The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog


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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. 

Nurse Blog

Do you want to make a difference this summer? Music for All is looking for a nurse to be part of the medical team for the 2015 Summer Symposium at Ball State University June 19th - 28th. The medical team is on campus during the week to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff attending the Summer Symposium.

The medial team will work in conjunction with Music for All staff to assist in creating positively life-changing experiences for all throughout the week.

Duties include: administering medications, assessing students that are requiring medical attention, responding to medical calls in a timely fashion, working with the medical team to ensure coverage, and communicating regularly with the head of the medical team.

Requirements: must have obtained nursing degree, nursing license is preferred (by the time of camp), but will consider new graduate awaiting licensure. If you are interested, but not taking your boards until after our June event please still reach out!

For more information, including salary, please contact Erin Bergland at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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

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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!

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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.

The 2015 William D. Revelli Scholarship was awarded to Mikaela Ray of Franklin High School in Franklin, Tennessee on Saturday, March 12th during the Gala Awards Banquet at the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Revelli Scholarship WinnerMusic for All Annual Fund Manager Gregg Puls and scholarship winner Mikaela Ray

This annual scholarship of $1,000 was created in memory of Dr. William D. Revelli, one of America’s finest and most accomplished conductors, to help one graduating high school senior each year that is performing at the Music for All National Festival study music education at the university level. Each recipient is chosen based upon his or her academic, musical and community service accomplishments, a personal essay written about music education and a nomination from a his or her band director.

“This was my third year at the Music for All National Festival and it is an honor to receive this scholarship after witnessing several of my role models receive it in years past,” said recipient Mikaela Ray. “I look forward to the day when I can bring my own ensemble to the festival and give them the same positively life-changing experience that I’ve had.”

Ray is a two-time Honor Band of America member who has performed in the National Concert Band Festival and the Chamber Music National Festival. She is the principal horn and section leader in her high school’s band and is passionate about helping others realize their musical potential.

Since each recipient must intend to pursue a degree in music education, this scholarship has become an extension of Music for All’s mission to create, provide, and expand positively live-changing experiences through music for all. Music for All also offers opportunities for students, parents, and directors to perform and improve their musical and leadership skills through its workshops, competitions, festivals, and honor ensembles.

Music for All will continue to offer this scholarship in future years and encourages all qualifying students to apply. The application for next year’s scholarship will be released in late 2015.


Learn more about the William D. Revelli Scholarship and other Music for All scholarship opportunities.

Download the official press release.

eggsRichard L. Saucedo, Mark Jolesch, Dr. Nicholas Valenziano, Remo D. Belli and MFA President and CEO, Eric Martin

Music for All inducted four industry leaders into the 2015 Bands of America Hall of Fame: Remo D. Belli, Richard Saucedo, Mark Jolesch and Dr. Nicholas Valenziano. These new members were inducted on Saturday, March 14th in a ceremony at the Gala Awards Banquet at the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Bands of America Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have had a positively life-changing impact on Music for All’s Bands of America programs and music education. 2015 inductees were announced in the evening of Saturday, November 15th, during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Music for All will induct these newest members into the Bands of America Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 14, 2015. They will be permanently recognized in the Bands of America Hall of Fame at Music for All’s Indianapolis headquarters, along with all the BOA Hall of Fame members inducted since the first in 2003.

Remo D. Belli

Remo D. Belli is the Founder of Remo Percussion Products and a long-time Bands of America supporter and sponsor. Belli founded Remo, Inc. in 1957 and continues to serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Remo, Inc. offers drumheads and related products. Its products include drum sets, world percussion, ergo-drum systems, educational products, kids’ instruments, sound shapes, crown percussion, and accessories. The company offers its products through dealers internationally. Remo, Inc. was founded in 1957 and is based in Valencia, California. For over 50 years, Remo has constantly and consistently broken new ground when it comes to industry firsts.

Remo, Inc. and its founder and namesake have been a sponsor and supporter of Bands of America and music education for more than two decades. Beyond creation of the world’s finest drumheads and other percussion and rhythm accessories, Mr. Belli and his company explore and lead the connection between human healing, wellness and therapeutic mind and body rhythm.

Richard L. Saucedo

Richard L. Saucedo is Director of Bands and Department Chairman (Emeritus) at the William H. Duke Center for the Performing Arts at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana, having retired in 2013 after 31 years of public school teaching. Under his direction, Carmel bands received numerous state and national honors in the areas of concert band, jazz band and marching band. Under his direction, the Carmel Wind Symphony has performed three times at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, performed at the Midwest Clinic and was named an Indiana State Champion. The Carmel Marching Band finished in the top ten at the Bands of America Grand National Championship for 15 consecutive years and was named BOA National Champions in 2005 and 2012. His marching bands were Indiana Class A State Champions four times and he was named Indiana Bandmasters Association’s “Bandmaster of the Year” for 1999 and “Outstanding Music Educator” for the state of Indiana in 2010, by the Indiana Music Educators Association.

