The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

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 middle school band director in her thirty-second year of teaching!

40 for 40CherylFloyd

Cheryl Floyd is in her thirty-second year of teaching and her twenty-third year as Director of Bands at Hill Country Middle School in Austin, Texas. Prior to her tenure at Hill Country, she served as Director of Bands at Murchison Middle School, also in Austin, for eight years. Musical organizations under her leadership have consistently been cited for musical excellence at both local contests and national invitational festivals. In 1990 her Murchison program was the recipient of the coveted Sudler Cup Award presented to exemplary middle school band programs by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The Hill Country Middle School Band has performed at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in 1998 and 2006, and Music for All’s National Concert Band Festival in 2012, and in November 2014 presented a concert at the prestigious Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, Washington. Mrs. Floyd enjoys an active schedule as an adjudicator, clinician, author, and guest conductor throughout the United States, notably serving as one of the first women guest conductors of the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C. In 2003, the American Bandmasters’ Association elected her to membership, making her only the fifth female and the first middle school band director to be so honored. She has maintained a keen interest in commissioning new works for concert band and has collaborated with internationally recognized composers in eleven such projects. Mrs. Floyd is a graduate of Baylor University and has done graduate work at the University of Texas in Austin. She is married to kindred spirit and fellow music educator Richard Floyd, and their son Weston is a junior trombone performance major at the University of Texas in Austin.

What is a guiding principle in your music education philosophy?

Kodaly said “Teach the young with the very best!” I interpret this quote 2 different ways; not only should I select the best music available for my students to learn and perform, but I should teach to the best of my ability everyday!

What is one (or more) thing you hope that your students gain from their time with you?

I hope my students see the passion and excitement that I bring to the classroom. We have an active commissioning program here on our campus. We have been involved with seven published commissions as well as two consortium projects. Our students have had the opportunity to meet the composers and participate in the commissioning process and of course the premiere of each piece. I hope they take away that music is alive and well! I hope it inspires them to support music for their lifetimes.

At what moment did you fall in love with being or becoming a music educator?

I think I always wanted to be a teacher...except for that brief moment I wanted to be an astronaut! I enjoyed working with the special education classes at my church when I was in junior high and high school. I do remember taking my youngest sister to band practice the summer before I returned to Baylor for my sophomore year. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to get to study to be a band director!

What advice do you have for a new band director who asks you “What is the one thing you wish someone had told you just starting out?”

Never lose sight of the reasons that you entered this profession! Your love of making music and sharing it with others should remain at the heart of your teaching! Keep playing your instrument…there are lots of community groups who need someone just like you! Keep a journal of the new things you learn and the positive notes and emails you receive from parents and administrators.

What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your MFA/BOA experiences?

We brought our Hill Country Middle School Symphonic Band to perform at the National Concert Band Festival in March 2012. Our kids loved every minute of that trip! From master classes to audience participation to our concert and the Grand Gala Banquet, they thoroughly enjoyed it all! Plus they loved the daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner…especially the little pies! The video of our concert performance is the most beautiful record of a performance we have! Our Westlake High School Band performed in the San Antonio BOA in 2009 and 2011. Both Dick and I were proud to attend as parents and support our son’s love of music! 

CherylFloydConducting copy

The first time I was invited to serve as an evaluator in 2009 was an incredible experience for me…I could not believe that I was going to get to listen to bands and orchestras at the National Concert Band Festival and hang out with the slate of evaluators including; Shelley Berg, Larry Livingston, Gary Green, etc.

As parents, both Dick and I are so proud of our son, Weston Floyd, who performed in the Honor Band of America in 2010 under conductor H. Robert Reynolds, and in the Honors Orchestra of America in 2011 and 2012 as principal trombonist for Larry Livingston. These performances remain lasting memories for our entire family! And Weston remains friends with many of the students he met at those events!

What would you like to see MFA focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?

I am very excited about the new regional concert band events that have started all over the country. My husband judged at the festival in Chicago in 2014 and then at the Lafayette Festival in 2015. These festivals are encouraging not only more groups to apply for the National Concert Band Festival, but also encourage individual students to apply for the Honors groups. I hope that MFA will continue to provide these experiences for these students and ensembles. In addition, I hope that MFA might look at the possibility of adding middle school bands and orchestras to the regional festivals.



A well-known band director loved by thousands of band members has passed away.

