I’ve been emotional this morning thinking about the passing of Steve Jobs. Part of it is a bit of fear – the reminder that life is short. No matter how visionary, successful, smart, creative, hard-working, kind or wealthy we are, our time is finite. The greater part of the emotion, though, is gratitude.
The “products” that rose from Steve Jobs' vision have shaped my life. I put products in quotes because they are more than just widgets, they enable a way of life, of communicating, connecting and creating.
Every printed piece – program book, newsletter, poster, flyer, ad, form – that Music for All/Bands of America has put out there since 1986 has been created on a Macintosh computer, whether by me or other talented MFA staff and outside designers. When I first came to Bands of America in 1985 our printed pieces were created the old-fashioned way. Text sent to typesetters. An Exacto knife, proportion wheel, pica ruler, spray mount were my tools. In 1986, I created the BOA newsletter on a Mac SE using Aldus Pagemaker 1.2 for the first time and there was no looking back.
My work history on Macs is like an Apple history lesson: Mac SE with two floppy drives, Mac II, Quadra 700, a Mac clone whose brand I cannot remember, then Macbook Pros of various sizes and configurations. My Macbook is more than a work tool, it’s a companion, a workplace colleague, an extension of myself.
My work life in Macs, 1986-2011
Jobs’ vision has shaped my personal life, too. My iPhone is with me every hour of the day and night. iTunes is open on my screen nearly all day. I read 90% of books these days (I’m a voracious reader) on my iPad. Thanks to Pixar, I actually don’t mind watching the same “kids” movies dozens (maybe even hundreds) of times – I am moved, amused and entertained every time.
This Saturday, I’ll be working at the Bands of America Regional Championship in Conroe, TX. I’ll have my Macbook Pro in the press box, my iPad on my shoulder and my iPhone in my pocket – and the knowledge that one person can make a profound difference in the world.
– Debbie Laferty Asbill, Director of Marketing and Communications, Music for All
If you haven't yet checked out the great podcasts from our friends over at Marching Roundtable, you should!
In Episode 30, posted: 28 Sep 2011 07:00 PM PDT, Joe Allison talks with Eric Martin, the President and CEO of Music for All and Bands of America. Eric shares his philosophy for participation and competition, and they discuss the Fall BOA Regional schedule, noting how any band, student, or family member can benefit from the competition experience.
You may have already noticed that the musicforall.org Web site is exhibiting some odd behavior today, with menus and links taking you to incorrect pages. We are working on this issue, as well as a resolution to the circumstances that cause the site to be alternately inaccessible and accessible-but-slow-to-load over the past few days.
We know that our fans and participants rely on the Web site for information, especially now that we've started the 2011 Bands of America Championship season. Please know that we're working on solutions and hope to have things ironed out soon.
- Deb Laferty Asbill, Director of Marketing and Communications
Music for All is pleased to announce the return of the BOA podcast, Bands of America's Break Ranks! with Dan Potter. Break Ranks features stories and interviews from the 2011 Bands of America Championships. Veteran journalist, radio personality, talk show host and Bands of America (and DCI) announce Dan Potter takes you behind-the-scenes.
You can listen to the first episode now, featuring an interview with Music for All's President and CEO Eric L. Martin.
A note: We're working to get Break Ranks live in iTunes so you can subscribe and download the episodes directly to your computer or mobile devices. The old, 2007-2005 version of Break Ranks currently comes up if you searc for Break Ranks in iTunes. When we get that resolved, I'll let you know so you can subscribe and get the weekly episodes via iTunes.
- Deb Laferty Asbill, Director of Marketing and Communications, Music for All
Music for All loves Time for Three! Zach DePue, Nick Kendall and Ranaan Meyer are not only amazing musicians, they are incredible people. We've had the pleasure of having Time for Three perform at our Music for All Summer Symposium, and, most recently, Nick and Ranaan were artists-in-residence at this past June's Summer Symposium String camp.
Now they are working on their first music video, with a top-shelf crew lead by the very experienced Brian Lazzaro who's directed music videos for Pink, Rilo Kiley, Rooney... and the list goes on.
But here's the deal: they can't begin shooting the video until they raise the funds for the project, by the start of the scheduled shoot in LA on August 26th.
