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The Music for All Blog

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We are proud to announce that we have officially confirmed Burgess-Snow Field at Jacksonville State University for the 2015 Bands of America Regional at Jacksonville.

The Regional Championship will be on Saturday, October 10th.

We hope to see you at the Jacksonville Regional Championship!

See the full 2015 schedule.

Enroll today.Enroll today.

The Music for All Foundation awards several scholarships annually. During the Grand National Championships, Finals Opening Ceremonies several students were presented with college tuition scholarship awards. These scholarships were established to contribute to the future of music and music education by honoring the achievements of outstanding graduating seniors who intend to pursue collegiate study as a music major.

Congratulations to Craig Hatter, Lake Park High School in Roselle, Illinois who was awarded the $1,000 Yamaha Scholarship. The scholarship was presented by John Wittmann, Director of Artist Relations and Education at Yamaha Corporation of Ameria Band and Orchestra Division.

Yamaha Scholarship

Congratulations to Grace Schebler, Davenport Central High School in Davenport, Iowa who was awarded the $2,000 Fred J. Miller Memorial Music Education scholarship. The scholarship was presented by Marlene Miller, President and CEO of Fred J. Miller, Incorporated

FJM 2k Scholarship

Congratulations to Melissa O'Hara, Bellbrook High School in Dayton, Ohio who was awarded the $1,000 Fred J. Miller Family Scholarship. The scholarship was presented by Marlene Miller, President and CEO of Fred J. Miller, Incorporated

FJM 1K Scholarshio

Music for All’s efforts to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences include awarding a number of scholarships each year. For more information about MFA’s scholarships click here.

The Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award annually recognizes the extraordinary commitment, dedication, support and sacrifice of music parents and boosters around the world by shining a spotlight on an individual who exemplifies these qualities.

The award is named in honor of Patrick John Hughes, the father of Patrick Henry Hughes. Patrick Henry is a remarkable young man who, despite physical challenges that would seem overwhelming to many, has excelled as a musician and student, singing and playing piano and trumpet with the Louisville Marching and Pep Bands, with the help of his father, who tirelessly maneuvers his son’s wheelchair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band

On Friday night during Grand Nationals the 2014 Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster award was awarded to Tom Meyer, of Blue Springs, Missouri.

Meyer Stephens JR1 4243 editedPictured left to right: James Stephens, Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources at Music for All; Mr. Tom Meyer, 2014 Parent/Booster Award Winner

Mr. Meyer’s affiliation with the Blue Springs, Missouri band program began as a student member in the 1980s. In 2000 he returned as a booster, beginning his extraordinary run as a fixture in the band and community.

“Tom Meyer wakes up in the morning pondering what he can do to help the band program,”said Dr. Tim J. Allhouse, the Blue Springs High School Director of Bands.

This devotion has included an incredible level of creativity and above and beyond gestures. He’s donated parking cones to increase the safety of the marching band’s parking lot rehearsal space. He’s provided transportation to the winter guard and assisted with all ensembles--not just those in which his daughters have been involved. And he even got up on a Saturday morning to pitch a tent on the roof of the school so the directors could have shade when observing the band at rehearsal.

His fundraising ideas, efforts, and execution have helped the program fundraise an incredible $50,000 in just one year. From raffles to trivia nights to transforming the marching band festival’s program from a four-page handout to an impressive 44 page professional publication with national sponsors, his ideas have made a direct, visible impact. One of those ideas, a “Drive for UR School”event with a local Ford Dealership, raised $6,000 in one day.

“Mr. Meyer has the ability to unify a group of people and to put teams together quickly to accomplish incredible projects,” said Dr. Allhouse. That ability has won him admiration with his fellow parents and boosters, who praise his enthusiasm and interest in nurturing music programs not just at the high school but the elementary and middle school levels, as well.

MeyerWifeDr.AllshousePictured left to right: Dr. Tim J. Allshouse, Blue Springs H.S. Director of Bands; Mrs. Susan Meyer and Mr. Tom Meyer

“He believes that this support encourages student participation in the arts and helps to make them more active and good at their craft by the time they are in high school,”said Lee Ann Rothmier, who coordinates the school’s annual marching band festival and has worked with Mr. Meyer as he chaired the festival’s fundraising committee.

