The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

Forty for Forty

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.

Friday Nights Light

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 an accomplished director who learned about Bands of America as a student and later in life led his students to three Bands of America Grand National Champion titles.

40 for 40 Jay Webb

Jay Webb has been the Director of Bands at Avon High School in Avon, Indiana since 1993. During his years of leadership, the Avon Band has consistently been at the forefront of the the performing arts and has been recognized as one of the premier band programs in the Midwest. Webb brings a variety of experiences ranging with performances with the Bridgemen Drum and Bugle Corps from Bayonne, New Jersey to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He has memberships that include Pi Kappa Lambda, Indiana Bandmasters Association, Indiana Music Educators Association, and was the founding member of Indiana Percussion Association. 

How long have you been teaching?
I started teaching when I was 17 in 1979, but I’ve been a band director since 1991.

Where do you teach now and where have you taught in the past?
I currently teach at Avon High school in Avon Indiana. Previously I’ve taught at Cooper City High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Jonathan Dayton Regional High School in Springfield, New Jersey, Center Grove High School in Indiana and Sheridan Jr/Sr High School in Indiana.

Where did you go to college? What degrees do you earn?
I received my Bachelors of Music Education from Butler 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?”
Be patient. Be more patient with the students, their parents, and especially with administrators.

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.
I saw a poster for a Bands of America (then Marching Bands of America) Championship when I was in high school in 1978 and I asked my band director why we don't do something like that. He replied, "That's way too much work!" I have never forgotten that. Later on I worked with the director at Center Grove in 1990, and gave them the opportunity to participate in a Bands of America Regional Competition. We all had a great experience. In 1995, when I finally had my own program, we were on a waiting list to participate in Grand National Championships, but performed in a Regional Championship and received a lot of positive feedback from judges and spectators. Since then, we have strived to continue to push ourselves, our kids, and our program to always be as good as we possibly could be and we finally made finals in 2001. The rest they say is history!

What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to Music for All/Bands of America?
The first thing that stands at the forefront of my mind is making finals the first time and all of the Carmel directors mauling us with high fives and hugs. That was awesome! The pride I felt during our 2009 performance - we were incredible that night! The  audience’s reaction during our Adagio/Ode mashup in 2010 was priceless. My band at Grand National Championship finals in 2012 is also at the top of the list - the emotions that the kids and staff shared in the parking lot is one of the highlights of my career. There are many more as well.

What would you like to see Music for All focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?
To continue to be the standard bearer for excellence in music education! That bar of excellence perceived by a 17 year old, long haired freak sparked a career and a journey that still continues to this day!

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, clinician, and Bands of America Hall of Famer who has created a standard of excellence for student performers.

40 for 40 wayne markworth

Wayne was Director of Bands at Centerville High School in Ohio for 35 years. During his tenure, the Centerville Band program involved over 250 students including three concert bands, three jazz ensembles, marching band, and Winter Guard and Percussion. Wayne also directed the marching band, known as "The Centerville Jazz Band." They were finalists in Bands of America Regionals and Grand National Championships 57 times, with fourteen regional championships and were 1992 Grand National Champions.

He is an active clinician, adjudicator, arranger, trumpet performer, and President of the music & consulting business Shadow Lake Music. In 2007, he was inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame. He is currently teaching part-time at Wright State University and is author of The Dynamic Marching Band, a textbook on marching band techniques. Wayne is the Director of the new WGI Winds Division.

How long have you been teaching?
46 years! 36 as a high school band director (one year at Madison HS, Middletown, OH and 35 years at Centerville High School) and 10 years since “retirement” consulting, working with bands, and part-time college teaching. As Adjunct Faculty at Wright State University I teach Marching Band and Jazz Ensemble Methods.

Where did you go to college? What degrees do you earn?
Indiana University - Bachelor of Music Education
Northwestern University - Master of Music

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?”
Band directing is something you will never master, so be a lifetime learner. Learn from every student, situation, colleague, convention, workshop, and master teacher.

Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.
We began our involvement with Bands of America (Marching Bands of America at the time) in 1979 by participating in the Marching Bands of America Toledo Regional Championship. These competitions, and this organization, were very influential in our development as a band program. Our goal of “Be Your Best” was always motivated by seeing and competing with the best bands possible. The organization was always nurturing and encouraging and I will always appreciate that. In 1984 we adopted the name “The Centerville Jazz Band” and started our annual participation at Grand National Championships when the event moved to Indianapolis.

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What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to Music for All/Bands of America?
Participating in Music for All programs was always exciting because of the venues, crowds, participating bands, and positive atmosphere that the organization has created. Some of the memorable events for us were having our best possible performances, for where we were at the time. The best moments were coming off the field after a great show with kids hugging and crying because they knew they had done their best. There are great moments of course tied into making finals or winning a regional or Grand National Championships. I think the best part of that is getting a great crowd response and being able to do an “encore performance” after the awards ceremony.