Randy Storie, Music Coordinator of Midland, TX ISD and beloved former band director at Robert E. Lee High School, passed away on Monday, May 11, 2015 at the age of 66.

Mr. Storie was known for his tenure from the 1980's through 2014 as the Lee High School Band Director. Under his leadership, the Lee High School Mighty Rebel Band gained regional, state, and national renown for being one of the most successful and respected fine arts programs Midland has produced. Under his direction, the Lee band was invited to and performed at the Music for All National Festival.


During Storie’s time at Lee, his students performed at Carnegie Hall, the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Presidential Inaugural Parades for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. His students and colleagues agree that he always gave 110% effort in everything he did. 

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, June 13, with a time yet to be announced. 

Storie is survived by Mary and David Routh and wife, Rebecca Rhoads. Our condolences to the family, friends and students who were greatly impacted by Storie's dedication to music.

Ed Warren


Long-time Bands of America adjudicator Ed Warren passed away suddenly on May 11, 2015 at the age of 58. A resident of Lake Columbia, Michigan, Ed was born in Windsor Canada on March 24, 1957.

Ed Warren was a judge for Bands of America, Drum Corps International and Winter Guard International since 1990, adjudicating at the finals for these organizations many times. Mr. Warren has been a performer in a number of groups ranging from marching to orchestral. He was principal timpanist with the symphonic band and symphony orchestra at the University of Windsor, played with the Allen Park Michigan Symphony, the Windsor Youth Symphony and the Essex County Arts Concert Band. Mr. Warren has also been a guest adjudicator for Drum Corps Japan and many other state and independent contests. 

He and his wife Peggy owned Warren Creative Designs, where they worked as a team with Ed choreographing and Peggy teaching. Ed was also a Sales Representative for Quinlan and Fabish Music Company and a Judge/Coordinator for Michigan Competitive Band Association.

In addition to adjudication experience, Mr. Warren has written visual programs for numerous bands, drum corps, winter guards and winter percussion groups, including many circuit, state, regional and world finalists or winners. His skill and dedication to the schools he served will be remembered and he will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife Peggy and his son James Warren.

A visitation will be held at the Borek Jennings - Braun Chapel in Brooklyn, Michigan on Sunday, May 17th from 2-4pm and 6-8pm. The funeral service will take place at St. Rita’s Catholic Church on Monday, May 18th at 11am.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the family for future designation at the below address: 
Peggy & James Warren
223 Claremont Circle
Brooklyn, MI 49230

For Ed Warren’s official obituary, please visit

Voices from the Soul

Soul music is unique because it was formed in pop culture by the merging of other types of music such as gospel and doo-wop. When full and resounding voices of soul-style vocalists and warm-sounding instruments come together it creates an unforgettable cohesive collaboration.

Voices from the Soul, a jazzy soul group made up with musicians such as Joyce “Peaches” Faison, Mark Buselli, Kevin Anker, Joel Tucker and many more, is performing at this year’s Music for All Summer Symposium. Each musician in this group has a unique style, but all hold a level of natural-born talent that has been heard at venues across the nation.

Take Joyce “Peaches” Faison – after listening to her sing “Talkin’ bout Love” you can feel the genuinity inside her rich & smooth voice that helps you understands her emotion and the control she has with her tone is phenomenal! It's no surprise she’s headlined for many talented artists including Ray Charles, Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle.

With someone like trumpet player Mark Buselli, his sound is light and sweet. It carries you from one musical thought in a song to the next like string tied to the notes. His precision is admired and envied. In addition to being a performer, Mark is also a composer and arranger who has written big band arrangements of several different difficulty levels. 

Overall, this interesting group of musicians has found a way to come together to make something beautiful. With a variety of these musicians being educators, they also help share their talent and knowledge by teaching students in both public and private settings. This concert will definitely see faces of many different musical tastes and should be one to remember!

I look forward to seeing you there at the Voices from the Soul concert on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 8:00pm in Emens Auditorium at Ball State University! 

To buy tickets to this concert, please visit

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 has been involved with MFA/BOA since 1979.

40 for 40 Sheri Manning

How long have you been teaching?

Classroom teaching: 33 years. Secondary Fine Arts Facilitator position with the Clark County School District for eight years.

What are you doing professionally now?

Working in the Secondary Fine Arts Department for the Clark County School District, Las Vegas, NV. I am also director of the Youth Band for the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra organization.

Where have you taught in the past?

