The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

News (333)

Indy ZooWhether you venture to Indy for Super Regionals or Grand Nationals, here are five new things in store for you and your family in the Circle City.

Magnificent Macaws at The Indianapolis Zoo
A brand new 40,000 sq. ft. Bicentennial Pavilion will become the new home of these brilliant birds. Uncaged, the macaws will dance colorfully through the sky with free reign. During Super Regionals, bring your kids' costumes and trick-or-treat during Halloween ZooBoo.

Circus: Starring You! at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
This colorful, highly interactive exhibit opens up the three rings and the big top to kids of all ages. During Super Regionals, add on a visit to the Children's Museum Guild's Haunted House.

Presidential Pets at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Celebrate America's favorite first pets of the past 200 years, from cats to elephants, at the pristinely restored home of our nation's 23rd president.

Chemistry of Color at the Indianapolis Museum of Art
On a beautiful fall day, stroll the colorful foliage decorating the 152 acres of gardens and grounds. Step inside for an incredible collection spanning 5,000 years of history. This temporary exhibit explores how chemistry and art have developed the artist's palette over these five millennia.

Science at Play and The Power of Poison at the Indiana State Museum
Explore how more than 250 chemistry sets and science toys appeal to kids and parents alike, before discovering how toxic species in a remote Colombian forest fight for survival. Two levels of Core Galleries have also been completely revamped to engage visitors like never before.

When are our Bands of America Championships in Indy? See the fall events schedule here.

Board member banner

Three new members have been elected to the Music for All Board of Directors: David Simmons, Denver; Marla D. Smith, Indianapolis; and Anthony M. Tang, Winston-Salem, N.C.; 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.

“We welcome three new board members to our Music for All board,” says Gayl Doster, Chairman of the Music for All Board of Directors. “These three individuals bring additional diversity and a wealth of expertise and knowledge in the areas of technology, education, and advancement to the Music for All Board of Directors. Their varying experiences and geographic locations represents the breadth of the constituency of this national organization. “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.”

David Simons is a Software Developer at Bertram Labs in Denver. Prior to serving on the technology team, Mr. Simons was a member of the investment team for Bertram Capital, targeting investments and advising in the operations and strategic management of portfolio companies in the business services, health care, technology, and consumer industries.

Mr. Simons is an alumnus of Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Ind., where he was an active member and performer in many ensembles of the music program, including its storied marching band. He received a Bachelor of Arts from DePauw University, where he studied economics and computer science.

Marla D. Smith is the retired Executive Assistant to Indianapolis Entrepreneur Michael S. Maurer and the office manager for Maurer Rifkin & Hill. Marla has an Associate Degree in Business from Western Michigan University, and she was the featured twirler and a member of the Western Michigan University marching band. She was an active band parent at the Westfield High School Marching Band, while her daughter participated in the band. She is a supporter and consultant of the Ball State University Marching Band.

Anthony M. Tang is a native of Rocky Mount, N.C., and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Engagement Programs in the Office of Alumni Engagement at Wake Forest University; and he volunteers much of his time as the Director of Student Leadership for the "Spirit of the Old Gold and Black" Marching Band, where he was Drum Major as an undergraduate.

Anthony played a vital role in bringing the Bands of America North Carolina Regional Championship to Winston-Salem and Wake Forest University. In December 2015, Anthony and his wife Megan set up the Tang Family Scholarship Fund through Music for All, benefitting individual students who are interested in attending the Music for All Summer Symposium as Anthony and Megan see value in the leadership-driven environment.

Peer teaching header2

Music for All has added the Student Peer Teaching Program to the Music for All Summer Symposium starting this year. The Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha is the largest national weeklong summer music camp for students and teachers, and will take place at Ball State University in Muncie from June 26-July 1 at Ball State University for its seventh summer.

The Peer Teaching Program’s primary mission will be to train student leaders on how to be a MODEL for their band program: M-Motivate, O-Observe, D-Demonstrate, E-Educate/Equip, and L-Lead. The program is designed to not only teach students leadership concepts, but also train them how to be effective leaders in their band programs, and become a valuable asset to their directors. With this training, students will be equipped with the tools to help them teach and inspire their peers, which includes being trained to help with musical and visual marching instruction, to effectively communicate with their peers, basic principles of movement, how to read and clean drill charts, and how to observe and conduct sectionals and rehearsals.

