The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

News (304)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Investing in the Power of Music

Invest In MFA

More student musicians were impacted by MFA's programming this year than ever and we hope to serve more in 2017. However, as a non-profit, our ability to serve a growing number of students depends on our ability to fund the activities that make it possible. These activities go beyond participation fees, which is why we're asking you to invest in Music for All and the power of music. Will you support our 2017 education and advocacy efforts by investing $10, $15, or $20 today?

Your investment will give us the resources needed to bring the power of music to more students - especially those in underserved communities.


Midwest Blog

If you're heading to Chicago for the Midwest Clinic this week, we hope you'll stop by the Music for All booth #1325. We will have the 2017 Bands of America Championship Schedule and Application, 2017 Music for All Summer Symposium promotional materials, and application packets for the 2018 Music for All National Festival! (and of course a lot of smiles and hellos for all of our friends!)

In addition to stopping by to see us, we hope you'll catch some of these great clinics and presentations that are happening throughout the week. We've compiled a list below of sessions that are being presented by friends of Music for All!


Chat Room: Program Management and Booster Volunteers
11:30AM - 12:00PM Room 375D
David Vandewalker

Clinic: Generation Next
Designing Total Program Success

1:15PM - 2:15PM Room W185
Bobby Lambert and Jeff Young

Clinic: If I Knew Then What I Know Now?
1:15PM - 2:15PM Room W183
Tim Lautzenheiser

Clinic: Inspired Teaching: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue!
1:15PM - 2:15PM Room W184
Peter Boonshaft

Clinic: Directors Icons Panel: Reflections of the Past; Thought About the Future
4:00pm - 5:00pm Room W185
Alfred Watkins, John Casagrande, John Thomson, Paula Crider



Chat Room: The Art of Teaching and Making Music
10:30AM - 11:00AM Room 375D
Richard Floyd

Clinic - Generation Next
Rehearsing the High School Band: Valuable Lessons from Extraordinary Directors
12:00PM - 1:00PM  Room W185
Stephen Meyer, Gary Markham, Roy Holder, Bill Watson, David Vandewalker

Clinic - Music Administration Collaborative
The Dreams of Our Founding Fathers and Creating A World of Music for All
12:00PM - 1:00pm Room W186
Robert Morrison

Clinic: The Dark Side of Tradition: Strategies for Eliminating Hazing and Bullying in the School Band Program
1:30PM - 2:30PM  Room W179
Patrick Dunnigan

Clinic: Finding The Perfect Fit: Beginning Band Recruitment and the Instrument Fitting Process
3:00PM - 4:00PM Room W181
Wendy Higdon



Clinic: An Interview with Colonel Arnald Gabriel
8:30AM - 9:30AM Room W185
Arnald D. Gabriel and Tim Lautzenheiser

Clinic: The Jazz Combo: An Inside View
8:30AM - 9:30AM Room W196
Steve Houghton

Chat Room: Growing the Program in Numbers and Musical Quality
9:00AM - 9:30AM Room 375D
Freddy Martin

Chat Room: Culture Setting
10:30AM - 11:00AM Room 375D
Alfred Watkins

Clinic: Small Schools Initiative
Voicing and Re-voicing YOUR Band's Success!
10:30AM - 11:30AM Room W183
Robert W. Smith

Clinic: The Woman as Band Director: Cultivating Success on and off the Podium
12:00PM - 1:00PM Room W185
Kim Shuttlesworth and Catharine Sinon Bushman, Courtney Snyder, Elizabeth Peterson, Nicki Sawel, Cynthia Johnston Turner

Chat Room: Beginning with Beginners
12:30PM - 1:00PM Room 375D
Cheryl Floyd

Chat Room: Composer Robert W. Smith
2:30PM - 3:00PM Room 375D
Robert W. Smith

Clinic: Marching Band/Concert Band: It's All Band - Using Every Opportunity To Teach Good Fundamental Playing Skills
3:00PM - 4:00PM Room W185
Andrew Seally, Greg Bimm, Joel L. Denton, John Miller, Roy Holder


We hope you'll check out one of the above sessions, and many of the other sessions and incredible concerts during the Midwest Clinic. For a full schedule visit Clinic times may change from when we gathered the information listed above, so make sure that you check the Midwest official schedule before you head to a session. Maybe even check out the newly updated Midwest Clinic app so you can check out the schedule on the go! Information about the app, and how to download, can be found on the Midwest Clinic website.


Here are details on the Visitation and Celebration Services for Tommy Smith of Houston, Texas, beloved Bands of America volunteer.

