by Scott Casagrande
Director of Bands, John Hersey H.S., Arlington Heights, IL
and Music for All Educational Consultant
The Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, is the most prestigious festival of its kind in the United States and it continues to improve and grow each and every year.
As a conductor that has had four ensembles perform at the National Concert Band Festival since it's inception in 1992, I can safely say that the experience changed our band program positively each time we performed. In the 24 years of the festival's existence, I have attended all but two of the festivals. Recently, it has been a privilege and honor to be a part of the National Festival and contribute to its growth and impact on scholastic music-making.
Here is "top-ten" list of reasons to consider applying to the National Festival:
10. Your application recording will receive written and recorded feedback from leaders in our profession. Regardless of whether your ensemble is accepted into the National Festival, your application recording will receive taped and written feedback from the best in our business.
9. Indianapolis "rolls out the red carpet" for participating bands. The Music for All National Festival takes over downtown Indianapolis during the week of the event. Several hotels are utilized and music students, as well as their family and friends, fill the beautiful and safe downtown area.
8. A world-class recording of your performance will be provided. Professional recording engineers and producers work tirelessly to produce beautiful keepsakes of this memorable event. The highest quality professional equipment is used to produce these items that are included in your entry fee.
7. This festival is non-competitive once you are accepted. When you arrive in Indianapolis for the National Festival, the atmosphere is immediately supportive of students, conductors and the music-making of each performing ensemble. The competition is to be accepted and that is where the competition ends. There are no ratings or rankings.
6. Master classes with the best performers in the United States are a highlight of the festival. Every student participating in the festival will receive a master class from a world-class performer on their instrument with all of the other students that play their instrument in the festival.
5. All of the performance spaces are world class. Clowes Memorial Hall, Schrott Performing Arts Center, Hilbert Circle Theatre, Warren Center for the Performing Arts, and the Glick Indiana History Center are acoustically wonderful and beautiful spaces for the ensembles that perform.
4. The Opening Session and the Closing Gala Banquet are events that your students will never forget. Sharing the National Festival experience with the best scholastic performing ensembles in the United States will instill a sense of pride and confidence in your students like no other event. All students and directors in the festival, as well as the evaluators and clinicians, come together in one enormous banquet hall for these two events and the energy created in this room is palpable.
3. All of the ensemble evaluators and clinicians are the absolute best in our business. The panel of conductors and educators that contribute to this event are a veritable "who's who" of the music world. They are carefully chosen for their expertise and ability to connect with students and conductors. They travel from all over the United States to be a part of this event. The list of past clinicians and evaluators are indicated on the application.
2. This festival is all about your STUDENTS. The National Festival is 100% focused on creating an environment that inspires your students to love the art of music and to continue music-making when they leave your program. This is not a convention of band directors, orchestra directors, percussionists, etc. It's not a theme-park trip either. This is an event totally devoted and focused on student growth and the development of musical maturity. A secondary (and VERY important) focus of the festival is the growth of directors/conductors through the one-on-one mentoring session following your performance, the Meet the Masters dinner, director social events, and many other opportunities.
1. Your journey to perform the greatest music written will create a musically artistic experience like no other. That's what this festival is about. Enabling your students to create an amazing artistic performance that they will remember for a lifetime with other like-minded students and directors in a nurturing and supportive environment. There is no other event like this in the United States.
If you are interested, go here for more information and the application.
The application deadline for the 2017 Music for All National Festival is June 6, 2016.
We hope that you are interested in becoming a part of the living legacy of the Music for All National Festival.
Feel free to call the Music for All office with any questions regarding this application or event at 800.848.2263.
Pictured left to right: Dr. Jeremy Earnhart, Barry Morgan, and Ayatey Shabazz
Three new members have been elected to the Music for All Board of Directors: Jeremy Earnhart, Bedford, Texas; Barry Morgan, Acworth, Georgia; and Ayatey Shabazz, Biloxi, Mississipi; all with extensive experience within the music community. Music for All’s vision is to be a catalyst to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to participate in active music making in his or her scholastic environment.
