The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog


Winston-Salem Regional expanded to a two-day Super Regional

Music for All is excited to announce that this year's Winston-Salem Regional will be expanded to a two-day Super Regional format, to be held October 18-19 at Bowman Gray Stadium. The show is currently a 37-band show with 12 bands competing in Finals. One panel of judges will serve this event and show enrollment is limited to 50 bands.

We are still taking applications for Friday preliminary performance times until an enrollment of 50 is reached. Enroll online or call the Music for All office at 800­.848­.2263 if interested in participating in this newest Super Regional.

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New BOA Affiliate Regional Announced: Oregon

Music for All is pleased to announce a partnership with the West Salem High School Band Boosters and the Northwest Association of Performing Arts to bring a show to the Pacific Northwest. This Bands of America Northwest show will be hosted and operated by the West Salem Band Boosters at Hillsboro Stadium in Hillsboro, Oregon on October 12, 2013.

The show will use BOA field operation procedures and Adjudication Handbook and be judged by a Bands of America assigned panel using Bands of America sheets.

This 2013 offering is a precursor to the launch of a full-fledged BOA Pacific Northwest Regional in 2014. We hope you will support West Salem, NWAPA, and choose to participate. Click here to learn how to register for this new performance and BOA evaluation opportunity.

Calling all RNs, LPNs, Paramedics and/or EMTs!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 11:41 Written by Erin Fortune

Come be a part of America's Camp this summer! Music for All is looking for two nurses to be a part of the Summer Symposium medical team. You would need to be in Muncie, Indiana from June 21st through June 30th.

What does a camp nurse do?

• Administer medication

• Ensure safety of the campers

• Asses injuries and make recommendations on course of action

Our head nurse, Erin, is looking for 2 more nurses to round out her team for summer 2013. Erin has been coming back to camp in this role for the last 11 years.

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"The camp medical team consists of nurses – RN or LPN, Paramedics and/or EMTs that are available on campus during the entire camp to ensure the safety and health of the students during their camp experience. The team is available to campers 24 hours a day. It is a week full of fun and developing friendships along with ensuring safety of students. The energy of the staff and students is rejuvenating and something to be experienced as it is nearly indescribable. That is what has kept me coming back to camp for the last 11 years." - Head Nurse Erin

Transportation, a stipend, housing in the on-campus dorms and meals are all provided.

Do you want to be a part of this positively life-changing experience this summer?

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 800-848-2263 for more details!

Music for All Announces Top-Level Staff Promotions

Wednesday, 20 March 2013 13:06 Written by Erin Fortune


Music for All is proud to announce that three employees have been promoted to executive and manager positions. 


Debbie Laferty Asbill has been named Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Asbill joined the Music for All (MFA) staff in 1985, when the organization was known as Bands of America. She most recently served as MFA’s Director of Marketing and Communications. She has a degree in communications from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky and was inducted into Music for All’s Bands of America Hall of Fame in 2011.


laura blakeLaura Blake has been named Events Manager. Blake joined the Music for All (MFA) staff in May 2005 as Receptionist and quickly moved to an Event Coordinator position the next fall. Since then she has been heavily involved in the operations of all events, taking the lead on volunteer recruitment and management as well as equipment logistics. Laura, raised in Indianapolis, attended Butler University and is a former Bands of America participant. 


Tonya Bullock WEB copyTonya Bullock has been named Accounting Manager. Bullock joined the Music for All (MFA) staff in September 2009 as an Accounting Specialist.  Since then she has been heavily involved in the daily accounting functions as well as managing tickets and merchandise for all events. She has a degree in Accounting from Indiana University. 


Join us in congratulating Debbie, Laura and Tonya on their promotions as they continue to provide postively life-changing experiences for all!

Read the full news release here. 

Live Webcasts: Honor Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band

Tuesday, 12 March 2013 14:46 Written by Erin Fortune


Music for All is thrilled to announce that we will be streaming Live Webcasts of the 2013 Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America* and Jazz Band of America. While there’s nothing that compares to being in the audience when your favorite musician performs, our streaming Webcasts give you the opportunity to still enjoy the honor ensemble concerts live.



