The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog


Parts of the U.S. have been hit hard with rain and flooding in recent days. We hope you and yours are safe.

Due to extreme weather conditions, finals were cancelled for the shows in McAllen, TX on September 26; Dayton, OH and Powder Springs, GA on October 3.

The overriding ticketing policy for Music for All/Bands of America events is that tickets are “non-refundable.” Nevertheless, where extraordinary circumstances, like severe weather, cause the cancellation of all or a substantial portion of an event, Music for All has established refund polices for that event and offered full or partial refunds as appropriate.

Click on the links below to see Music for All’s policies concerning ticket refunds for the affected shows.

For McAllen, TX Regional Championship

For Dayton, OH Regional Championship

For Powder Springs, GA Regional Championship

Powder Springs Finals Cancelled

Saturday, 03 October 2015 18:36 Written by Debbie Laferty Asbill

As of 6:30 p.m. local time – Finals has been cancelled due to weather at the Bands of America Regional at Powder Springs, in the interest for the safety and well-being of the participants and spectators.

Note that this is in addition to cancellation of Finals at the BOA Dayton show, also due to weather.

Dayton: Finals Cancelled Due to Weather

Saturday, 03 October 2015 18:19 Written by Debbie Laferty Asbill

Posted Saturday, Oct. 3, 6:20 p.m. local time – Due to ongoing inclement weather Music for All has cancelled Finals for the 2015 Bands of America Regional at Dayton.

The decision was made at the Finalist Directors Meeting, after discussing options with the Finalist Band Directors, and for the safety and well-being of the participants and spectators.

McAllen Prelims Resuming at 7:45 p.m.

Saturday, 26 September 2015 20:33 Written by Debbie Laferty Asbill

Prelims performance for the last six bands will resume at 7:45 p.m. this evening at the Bands of America Regional in McAllen. Our hope is to get all six bands' prelims performances in this evening, weather permitting.

The order of performance for the final six bands, starting at 7:45 p.m. are:

Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Southwest H.S., TX
Roma H.S., TX
Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
Nikki Rowe H.S., TX
Edinburg H.S., TX
Sandra Day O'Connor H.S., TX

Followed by an awards ceremony.

Music for All puts the safety of the students and audience first. We will proceed with the final six performance as weather permits.

UPDATE 6:50 p.m.: McAllen Weather Delay

Saturday, 26 September 2015 18:26 Written by Debbie Laferty Asbill

Music for All continues to monitor the weather at the Bands of America Regional in McAllen. MFA officials have met with the band directors of the six bands who did not yet perform in Prelims to discuss options.

At the discretion of the affected directors, MFA will further delay the show, but continue to monitor whether in hopes of resuming Prelims performances this evening. The final call whether or not to resume performance is expected to be made at 8:15 p.m.

If it is determined the final six bands can safely perform, an updated performance schedule will be posted here and on

Clinics will be held as scheduled on Sunday at McAllen Memorial H.S.

McAllen Regional Update: Weather Delay

Saturday, 26 September 2015 16:51 Written by Erin Fortune

Due to inclement weather, we are asking all patrons and participants of the Texas Dairy Queen® Bands of America Regional Championship at McAllen to proceed indoors or into the stadium concourse. We hope to resume when it is safe for all attendees. Please stay tuned for updates!

Be Part of the Orchestra is here!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015 13:50 Written by Erin Fortune


Music for All is a proud sponsor of the Be Part of the Music series, and we are excited to share the latest news coming from Be Part of the Music: the release of Be Part of the Orchestra!

In February we shared the announcement that nearly four years after it’s first inception, Be Part of the Band came full circle to become Be Part of the Music, a K-12, cross-curricular (band/choir/orchestra) recruitment and retention solution. The complete roll out will take a few years, but we are excited to share that Be Part of the Ochestra has been rolled out, just in time for the new school year!

As with Be Part of the Band, the Be Part of the Orchestra materials will be available FREE of charge and available to download on the web. As a part of these materials you will receive nine videos, all shot in HD and using state of the art 3D motion graphics, including a:

  • a main assembly recruitment video
  • individual instrument demonstration
  • videos for violin, viola, cello and bass 
  • a computer animated "What is Orchestra" video 
  • a parent recruitment video
  • an administrator video

In addition to the video resources, you will have access to:

  • 17 downloadable recruitment documents in MS word
  • a message board to chat about recruitment strategies
  • special offers from Be Part of the Music sponsors
  • a chance to purchase "recruitment kits" at an introductory price

We hope that you will join in our excitement about these incredible tools, whether you teach band or orchestra. Click here to learn more about both projects on the Be Part of the Music website.


The following update concering MFA Video On-line Streaming and Unshipped 2014 Fall DVD Products was sent to all current Music for All Video Subscribers


Dear Supporter and Valued Customer:

This communication is intended to update and provide you with the latest information concerning the provision and delivery of Bands of America commemorative videos. First, the latest change…

Music for All Video (On-line streaming video subscriptions)

  • Effective August 11, 2015 the Music for All subscription online video program is discontinued. New subscriptions will not be offered or sold until further notice. We are working to determine appropriate actions/next steps concerning unexpired subscriptions. Next steps will depend, in part, on the results of ongoing discussions with copyright holders to resolve past and present licensing issues and the negotiated terms and conditions for providing future video commemoratives/services. Persons who have time remaining on existing annual subscriptions (as of August 11th) will be contacted when MFA finalizes its plan and procedures.