Sand Ridge Jr. High, Sky View H.S. and Mountain Crest H.S. in Utah. Robison M.S. in Las Vegas.

Where did you go to college? What degrees do you earn?

Utah State University in Logan, Utah: Masters Degree and beyond.

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?"

My position now is to observe and help new teachers. Their struggle seems to always come down to classroom management and the behind the scenes paperwork. From my experience, classroom management with structure and procedures are so important to successful teaching. Always keep the students busy and never waste time. Classroom pacing and enthusiasm are "keys" to success. :-)

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.

I met those involved in Bands of America (MBA) in 1979 and couldn't get enough of the program and the knowledge being shared. I went to workshops, Summer Nationals, and was like a sponge in learning new things. The Sky View Band went to Summer Nationals in 1980 and loved the experience. It was so exciting for me to be asked to be on the Educational Advisory Board for BOA and I enjoyed that time there. When I became the band director at Mountain Crest, we participated in several Western Regionals and also the last Summer Nationals in 1985. The former students still talk about what a wonderful experience they had in participating in that event, and meeting other band students.

Since working in the Secondary Fine Arts Department for the Clark County School District, I have continued to attend several Regionals and have been able to attend Grand Nationals, as my schedule permits. It is such a joy to see how the bands are so amazing and continue to perform at such a high level!

What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to MFA/BOA?

The highlights for me have been all the wonderful mentors and people I have met through this organization! I am so grateful to have been able to associate with such "quality" music educators! I don't even dare begin to name everyone since I would certainly not be able to list the names of all the amazing people who have been such a positive influence on my life! Thank you!

What would you like to see MFA focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?

Keep going for the kids, teachers, and promote the importance of music education in our schools!

altered AmericanCanyon1

Music for All is proud to announce the addition of a new Regional Championship to the 2015 Bands of America Championships schedule.

The Bands of America Regional Championship - Northern California will be on Saturday November 7, 2015 at American Canyon High School in American Canyon, California.

"It has been several years since we've had a Bands of America Championship in Northern California and we are thrilled to be returning to the Bay Area," says Debbie Asbill, Music for All's Vice President of Marketing and Communications. "We are looking forward to working with the folks at American Canyon High School and the band directors who have been so supportive of our desires to bring a Regional to the area."

The Northern California Regional Championship brings the total of Regional and Super Regional BOA Championships to 20, in addition to the Grand National Championships.

We hope to see you at the Northern California Regional Championship.

View 2015 Full Fall Schedule

Enroll Today!

web tor13 horiztrumpets AG 5354

Attention Music Educators:

Announcing the 2017 Bands of America Tournament of Roses Honor Band Staff Search!

Are you interested in being a member of a world-class instructional staff who teaches the top high school band performers in the United States?

Have you dreamed of participating in the Tournament of Roses Parade?

Join Music for All in Pasadena, California on January 1, 2017 as the Honor Band of America makes their way down Colorado Boulevard representing students from 50 states!

To apply, download the staff application form, review the criteria, and submit your application and resume to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All applications are due by May 15, 2015
Staff invitations will be issued by June 1, 2015

Learn more by watching videos from the 2013 Bands of America Rose Parade® experience.

Screen Shot 2015 04 20 at 2.28.26 PM

Music has always been a part of my life; I don’t remember ever not doing it. I’ve played the ukulele since I was six, guitar since I was 10 and began to introduce myself in the world of orchestra by playing the viola at age 13. When I joined 7th grade band, I had my heart set on playing the bassoon, however, since my mom is an amazing sidekick parent, she forced me into playing the clarinet. I was terrible at it and hated band. At the end that year, I asked my band director if I could switch to bass clarinet. As I expected, he said no, and I tried hard to stop playing. 

Luckily, things changed as I went into 8th grade. Being my second year of playing in the Oahu Band Directors Association, Central District Middle School Honor Band, I was given a solo in “Orpheus Overture.” After the performance, Moanalua High School band director, Mr. Elden T. Seta, came up to me to congratulate me on a well-done solo. This was the same man who had taught my older sister (she also played clarinet) and was currently my older brother’s band director. Little had I known that I was going be so inspired by his passion and work ethic for many years to follow. From that night on, I became inspired by his passion and work ethic. I practiced my clarinet everyday and strived to be the best person that I could possibly be. 