Even more impressive than the countless hours he spends working with the band program is that he does it while juggling the family business, Meyer Music, a three-store chain his parents opened in Blue Springs in the 1960s that he now owns with his two siblings. He has utilized the music store as a way to further aid music students and families through Band of Angels, a program that refurbishes donated instruments and matches them with students in need who otherwise could not participate in band. In the program’s first year over 300 instruments were collected and matched, and applications continue to pour in from parents and band directors.

all winners mfa staffPictured left to right: Eric Martin, President and CEO of Music for All; Dr. Tim J. Allshouse, Blue Springs HS Director of Bands;  Charlie Broach, 2010 Parent/Booster Award Winner; Tom Meyer, 2014 Parent/Booster Award Recipient; Susan Meyer; Dick Zentner, 2013 Parent/Booster Award Winner; PJ Littleton, 2012 Parent/Booster Award Winner; James Stephens, Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources at Music for All

But it doesn’t stop there.“Not only has he helped to supply every brass member with a professional quality horn to use in the past 5 years, but he also helps the program by fixing them,”said fellow parent Matt McMahill.“He sacrifices time away from his business every week to selflessly help to keep the band going in the right direction. Plus, in spite of the many, many time consuming things he does for the band program he still keeps the right attitude.”
That attitude and drive is perhaps what individuals admire the most.“It is the extra effort provided by individuals such as Tom Meyer who separates our program from others,”said Mr.
Dave Adams, principal of the Blue Springs High School.“He is willing to do whatever job, no matter how big or small. He is vital as a main organizer of our Band of America Marching Band Festival that is one of the largest and most successful in this region. All this extra work and effort is done with such a positive attitude and goodness because he loves what our music program provides for our students. He believes fervently that the benefits of being involved are the best for our kids and he wants to provide an outstanding opportunity for everyone involved.”

“Tom Meyer is the real deal,”said Dr. Allhouse.“ He is one in a million, has a heart of gold and truly exemplifies the servant heart. The Blue Springs Golden Regiment is a better organization because of his influence and we will be forever grateful for all he has selflessly given to the band. Generations to come will benefit from Mr. Meyer’s kindness.”

 View Parent/Booster Ceremony Video

Read more about Patrick John Hughes and his family and the Parent/Booster Award and find out how to nominate the exceptional parent or booster in your music program here.

George Parks Blog Post1Pictured left to right: Ms. Cynthia Napierkowski, Award Recipient, Ms. Nancy Ditmer, Immediate Past President of the National Association for Music Education

Congratulations to Ms. Cynthia Napierkowski, Director of Bands at Salem High School in Salem, Massachusetts, who is the 2014 recipient of the George N. Parks Leadership in Music Education award. Ms. Napierkowski received the award during the opening finals ceremonies at the 2014 Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha on November 15.

Developed by NAfME, the National Association for Music Education and Music for All, the award is named for George N. Parks (1953–2010), director of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1977 until his death, and honors an exemplary music educator who embodies the characteristics and leadership that Mr. Parks personified.

Learn more about the George N. Parks Leadership in Education Award

About Ms. Cynthia Napierkowski

GeorgeparksAwardBlog2Ms. Cynthia Napierkowski and her family, with Ms. Nancy Ditmer, Immediate Past President of the National Association for Music Education

Ms. Cynthia Napierkowski has been a tireless devotee to her students and music arts for 28 years, creating a lasting impact as an outstanding educator in the Salem, Mass. community and garnering national attention as one of School Band and Orchestra magazine’s 2013 50 Directors
Who Make a Difference.

While her focus lies in band and instrumental music, she has been a champion for all music students and programs. She is known for her tireless fundraising efforts to support music arts in the district, and she works to ensure the accessibility of music in all forms to students, even when scheduling conflicts might otherwise keep them out of music activities. Her belief in shaping well-rounded students means it’s not a rare sight to see football players marching in the half-time show or choir members also playing in the band.

But the accessibility doesn’t stop at scheduling. As a bluecollar community with a significant free and reduced lunch rate, not all of Salem’s students are able to cover expenses. Ms. Napierkowski has been known to contribute out of pocket to help students make ends meet and attend trips they weren’t able to fundraise on their own. She’s given music lessons for free and makes sure her students are taken care of outside the classroom.

“She knows where the kids live and what their home situations are like to know when they may need extra help, not only with getting to or from music practice but also every-day issues like needing a pair of gloves in the winter,” said parent Christine MacTaylor, whose two children have both been impacted by Ms. Napierkowski.