Unshipped Fall 2014 DVD Products

  • Music for All (through its licensee Mr. Video) has not shipped orders for videos of some events occurring on or after October 18, 2014. We have and continue to be in negotiations with certain music rights holders for licensing necessary to complete Fall 2014 videos. Keeping in mind that the majority of music is licensed, efforts to license remaining titles continue. We have not been able to obtain some agreements for licenses that are economically feasible, suitable or sustainable in our current DVD and streaming product models. Persons with existing pre-paid orders will have their DVDs shipped with all unlicensed music muted. Email communication will be sent when your DVD has been shipped. Mr. Video expects to start shipping by the end of August. If and when we complete negotiations with rights holders to license the remaining music, we will ship replacement DVDs with this music un-muted.

Fall 2015 Offerings

We continue to seek agreements and a structure by which we can continue to offer video commemoratives of Bands of America events. To date, we can report:

  • Music for All will record and provide a high camera video recording of each performance at Bands of America events and deliver it to the respective director on-site (for evaluation and use in future instruction).
  • Music for All is working and expects (as in the past) to offer live, multi-camera streams of its Super Regional and Grand Nationals performances. At this time, we expect to offer such performances on an individual and/or season subscription basis for live viewing only. Please stay tuned for future announcements concerning this offering.
  • Music for All will continue to pursue strategies and terms that will allow us to record and offer to parents, students and fans video commemoratives consistent and in compliance with U.S. copyright laws and the requirements of music rights holders. We are working to provide such services in 2015 in collaboration with Tresona Music to create a platform that will, at a minimum allow Music for All/Bands of America to offer properly licensed post event streaming and downloads of performances at Bands of America events. Please stay tuned for future announcements concerning this potential offering.


Music for All has consistently sought to operate in compliance with U.S. Copyright laws and the rights and wishes of composers and rights holders, to offer commemoratives in the best and most desirable formats available to participants, families and fans. It has done so using a model that offers this content at the lowest possible costs to those we serve with little to no residual direct, net economic return to MFA. It is a service we provide and have provided to further our mission to “create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all.”

We are now aware that some of our current and recent past initiatives are not acceptable to or consistent with the understanding and expectations of certain rights holders. It is our duty in practice and by law to reconcile our practices with these expectations. Our mission and core values require it.

The remaining work necessary to recreate a working model for delivery of commemorative products is not and will not be simple. Please know that Music for All, and all the parties involved are working diligently and in good faith to reconcile differences and develop suitable, sustainable, and legally and contractually compliant solutions for offer commemorative recordings of performances.

Questions/More Information

Should you have unanswered questions or concerns, please contact us at 800.636.2263 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Congratulations to the master educators who have been selected to serve on the staff of the Bands of America Honor Band that will march in the 2017 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. Auditions open online on July 1, 2015. Learn more about the experience – December 28, 2016 through January 4, 2017 for accepted members – and the audition process on our Roses page.

2017 Staff Bands of America Honor Band in the Rose Parade

Bob Buckner, Band Director

David Starnes, Program Director

Instrumental Staff
Bob Barfield, White Knoll HS (SC)
Greg Bimm, Marian Catholic HS (IL)
Matt Harloff, Avon HS (IN)
Jerell Horton, Vestavia Hills HS (AL)
David Lesser, Clovis North HS (CA)
Jarrett Lipman, Claudia Taylor Johnson HS (TX)
John Miller, American Fork HS (UT)
Mark Stone, Ayala HS (CA)
Frank Troyka, Berkner HS (TX) – Ret.

Drum Major Staff
Bobby Lambert, Wando HS (SC)

Percussion Staff
Matt Henley, Western Carolina University (NC)
Jon Henson, Western Carolina University (NC)

Colorguard and Dance Staff
Susie Harloff, MFA Summer Symposium Director (IN)
Betsy Heathcock, Dance Specialist (TX)
Scott Beck, Colorguard Specialist (GA)
Rhea Jeanne Starnes, Colorguard Specialist (GA)

Musical Arrangers
Thom Hannum, University of Massachusetts (MA)
Percussion Arranger

Michael Klesch, Freelance Composer (MA)
Music Arranger

JCSykes HeadshotWell-known music educator and retired band director of Rocky Mount Senior High School, J.C. Sykes, passed away on Friday, June 5, 2015.

Sykes led the Rocky Mount Senior High School to become Bands of America Grand Championships winners for three consecutive years in 1983, 1984, and 1986. Even after he was no longer the active director, Sykes went on to give lessons to a number of other band directors who went on to successfully participate in Bands of America events. 

RockyMount Grand Nat ChampionshipsIn addition to the marching band, Sykes taught junior high and high school bands for over 30 years. His ensembles were highly dedicated and talented, performing throughout the years at Orange Bowls,Tournament of Roses Rose Parades, Carnegie Hall and even for Ronald Reagan, former president of the United States.

Sykes was inducted into the Twin Counties Hall of Fame in 2009 and in 2012 he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus by East Carolina University.  

Music for All is thankful for Mr. Sykes’ commitment to music education and the marching arts. His bands’ performances and continuous example of diversity and excellence will be remembered with great fondness for many years to come. 

Please join us in sending condolences to his wife, Priscilla Kathryn Wheless Sykes, and son, John Collins Sykes, III. 

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