“These three individuals bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge in the areas of education and development to the Music for All Board of Directors. The diversity of their experiences and geographic locations represents the breadth of the constituency of this national organization,” says Gayl Doster, Chairman of the Music for All Board of Directors. “Each director displays business and fiscal acumen as well as a love of music. Together they will help us expand opportunities for Music for All as we serve young musicians and their teachers and advocate for the inclusion of music education as part of a complete education for our young people.”
Dr. Jeremy Earnhart currently serves as the Director of Fine Arts for the Arlington, TX Independent School District where he helps educate a student body of 63,500 students in several world-class programs through the musical, visual, and kinesthetic arts. From the years 2009-2013, he was Director of Fine Arts for Irving ISD, TX where student participation in secondary fine arts increased by over 40%. He was also the director of UIL State and Bands of America National Champion L.D. Bell High School Band from 1998-2009.
Dr. Earnhart earned his Bachelor of Music and Masters of Music degrees from the University of North Texas, and holds certification in International Baccalaureate Music, MFA Boas well as a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Dallas Baptist University. He is an active clinician/conductor, adjudicator (including for Bands of America) a published author, and presenter for several staff developments/conferences throughout Texas and the Midwest.
He lives in the DFW Mid-Cities with his wife Gwen, named an elementary music teacher of the year, and daughter Kierstyn.
Barry Morgan J.D. is currently serving his sixth term as Solicitor General of the State Court of Cobb County. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Georgia State University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the John Marshall Law School in Atlanta, Georgia where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Before becoming a prosecutor, Barry served 12 years as a high school, middle school, and elementary school band director with the Cobb County Georgia School District. Morgan continues to remain active in the drum corps community as both an instructor and fan.
Mr. Morgan continues to serve the music community as a lecturer on Legal Responsibilities of Music Teachers for Music for All Summer Symposium, many state conventions, and the 59th and 63rd Annual Midwest Clinic for bands and orchestras in Chicago.
Ayatey Shabazz is a native of Biloxi, Mississippi where he currently works and resides. Shabazz has taught elementary, middle school, and high school band in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region and he has written custom arrangements and field shows performed by high school and college marching ensembles throughout the country, as well as drum corps in Europe. He has also composed a number of original works in the concert idiom.
Mr. Shabazz received his formal training in Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi where he also studied composition and jazz arranging under the direction of Dr. Albert Gower. In addition to his published concert works, he has been commissioned to write multiple works for ensembles in the United States and abroad, as well as music for film and television. Mr. Shabazz is also the Founder, President, and CEO of The Devmusic Company. The Devmusic Company is a global music publishing company with worldwide distribution, that focuses on quality print music for marching bands, concert bands, jazz bands, and percussion ensembles.
He is a member of multiple professional and industry organizations including American Society of Composers Authors & Publishers (ASCAP) and National Association of music Merchants (NAMM).
Music for All President and CEO, Eric L. Martin, Frank Bischoff, Former President and CEO Scott McCormick, and Frank Troyka
Music for All inducted two new members into the Bands of America Hall of Fame: Frank Bischoff and Frank Troyka. These new members were inducted on Saturday, March 10th 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. 2016 inductees were announced during the opening ceremonies of the 2015 Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. 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.
Frank Bischoff has been one of the most familiar faces of Bands of America for more than four decades, serving as the dean of BOA’s front sideline field and timing and penalty management. Frank has been a contributor through the years in the development and evolution of Bands of America’s show operational rules, as we migrated from a posture of rule enforcement to one that emphasizes smooth operations and field management designed to embrace performance creativity in a safe and fair competitive environment.
Frank is a living encyclopedia of Bands of America rules and an active contributor to the BOA’s Adjudication Handbook rules committee. Through his proactive approach of working with bands to comply with the rules while achieving their creative objectives, Frank has helped transform a “historically “got you” role and approach to one that embraces and actualizes our “positively life-changing experience” attitude, and environment.
