The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
Kristin Conrad
Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Richard L. Floyd

11_Floyd_RichardRichard Floyd has been active as a conductor, music educator and administrator since 1962. He has enjoyed a distinguished and highly successful career at virtually every level of wind band performance from beginning band programs through high school and university wind ensembles as well as adult community bands. Floyd recently retired as State Director of Music at the University of Texas at Austin where he coordinated all facets of secondary school music competition for some 3500 performing organizations throughout the state for 29 years. He now holds the title UIL State Director of Music Emeritus. He also serves as Musical Director and Conductor of the Austin Symphonic Band that is viewed to be one of the premier adult concert bands in America.

Prior to his appointment at the University of Texas, Mr. Floyd served on the faculty at the University of South Florida as Professor of Conducting and at Baylor University in Texas where he held the position of Director of Bands for nine years. He began his career as band director at Richardson Junior High School and then become the first director of the award winning J.J. Pearce High School Band in the same city. He also served as Director of Fine Arts for that district for two years before moving to Baylor University in 1972.

His musical achievements include performances at numerous state and national conventions and conferences including the 1977 College Band Directors National Association, the 1981 Music Educators National Conference and concerts at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago in 1989, 1997 and 2007. Other distinguished performances include concerts for the American Bandmasters Association in 1993 and 2006 and the 2004 Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, Washington. Performances by his various ensembles have been heard on radio broadcasts throughout the United States, Australia and Europe.

Mr. Floyd is a recognized authority on conducting, the art of wind band rehearsing, concert band repertoire, and music advocacy. As such, he has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe as a clinician, adjudicator and conductor including appearances in 40 American states and in 9 other countries. He is a frequent featured clinician for the Texas Music Educators Association, the Texas Bandmasters Association and has presented three conducting and rehearsal technique clinics for the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic. In 2002 he was the single recipient of the prestigious A.A. Harding Award presented by the American School Band Directors Association in recognition of his significant and lasting contributions to the school band movement. The Texas Bandmasters Association named him Texas Bandmaster of the Year in 2006 and also recognized him with the TBA Lifetime Administrative Achievement Award in 2008. Most recently he received the Texas Music Educators Association Distinguished Service Award in 2009 and was inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame and Texas Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame in 2011. Also in 2011 he was awarded the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic Medal of Honor for distinguished service and contributions to bands, orchestras and music education. He is a member of Music for All's Bands of America Hall of Fame.

Publications include co-authorship of Best Music For Beginning Band and contributing author for The Musician's Walk by James Jordon and published by GIA. In addition his articles have appeared in The Instrumentalist and numerous national and international publications. In 2006 he was featured on the GIA Produced DVD entitled Kindred Spirits from the series Conducting From The Inside Out. Other conductors included H. Robert Reynolds, Craig Kirchhoff and Allan McMurray.

During Mr. Floyd's professional career he has held positions of leadership on many state and national committees for music education and wind music performance. At present he is a member of the John Philip Sousa Foundation Board of Directors, Chairman of the American Bandmasters Association Educational Projects Committee, an ex-officio member of the Texas Music Educator's Association Executive Board and serves as chair of the College Band Directors National Association Music Education Committee. He served as National Secretary of CBDNA from 1979 to 2007 and has played an active leadership role in the implementation of that organization's many projects and services for over three decades.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Debbie Laferty Asbill

Asbill_Debbie_LafertyDebbie Laferty Asbill joined Music for All – then known as Bands of America – in 1985. As Director of Marketing and Communications, she oversees marketing, promotions, publications, Web and Internet presence for Music for All and its Bands of America and Orchestra America programs. Ms. Asbill's work and Music for All's marketing efforts and creative designs under her direction have been recognized with more than 100 awards from the International Festivals and Events Association. Ms. Asbill was inducted into Music for All's Bands of America Hall of Fame in 2011.