The idea is very cool, online they say: "The music video we're making follows a young boy (age 10-14, we're still casting) who is passionate about playing the violin but is bullied at school for not fitting in. He goes to one of our concerts with other kids from the orchestra and is inspired by our show. A chance encounter with us backstage and a few encouraging words give him the confidence to sign up for the school talent competition. After overcoming his stage fright and channeling the support he received from his teachers and the band, he gives a performance of our song and brings the house down."
Let's help! Check out Time for Three's music video project page now, and see how you can play a part.
from Deb Laferty Asbill, Music for All
Congratulations to the ensembles that have been invited to perform at the 2012 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, March 15-17 in Indianapolis. Ensembles were invited following a recorded audition process, evaluated by a panel of music educators.
School and Ensemble, City, State, Director
I've tried for a couple of days to come up with the right words to express my sadness at the passing of Chuck Campbell. Mr. Campbell died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, July 30, 2011, after a four month valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.
As a high school student at Rowan County High School in Morehead, Kentucky, I admired Mr. Campbell's work with the George Rogers Clark H.S. band (GRC!). I enjoyed getting to know and work with Chuck on a professional level when I came to Bands of America in 1985, and his work with the North Hardin bands and as an adjudicator and clinician across the nation.
There was no classier gentleman or more passionate music educator than Chuck. He will be greatly missed and my thoughts, as well as my Music for All colleagues' thoughts, are with his family and friends.
Thank you, Chuck, for your decades of creating positively life-changing experiences through your music and teaching.
- Debbie Laferty Asbill
Please see this information below from SchoolJam USA, brought to you by our friends at NAMM:
Third Annual SchoolJam USA Program to Award More Than $50,000 in Cash and Prizes to Teen Bands and Their Local School Music Programs
This battle of rising stars is produced by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), and its promotional sponsors NAfME: the National Association for Music Education, School of Rock, SchoolJam Germany, Music for All, TakeLessons.com, Drum Corps International, In Tune Monthly, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, Vans Warped Tour and Channel One News. The competition highlights quality musical teen talent, gathers students to support music and the arts, provides funding for school music programs, and promotes active participation in school music programs.
Unsigned teen musicians between the ages of 13 and 19, with the majority of band members currently registered in a U.S. middle or high school, are eligible to participate and apply from Aug. 1 to Oct. 21, 2011. Bands can perform any genre of music but the song must be original content or designated as "public domain." To view full competition rules and regulations, and for information about how to apply, visit www.schooljamusa.com.
From Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, 2011, participating bands' submissions will be posted on the SchoolJam USA website, where online voting will be open to the public. Eight finalist bands will be chosen by a combination of the public vote and by a panel of musical professionals. On Jan. 21, during the weekend of the world-famous NAMM Show, the top-ranking eight finalists will take the big stage in the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif., and perform live in front of a panel of professional judges and hundreds of fans for the chance to take the title of "Best Teen Band in the USA." The winning band will walk away with the grand prize trip of a lifetime to perform at the original SchoolJam festival in Frankfurt, Germany, as well as receive a private music video recording session on the John Lennon Educational Bus, $1,000 toward the purchase of new gear and $5,000 for their school music programs.
"NAMM is looking forward to crowning the next SchoolJam USA champion at our show in Anaheim," said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. "So right now, we encourage all of the teen bands out there to take their shot at greatness by entering this competition and adding recognition to the list of benefits they get from playing music."
SchoolJam is an established music initiative, originally developed by MM MusikMedia Germany to promote popular and rock music in schools throughout Germany. The program has provided thousands of music-loving young adults with the opportunity to perform and network with their peers, increasing their love for playing music and encouraging them to become active musicians.
The National Association of Music Merchants, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization's popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM is the sponsor of the Wanna Play? campaign, a public awareness initiative designed to get more people connected with the proven benefits of playing music. For more information about Wanna Play?, please visit www.wannaplaymusic.com. For more information about NAMM, please visit www.namm.org.
The SWAG Team is a special group of volunteers who give their talent and time at the MFA Summer Symposium to ensure the best possible experience for students and directors. The Inaugural SWAG Scholarship was awarded at the 2011 Summer Symposium to Fiona McGowan, a senior music education and German major at the University of Dayton. McGowan has served as a SWAG for the last three years and was a student participant at the 2006 Symposium. Anmol Mehra, SWAG alumnus, created the $1,000 scholarship to support an exceptional SWAG with college tuition. The scholarship recipient was chosen based on exemplary leadership skills, academic excellence, service to others and a commitment and passion for music and arts education.
Congratulations, Fiona and thank you, Anmol!