Frank has been on the field for more than 150 Bands of America Regional and Grand National events, logging more than 2,500 hours of on-field service in support of BOA and the pageantry arts in America. Beyond Bands of America, Frank has also loaned his services and expressed his passion for the marching arts to drum and bugle corps shows and color guard competitions. While he gladly served all over the Midwest for drum corps and color guard contests (including Winter Guard International) in the late 70's and 80's, Frank’s passion has always been for band through his association with Bands of America events (since 1976), the Illinois State University “Band Day” (since 1977), and the Lake Park “Lancer Joust” (since 1981).
Frank Troyka began his career in 1984 as an assistant band director in Richardson, Texas’ Forest Meadow Junior High School and Lake Highlands High School. In 1991, Frank moved to Houston where he taught in the Spring ISD serving as assistant director to Philip Geiger at Westfield High School. In 1999 Frank joined the faculty of Cypress Falls High School in the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD as its Director of Bands. During his year-seven tenure, the Cypress Falls Band was a featured ensemble at The Midwest Clinic, the Music For All National Festival, and was the recipient of the Sudler Flag of Honor. Frank moved back to Richardson in the summer of 2006 when he assumed the role of Director of Bands and Coordinator of Fine Arts at L.V. Berkner High School.
A teacher for over 30 years, Frank Troyka has been a part of and served Bands of America in almost every capacity possible. He has been a participating director in our Fall and Spring events and sent dozens of students to our national and regional summer camp and leadership experiences. He has been a clinician at the Summer Symposium, led the Symposium’s Marching Band track, and served on the staff of each Bands of America’s Honor Bands in the Tournament of Roses Parade. He has also demonstrated his support and passion for the organization with volunteer service on the Bands of America Fall Programming Advisory Committee. From 1997 to 1998, Frank was Bands of America’s Director of Events, bringing educator supportive initiatives and approaches to our operating model. Frank coordinated Bands of America’s first European Honor Band experience, leading more than 70 students, faculty, chaperones and guests on a tour that included performances in France, The Netherlands, Germany and the World Association for Symphonic Bands & Ensemble (WASBE) conference in Austria.
Since retiring in 2014, Mr. Troyka has been a clinician for the Wind Bands Association of Singapore, The Midwest Clinic and an active lecturer and clinician, presenting annual student leadership workshops in Texas and across the nation.
The 2016 William D. Revelli Scholarship was awarded to Emma Fell of Thompson High School in Alabaster, Alabama on Saturday, March 10th during the Gala Awards Banquet at the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Music for All Annual Fund Manager Gregg Puls and scholarship winner Emma Fell
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.
Fell is a three-time Honor Band of America member, has been selected for numerous honor bands, district bands, and All State bands. She is the principle horn player for the Thompson High School Wind Ensemble, a section leader for the Marching Southern Sounds, and has even taught herself how to play clarinet to a grade 3 level.
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 2016.
March Madness just wrapped up with the men’s and women’s title games. Congratulations to Villanova and UConn. It is a national phenomenon that grabs hold of sports fans as they try to determine who is win and who is out, filling out the perfect bracket, and of course always cheering for the underdog.
There is always a sense of hype and buildup for the NCAA brackets to be announced. The same could be said when we (Music for All) release the Bands of America Marching Championships band lists.
People begin to talk of who is attending what show. How many Texas bands are coming to Grand Nationals? What new schools have signed up that have never participated in Bands of America? Is there a Midwest band making the trip down south to Atlanta or San Antonio? Will there be another Hawaii band attending a Bands of America show? So many questions, but never any answers. Until now…
We are ready to announce the bands that have applied to be a part of the 2016 Bands of America Marching Championships. But remember, these are lists of ALL bands that have sent in applications, some shows may be over enrolled and include bands that will be waitlisted.
Let the debates begin, throw a dart in the dark on predictions, and most of all get excited for another fun-filled season of marching band. #boa2016 is right around the corner!