Ms. Asbill credits her high school band director as one of the most influential people in her life. She says, "School music set me on a path that became my life's work. It is a privilege to play a part in providing the kinds of life-changing experiences that I had as a music student to hundreds of thousands of young people."

The staff was extremely helpful, relatable, and just excited to be there. It was a very comforting environment, and I learned a lot of life skills along with music skills that I will definitely use.
-Ashley 

The people around me inspired me to become more motivated and to become a better person. I was amazed at how friendly and full of warmth the artists were, despite being so talented and famous.
-Sandy

The instruction was superb, and the atmosphere was so positive! I was motivated to excel because of the qualified instructors. The campus was great at accommodating all the students.
-Marie

I think the most valuable part of the Summer Symposium was learning about leadership skills. I can definitely take what I learned back to my band and help my band become better as both individuals and as a whole.
-Heather

I learned a lot about what it means to be a drum major. The camp also encouraged me as a person to step out of my comfort zone and do the best every day to make the day as great as possible. It also taught me to stop looking at myself like I'm the center of everything, and start taking into account what it truly means to be a part of something that is much larger than myself.
-Michelle

The energy of the Summer Symposium camp allowed me to change my attitude toward music and leadership skills. I was very impressed with the staff and SWAG team, because their hard work made the whole week very enjoyable for me and other people I met as well. My experience at the Summer Symposium makes me eager for the music year ahead for my band. I look forward to being able to return next year to the Summer Symposium.
-Kim

I found the whole experience life changing. The sessions on leadership and communication were informative but still interactive, and the work to improve skills in both marching and conducting was intense while still being fun. The sense of pride and unity by the end of camp was awe-inspiring.
-Meghan

MFA Summer Symposium is, for musicians, a place unlike any other. You will finally be surrounded by people who care just as much as you do, some even more. This makes the atmosphere different than anything you have experienced or could even imagine. All the campers, not to mention SWAGs and Staff, are there for their passion for music. The things you learn are valuable and not exchangeable for anything. MFA Summer Symposium is Band Geek's heaven.
-Alice

It was the single best thing I have done in my life. There is just something about being around 400 other people who are just as passionate as you are about music. It was amazing to me that every day – no matter how tired, hungry, or worn out I was – I never once wanted to take a break or go home.
-Chris

This camp makes you see life as a world of beautiful possibilities, and it makes you want to make the world more beautiful. I want others to possess that mindset so our generation has more leaders that will make an impact on our world.
-Anonymous student participant

This truly is a wonderful organization, and I have had the best times of my life at this camp and through Bands of America events. I hope to return as much as I can to be a SWAG.
-Joey

SchoolJamUSAPlease see this information below from SchoolJam USA, brought to you by our friends at NAMM:

Third Annual SchoolJam USA Program to Award More Than $50,000 in Cash and Prizes to Teen Bands and Their Local School Music Programs

This battle of rising stars is produced by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), and its promotional sponsors NAfME: the National Association for Music EducationSchool of RockSchoolJam GermanyMusic for AllTakeLessons.comDrum Corps International, In Tune Monthly, the John Lennon Educational Tour BusVans Warped Tour and Channel One News. The competition highlights quality musical teen talent, gathers students to support music and the arts, provides funding for school music programs, and promotes active participation in school music programs.

Unsigned teen musicians between the ages of 13 and 19, with the majority of band members currently registered in a U.S. middle or high school, are eligible to participate and apply from Aug. 1 to Oct. 21, 2011. Bands can perform any genre of music but the song must be original content or designated as "public domain." To view full competition rules and regulations, and for information about how to apply, visit www.schooljamusa.com.

From Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, 2011, participating bands' submissions will be posted on the SchoolJam USA website, where online voting will be open to the public. Eight finalist bands will be chosen by a combination of the public vote and by a panel of musical professionals. On Jan. 21, during the weekend of the world-famous NAMM Show, the top-ranking eight finalists will take the big stage in the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif., and perform live in front of a panel of professional judges and hundreds of fans for the chance to take the title of "Best Teen Band in the USA." The winning band will walk away with the grand prize trip of a lifetime to perform at the original SchoolJam festival in Frankfurt, Germany, as well as receive a private music video recording session on the John Lennon Educational Bus, $1,000 toward the purchase of new gear and $5,000 for their school music programs.

"NAMM is looking forward to crowning the next SchoolJam USA champion at our show in Anaheim," said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. "So right now, we encourage all of the teen bands out there to take their shot at greatness by entering this competition and adding recognition to the list of benefits they get from playing music."

SchoolJam is an established music initiative, originally developed by MM MusikMedia Germany to promote popular and rock music in schools throughout Germany. The program has provided thousands of music-loving young adults with the opportunity to perform and network with their peers, increasing their love for playing music and encouraging them to become active musicians.

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization's popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM is the sponsor of the Wanna Play? campaign, a public awareness initiative designed to get more people connected with the proven benefits of playing music. For more information about Wanna Play?, please visit www.wannaplaymusic.com. For more information about NAMM, please visit www.namm.org.

sandy_anThe Muncie Music Center Summer Symposium Scholarship was introduced at this year's inaugural camp at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. The merit-based scholarship was available to students who demonstrated superior musicianship, leadership skills, work ethic and earned at least a 3.0 grade point average. The award required a nomination from an area band director or music teacher, and each nominee was required to complete an essay about the importance of music education and inspiration.

"Music for All's (Summer Symposium) is such a wonderful pre-college experience for students," says Dave Helms, President of Muncie Music Center. We wanted to help get some students there who might not be able to go otherwise."

A full scholarship was awarded to Sandy An, who plays flute and violin for the Orchestra and Wind Ensemble at Pendleton Heights High School in Indiana. Sandy received high praise from her music director, Chris Taylor. "Sandy has been a strong musician who sets a great example for other students in her section," says Taylor. "She works with other flute students and has run sectionals."

Sandy's Symposium experience let her shine as she played in the first violin section, second chair, and performed a solo part from the musical selection "Gabriel's Oboe."

"Sandy was always eager to learn, and interacted perfectly with students and faculty," says Marianne Roszyk, orchestra clinician. "She has an enormous amount of talent, which was evident and shared in her solo playing."

"Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!" remarks Sandy. "Because of the generosities in this world I, along with others, am able to further my path in what I love and am passionate about! I hope to enjoy another year at the Symposium with friends I have made, the leaders I highly respect, and with the friends and peers I will introduce to this absolutely AMAZING program."

chris_coxThanks to the generosity of MFA donors and grantors, 27 Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) students were able to attend MFA's Summer Symposium presented by Yamaha through full tuition scholarships. IPS students enrolled in various music tracks including concert band, jazz band, orchestra, marching band, percussion and the drum major academy.

"Your scholarship has allowed me to have many great experiences during my week at Ball State from being Concertmaster of the concert band to meeting several great musicians, both students and teachers," says Chris Cox, clarinet player, Arsenal Technical High School. "It changed my life musically and socially."

The staff and faculty of IPS Instrumental Music Programs chose scholarship recipients based on their proven ability to be role models for all students and their efforts to help others receive positively life-changing experiences through music. In addition to their personal traits, students were required to be in an active, IPS sponsored ensemble and complete 10 volunteer hours or submit a deposit. This year's recipients performed over 160 volunteer hours for area agencies.

Gary Doherty, Music Director, Arsenal Technical High School, writes: "The kids from Tech had an amazing time at camp. They are brimming with enthusiasm, new-found skills and knowledge, and hopefully, bringing some of those positive vibes back to school with them in August!"