The next year I began attending Moanalua High School. During my sophomore year I earned the title of Miss Teen Hawaii United States and, in effort to create a platform for the competition, founded a non-profit organization called “Love ME Through Music.” This organization uses music therapy the heal those who are going through emotional and physical challenges. I began to see music as more than just a common ground for a group of students, it was something to take pride in and grow with.

Screen Shot 2015 04 20 at 2.24.47 PM

My junior year I began attending Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. I felt lost, sad, and by senior year, I felt as though I was no longer performing with the vigor and determination that I once did and thought about giving up on my music. Shortly before losing all hope I found out that my old ensemble, Moanalua High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble, was attending the Music for All National Festival in 2015. I suddenly felt inspired and wanted to perform at the same venue they were. Mr. Seta and my mom encouraged me to apply for the Honor Band of America, which also performs at the festival. I decided to audition, which meant practicing and videoing myself with a lot of faith and pixie dust of hopes that I would get in. Turns out,  I did! It was crazy knowing that I was going to be the first student from Hawaii to be in the Music for All Honor Band of America.

Before I could blink, March and a number of financial problems appeared. I ended up buying my plane ticket to National Festival the night that I was supposed to leave, had two connecting flights (including one which was cancelled), missed my seating audition and finally arrived in Indianapolis at 2:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. There were many obstacles getting there, but every moment of National Festival made it absolutely worth it. 

One of the greatest moments I had while I was there was after I performed with HBOA and the band members of the Moanalua High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble greeted me. I looked for them to thank them for coming to the performance and ask them how they enjoyed it. They paraded me with hugs and a plethora of compliments, and then out of the blue, a close friend of mine in the band began to lei me with beautiful orchid lei. It turns out that they had brought lei as a makana (a gift that a person from Hawaii brings when they travel to other places to show appreciation toward people who welcome us) and everyone in the ensemble suddenly showered me with dozens of them. I had so many they went over my heads and arms. To have people who had no idea who I was but just wanted to congratulate me was indescribable—I started to cry!  

When I returned to the HBOA reception, people were staring at me. It’s not everyday you see an individual lei’d over her head in the middle of Indianapolis, IN. I had to bypass several people before I could even reach my mom. She instantly burst into tears when she saw my wide smile, and I excitedly yelled, “Hey Mom, look what I got!” Obviously I couldn’t take the lei with me on my 4,000-mile journey to get home so I followed my first instinct – to share. I started to lei other musicians, their families and all the administrators that I could find. It’s amazing how a single lei can affect such a large amount of people. A friend who I have met in HBOA even came up to me and promised that she would press every single petal and keep the lei as a memoir. People were coming up to me left and right sharing their gratitude of a touch of aloha I have given them.

Screen Shot 2015 04 20 at 2.33.31 PM

Back at home, I see these orchid lei everywhere. Never had they phased me before until that night. To see these genuine smiles on my newfound friends made me love Hawaii more than ever. In fact, I have promised my fellow friends that I would come back up to watch them and bring lei for everyone in the 2016 HBOA.

Music for All and the Honor Band of America helped me realize why I love music so much and that, no matter where I am or whom I’m with, music has the ability to sustain and create lifelong friendships. It’s also shown me the magic of performing that comes from knowing that everyone in your ensemble has put in countless hours to practice and share the thing that they love. Good music comes from perfection. Great music comes from passion. 

I’m so thankful for everything this organization has given me the opportunity to experience and I hope to use my knowledge and passion to obtain a doctorate in music education and teach at the primary education level. I also hope to continue to develop my family’s non-profit organization, Love ME Through Music, into a broader project so that we can help students like me go to National Festival every year. 

army chorus

What’s more patriotic than listening to music that is skillfully performed by the US Armed Forces?  Whether it’s the Soldiers’ Chorus, Concert Band, Jazz Ambassadors or The Volunteers, the US Army Field Band & Chorus exemplifies talented musicianship from all over the nation that connects the American people with the military that fights for our saftey and rights every day.

The US Army Field Band & Soldiers' Chorus will perform on Tuesday, June 23 during the Music for All Summer Symposium. It's not everyday that you get to see musicians who are led by command sergeants and lieutenant colonels or hear such unprecedented musical talent that pays tribute to our country and people.

It's inspiring to think about how this group was created to be a connector between civilians and the military in the 1940’s when the relationship was in need of mends. It’s a great example of music bringing people together in the past and in present day. 