What would you like to see Music for All focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?
Music advocacy has never been more important than today. Secondly, helping the small band programs (which are the vast majority of programs in the country) is essential.

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 member of the Music for All Hall of Fame and respected high school band director.

40 for 40 greg bimm

Greg Bimm is the Director of Bands at Marian Catholic High School. Under his direction, the Marian Catholic Band has grown from 70 members to over 280 and is recognized as one of the premier high school band programs in the United States. The Marian Catholic marching band has been named Bands of America Grand National Champion more times than any other band (a total of seven fall Grand National Championships). The symphonic band was one of only eight bands invited to perform at the first National Concert Band Festival in 1992.

Mr. Bimm has received numerous National Band Association Citations of Excellence and has been awarded with the ASBDA Stanbury award for young band directors, the Sudler Order of Merit from the John Philip Sousa Foundation, the Distinguished Service Award by the Archdiocese of Chicago, and the “Mary Hoffman” Award of Excellence by the Illinois Music Educator’s Association.

Bimm is a member of Music for All’s Bands of America Hall of Fame, Illinois State University College of Fine Arts Hall of Fame, and is a Lowell Mason Fellow of the National Association for Music Education. 

Mr. Bimm holds degrees from Illinois State and Western Illinois University and an honorary doctorate from Vandercook College of Music.  His professional affiliations include ABA, ASBDA, IMEA, MENC, NCBA, NBA, Phi Beta Mu, and Phi Mu Alpha.  

In addition to his role as director of bands, Bimm has performed as conductor, clinician, adjudicator, drill writer, or music arranger throughout the United States and Canada.

How long have you been teaching?

I’ve just completed my 40th year of teaching! I’ve been at Marian Catholic High School for 38 years, and before that I taught for two years at Yorkwood School District in Western Illinois. 

What advice do you have for a new director who asks you "what are some things you wish someone had told you just starting out?"

There are four things that pop in my head right away:

1) "Wear the seat of your pants out studying scores." (William Revelli told me this while I was attending Western Illinois University.)
2) Keep students at the center of your mission. Pursuit of quality music and excellence in that music is the key to that mission.
3) "Choose the hill you want to die on." Do not draw a line in the sand at every impasse, for there will be many. Choose when it is both correct and NECESSARY to dig in. There are many more times that a strategic retreat or compromise can actually build credibility and "move the ball" much closer to your long term goal.
4) Be prepared to work harder than you every imagined and to have it be more worthwhile and rewarding than you could have every imagined. 

What has been your experience with Music for All? What events have you attended and in what roles, and what benefits do you believe Music for All programs can provide?

Where do I even start? My first participation was as an audience member at the first few Summer Nationals. In 1981, Marian Catholic was asked to be the BOA Summer Workshop/Festival (now MFA Summer Symposium) "clinic band" and learn a full show during the week of camp. There I had the opportunity to meet and work with Bob Buckner, LJ Hancock, and Fred Sanford among others. 

In 1982, Marian began participating in Summer National Marching Band Competitions, winning for five consecutive year from 1984 to 1988.  Marian did not compete in the summer of 1989, but, instead, our Symphonic Band gave an exhibition performance as one of the evening concerts (boy, was that an incredibly hot gym)! When Bands of America moved the Grand National Championships to Indianapolis in 1984, we began participating in Regional Competitions and Grand National Championships and have been involved ever since. All in all, we’ve had a very good run.

In 1992, we performed in the first Music for All National Concert Band Festival.  I remember the panel was incredible, including Revelli, Fennell, Paynter, Corporon, Cramer, and Maiello, with Arnald Gabriel as our clinician. We continued to participate in subsequent National Concert Band Festivals.

I’ve also had the good fortune of being on the staff for all of the Bands of America Honor Bands that have participated in the Rose Parades. Working with George Parks and Bob Buckner, the incredible Music for All staff, and the amazing performers has been very rewarding. 

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

There are many but most importantly I’d have to say friends and colleagues. I’ve made many incredible friends through participation and there is no way to place a value on how much my personal and professional lives have been enriched by those many people.

Others include: 

  • Being named to the Music for All/Bands of America Hall of Fame would have to be a highlight.
  • Having my band at Marian play at that first National Concert Band Festival with those incredible evaluators and the feeling of being a part of history.

  • Witnessing my band sharing the stage with Etiwanda H.S., Lassiter H.S. and Westfield H.S. the Saturday morning at our second National Concert Band Festival (and the incredible concerts from Woodson H.S. and Lake Braddock earlier in the festival).

  • A spontaneous applause from the people in the finalists meeting at Grand National Championships last year.

  • The week spent in 1981 at the Summer Symposium with Bob Buckner LJ Hancock and Fred Sanford.

