The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
Kristin Conrad

Music for All still has immediate openings in the Music for All Summer Symposium (June 25-30) for Jazz Band, Concert Band and Orchestra. We have a need for 2 Trumpets in Concert Band, 2 Trombones and a piano in Jazz, and 4 Violins in Orchestra.

Call the MFA Headquarters at 877.643.6043 for Scholarship Information. This is first-come, first-served.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Towson University Confirmed

Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium was confirmed today as the venue for the Towson, Maryland Regional Championship on October 27, 2012.

All fall venues have now been confirmed! To view the 2012 full fall schedule, click here.

Desert Hills High School was confirmed this week as the venue for the St. George, Utah Regional Championship on November 3, 2012.

To view the 2012 full fall schedule, click here.

Check back often for additional 2012 fall schedule updates and information.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Apogee Stadium Confirmed

Apogee Stadium at University of North Texas was confirmed this week as the venue for the Denton, Texas Regional Championship on September 29, 2012.

To view the 2012 full fall schedule, click here.

Check back often for additional 2012 fall schedule updates and information.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Community Drum Circle Initiative


Music for All (MFA) and Bongo Boy Music School host monthly community drum circles for downtown business professionals in Indianapolis. This program will allow professionals of all ages to get connected to the arts community, network with one another and gain benefits from actively participating in music making – all on one day a month during a lunch hour.

Join us for these upcoming Drum! events:

Drum! Community Drum Circle

Date: December 19, 2012
Time: Noon-1pm
Location: Music for All headquarters located just off of Meridian St. inside Historic Union Station (Cadillac Ranch entrance).
Cost: Free! Join us for holiday cookies and coffee.

Watch video from Music for All's Drum!:

What is a Drum Circle?

MFA Sponsor Remo, Inc. says:

According to Mickey Hart: “The Drum Circle is a huge jam session. The ultimate goal is not precise rhythmic articulation or perfection of patterned structure, but the ability to entrain and reach the state of a group mind. It is built on cooperation in the groove, but with little reference to any classic styles. So this is a work in constant progress, a phenomenon of the new rhythm culture emerging here in the West.” 

In the words of Arthur Hull: “The Community Drum Circle is a fun, entry-level learning experience that is accessible to anyone who wants to participate. Drum Circle participants express themselves collectively by using a chorus of tuned drums, percussion, and vocals to create a musical song together while having a great time.”

MFA's Drum! initiative will continue monthly on the third Wednesday of each month until February 2013.

MFA will partner with Bongo Boy Music School to provide instruments for participants. Come and enjoy the chance to make music over your lunch hour! This is a free opportunity to let loose, relax, have fun, and use the power of music and hands-on drumming to elevate your mood and build community – all during your lunchtime in the walkable Wholesale District of Indianapolis. Absolutely no experience required - it's as easy as a heartbeat.

This community initiative is possible through generous support from Indianapolis-based LDI, Ltd.

        ldi logo

166 School Districts and 10 Schools Achieve Prestigious National Designation

BestComm2012 0 2 1CARLSBAD, Calif. (April 17, 2012)The NAMM Foundation announced the results of its 13th annual Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support for music education as part of the core curriculum. In all, 176 communities out of 237 that submitted surveys were recognized, including 166 school districts and 10 schools. The announcement comes in anticipation of NAMM’s National Wanna Play Music Week, (May 7-13) a weeklong promotion designed to encourage people of all ages and skill levels to experience the proven benefits and fun of playing music.

Established in 1999, The BCME survey is a nationwide search for communities who provide access to music education as an essential part of a complete education and exemplify commitment and support for music education. The BCME survey is designed and implemented in collaboration with The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

The announcement of the 2012 Best Communities for Music Education campaign comes during a crucial time as school districts nationwide finalize budgets. The Best Community designation is a distinction worthy of pride, but is also a call to action for local music education advocates to help preserve and potentially expand access to their current music education programs.

Past designees have reported that making the Best Communities list had a positive effect on their ability to advance recognition and support for music programs. NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen, encourages communities to use the designation as a cornerstone of vigorous advocacy for music education programs.

“We know that communities are struggling to maintain funding for many education programs and we applaud these communities that remain committed to a complete and quality education that must include music and the arts,” said Luehrsen. “We urge communities to celebrate the designation as a national recognition for their commitment to children and most of all, keep the music playing in their schools for years to come.”

Each school receiving the “Best Communities” designation scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey’s grading process. Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials and advisory organizations reviewed the data.