Jazz Band of America – Friday, March 15, 8:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

Honor Orchestra of America – Saturday, March 16*, 7:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

Honor Band of America – Saturday, March 16, 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

* Only Saturday’s concert by the Honor Orchestra of America concert will be Webcast Live from Hilbert Circle Theatre. Friday’s Honor Orchestra concert will not be Webcast Live. 


Solo or Subscribe 

HBOA WebYour one-year Premium Subscription includes all of the 2013 Honor Ensemble Live Webcasts, for just $59. As an added bonus, if you start your one year Premium Subscription now you’ll get the 2013 fall Bands of America Championship Live Webcasts, plus all Video On Demand of the 2013 Festival concerts and past MFA and BOA performances.

Honor Ensemble performances are also available as a Live Solo:  Live Webcast of all three performances for $19. Click here for more information on pricing and ordering


Video on Demand, post-event

All of the Festival concerts, including the three honor ensemble concerts, the Festival concert bands, orchestras and the percussion ensemble performances will also be available as Video on Demand, after the event, with your MFA Encore video subscription. Video on Demand allows you to enjoy your honor ensemble performance after you return home, whenever you want.  

Click on this link to see more details, schedule of concerts and how to order:

Stay Connected

Another great way to stay connected with what is happening at the National Festival is to connect with Music for All on Social Media!

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“Like” us on Facebook for updates and photos!


Follow us on Twitter


Follow us on Instagram



*Use hashtag #mfafest on Twitter and Instagram to join the conversation with us and other festival participants & fans! 


A look at the New BOA Drum Major Institute

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 10:10 Written by Erin Fortune
Today's guest post is written by Bobby Lambert, the Bands of America Drum Major Institute Coordinator and Assistant Director at Marian Catholic H.S. in Chicago Heights, Illinois.
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I am delighted to represent the staff of the brand new Bands of America Drum Major Institute. This weekend in fact, I spent time with James Stephens, Assistant Band Director from Broken Arrow High School, planning some of the activities and lessons for our camp. It is an exciting venture into a new world of taking drum major instruction, something that has been around for many years, and putting it into 21st century technology and understanding.
For example, we are looking at Disney and their approach to entertainment and using that as a lens over our approach toward education. Simply put, we want to exceed the expectations of those coming to our camp not only this year, but for many years to come.  The exciting part of coming to this first camp will be helping to engineer future camps with student input and experience. These “pioneers” will, in essence, help design the future of what we hope will become a new standard in summer music education.
CoreTeachingPrinciplesWhile we want to move toward the future, we must begin with strong foundations—Leadership at its Core. The BOA Drum Major Institute will create opportunities that promote honorable Character, comprehensive Content, effective Communication and, the final ingredient for ensemble cohesion and individual enrichment, Chemistry.
Beginning with self-analysis, students learn their strengths and weaknesses, wants and needs and finally, the paths they wish to explore. We work to create leaders for whom leadership is not an exercise or task, it is a natural extension of their being.
The musical and visual knowledge possessed by the most effective drum majors is extensive. From score study and concise conducting patterns to visual acuity and showmanship, our program will provide instruction, challenges and growth.
Our program will help develop communication skills by examining the words we speak, the signals we give, the message that is received and the actions that occur as a result. Drum Major Institute participants will examine each aspect and work to find his/her own unique style.
In the most embracing and encouraging community in America, participants will examine with us this vital, often intangible portion of a successful ensemble. With the building blocks provided in this camp, we will explore the importance of group dynamics, define the variables that affect it and incorporate ways to influence the elements that matter most. 
Look for more information as we continue to build this experience. We believe this will be something very special. Join us and help us create the first ever BOA Drum Major Institute!
Bobby Lambert
Bands of America Drum Major Institute Coordinator
Assistant Band Director, Marian Catholic High School, Illiniois

Winston-Salem Show Update

Tuesday, 29 January 2013 13:59 Written by Erin Fortune

“Tentative” Sites: Bands of America 2013 Fall Regional Schedule Update
As is typical, several of our Fall 2013 dates and locations were announced as “Site Tentative.” Most “Site Tentative” location designations resulted from a tremendous amount of NCAA conference realignment in recent years, delaying the release of many 2013 college football schedules. Music for All works to inform everyone as schedules and locations are confirmed, however, we do encourage directors to register for all BOA Fall events by the January 31, 2013 Postmark Date to ensure scheduling priority.