  • Meeting Alfred Watkins at the Whitewater Summer Symposium in the 80's and talking about bands throughout the entire evening, only to be interrupted by sunrise.

  • A number of championship performances, especially the first at Summer Nationals and the first at Grand Nationals.

  • An even larger number of truly inspired performances by my wonderful students at Marian.

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

I’d like the organization to certainly continue to work toward providing great opportunities for students in all areas and levels of music. Music for All and Bands of America has done so much, but there is still more to be done. In my specific area of interest, I hope Music for All continues to polish all aspects of the quality of its music experiences and helps advance our great band activity while always keeping quality music at its core.

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 an orchestra director who's went above and beyond to share her natural gift of music. 

40 for 40

Paula Krupiczewicz, a native of Grand Rapids, MI, received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Viola Performance at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. She holds a Master of Music from the University of Akron and a Bachelor of Music from Western Michigan University. As an active violist, Paula has presented solo recitals, collaborated on chamber recitals, and performed with symphony orchestras throughout Georgia, Colorado, Mississippi, Alabama, Ohio, and Michigan. She has performed with artists such as Placido Domingo, Joshua Bell, Julia Fischer, Sir James Galway, Michael Stern, Robert Spano, and Joan Tower. Paula has been a long-standing member of the International Viola Society, American Federation of Musicians, and is a member of the Theta Chi Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. 

Paula has held the position of orchestra director at North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, GA since 2008. She performs regularly with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, Rome Symphony, and the Macon Symphony  Orchestra, in addition to teaching a small private studio. Paula enjoys practicing her viola, running, cycling, yoga, CrossFit, and is a triathlete.

Where have you taught in the past?

I taught one semester, after finishing my Doctor of Musical Arts in Viola, in the Gulfport School District (MS) as assistant in the orchestra program (elementary to high school).

What advice do you have for a new Orchestra director who asks you "what are some things you wish someone had told you just starting out?"

I come from a performance background so I have different perspective on this. I never student taught, I just took Praxis 1&2. While working with my mom, who was an educator, on the materials for Praxis 2, I said to her one day, "This is common sense." Teaching requires common sense, and you must be willing to be flexible and experiment with the presentation of skills to be studied and learned. If you are able to present techniques/skills to be learned in different ways, then you have the key to a successful group. I, myself, had to fix many things in my playing - I like to say I was not a natural - by learning how to fix my technical problems, I am able to help many of my students with theirs. I have many tricks up my sleeve from my own experiences and I like to share these with my students.

What has been your experience with Music for All? What events have you attended and in what roles, and what benefits do you believe Music for All programs can provide?

My experience with Music for All has been varied. My orchestras at North Cobb High School, for three years now, have hosted the Bands of America Super Regional Championship at the Georgia Dome. We provide all of the volunteers to make the event run smoothly. Students and parents come together for the two-day show and give their time to MFA to make this an enjoyable event for the participating bands and the MFA staff. I have also worked with the Music for All's national Honor Orchestra of America. Last year I came and observed the event, and this year I have taken on the role as the National Honor Orchestra Assistant. This is an incredible experience for all students in attendance, as well as for those working closely with the students. To watch a group of high school students come together for one purpose - to make great music - and enjoy every bit of it is life-changing. Music for All and the National Honor Orchestra definitely change students' lives. Music for All has given students and their teachers, from all over the country, the opportunity to come together to celebrate and perform music.

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

I would like to see Music for All continue to give students the ability to share their love of music with others. And to continue to provide these students with the opportunity to gather as a large body of like-minded beings for one purpose - to create beautiful music together.

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 high school director who's also a part of the Music for All Education Team.

40 for 40 WESTMAN

Dean Westman is the Performing Arts Department Chair and Orchestra Director at Avon High School in Avon, Indiana; a member of the Music for All Educational Steering Committee; and a Board Member for the Avon Education Foundation. 

Dean was named the Texas Young Bandmaster of the Year. He continues to teach groups and present clinics throughout the United States and Japan, including at the Midwest Clinic, the Texas Bandmaster’s Association Convention, the Colorado Bandmaster’s Association Convention, the Texas Music Educator’s Association Convention, and other state conferences. Dean is a native of Park Ridge, Illinois, and a proud alumnus of the University of Illinois. He lives in Plainfield, Indiana, with his wife Adrianna and their 16-year-old daughter, Abigail. 

How long have you been teaching? 

This is my 21st year in education. Nineteen of those have been spent teaching at the high school level in Illinois, Texas, and Indiana, with two amazing years spent serving as the Educational Director at Music for All.

How did you come to be at Avon School District? 