Another remarkable thing about the US Army Field Band & Soldiers' Chorus is that, since it’s made up of multiple components, it’s eclectic and stretches across several genres. The Jazz Ambassadors might play a variety of big band, swing and Dixieland repertoire while the Concert Band might perform with one of the nation’s leading orchestras or alone with a program of marches and overtures. They really cover the spectrum. 

Possibly the best thing about the US Army Field Band & Soldiers' Chorus is dedicated to music education. Many of the musicians who are enlisted in this group offer on-site and Google+ Hangout music clinics for educators and students and often appear at music events as guest conductors. In addition to an educational YouTube series, they also provide recordings and sheet music to schools so that students can learn to play repertoire of many different skill levels.

We hope to see you at Summer Symposium so you can experience this exciting concert! It wouldn’t be uncommon for US Army Field Band & Soldiers' Chorus members to chat with students about what its like to be a part of their band and how to audition after college.

For more information, please visit

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 has been to every Summer Symposium since its existence. 

Buckner 40 for 40 1










Bob Buckner is a seasoned director and educator who dedicated his life to music education for over 45 years. Beginning his teaching career while attending college in 1966, Buckner worked as a director at Sylva Webster in Sylva, North Carolina for 13 years. He then started his own band-consulting firm, United Music Enterprises, and worked with a variety of groups throughout the U.S. and Canada such as Spirit of Atlanta, Carolina Crown, and the United States Drum and Bugle Corps. In August 1988 Buckner became Director of Bands at East Tennessee State University and taught there for three years before accepting his final full-time teaching job at Western Carolina University as Director of Athletic Bands in 1991.

Since Buckner retired in 2011 he continues to stay active as a drill writer, consultant and a conductor for Mountain Winds, a community band based out at Western Carolina University. He has also worked with VanderCook College of Music teaching an online course and hopes to work with Audition U, a music recruiting company that helps prospective high school students connect with university music programs. 

Buckner received his Bachelors in Music Education from Western Carolina University. In his free time he likes to hike, golf, and spend time with his grandchildren. 

Buckner MarinesFlag 













Q & A

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.

I knew about BOA (then MBA) long before getting involved. I saw Larry McCormick at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, as well as other music competitions, and was continually intrigued by his cutting edge marketing and company. My first experience was when I was asked to judge a BOA Regional Competition at James Madison University in 1978. That weekend marked a monumental change for me professionally, meeting some of the men that would remain (even today) some of the largest influences in my career and life. My next contact with the organization was in the summer of 1979 at the National Championship show in Whitewater. That was my first trip to camp and I haven’t missed one since! 

 Since then I’ve judged many shows, led a band to become the winner of a Grand Nationals competition and attended numerous events only to be repeatedly amazed at the organization’s dedication to music making.

What are some of the highlights and memories from your experiences related to MFA/BOA?

I could honestly write a book about my experiences with Music for All but my number one highlight would have to be when I was the director of the Sylva Webster High School Golden Eagle Band when they were named Grand National Champion in June 1979. 

Beyond that moment (which I would never have an opportunity to repeat), almost every Bands of America event brought me new friends and connections in addition to more knowledge about the business. I also thoroughly enjoyed judging Grand Nationals at Whitewater on several occasions, being a part of the “Director’s Marching Band,” and of course being inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame in 2005 alongside my dear friends Greg Bimm, Richard Crain and Gayle Crain. Recently I even had the opportunity to be the director of the Honor Band of America at the Tournament of Roses Parade in 2013.

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’d ask them why he or she wants to be a band director/teacher. Is their motivation to gain recognition for themselves or to simply go wherever they get a job and do their very best to teach children to play an instrument, learn to work as a team, and enjoy music for the remainder of their life? Many seem to think that it’s about personal achievement but it’s really about the children. It’s also about teaching children “through music,” using the subject to have a positive impact on their entire lives. If one continues to grow as a musician and surround themselves with teammates and followers who can work effectively together, everything else will fall into place.

What do you like to see Music for All focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?

I have always dreamed that Bands of America and Music for All could do more to include bands of all levels, not just those that are elite with large budgets. The Summer Symposium addresses this, but it needs to be incorporated into the marching competitions. 

I also think it would be beneficial for Music for All to create a legacy by commissioning more music and to expand partnership with interested colleges and universities to bring more of the MFA experience to other parts of the country. 

Sylva Webster

Page 1 of 33