Recipients of 2011 IPS Music for All Summer Symposium Scholarships:

Broad Ripple Magnet High School: Jasmine Allen, Zoe Black, Ebone Griffin, Nigel Leitzell, Darron Marble, Ayanna McGill, Alexis Sanford, Kaylynne Tigner, and Austin Wills

Thomas Carr Howe High School: Dexter Rogers, Naomi Byrdo, and Charles Hawthorne

Crispus Attucks Medical High School: Damian Patrick, Cesar Santos, Chance Simon, Khari Taylor, Isaiah Thomas, Amanda Wilcher, and LaKeisha Wilson

Arsenal Technical High School: Eric Cervantes, Chris Cox, Steven Harris, Jennifer LaFara, Michael Snow, and Jamonikah Thompson

robert_welchHonoring the life and work of L.J. Hancock (1952-2002), the L.J. Hancock scholarships benefit individual students with financial need who are interested in attending the Music for All Summer Symposium. This year, MFA awarded six L.J. Hancock Scholarships to deserving students who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to attend the Symposium.

One of the L.J. Hancock Scholarship recipients, Robert Welch, plans to turn his passion for music into a career. "The thought of doing what I love as a job is unreal and magical to me," Robert says.

Robert recently graduated from Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis. For the last 10 years, he has been playing a variety of musical instruments, which include: violin, piano and organ. He has performed in concerts on all three instruments and has thoroughly enjoyed the experience. At this year's camp, Robert participated in the orchestra track where he was able to perform at the Thursday night concert with Uncommon Time, featuring Nick Kendall and Ranaan Meyer, members of Time for Three.

Robert plans to attend The University of Indianapolis this fall and study music. "Music is my life, and I plan to keep it that way," he says. "I absolutely love to hear it, learn about it and play it. My camp experience not only nurtures these ideas, but it encouraged it more than ever in me as well."

Other 2011 L.J. Hancock scholars included: Hunter Carter, Madisonville North Hopkins High School, KY; Shannon Graham, Columbus High School, NE; Kelly Krasuski, Liberty High School, MO; Kelsey Lake, Madisonville North Hopkins High School, KY; and Samantha Woolbright, Bloomington North High School, IN.

group_scholarship_photo2As you can see, Music for All was able to bring 74 very talented and deserving young musicians to this year's Summer Symposium at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Through the generous gifts of donors who gave to the scholarship funds, each of these students had a positively life-changing experience. There is still time to support the wonderfully talented students who receive scholarship funds by donating online, by contacting the Development Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by calling 317-636-2263. To check out what happened at the 36th annual Summer Symposium, visit the Summer Symposium online coverage page.
Monday, July 18, 2011

Sam Laurin

sam_laurinSam Laurin is a partner at the law firm of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP in Indianapolis, where he chairs the firm's Litigation Department. He has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for commercial litigation and construction law and by Indiana Super Lawyers® for construction litigation. Mr. Laurin received his A.B. from Dartmouth College, and his J.D. from the I.U. Maurer School of Law. He loves almost every form of music. He is proud of his daughter who played clarinet in her high school concert band, which won the Indiana State School Music Association Championship two years in a row.
Monday, July 18, 2011

Music for All at Get IndyVolved

Music for All will be exhibiting at Get IndyVolved tomorrow (Tuesday, July 19) from 6-8 p.m. at the Indianapolis City Market. We'd love to see you - stop by and say hello if you're attending! In fact, if you stop by and tell us you read this blog post, we'll give you a complimentary MFA bracelet (or two)!

IndyHub's 6th annual Get IndyVolved will showcase dozens of Indianapolis organizations and is geared specifically toward 20- and 30- somethings looking for places to plug into the city. It's a casual affair - attendees stop by after work and chat with peers representing groups they're involved with. The 2010 event drew a crowd of more than 400 attendees + 72 exhibitors! The 2011 Get IndyVolved is presented by Frost Brown Todd, with additional support from the Indianapolis City Market.

For more information and to RSVP, visit the Get IndyVolved Facebook page found here.

For more information about IndyHub, visit their website.

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