Avon has a very proud tradition with the band program. Dr. Maggie Hoernemann, who is our Superintendent now and was an Associate Superintendent back in 2007, felt that Avon needed a string program to truly have a comprehensive performing arts program. I was the lucky person that was hired to found the Avon Orchestra and the goal from the start has been to create great musical experiences for our students, school, and community.

You founded the Avon Orchestra program, first at the middle school program then the high school. Can you tell us about that process? 

I founded the Avon Orchestra with 38 6th grade beginners in the fall of 2007. The next year we added another class of 70 beginners and continued to build from the ground up. We now serve over 700 string students grades 6 through 12 in five buildings with three Orchestra Directors. The very first class of beginners graduated this past May of 2014. We have 180 students performing in four orchestras at Avon High School this year and will grow to around 240 high school orchestra students next school year. 

How is the high school and middle school program structured now?

Intermediate School students start in the 6th grade and then head over to our middle schools for 7th and 8th grade orchestra. In addition to the classroom orchestras, we have co-curricular orchestras that rehearse before and after school for both the 6th grade beginners and our middle school students. Students audition to perform in those ensembles. 

What are some of the recent honors and recognitions the Avon orchestra has earned?

This past May, the Avon High School Symphony qualified for the Indiana State School Music Association State Orchestra Finals for the first time, and ended up 3rd at State Finals. It was a very special way for our very first class of beginners to end their orchestra experience. The Avon Middle School Orchestra was just invited to perform at the 2015 Midwest Clinic this December in Chicago. This is not only a first for our program, but a first for Avon. What makes it even more special is that the Avon High School Brass Choir and Saxophone Ensemble were also invited! Last year we also collaborated with our Band and Dance program to stage a complete version of "The Nutcracker" by Tchaikovsky. It was a massive undertaking and a very unique opportunity for high school student performers. We engaged the entire community of Avon, including a Children's Chorus, the role of Uncle Drosselmeyer being performed by our Principal, and the role of Mother Ginger being performed by our Superintendent. It was a fabulous experience for the entire community. This May, we will be traveling to New York City with the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony and Dance Company to perform at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU. We also just found out this past week that the NAMM Foundation has named Avon as one of the "2015 Best Communities for Music Education." This is a first for Avon and we are thrilled!

Tell us about the relationship this year with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

It's hard to put into words the positive impact that our educational partnership with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has had on our program and the community of Avon. Our students had the chance to observe a 2-hour ISO rehearsal in the Hendricks Regional Health Performing Arts Center at Avon High School. Avon orchestra and band students grades 6 through 12 have had clinics with members of the ISO, and we are hosting four Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performances at Avon High School as part of their new "317 Series." It has been amazing!

What advice do you have for a teacher in the position of starting an orchestra program?

We live by the Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser philosophy of "to become the best, surround yourself with the best!" I work with two outstanding string educators. Keith Ziolkowski teaches all of our 6th grade beginners and Joel Powell is our middle school director. Their commitment to the students continued to build from the ground up. We now serve over 700 string students grades 6 through 12 in five buildings with three Orchestra Directors. The Hall of Fame caliber music educators and dear friends.

What are some things you wish someone had told you at the start of your teaching career?

That's an entire interview in itself. I will tell you that I've had a lot of people throughout my career that have served as valued mentors. I would encourage young music educators to find teachers that are making music at the highest level, and develop relationships with them. Social media makes it so much easier to connect with colleagues than it used to be. It just takes that moment of courage to introduce yourself and it will change your life.

How have you been involved with Music for All and Bands of America?

I've had many positively life-changing experiences participating in Music for All and Bands of America events as the Director of Bands at Stephen F. Austin High School in Sugar Land, Texas, and have been lucky enough to serve on the staff for three Rose Parade Honor Bands of America. I was there for the very first Honor Orchestra of America back in 2005 and have both during my time as Educational Director for MFA and my time in Avon have maintained an active role as an Educational Consultant for MFA's Orchestral Programming. I've served on faculty at the MFA Summer Symposium and my daughter Abby will be performing in the Summer Symposium Orchestra for her 3rd year. We send around 15 Avon students to Symposium every year and they love it! 

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

Seeing the growth of the Honor Orchestra of America over the past 11 years has been a magical experience. Larry Livingston, Music Director for the Honor Orchestra of America has played a vital role in my life and has been there to support the Avon Orchestra since the day we started the program.

What do you think Music for All has to offer orchestras?

Music for All seems to deliver on its mission to create and provide positively life-changing experiences for students every single time. It's mind blowing to me. Whether it's watching my students perform in the Honor Orchestra of America, or watching my own daughter go through Leadership Development with Fran Kick at the Music for All Summer Symposium, it's an organization that delivers at the highest level. I owe Music for All so much for what the organization has done for me, for my students, and for my family.

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

I don't know how you top the first 40 years, but I plan on being around for the next 40 years of being around THE BEST! 

deanwestman

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.

 

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