Mr. Saucedo remains active and engaged with Bands of America and Music for All serving as an Educational Consultant, Coordinator for MFA’s jazz programming and a Chief Judge for Bands of America fall programs.

Mark Jolesch

Mark Jolesch revolutionized the art of group and candid event photography for scholastic marching bands. As founder of Jolesch Photography and its successor Jolesch Enterprises, Mark and his companies have been capturing images and providing life-long commemoratives of Bands of America events since 1982. Through the years, Mark and his organizations have captured more than a million group and candid images of Bands of America participants and events that literally “tell the story” of scholastic band in America. His success at Bands of America events was the springboard that launched and made Mark Jolesch and Jolesch Enterprises the leading national group photographer for high school bands, collegiate ensembles, colorguard, percussion and drum corps.

Mark’s contributions to Bands of America go well beyond the capturing and distribution of cherished photographic commemoratives. The Mark Jolesch Scholarship at Grand Nationals has meaningfully contributed to the education and training of young men and women who are today successful music educators. In addition to these contributions, Mark and his team have been fiscal, operational and strategic contributors to Music for All’s and Bands of America growth and development as an organization.

Dr. Nicholas Valenziano

Dr. Nicholas Valenziano is the Former Executive Director and Director of Education for Marching Bands of America and was instrumental in developing Bands of America’s presence in its early years.

In 1978, Dr. Nicholas Valenziano succeeded Gary Beckner, becoming (Marching) Bands of America’s second Executive Director. Nick came to Marching Bands of America in 1975 as its first Educational Director and served in that role until his elevation to Executive Director, a position he held until 1981. A childhood friend and band mate of BOA founder Larry McCormick, Nick “bought into” Larry’s dream that is Bands of America. His presence and engagement provided leadership, legitimacy and character to the vision, without which foundation might call into question Bands of America’s and Music for All’s survival and evolution through the years.
Dr. Nick Valenziano received his Bachelor of Music degree from DePaul University, a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Missouri. In addition to his work at Bands of America, he spent more than 35 years as a music educator at the elementary, high school, and college levels and twelve years in the music industry, before he retired in 2001. A consummate musician, Nick remains active as a professional player and conductor in his “retirement” home of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Thank you to Scott Lang for sharing this BIG announcement!

Side note...

I am not sure of you can begin with a side note. Wait, it’s my post and I can begin it with any note I want. How about a Bb? (Trust me, that was much funnier in my head.)

In the article below you are going to read about a HUGE project my team and I are working on. This project is on a scale that exceeds the scope of what we could do on our own. So we went looking for some help, and not just a little help, but a LOT of help.

Before you read about the project, I want you to know that there were seven companies that stepped up in a big way to help fund this incredible endeavor. They didn’t ask if they would make money. They did not ask about what they would get out of it. They did not ask about logo placement. The only question they asked was, “How can we help?”

Being a music teacher can be an overwhelming experience. There is too much to do and never enough time. There are a sea of kids and no adults to help. We want you to know that we are here to help. We want you to know that we have seven friends who have your back too. Next time you hear that corporations don’t have feelings, let me introduce you to my friends.



We're going to recruit and retain 1,000,000 kids in music!

Whew, that felt good to get off my chest.

bpotm logo 1A couple of weeks ago, we said that we had a secret. A secret so big that we were dying to tell, but just couldn’t. Well, it’s not a secret anymore.

Nearly four years after it’s first inception, we are proud to announce that Be Part of the Band has come full circle and is becoming Be Part of the Music, a K-12, cross-curricular (band/choir/orchestra) recruitment and retention solution. This audacious project hopes to replicate the successes achieved with band in all curricular areas (choir/band/orchestra) while also increasing the retention rate from grade to grade.

The project will begin production this summer, and our goal is to have the first components available for the start of school next year. The complete roll out will take a few years, but trust us when we say that we are already hard at work. As with Be Part of the Band, these materials will be available FREE of charge and available to download on the web.

We could not have done this without the generous support of our corporate partners (listed alphabetically) at the American String Teachers Association, Jupiter Instruments, Music for All, NAfME, St. Louis Music and Yamaha. Without their support we simply could not be doing this.

Next time you buy an instrument, or pay your dues, know that you are also supporting this incredible project. We are not completely funded yet, but with their support we know that we can and will get there. If there is someone you think we should be talking to, contact us and let us know.

There will be more information in the coming months, but for now, as you are in the midst of your recruiting and registration process, know that there are a lot of people and companies by your side and rooting for you, because without you, your students would never know what it’s like to Be Part of the Music.

Hope our little announcement has helped to make your day a little brighter. Have a great rest of the week.

Scott Lang signautre

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