helped shape our organization to where we are at today. 

Additionally, we have participated in the National Concert Band Festival and I have had the privilege to participate on the Bands of America Advisory board with many directors that I hold in the highest regards. My wife Jeannine and I have served as instructors of the BOA Honor Band in the Rose Parade on two occasions. 

What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to Music for All/Bands of America?
Beginning with our first Atlanta performance where we performed at the Regional for the first time; all of the Dr. Tim leadership workshops that our students have participated in – from the first leadership workshop our students attended at their first Grand Nationals in 1997 through to today, our students always leave those sessions’ better people, inspired, with a renewed sense of purpose. 


In 1997, we attended our first Grand Nationals in the old RCA Dome. It was our first experience at that level. Our students were in awe and inspired after seeing some of the incredible performances of the bands present that year. As a bonus, it was snowing that year and it was the first time most our students had ever seen snow. We did a Western theme show and had built a small western town for our production. I remember when we pushed those props into the Dome, they still had snow on them and created a magical authenticity to our performance. 

In 2001, it was the first time our wind ensemble performed at the National Concert Band Festival. It was an exciting moment for our students and an amazing learning opportunity for me as an educator and our students to receive such great commentary by the incredible clinicians that year. 

Participating on the BOA Advisory Board with many of my colleagues who I look up to and admire. It was a terrific opportunity to help support the efforts and growth of Music for All and for me to listen and learn from so many outstanding educators and people. 

Every BOA standing ovation that our students have received over the years. Those are special moments and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to share those moments with all the amazing students who we have had the privilege to teach over the years. 

In 2005, being part of the inaugural BOA Rose Bowl Honor Band and having the honor to teach it with my wife Jeannine who, by the way, was pregnant with our youngest daughter Brooklyn. 2014 Grand Nationals and being selected as the Grand National Champion was obviously a special moment for our students and tremendous honor. It had an extra special significance for my family because it was the first time our oldest daughter Madison was actually marching in the Tarpon Band at a Bands of America Grand Nationals. 

What would you like to see Music for All focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?
We know that through participation of the performing arts it’s one of the greatest life changing gifts you can give a child. It can literally change and transforms lives. I’ve had the honor to witness it. Music for All has been an amazing partner for our program and has literally provided many life-changing opportunities and moments for our students. I hope that everyone who has ever participated in a Music for All event will continue 40 years from now to support MFA’s mission and events. The individuals who work for MFA are extraordinary people and I hope the organization will continue to attract and retain such high character and caliber people as the organization continues to grow in the future. 40 years from now, I would like to see MFA expand its outreach to all facets for the performing arts and continue to provide the premier events that provide opportunities for our young people to stretch, grow, and become the best they can be. 

In celebration of Music for All’s 40th Anniversary in 2015, we are featuring profiles of music educators who have made a difference in Music for All and in band and orchestra education. In this post we feature a Bands of America clinician and adjunctor who has led his band to many successes.

40 for 40 Jeremy Earnhart

Dr. Jeremy Earnhart is Director of Fine Arts for the Arlington, TX Independent School District. From 2009-2013 he was Director of Fine Arts for the Irving ISD and director of L.D. Bell High School Band from 1998-2009. While attending the University of North Texas he studied trumpet with Dr. Leonard Candelaria and performed in top concert ensembles under Dennis Fisher and Eugene Corporon.

Earnhart has published several articles through Praxis, is an active clinician and presenter for staff developments/conferences such as Texas Bandmasters Association, Texas Music Administrators Conference, Conn-Selmer Institute, and The Midwest Clinic. Dr. Earnhart also serves as a consultant for groups including the 2011 National Champion Broken Arrow High School Band and as Music Coordinator for the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps.

How long have you been teaching?
Twelve years as a band director, six years as a fine arts director. I’m currently Director of Fine Arts at Arlington (TX) ISD, which educates over 64,000 students, providing world-class musical, visual, and kinesthetic arts programs. I was Director of Fine Arts for the Irving ISD from 2009-2013.

Where do you teach now and where have you taught in the past?
I was the director of L.D. Bell High School Band from 1998-2009.

Where did you go to college? What degrees do you earn?
I graduated from the University of North Texas with a BM & MME, have certifications in International Baccalaureate Music, and am currently working on my treatise in the Ed.D program at Dallas Baptist University.

What would you say to a new band director who asks you "what is the one thing you wish someone had told you just starting out?"
It’s just band!

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.
I participated in several Music for All events with L.D. Bell from 1998 to 2009. I began adjudicating in 2005 and continue to be involved. I’ve been consulting with Broken Arrow, OK 2011 to present.

What would you like to see MFA focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?
Provide access, and excellence through innovation so that every student experiences the aesthetic, cognitive, and relational benefits of music education.

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