The Student Peer Teaching Program has a superb staff that includes Joel Denton, coordinator of the Peer Teaching Program and Director of Bands of Ooltewah High School, TN; Jeremy Spicer, former Director of Bands of Vandegrift High School, TX; John Howell Visual Designer for nationally acclaimed high school bands, drum and bugle corps, and winter guards; and Anna Rodriguez Assistant Director of Bands at Westlake High School, TX.

“You must train your leadership before you can empower them,” states Joel Denton, coordinator of the Peer Teaching Program. “The Peer Teaching Program is designed to produce educated and inspired student leaders, who can actively engage their peers throughout the school year in concert and marching band, and produce a dynamic impact in their entire band program.”

Music for All President and CEO, Eric Martin with scholarship winner Leah Warman.

The 2017 William D. Revelli Scholarship was awarded to Leah Warman of Thompson High School in Alabaster, Alabama on Saturday, March 11th during the Gala Awards Banquet at the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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.

Leah is a two-time Honor Band of America member, and has performed in a variety of university, district, and state honor bands. As first chair in wind ensemble and trombone section leader in the marching band, Leah discovered that she has a passion for helping others realize their musical potential. Her servant leadership will serve her well as a music educator.

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 2017.



2017 Hall of Fame Inductees

Music for All President and CEO, Eric L. Martin, John Miller, Bruce Burritt. Not pictured: Michael Cesario.

Music for All inducted three new members into the Bands of America Hall of Fame: Bruce Burritt, Michael J. Cesario, and John Miller. These new members were inducted on Saturday, March 11th 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. 2017 inductees were announced during the opening ceremonies of the 2016 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.

Bruce Burritt

Longtime Bands of America adjudicator Bruce Burritt began his career as an elementary band director before becoming a high school band director in the West Genesee (NY) Central Schools in 1964. Under his direction, the marching band, symphonic band, and wind ensemble thrived for the next 16 years. As District Supervisor of Music, beginning in 1968, he spearheaded the growth of not only the band program, but also orchestra and chorus. He credits his success to a supportive administration and community.

In 1982, he made the leap to the administrative side of education. He served as assistant principal, high school principal, and finally superintendent of schools before his retirement in 1998 from the Avon School District in New York.
Despite his retirement, his influence continues to reverberate across the nation. Every five years, a call goes out to West Genesee alumni. They converge back on their hometown over Memorial Day weekend to reminisce, rehearse, and perform in the Memorial Day Parade. In 2016, 643 West Genesee High School band alumni converged to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of their first competition by organizing what they believe to be the largest high school alumni performance ever. The alumni band was a quarter-mile long—nearly four and a half football fields in length.

“We’ve had wonderful memories and not so wonderful memories,” said Burritt. “That’s what life is. Each year, you come back. You keep going. Now we have a history and a legacy. That’s incredible.”
When asked for advice for his former students, he replied, “Always believe in yourself and what you can do. And no matter how tough it gets, never give up. Absolutely never give up.”


Michael J. Cesario

Michael Cesario is widely known and respected in the world of the marching arts. His uniform designs outfit thousands of ensembles nationwide, including many of the top marching bands, drum corps, and colorguards in the world. Joining his first drum corps at the age of nine in Wisconsin, he grew up in the performing arts, was active in marching band, and trained in theater. He majored in directing, and did graduate work in costume design. Upon aging out of the drum corps activity, he continued to work with corps like Phantom Regiment, the Garfield Cadets, Dutch Boy, the Madison Scouts, and many others.