The Bands of America Marching Championships is known year in and year out for having talented students perform at Regionals, Super Regionals, and Grand Nationals. At those events we also have special exhibition performances by university marching bands. Over the years BOA Grand Nationals week has seen the best of the best perform in exhibition including: West Carolina University, Riverside Community College, Jacksonville State University, and many others! 2016 Grand Nationals will be no different as we continue the tradition of iconic collegiate programs.
Music for All is proud to announce that The Ohio State University Marching Band will perform at the 2016 Grand National Championships. From their signature pre-show formation and tradition of Script Ohio, the playing of “Buckeye Battle Cry” and “Across the Field” (OSU’s fight songs), and their creative drill design, such as their Michael Jackson and Star Wars shows, we are ecstatic to have one of the most publicized marching band programs in mainstream media. Make sure to mark your calendar for November 12th, 2016, as The Ohio State Marching Band will be concluding our Semi-Final performances.
Make sure to follow The Ohio State University Marching Band on their social media platforms below to stay in the loop on upcoming performances, new videos, and news.
Clips of The Ohio State University Marching Band:
Music for All is thrilled to share exciting staffing news for three Director-level positions.
Cam Stasa, Bands of America Hall of Fame member who served BOA and Music for All on staff from 1989 to 2010, will return to Music for All as Director of Participant Relations and Special Projects, effective mid-May, 2016. Stasa most recently served as Associate Director of Admissions at Vandercook College of Music in Chicago.
Laura Blake has been promoted to Director of Events, having served as Events Manager since 2013. Blake has been with Music for All in the Indianapolis office since 2005.
Ashlee Walls has been promoted to Director of Advancement and will oversee sponsorships and partnerships, as well as fund development. Walls joined the Music for All staff as Corporate Relations Manager in October 2014.
Music for All will publish a press release soon with more details. Please join us in congratulating these Music for All team members.
San Jose University, Spartan Stadium
Due to final stadium schedules, Music for All is announcing important schedule changes for both of the California Bands of America Regional Championships.
The Southern California Regional, which was originally scheduled for October 22, is moving to October 29 and will once again be held in Long Beach at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Northern California Regional, which was originally scheduled for October 29 is moving to October 22 and will be held at Spartan Stadium at San Jose State University, a new venue for this regional.
We believe these date changes are necessary so that Music for All can operate both events in venues that are of the quality that Bands of America and Music for All strive to offer those we serve.
There are still opportunities for bands to enroll in either show. You can view the full fall schedule here.
All of us at Music for All are extremely excited that we are one of 64 nonprofits selected to participate in the Brackets for Good competition in Indianapolis!
Every March, Brackets for Good hosts an online, bracket-style fundraising tournaments in philanthropic communities around the United States. Participating nonprofit organizations compete to out fundraise their opponents, earn increased exposure, and have a chance to win $10,000 from a generous corporate sponsor.
Not only is Brackets for Good a really fun way to fundraise, we are excited about learning more about other nonprofit organizations in our community. And of course, we hope people learn a little bit more about us as well!
First Round: February 26th – March 4th
Second Round: March 4th – March 11th
Supported Sixteen: March 11th – March 18th
Engaged Eight: March 18th – March 25th
Philanthropic Four: March 25th – March 29th
Championship: March 29th - April 1st
Basically every $1 raised equals a point. Two nonprofits go up against each other, and the nonprofit who raises the most money will advance to the next round! You can see the official bracket here: https://indianapolis.bfg.org/bracket.
Since this is our first year, we aren't completely sure what to expect. But we are excited to have the opportunity to participate and raise some funds to help give scholarships to students to attend our summer camp, the Music for All Summer Symposium this June at Ball State University.
Music for All has been providing positively life-changing experiences at its summer camp for 40 years. It’s “America’s Camp:” the national summer learning experience for band and orchestra students, and teachers. We bring together the best faculty, exciting concerts and events, and students from band and orchestra programs from coast-to-coast who share a love of music-making, performance, and student leadership.