Visitation Service :
Monday Dec. 5 from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. 
Settegast-Kopf Funeral Home
15015 Southwest Freeway
Sugar Land TX 77478

Celebration Service:
Tuesday Dec. 6
12 p.m.-1 p.m. Visitation
1 p.m. Celebration Service

Living Word Lutheran Church
3700 South Mason Road
Katy, TX 77450

Reception to follow.

From the family: In lieu of flowers please consider donating to the programs that were most important to Tommy:

Bands Of America
Houston Golf Association
First Tee of Houston
The ARC of Fort Bend County
Carolina Crown
Houston Rodeo Association
Wakeland High School Band

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 Tommy Smith, back row, left, with some of his fellow 2016 Bands of America Grand National Volunteers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Grand National Anthem Choir

Written by


In celebration of the launch of the Music for All National Choir Festival in 2018, Music for All hosted the first massed-choir to perform the National Anthem that opened the Saturday evening Finals of the Bands of America Grand National Championships, conducted by Henry Leck, Artistic Director of the National Choir Festival.

Music for All thanks National Choir Festival Coordinators Lori Lobsiger and Kim Mann for coordinating this special massed-choir, and the students and choir directors from the following schools:

  • Homestead H.S., Fort Wayne, IN – Curtis Shaw, Director
  • Little Miami H.S., Morrow, OH – Sarah Baker, Director
  • Indian Hill H.S., Cincinnati, OH – Jeff Clark, Director
  • Herron H.S., Indianapolis, IN – Jonathan Harris, Scott Riley, Directors
  • Indianapolis Youth Chorale, Indianapolis, IN – Mary Evers, Director

Video of the Performance

The choir sang the Alfred Publication, SATB Star Spangled Banner arrangement by Russ Robinson, under the direction of Henry Leck, founder of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and Music for All Educational Consultant. It was a truly incredible performance that impressed the audience and certainly introduced choir to the Music for All family in a perfect way.






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Congratulations to Mr. Thom Hannum, Associate Director of the Minuteman Marching Band, and the Director of the Marimba Bandand Marimba Ensemble program at the University of Massachusett, who is the 2016 recipient of the George N. Parks Leadership in Music Education award. Mr. Hannum received the award during the opening finals ceremonies at the 2016 Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha on November 12.

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


Thom Hannum has long been regarded as one of the nation’s foremost percussion arrangers, instructors, and clinicians having presented numerous seminars and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Thom teaches at the University of Massachusetts where he serves as the Associate Director of the Minuteman Marching Band, and the Director of the Marimba Band and Marimba Ensemble program. In 2009, Mr. Hannum was recognized by the university, receiving the prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award.

He is a product consultant and clinician for the Avedis Zildjian Cymbal Company and Vic Firth Sticks & Mallets where he has developed several Signature Series drumsticks and keyboard mallets. Thom is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society where he serves on the Marching Percussion Committee.

Mr. Hannum is currently on the design team and the percussion director for the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. He is also known for his work with the DCI World Champion Cadets of Bergen County and Star of Indiana, and is a member of the design team for the Tony and Emmy Award Winning show "Blast!" In the summer of 2001, Mr. Hannum was selected for induction into the DCI Hall of Fame, and in 2008, was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. Mr. Hannum is also a member of The Cadets and the Crossmen Hall of Fame.

Parks Award 3

Prior recipients:

2015 Patrick M. Erwin
Director of Bands at Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, GA

2014 Cynthia Napierkowski
Director of Bands at Salem High School in Salem, MA

2013 Dr. Barry Shepherd
Superintendent of Cabarrus County Schools, NC

2012 Daniel Kirk
Blue Valley West, KS

2011 Dr. Peter Boonshaft
Hofstra University


The Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster Award recognizes the extraordinary commitment, dedication, support and sacrifice of music parents and boosters across the nation by shining a spotlight on a recipient 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 2016 Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster award was awarded to Robert Edwards of Fort Mill, SC.


Booster Award

Each year, Music for All honors a band parent, booster, or volunteer who selflessly gives their time and support to a band program. The people we honor come from a variety of different backgrounds, and each has a unique story to tell. However, what they all have in common is that we can truly consider them to be our heroes. For over 30 years, devoted father, grandfather, and husband Robert (Bob) Edwards has been Fort Mill H.S. Band’s hero. Since his three daughters began with the marching band starting in 1983, Mr. Edwards has been a pivotal figure with the program. With a background in engineering, it only makes sense that Mr. Edwards is the primary design and construction coordinator for the props used in Fort Mill Band’s shows. From designing giant Christmas trees to the New York skyline, to flawlessly solving technical issues, his commitment is tireless. Between director changes and campus changes, Mr. Edwards has always remained a constant source of dedication. A former member of the Fort Mill Band revealed that Mr. Edwards is at the school working most of the day on different jobs for the band, and returns later on in the evening to help the other parent volunteers.