A copy of the survey can be downloaded for review at

In conducting the annual survey, the NAMM Foundation is joined by advisory organizations in the fields of music and education: Americans for the Arts (, League of American Orchestras (, The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (, Music for All (, Music Teachers National Association (, National Guild For Community Arts Education (, Yamaha Corporation of America (, Young Audiences (, and VH1 Save The Music Foundation (

View the full press release for the complete list of Best Communities for Music Education. The roster is listed alphabetically and can also be viewed at

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry.

Michael McIntoshCheck out this Marching Roundtable podcast, featuring the Music for All Summer Symposium Percussion Division Head Michael McIntosh. This podcast episode, Electronics in Modern Show Design, provides practical advice for the novice or expert on incorporating electronics into your show.

In a previous episode, McIntosh addressed writing for DCI vs. Marching Band. This episode can be found here.

You can listen to additional Marching Roundtable podcasts if you visit their website.

Yamaha artist Michael McIntosh has a degree in Music Theory and Composition from Butler University. In addition to freelance composing and digital sound design, McIntosh is a designer/consultant for The Cavaliers and percussion specialist at Carmel High School, Carmel, Indiana.

I’ve had the distinct privilege of bringing our band, from Wheeling High School, Wheeling, IL, to the Music for All Festival on three occasions, including this year. Your 2012 National Festival was incredible. The best one yet! The JW Marriott Hotel, Dr. Tim, meals, Buca di Beppo, Clowes Memorial Hall, clinicians, concerts, Indianapolis, and the Music for All Staff, were all wonderful. Our expectations for the National Festival were extremely high and you exceeded all of them, and much more.

Your goal, “to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all,” was in full force with our kids, parents, and staff. Your event is unique, positive, musical, rewarding, and special. You have made a mark on our kids and program that will last forever. Because of this, we will have many students applying for your 2013 Honor Band of America and Jazz Band of America.

It was incredibly refreshing to hear about your new focus and vision to truly make Music for All, Music for All. I believe our program is an example of where you are heading. Greater than 50 percent of our student body is Hispanic. We also have large Russian and Polish immigrant populations. A large percentage of our student body qualifies for our free and reduced lunch program. While many of our students and families have socio-economic challenges, we have a parent booster group that provides tremendous financial support. Our wonderfully diverse community supports our kids and program like no other. There are many schools, some very close to us, with numerous financial advantages, including large homes, and expensive cars, yet our kids have learned about a great equalizer, education and work ethic.

Thank you for providing a forum for young musicians, and us directors, to aspire. I too believe in Music for All!

Brian Logan
Director of Bands
Wheeling High School

hboaThe 2012 Music for All National Festival is now in the history books. What incredible ensembles and performances! We had a great time and hope you did as well. 

It's always wonderful and truly amazing to see so many musicians and music-enthusiasts gathered in one place for the purpose of celebrating music, learning about the power of music and music education, and of course making music together. We congratulate all the ensembles and participants in the Music for All National Festival, and we thank you for being part of such an incredible, musical experience. 

If you're feeling nostalgic and would like to reminisce a bit, check out the Festival photo albums found on the Music for All Facebook page.

Also, if you couldn't be there in person, or want to see it again and again, all concert band performances will be available after the event as Video on Demand, and the Honor Ensembles will also be available. Percussion Ensemble performances were not webcast live, but they will be available as Video on Demand. Please note: on-demand video will be made available 72 hours after the conclusion of the event. To learn more, click here.

We hope you enjoyed the 2012 Music for All National Festival and had a positively life-changing experience! Thank you for all the wonderful music.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stu and Sharon Holzer

HolzerStu and Sharon Holzer embody the essence and importance of volunteerism that is exhibited by music boosters nationwide and helps bring Music for All’s mission to life. They served on the band booster board for Centerville High School in Ohio for six years while their daughter and son were in the Centerville Jazz Band, including in 1992 when the band won the BOA Grand National Championships. They got to know Bands of America staff through their participation. After their children graduated, they decided to share their love for the activity in order to help make possible the kinds of experiences they so valued for their own children.

Stu and Sharon met while attending The Ohio State University. Stu was born in New York City and raised in Ohio. Active in ham radio since the age of 12, Stu worked in information technology, retiring in 2008 from the NCR Corporation after 32 years. Sharon was born and raised in Ohio, played violin and sang in the choir in school, and has been employed by the Centerville City Schools for 19 years.

Knowing the nerves and anxious feelings that many music boosters and parents feel when helping their ensembles on site at events, Stu and Sharon take to heart helping them feel comfortable, easing their nervousness and helping them through the system at Bands of America Championships, an event staff role they have served for 20 years. They’ve gotten to know and formed friendships with band parents, directors and students from programs across the country.

Stu and Sharon believe Music for All makes a powerful statement about the value and importance of music education in our lives, providing the stage for young people to showcase talent, but also providing a fraternity for school musicians.