In the world of theater, his work has appeared on Broadway, television, and on stages nationwide. He has been a member of the Costume Society of America, the Costume Society of England, United States Institute for Theatre Technology, and United Scenic Artists Local 829, where he was instrumental in contributing to the evaluations for their certification. Purchase College (NY) named Cesario a professor emeritus for heading their graduate programs in design and serving as director of design/technology for the conservatory of theater arts in film. His work appears in textbooks for costume design students: The Magic Garment by Rebecca Cunningham and Costumer’s Handbook by Rosemary Ingham and Liz Covey. The Julliard School, School of Visual Arts (NYC), Bennington College, Dartmouth College, and the University of Illinois have welcomed him as a lecturer and teacher.

His work with Fred J. Miller, Inc. continues to delineate the cutting edge of uniforms in the pageantry arts, and he’s largely responsible for modernizing the look of the marching arts for the 21st century. Michael serves as DCI’s artistic director, is an active adjudicator, consultant and clinician nationwide, and a member of the DCI Hall of Fame.


John Miller

John Miller retired as the 30-year director of bands at American Fork High School in Utah in 2016. Under his direction, the band performed at the Utah Music Educators State Conference, the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, the Peaks Jazz Festival, the Fiesta Bowl, the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C., as well as regular appearances at Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, Regionals, and Grand National Championships. Miller has been widely lauded at the district, state, regional and national levels, and in 2016 was awarded the Sorenson “Lifetime Achievement in Arts Education” Award by the Utah State Board of Education.

Miller believes strongly in the development of student leaders and the growth of the students in all areas of their lives, and believes that every student should experience the joy of music performance and continues to serve as a mentor to many younger teachers—including over 30 of his own former students.

Miller, who holds a master’s degree in music education from Brigham Young University, is an adjudicator and clinician throughout the United States. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Midwest Clinic and is the founding director of the Wasatch Winds Symphonic Band, an adult community band with over 85 members and an established concert series in the community.

Outside of music, he is active in the Boy Scouts of America, having received advanced Wood Badge training, and has received the prestigious Silver Beaver Award for long-term commitment to scouting.


Click here to see the complete list of Bands of America Hall of Fame Members.

Maddie F Joins MFA Header 1

Congratulations to Maddie Fitzgerald on joining Music for All as a Participant Relations Coordinator! Maddie joins Music for All full-time having served previously as a Participant Relations intern.

As Participant Relations Coordinator, Maddie will provide support to Music for All’s participant relations team. The Participant Relations team serves as a first point-of-contact for directors and students involved in Music for All’s programs, attends local and national conventions on behalf of the organization, and maintains participant and event data.

"We're excited to add Maddie to our team because she brings a positive energy and commitment to building relationships," said Camilla M. Stasa, Director of Participant Relations and Special Projects. "Her internship at Music for All has certainly paved the way to make this hire a successful one for our department.”

Maddie has a strong music background, participating in various ensembles from fifth through twelfth grade. At Olathe Northwest High School, she was in the marching band, pep band, wind ensemble, full orchestra, pit orchestra, and she was involved in the Youth Symphony of Kansas City. Maddie received her bachelor's degree in Arts Administration with a concentration in music from Butler University. While at Butler, she was involved with the athletic band program, the wind ensemble, and Kappa Kappa Psi. She previously completed internships at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and Music for All.

Join us in congratulating Maddie on joining the Music for All Team! We look forward to seeing her strong work ethic and passion in action as she supports our mission to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences!


Please join us in congratulating Sam Cantor on his recent promotion to Events Coordinator!

Sam joined Music for All in the Fall of 2014 as an Events Intern. After the completion of his internship, Sam was hired as an Events Assistant. As an Events Assistant, Sam has been responsible for planning and operating multiple Bands of America Marching Band Championships, has been a venue manager at the Music for All National Festival, and has been responsible for event logistics of several divisions at the Music for All Summer Symposium.

Sam's new role is vital in achieving strategic plan goals for the events department. He will be responsible for successfully planning and executing individual and team events throughout the year including, but not limited to: Bands of America Regional Championships and Grand Nationals, Music for All National Festival and Music for All Summer Symposium. In addition to events, he will play a crucial role as a supporting partner to other departments within Music for All to ensure every event meets our mission to provide positively life-changing experiences through music for all.