Music for All works hard to announce our Fall schedule where only the venue, and not the date, is “tentative.” This allows current and future participants to feel confident that a show will occur in the announced region, on the announced date.

This year, we have an exception as detailed below:

The Winston-Salem Regional date has changed to October 19, 2013! 
Location remains at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC (site tentative).
This year, we have added a Regional in the North Carolina area.  As it turns out, we will now have to change the date proposed for this new show.  BOA/MFA has always sought to be a “positive and collaborative” participant in scholastic music education. After originally choosing October 12, we learned that the date would be in conflict with a long-standing, major show in North Carolina. In order to avoid the conflict and allow bands to potentially participate in both opportunities, we have changed the show date to October 19 for the Bands of America regional in North Carolina.

Winston-Salem, NC and Wake Forest University is still the first preference (pending announcement of the 2013 ACC football schedule).  However, we are looking diligently at other suitable performance venues within a 150-mile radius of Winston-Salem.  Our commitment to this region is genuine and sincere as we strive to create “positively life-changing experiences” for students, directors, volunteers, parents and fans at this event. 

We apologize for any inconvenience to area bands contemplating that show on the originally published date and we invite you consider our other shows if this date move puts the NC event out of reach of your schedule.

As we continue our search, we welcome venue input and ideas from others. Bands already registered for the October 12th Winston-Salem event are entitled to either a full refund or a transfer of their registration to any other Bands of America Fall event. All postmarks will be protected and honored and a new “Postmark Date” established for this event when the date and venue are locked.

Thank you so much for your patience, understanding and assistance.  We will update you as quickly as we have new information.  If you have any further questions about this show or other Music for All premier programs, feel free to contact us at 800­-848­-2263.

2013 William D. Revelli Scholarship

Monday, 28 January 2013 10:19 Written by Erin Fortune
Music for All’s efforts to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences includes awarding a number of scholarships.

Each year, Music for All awards the William D. Revelli Scholarship at the Music for All National Festival. This scholarship honors a graduating senior who plans to pursue a degree in music education. The Revelli Scholarship is awarded in memory of Dr. William D. Revelli, one of America’s foremost band conductors, and the icon for whom the Revelli Foundation was created and named in 1994. The Revelli Scholarship honors Dr. Revelli’s vision for music education.

 Last year’s recipient, Kyle Norris from Union High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is attending Oklahoma State University this year.

2012Revelli Winner for Blog Post“I'm so glad that I get to go to school every day and learn how to become the best music teacher I can be so that when I am teaching students someday, I can hopefully affect them in the same positive way my teachers have affected me,” said Norris. Thanks Music for All and the Revelli Scholarship for helping me get here!”


The $1,000 William D. Revelli Scholarship is a one-time scholarship for a graduating senior who is performing at the 2013 Music for Al National Festival and is nominated by his or her director. Recipients must intend to pursue a degree in music education and demonstrate outstanding musicianship, leadership skills and work ethic.

To apply for this year’s scholarship, download the application here.
The deadline for submitting your application for the Revelli Scholarship is February 22, 2013.

Please share this information with any students  (and directors of students) who might be interested in this scholarship opportunity. We know continuing education can be expensive and every little bit helps these students to become amazing music educators!


Thursday, 13 December 2012 10:36 Written by Erin Fortune
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In partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Music for All is proud to launch two projects on the new power2give site. The power2give site is an online cultural marketplace designed to connect donors with projects for which they are passionate. Music for All will utilize power2give to offer our supporters opportunities to make direct impact on our world-class programming.

Music for All currently has two projects posted on that supporters can donate to:“Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”-IPS Rose Parade Sponsorship, which is an opportunity to send an Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) student to Los Angeles to participate in the BOA Honor Band in the 2013 Rose Parade®; and “Music Matters: Support Music in our Schools,” a project to develop an advocacy and awareness campaign through PSAs that promote the importance of music education in our schools.  You can view information and help fund these projects at:

Chase Bank will be donating $0.50 for every $1.00 donated to the, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”-IPS Rose Parade Sponsorship. Music for All would like to thank Chase Bank for its support of the arts in our community.

 We hope you join us in showing your support for music and arts education by sharing these projects with fellow supporters of the arts via email and social media. If you have questions about the projects, please feel free to contact Music for All at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 317-636-2263. 