Last year 86 full scholarships and 50 partial scholarships were given out for the Summer Symposium. Only 11% of students in 2015 received any type of financial assistance. With your help, we can make camp possible for even more students in 2016! No donation amount is too small. Just think how many dollars could be raised if everyone who has been touched by music, gave up one Starbucks latte this week. The impact would truly be incredible.
The competition begins at 8:00 PM (EST) on Friday, February 26th. Round One will begin at this time, and end at 8:00 PM (EST) on Friday, March 4th.
Music for All has rescheduled the Bands of America Regional Championship that was scheduled for October 8 in North Carolina for October 15, at Wake Forest University.
We'll return with a BOA Championship at Wake Forest for the third consecutive year. The date was originally published as October 8, but after the recent release of Wake Forest's football schedule and home game on that date, the NC Championship was moved to October 15, still at Wake Forest, a date which BOA had on hold.
The Bands of America Championship at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, NC is now confirmed, for October 15. 2016.
We hope to see you at the 2016 Bands of America Regional Championship at Winston-Salem, NC on October 15th.
Congratulations to one of our favorite volunteers, Paige Rauschuber, for receiving the Indiana Music Educators Association Outstanding Future Music Educator Award!
Paige, originally from Louisiana, has been involved in music since she picked up the saxophone in 4th grade. She fell in love with the instrument and practiced every day during recess. In 6th grade her family moved to Indiana and she became a part of Mr. Josh Weirich’s middle school concert band program. Mr. Weirich was also a saxophonist and would often play for the class.
After witnessing her director's talent and enthusiasm to teach, Paige became inspired to become a music educator herself. Ten years later, Paige is only a few months shy of graduating with a degree in Music Education and plans to impact her students in a similar way.
The IMEA Outstanding Future Music Educator Award is given annually to a NAfME collegiate member who is nominated by a music instructor for his or her dedication to teaching and involvement in the organization. Paige has been an active member of Butler University's NAfME Collegiate Chapter for four years and has served on the executive board for two. She was nominated for this award by one of her professors, and after filling out an application detailing her involvement with NAfME, her teaching experiences, and the other ways she's given back to music, she was selected for the award.
"I'm incredibly humbled to have received this award and I owe it all to the fantastic music educators that I have had over the years, the teachers who have allowed me to work in their classrooms and have mentored me, as well as my incredible family who have always been extremely supportive of me and my dreams of one day being a music educator," said Paige.
Paige started volunteering with Music for All during her Freshman year of college. She helped coordinate the Music for All National Festival and decided to come back to every other event we've hosted near Indianapolis ever since. During the summers she's spent her time at the Music for All Summer Symposium as a part of the SWAG team, a group of counselors who make sure the camp runs smoothly and all the campers have positively life-changing experiences. In the fall Paige has helped out numerous times with our Indianapolis Super Regional Marching Championship and Grand National Championships.
"The best part of volunteering with Music for All is the people I have gotten to know and taking part in the wonderful experiences that MFA creates for its students," said Paige. "My favorite memories have been when serving as part of the SWAG team because I remember how the SWAGs at camp impacted me when I attended Summer Symposium as a student and to know that I could have the same impact on someone else is an incredible feeling."
Post-graduation Paige aspires to find a job teaching Elementary General Music. Some of her goals include instilling a love for music like her teachers did, helping them recognize their fullest potential and teaching them the job in pursuing music in life, as either a career or a hobby.
"There is so much that can be taught through music that extends beyond the four walls of a classroom. I learned so much through my music teachers over the years about leadership, how to treat others, and simply how to live a life that you can look back on and be proud of," said Paige. "If I can do that for my students I will consider myself to be a successful teacher."
We wish Paige the best in her future endeavors and hope that she continues to be a part of the MFA family.
"I have grown so much as a musician, educator, and person because of Music for All and can honestly say that I would not be who I am today had it not been for this organization."