“While Cyndi encourages students to always improve musically, I do not see this as her main focus with the students at all,” Ms. MacTaylor said. “For my daughter, who was insecure, Cyndi helped to push beyond her comfort zone where she could discover how introverts can still be leaders. For my son, who is not shy but has a muscle disorder, she helps encourage him to vary his skill set since his technical skills are being challenged enough just to participate.”

Ms. Napierkowski aims to instill in students that giving their best is what is important, encouraging them to grow not just as musicians but as individuals. Service is encouraged in her
classroom, whether service leadership to fellow students or throughout the community.

It’s no surprise that Ms. Napierkowski has been described as full of energy – no easy feat for an educator with an extensive schedule. She’s often found at school well into the evening and for hours on Saturday, taking one-on-one meetings with students and working with the various band ensembles. She still finds time for additional obligations, including parades, competitions, concerts and trips.

Her personal philosophy toward teaching further illustrates just how dedicated she is not just to music education but to her students. “I believe in the Three Ps: Patience, Perseverance, and Passion,” she said. “A former superintendent once called me ‘fiercely loyal’ to my students
and I guess that about sums it up. It’s always about the kids and that’s the way it should be. It’s the only reason to be a teacher; it’s too much work otherwise.”

Official Press Release

Learn more about the George N. Parks Leadership in Education Award

Music for All released corrected scoring and placement results for its October 31- November 1 Bands of America Super Regional at San Antonio. Shortly after the event, we found and recognized that an error had been made in transferring and tabulating a judge’s scoring during the Preliminary Competition. Following investigation and conference with all the affected bands, the organization and participants agreed to correct the scores and outcome to reflect the intent of the affected judge. As a result of this correction, Music for All announces the following corrected results related to its Class 4A competition:

First Place – Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S.
Second Place – Marcus H.S.
Third Place – The Woodlands H.S.

Highest General Effect in Class 4A – Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S.

Corrected recaps for the San Antonio Regional can be found online at

Music for All apologizes to all the bands and band families affected by this error in tabulation. It also expresses gratitude to the directors of the affected bands and sincere appreciation for their commitment to ensuring and validating the integrity of Bands of America results and their commitment to full and complete disclosure.

Music for All remains committed to its mission to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences for all participants and has taken steps necessary to amend its protocols to prevent this type of error in the future.

Congratulations to all the participating bands and to all those in attendance at the Super Regional.

Urgent update for parents, boosters and fans attending the Bands of America Super Regional Championship in San Antonio, Oct. 31-Nov. 1

Music for All was recently informed (late last week) that the City of San Antonio municipal ticket surcharge from the Alamodome had increased (effective October 18, 2014) from $1.00 per ticket to $4.00 per ticket. This increase will be in effect for the BOA Super Regional this weekend, increasing previously announced single session ticket prices by $3.00 per ticket. Super Tickets (all sessions) will increase by $9 per ticket. A $1.00 per ticket fee was already included in announced Super Regional pricing.

Our (Music for All/BOA) pricing has not changed. Additional amounts being charged are San Antonio municipal fees levied by city ordinance and entirely out of our control. Initially, we were told the fees would not apply this year, however today, even after we presented contractual and detrimental reliance objections, we were informed the new municipal surcharges would be in effect. We apologize for the inconvenience and economic impact on you and your families.

The Music for All website,, will be offline for several hours starting shortly after 3 p.m. ET, Friday, October 3, for maintenance.

We are making improvements to the site that we expect will correct issues we've had the past two weekends with the site not loading during peak traffic times.

You can keep up on any breaking news and Bands of America Championship updates by following us on Twitter @bandsofamerica and on Facebook at Bands of America.

We apologize for any convenience and expect that this maintenance will provided a much better visit experience!


Music for All announced yesterday that the U.S. Army has partnered with Music for All (MFA)/Bands of America to educate young musicians, band directors, educators, parents and others about the unique opportunities to serve in the Army.

Saturday, September 20, members of the U.S. ARMY will be on site at the Bands of America Regional Championship at Papa John’s Stadium in Louisville. Students can participate in special U.S. Army challenges and activities created just for them at the BOA Louisville Championship. If you’re attending the event, please visit the area located at the northwest corner* of the stadium, just under the stands near the band entrance gate. See the locator map at the bottom of this page.

The U.S. ARMY Challenge area will be open throughout the event until the start of Finals, including the break between Prelims and Finals.

Be sure to visit to learn more about scholarships and hundreds of career opportunities available in the U.S. Army.