How does it work?
Music for All and other 501(c)(3) organizations in Central Indiana will submit projects in need of funding to the power2give website. After approval from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the project will be posted to the website for up to 90 days, where you can select an amount to donate toward the project. The minimum donation is just $1. For every dollar raised, 12 cents goes to cover administrative costs and credit card fees.

What happens if the project I donate to isn’t fully funded?
If you give to a Music for All project that isn’t fully funded, a representative of our Development Department will contact you to notify you how the project will be adapted to utilize your generous gift.

What are the donor benefits?
Music for All has developed incentives for donors to ensure that they are closely connected to the project.  After the project is funded or has expired, Music for All will distribute the donor benefits listed on the power2give give project page.
Is my gift tax deductible?
Yes, because power2give is a program of the Arts Council of Indianapolis, a 501(c)(3) organization and the donor benefits listed do not have tax implications, your gift is fully tax deductible.

What are ways I can get involved with a project aside from donating?
You can help promote projects through email and social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. For information on volunteering for Music for All, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information on power2give, please visit

Inspiring Words

Tuesday, 11 December 2012 17:04 Written by Erin Fortune
Music Quote

I’m not going to try to hide it.  I am completely fascinated with quotes. I love beautiful words. Add some wonderful graphic to those beautiful words and I’m in heaven. Thank you Pinterest for deepening this love for me.

 Last Friday I wanted to do something fun on the Music for All Facebook page so I asked our Facebook fans what THEIR favorite quote about music was. I was surprised by the number of quotes I had never heard before and decided to ask some of my coworkers what THEIR favorite music quotes were! I found out that I’m not alone in my love for a beautiful quote, so I thought I’d share some of them with you.

Here is what some members of the Music for All staff said:

 ·      Nancy Carlson, EVP and Chief Financial Officer: “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible in music”- Aldous Huxley
·      Mike Pyron, Marketing Intern: ”It’s funny how a melody sounds like a memory”- lyrics from an Eric Church/ Springsteen song
·      Seth Williams, Development Coordinator: “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music”- Aldous Huxley
·      Rachel McFadden, Participant Relations Coordinator: “You are the music while the music lasts.” –T.S. Eliot
·      Zachary Modjeski, Participant Relations Intern: “Music without passion is just noise”
·      Kyle Courtney, Events Coordinator: “Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.”
·      Julie Rapp, Accounting Specialist: “Music is what feelings sound like.”- Author Unknown and “A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence”- Leopold Stokowski
Here are some of the favorite quotes that our Facebook Fans posted:

·      “You can take me out of the music, but you can never take the music out of me”
·      “Music for All is a wonderful organization and doing wonderful things!” (Sorry couldn’t resist sharing these very kind words from the Musicians of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra!)
·      “I believe in music the way people believe in fairy tales.” – August Rush
·      “Music is Art Painted on Silence”
·      “When words fail, Music speaks”
·      “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”- Albert Einstein
·      “Being in the band is one of the greatest things you can do, and don’t let anyone ever tell you any differently!”
·      “La musica es el idioma universal” translation “Music is the universal language”
·      “If it sounds good, it is good”
·      “Without music, life would be a mistake”- Nietzsche
·      “Music is what feelings sound like”
·      “Even if the whole world has forgotten, the song remembers when”- Hugh Prestwood, sung by Trisha Yearwood
·      “Music will save the world”- Pablo Casals
·      “God gave us music so we could pray without words”
·      “To all those who enter, you are subject to the relentless refining process of music, through uncompromising standards”- Bruce Dinkins
·      “Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us”- Martin Luther
·      “If Music is Love, Love is Music, then Love is everywhere”
·      “It’s all about music. Everything else is second”
·      “Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn”- Charlie Parker
·      “Life without art is stupid”
·      “The great thing about music: when it hits you, you feel no pain”

While it is extremely hard to pick a favorite, especially after reading all of these wonderful quotes, my personal favorite music quote is:

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”

Which is your favorite?

Erin Fortune
Marketing Coordinator- Music for All

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 2012 Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster award was awarded to PJ Littleton, of Tennessee.

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Eric Martin-President and CEO of Music for All, David McCullough-Director of Bands at Butler University, Webb Littleton, Casey Littleton, PJ Littleton, Susan Littleton, Cameron Gish- Director at Hillsboro M.S.