Registration is now live for the 2016 Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha, June 27- July 2!
This positively life-changing week-long summer camp is aimed to provide students and directors opportunities to learn from highly regarded music educators from across the nation and boost leadership skills that tailor to success in all areas of life.
Music for All is committed to creating a unique camp experience for every student, offering seven different divisions including:
New to camp this year is a Middle School Concert Band Division! Directors and new music educators are also invited to join us for the Summer Camp Directors' Academy for a week of innovative tailored professional development.
Lastly, don't miss out on Leadership Weekend on June 25-26, 2016 to "Kick It In" with Fran Kick and other leadership experts. You'll gain skills and strategies to becoming an example for your peers and colleagues.
You can find more information and register by visiting our new MFA Summer Symposium website at http://camp.musicforall.org/.
The deadline for the Super Saver Discount has been extended to February 29, 2016.
We hope to see you there! If you have further questions, please call Music for All at 800.848.2263.
Registration is now live for the Festival Directors’ Academy at the 2016 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, March 10-12, in Indianapolis.
Read on for more details, or, if you're ready, you can register now.
This incredible opportunity for current and future music educators offers connection with iconic music educators, and observation of many of the nation’s most outstanding concert ensembles. Directors will have small-group instruction with:
H. Robert Reynolds
…as well as networking time with Festival evaluators and performing ensemble directors during special sessions and social events.
You’ll find the link to register today, plus a reminder of the details of this new program and the incredible roster of presenters, on the Festival Directors’ Academy page. The deadline to register is February 15, 2016.
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Music for All National Festival, and the inaugural Festival Directors’ Academy. We hope to see you there! If you have further questions, please call Music for All's Education department staff at 800.848.2263.
Music for All will add programs for choir in 2018 with the premiere of the Music for All National Choir Festival, at the 2018 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, in Indianapolis. The Music for All National Choir Festival will be an integral part of Music for All’s ongoing mission to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Henry Leck, Founder and Artistic Director of the famed Indianapolis Children’s Choir, has joined as Artistic Director of the Music for All National Choir Festival. Lori Lobsiger and Kim Mann, leaders in choral event programming and past producers of the World Choir Games, have joined Music for All as program consultants for the new MFA National Choir Festival.
“It’s extremely exhilarating to be involved in this new choral initiative and with an organization of such high caliber,” said Henry Leck, Artistic Director. “I look forward to bringing many talented choirs from all over the nation to the festival to further music education and help students experience the magic that Music for All offers with all of its programs.”
The new National Choir Festival is a non-competitive experience for outstanding high school and youth choirs, of both treble and mixed voices, to celebrate musical excellence and provide opportunities for growth and learning. The Festival offers an opportunity for each ensemble to receive recorded and written evaluation of its performance from a knowledgeable audience of music educators and fellow choir members. The festival also incorporates master classes led by world-renowned musicians and top applied faculty, as well as social events that give students the chance to network with colleagues, guest artists and icons of music education. At the end of the festival, students, directors, parents, staff and evaluators will attend a Gala Awards Banquet where all ensembles are recognized for their participation.
“Music for All is excited to take this next logical step in support of and advocacy for scholastic music education,” said Eric L. Martin, President and CEO of Music for All. “For 40 years we have created and provided programs supporting, elevating and advocating for the availability and excellence of instrumental music instruction in our schools and nation. Expanding our commitment to choral music fulfills requests of MFA alumni and music educators from across the nation, as well as Music for All’s vision to ensure that every child across America has access to the benefits of quality scholastic music education offerings.”
The 2018 MFA National Choir Festival will be held March 15-17. This year, 2016, marks the 25th anniversary of the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, which currently includes concert bands, orchestras, percussion ensembles, chamber ensembles, and three national honor ensembles – the Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America, and Jazz Band of America. A full schedule of Festival ensemble concerts, times, and locations for the upcoming 2016 Festival to be held in Indianapolis, March 10-12, will be available at www.musicforall.org/festival.