“Sam brings such a unique approach to Music for All events – an approach that ties together logistical reasoning, effective communication methods, and passion for the Music for All mission,” says Jenny Fultz, Event Manager. “ We are lucky to have him as a part of our team and as a representation of the Music for All mission around the country!”

Sam Cantor has a strong personal background in music. He began in concert, marching, and jazz bands at Hoover High School in North Canton, Ohio. He continued to play in multiple bands at The University of Toledo, and has been a member of a Non Profit Indianapolis Community Band, The Pride of Indy for 5 years. He has worn many hats within that organization, serving as Membership Chair for one year, Vice President for one year, and President for two years. In August 2015, Cantor co-chaired the 2015 LGBA National Conference in Indianapolis.

Congratulations to Sam on this much deserved promotion! We are thrilled that he will continue to help support Music for All's mission to create, provide, and expand postively life-changing experiences through music for all!


Read full press release here.

Music for All is a proud sponsor of Be Part of the Music and we are incredibly excited to share this great news below about new advocacy tools!


Since the inception of Be Part of the Music, we've always dreamed of creating a series of commercials for and about music education. Time, money, and other more pressing projects delayed it, but did not deter us!


These FREE videos communicate the importance of music education in a concise and impactful way. Each video lasts only 15 seconds but speaks volumes about the power of music in a child's life.

The videos are shot in HD and are social media compliant. You can share them directly from our site or download them and share them yourself. All we ask is that you tag Be Part of the Music when sharing.

Our first two commercials are below. We will be releasing additional videos every other week for the next several months so that you always have something new to share! If you have an idea, theme or "tag" for a commercial, we would love to hear it. In the mean time, enjoy our first offerings!

Screen Shot 2017 02 26 at 3.51.57 PM


Screen Shot 2017 02 26 at 3.52.08 PM


Learn more about the Be Part of the Music tools and resources here.



Have you ever wondered what the Advancement team at Music for All is up to? Wanted inside information about exciting projects we are working on? Well wonder no longer because the Advancement team is starting a monthly blog! Each, month, we will share information about interesting Advancement projects, upcoming events, stories of impact, and exciting news from our department. My name is Elise Middleton, and I am the Music for All Advancement Coordinator, as well as the author of these blogs. I started here at Music for All in October, and I love being a part of this impactful, passionate organization. One project that I can’t wait to tell you about is Brackets for Good!

We are thrilled to be a part of the Indianapolis Brackets for Good (BFG) tournament for the second year in a row. Inspired by March Madness, Brackets for Good hosts single-elimination, bracket-style fundraising tournaments across the country that raise much-needed funds and awareness for nonprofit organizations of all sizes. Charities advance through the weekly rounds, by rallying enthusiastic donors and online followers to score more points than their opponent. Every $1 donated through equals 1 point scored for the chosen charity. At the end of each round, the nonprofit with the most points in the individual match-up advances to the next round, the points are reset, and the fundraising continues until a champion is crowned. All nonprofits retain the donations they raise, and the tournament champion will receive a grand prize donation of $10,000 from the title sponsor. Exciting, am I right?!

The competition kicks-off February 24, 2017! This tournament is a fun-filled competitive activity that the entire Music for All staff loves to take on. Last year, we raised just over $5,000, so of course, we want to beat that total this year. The dollars raised will help support our advocacy efforts, professional development opportunities for directors in underserved communities, scholarships for students and directors to attend Summer Symposium, and much more.

This competition is fast approaching, with February 24 being the kick-off day! Please keep a lookout on Music for All social media channels for more. We hope you will join us, and show your support for Music for All and the power of music during this fun and rewarding competition, by donating and encouraging others to participate!

To learn more about Brackets for Good, check out the homepage at Music for All also has an informational page at

If you have any questions or would like more information about the Advancement Department or the BFG competition, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (317) 524-6233.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

BOA Updates: Newark Stadium Confirmed

Written by

University of Delaware

Newark Regional Announcement:

We are proud to announce that we have officially confirmed Delaware Stadium at the University of Delaware for the 2017 Fall Marching Band Championship season.

The Regional Championship will be on Saturday, October 7th.

We hope to see you there for the always-competitive Newark Regional!