PJ Littleton is an active volunteer and arts supporter with the new band program at Hillsboro Middle School in Franklin, Tennessee.

As a youth, PJ Littleton represented his home state of West Virginia in the McDonalds’s All American Band, performed in the All-American Jazz Band, minored in music at West Virginia University, studied at the Berkley College of Music and worked in the music industry for over 10 years before moving to Franklin to raise a family.

In 2011 Hillsboro Middle School was the only middle school in Williamson County in Tennessee without an established band program- and the school that Mr. Littleton’s 6th grader would be attending. Mr. Littleton an avid supporter of music and music education attended every district roundtable discussion, every zoning meeting and every PTO meeting, fighting tirelessly for district support of a new band program.

When others said that the school’s small enrollment (275 middle school students) would not have enough interest for a band, Mr. Littleton pushed on with his belief that each student at Hillsboro deserved the right to perform in a band program similar to any other school in the county. After weeks of discussion the Board of Education agreed to hire a band director for Hillsboro. PJ Littleton is more than a proud parent and a dedicated band booster president. PJ Littleton is a true music advocate who saw a need for a music program and didn’t stop until the students of Hillsboro Middle School had access to music.

While administration was busy hiring new leadership for the school and building new classrooms for the influx of new students, a group of parents began meeting to discuss other academic, athletic, and arts-related needs of the group. This group of parents eventually formed a 501(c)(3) organization called Hillsboro Tomorrow, an organization that has funded over $300,000 in improvements to the school. PJ Littleton has been an active member of this organization since its conception, and worked with board members to allocate $45,000 of funds raised to support the new band program. Mr. Littleton was however responsible for finding the donors and business supporters to raise his requested amount of money.
“PJ has been a cornerstone of our band program, even before most knew we were going to have a band program. He has given of himself tirelessly with his time, his passion, and his resources. As someone who has worked alongside of him and has a child benefitting from his efforts, I can’t say enough wonderful things about PJ Littleton. We have worked together for the benefit of Hillsboro for nearly two year now, and the only complain I have heard him utter during this time is that he has not been able to do more” – Rhonda Kollenborn, President, Hillsboro Tomorrow.

Not only was PJ Littleton instrumental in making sure this school had a band program, but he was also instrumental in recruitment of band members. Even before the band director was hired, PJ was working with the community and creating a campaign “Catch the Dream, Build the Band,” that would spread awareness. The campaign was not only a tool for fundraising, but created a buzz about the band to incoming students.
Throughout the summer before the first year of the band Mr. Littleton raised over $35,000 in private donations that were used to purchase new chairs, stands, equipment ad a stock of school-owned instruments.

He not only gave of his time to fund raise but also gave of his time to help the new band director to prepare the new band room (a former storage room/ computer room) by spending hours painting and readying the room for use.

Throughout the 2011-2012 school year, Mr. Littleton served as the Band Booster President and continued to raise funds, help spread the accomplishments of the students to fellow parents and district administrators, volunteered at concerts and school events, attended PTO meetings, created band traditions, coordinated a year-end banquet, and even taught trumpet sectionals for the inaugural jazz band.

Thanks to PJ Littleton’s efforts, the new band program included nearly 60 students in its first year (20% of the student body). Enrollment soared to 90 students (30% of the student body) the next year. Mr. Littleton was there once again to help raise funds needed for new instruments to meet the increased enrollment.

PJ Littleton has no doubt been instrumental in raising much-needed funds for the new Hillsboro Middle School Band program, but his impact is much larger than that. “His impact reaches further than dollars and cents. His innovative ideas have transformed the way we think about band at Hillsboro School, and within our own county. I am constantly inspired by his selfless attitude, his contagious energy, his tireless pursuit of excellence, and is unmatched passion for public school music education. Through his efforts, we are becoming a comprehensive band program with a large stock of high-quality instruments, appropriate equipment, and an outstanding parent support system. But more importantly, he is helping to provide outstanding and memorable experiences for our students and their families, in a way that Hillsboro School has never achieved prior to this endeavor.” – Cameron Gish, Band Director, Hillsboro Middle School

Learn more about the award and how to submit a nomination

Watch the Video of the Award Presentation