** Location pending, check on site for any location changes.

Louisville Army Challenge Locator


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

U.S. Army partners with Music for All

Written by

U.S. Army partners with Music for All to encourage consideration of Army service
Pilot program engages musicians and educators to explore career and scholarship opportunities

As part of a new pilot program, the U.S. Army has partnered with Music for All (MFA)/Bands of America to educate young musicians, band directors, educators, parents and others about the unique opportunities to serve in the Army.

Through the partnership, the Army will support nine championship events across the country this marching band season, reaching approximately 75,000 competitors from 27 states and more than 170,000 event attendees. Each event will feature an interactive Army Strong Zone display where student band members and other attendees can test their mental agility, critical thinking skills, and knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Based on their performance, students are matched to potential Army careers where they can learn more about the Army and scholarship opportunities.

“The Army is proud to partner with this outstanding organization that shares our commitment to motivate, educate, train and develop today’s youth to be our future leaders, decision-makers and active citizens,” said Mark Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing. “As a former bandsman myself, I know the dedication, teamwork and technical expertise required for a successful band. These talented young musicians possess a similar set of strengths to Army Soldiers and embody the Army’s core values. They demonstrate a loyalty to each other and are willing to work hard memorizing music and drills, while balancing academics. We look forward to working together through this sponsorship.”

U.S. Army Soldiers and Army Band members will be on site to perform, interact with participants and present several awards at the following MFA/Bands of America events, culminating with the Bands of America Grand National Championship event in November.

•    Sept. 20: Bands of America Regional Championships (Louisville, Ky.)
•    Oct. 4: Bands of America Regional Championships (Denton, Texas)
•    Oct. 11: Bands of America Regional Championships (Jacksonville, Ala.)
•    Nov. 12-15: Bands of America Grand National Championships Expo (Indianapolis, Ind.)

“It is an honor to partner with the U.S. Army and is a positive way to expand our commitment to help educate, enlighten, and inspire the next generation of America’s leaders through music and the arts," said Eric L. Martin, president and chief executive officer of Music for All. “The Army recognizes the positive skills students gain from participating in music education, which translate into successful futures, whether they choose to pursue careers in music or not.”

For more information on the Army, visit, or follow the Army on Twitter @goarmy, Facebook ( and goarmy Google+.

Download Official Press Release here.

Stephens JamesMusic for All has added a new professional, James P. Stephens, to its Indianapolis staff, as Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources. Stephens joins Music for All having most recently served as a music educator for one of the nation’s most respected scholastic music programs, at Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma.

Music for All uniquely combines regional and national music-event programming with awareness and advocacy efforts aimed at expanding access to music in schools and communities, including Indianapolis.

The Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources is a new position created to meet key organizational objectives and initiatives. This high-level management position will develop and implement the organization’s existing and new scholastic music-related arts advocacy initiatives. The position will also work with and assist the organization’s educational team as it develops, recommends and crafts organizational initiatives, ensuring the organization’s events and programs support and reflect its high educational standards and commitment.

“As the Music for All vision continues to broaden, Mr. Stephens will be a wonderful and valued asset to the staff. Advocacy is paramount to music education and he will provide needed insight and direction,” stated Gary Markham, Senior Music for All Educational Consultant. “Additionally, he has the background, energy and experience to help facilitate and expand all of MFA’s educational initiatives. The Education Team and I are tremendously excited to work with him for a bright future.”

As an educator, Stephens worked closely and passionately with Music for All at various programs and events and has served on the faculty at the Music for All Summer Symposium.

Prior to joining Music for All, Stephens was the former Associate Director of Bands at Broken Arrow High School where he taught since 2006. Stephens’ teaching responsibilities included three concert bands, music theory and assistant marching band director for the Pride of Broken Arrow. While at Broken Arrow, the marching band was named the Bands of America Grand National Champion twice (in 2011 and 2006), was a seven-time national finalist at the Bands of America Grand National Championships, and was presented with the prestigious Sudler Shield of Excellence by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The marching band performed by invitation in the 2009 and 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

Under the direction of Stephens, the Broken Arrow Wind Bands have performed multiple times at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association state conventions and most recently in New York City's renowned Carnegie Hall.

Stephens brings both large and small band program experience, prior to his appointment at Broken Arrow, Stephens taught at Jamestown High School (NY), Marion Local High School (OH) and Mad River Middle School (OH). Bands under Stephens' direction have performed in venues across the United States and have consistently received superior ratings and have been awarded numerous honors in concert and marching venues.


Download Official Press Release