Mr. Edwards gives the students a peace of mind and makes sure they are taken care of. His dedication and commitment certainly do not go unnoticed. “He has a certain way of fixing things and building things, and whenever I know he’s worked on props or something for our show, I’m pretty confident it will go pretty smoothly whenever we use them,” a student stated. 

“Bob Edwards is a unique band dad. He has been at this since the 1980s, and you always see him coming here early to set things up. He’s our go-to engineer, and if you need something to be fixed, he’s our guy to call on,” stated one of his grandsons in the band. Yes, you read that correctly. Mr. Edwards doesn’t have just one grandson; he has four that are currently in the Fort Mill Marching Band, with one of them being the head drum major. His commitment extends beyond the marching season, as he has helped repair and build equipment for the indoor percussion and winter guards. Mr. Edwards also helps wherever it is absolutely needed, from replacing door knobs in the band room and repairing instruments, to volunteering at the Fort Mill Playhouse and going on missionary trips with his Church. He has also been a part of a fundraiser since 2012, that helps collect, sort, dismantle and load over 50,000 pounds of scrap metal per year.

Often described as generous, selfless, with an energetic spirit, he is loved by his grandsons and the rest of the students, with whom he has loved and cared
for like they were his own. So to Mr. Edwards, thank you for showing what it means to be dedicated to advocating music for all.

Award Winners Past and Present Mr. Edwards pictured with past Parent/Booster Award Winners

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.

Adapted to an indoor performance and clinic experience

Due to extreme weather conditions from Typhoon Songda, the Bands of America Regional Championship at Hillsboro on Saturday, October 15 has been adapted to an immersion experience indoors, where bands will perform for each other, receive independent clinics with all judges, and enjoy a Bands of America Leadership Experience with John Pollard and Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser.

The event will be held inside at:

Prairie High School
11311 NE 119th St.
Vancouver, Washington

The Eastside Catholic H.S. and Mead H.S. Marching Bands will present standstill performances of their shows and participate in an immersive clinic and leadership experience.

Parents and fans are welcome to attend the performances and observe the clinics. Spectators will be admitted free of charge - first-come, first-served - on a “space available” basis. Bands of America’s Official Merchandise Company, PepWear, will be onsite with commemorative souvenirs.


11:30 AM - Doors Open

12:00 PM - Eastside Catholic H.S. Marching Band, WA
12:30-1:30 PM - Clinic

2:45 PM - Mead H.S. Marching Band, WA
3:15-4:15 PM - Clinic

Awards Ceremony

4:30-5:30 PM - The Bands of America Leadership Experience with John Pollard and Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser

Other bands scheduled to perform were unable to attend due to disallowed school travel, due to the extreme weather.

There will be no live stream of this indoor event.

Music for All thanks Barbara Kujava and Prairie High School for their cooperation and help to move the event. Thanks also to the bands, teachers, staff, parents, and boosters of the bands enrolled in the Bands of America Regional at Hillsboro for their support.

Pinnacle Logo Winner 2016

Music for All was recognized with 12 Awards at the International Festivals and Events Association convention, on September 27. Each year, the International Festivals & Events Association recognizes outstanding accomplishments, and top quality creative, promotional, operational, and community outreach programs; and materials produced by festivals and events around the world.

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This prestigious awards competition strives for the highest degree of excellence in festival and event promotions and operations, and in doing so, has raised the standards and quality of the festivals and events industry to new levels.

Music for All 2016 IFEA Pinnacle Awards

View the list of all of Music for All's 2016 winning award entries, and click on the photos to view the entries.

Gold – Best Event/Organization E-Newsletter
Daily Buzz, Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha

Screen Shot 2016 10 04 at 2.01.55 PM Screen Shot 2016 10 04 at 2.02.18 PM Screen Shot 2016 10 04 at 2.02.41 PM

Gold – Best Event/Organization Newsletter
Music for All Newsletter

OrchestraNewsCover MsNewsCover HsNewsCover

Gold – Best Street Banner
Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha

Street Banners

Gold – Best Educational Program
Orchestra Division, Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha


Silver – Best Event/Organization E-Newsletter
Music for All E-Newsletter

FebEnews MarchEnewsAprilEnews

Silver – Best Festival/Event Mobile Application
Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha


Silver – Best Promotional Brochure
Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha

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Silver – Best Event Promotional Photograph
Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha

Photo by Jolesch Enterprises

Silver – Best New Promotion Activity
Quick Tips Campaign, Music for All Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha


Silver – Best Event (Within an Existing Festival)
Middle School Concert Band Camp at the Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha


Bronze – Best Event Promotional Photograph
Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha

Photo by Jolesch Enterprises

Bronze – Best Sponsor Partner
Yamaha Corporation of America


Sponsored by industry leader Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, the professional competition draws entries from among the world’s top festivals and events. Winning entries came from organizations as diverse as the Saint Louis Art Fair, St. Louis, MO; the Fiesta Bowl, Scottsdale, AZ; the International Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, DC; the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Pasadena, CA; the Sausalito Art Festival, Sausalito, CA; Memphis in May International Festival, Memphis, TN and Celebrations Ottawa in Ottawa, ON, Canada.

International contenders included such diverse event organizations as Destination NSW in Sydney, Australia; Ludwig Van Beethoven Easter Festival in Krakow, Poland; Cuckoo Events, Dublin, Ireland; Rotterdam Festivals, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Festival Lent, Maribor, Slovenia and the Boryeong Mud Festival in Boryeong, South Korea.

Awards were handed out in 68 different categories in total including Best TV Promotion; Social Media Site; Commemorative Poster; Overall Sponsorship Program; Green Program; Educational Program, Children’s Programming; Media Relations Campaign; Overall Merchandising Program, and many more.

“We would like to congratulate all of our Pinnacle winners for their outstanding entries into this year’s competition,” said IFEA President & CEO, Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE.

“The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and top quality creative, promotional, operational and community outreach programs and materials produced by festivals and events around the world. Striving for the highest degree of excellence in festival and event promotions and operations in every budget level and every corner of the globe, this competition has not only raised the standards and quality of the festivals and events industry to new levels, but also shows how event producers can use innovation and creativity to achieve a higher level of success.”

Music pumps us up, and winds us down.
It’s the rhythm we set as we plod through a hard run,
And the tinkling laughter of our loved ones.

ballstate image72dpi

Whether your students aspire to a musical career, or they simply love music and the camaraderie it brings, Ball State University has what they need.

Music for All is proud to have Ball State University as a Corporate Sponsor, and host of our Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha, each June.

Consider the 65-member Ball State Symphony Orchestra, which routinely sends members to play with the local, professional Muncie Symphony Orchestra. Or if your students prefer a raucous route, the “Pride of Mid-America” Marching Band and Ball State Basketball Band are among beloved options that will get their blood pumping.

Students can audition for a spot with the Ball State University Singers, Indiana’s Official Goodwill Ambassadors, so named by the Indiana General Assembly. Or join the Statesmen or Women’s Chorus, open to any singer, no audition required.

In all, there are more than a dozen performance groups for Ball State students.

For students who see a career in music as their life’s chosen path, the School of Music offers five majors and eight minors for undergraduates, plus two master’s degrees, a doctor of arts, and an artist diploma. Bachelor’s degree programs require auditions, in addition to applying to the university. Students have until January 6, 2017, to reserve an audition and can find guidelines at

At Ball State, students can get involved, feed their spirit, fuel their imagination, and set that journey to music.

Learn more by visiting or call 765-285-5400.


Music for All is proud to announce its partnership with FloSports and the launch of FloMarching, a new site dedicated to covering the world of competitive marching bands and the marching arts.

Beginning this fall, FloMarching will live stream all 21 Bands of America marching band championships, including all Regionals, Super Regionals, and Grand Nationals, America’s the largest and most prestigious national high school marching band event. In addition to live streaming and event coverage, FloMarching will produce an educational series designed to enhance and compliment Music for All's educational programming.

The live streams will be available to FloPRO monthly or yearly subscribers.

"We are delighted to partner with FloSports, a leader in live sports production and storytelling, to further our vision of affording every child across America the access and opportunity to engage in active music-making in an educational environment,” Music for All President and CEO Eric Martin said. “This endeavor combines Music for All's decades-long leading-position in school music education and performance opportunities with FloSports' pioneering approach in media. Our partnership will allow us to tell our participants’ stories and expand our vision to a vastly larger and broader audience.”

“We’re proud to launch FloMarching and announce our partnership with an outstanding organization in Music for All,” FloSports co-founder and CEO Martin Floreani said. “There's a massive, passionate community that already exists here. We’re excited to help grow their sport and feed their passion with a level of coverage that’s simply unprecedented in marching arts.”

In addition to its event coverage, FloMarching will produce original documentaries on the marching arts elite ensembles, designers, educators and performers, as well as technique videos from expert instrumentalists and marching instructors.