I don’t remember a time that I didn’t love Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music.
I remember watching the movie on repeat as a child with my mom. I knew all of the lyrics and would sing the songbook constantly! I would even say that the Sound of Music was a part of the start of my appreciation and love for music, and definitely the start of my appreciation for musical theatre.
So of course, when I found out that Music for All was partnering with Broadway Across America for a promotion for the Sound of Music tour – I was ecstatic.
There’s nothing that would stop me from attending the Indianapolis show, and now Music for All can benefit from my ticket purchase? Sign me up!
I hope that if you live in or near Indianapolis, and love music and theatre like I do, that you’ll join me and support Music for All by attending The Sound of Music, January 10-15, 2017 at the Old National Centre.
You can support Music for All by purchasing a ticket through Ticketmaster.com using the passcode: MARIA.
$5 from your ticket will go directly to Music for All to help us work to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to active music-making in their school!
Don’t forget, tickets make excellent presents for this upcoming holiday season. Cross someone off your list and support music and arts education all at the same time! Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll even get to hear me singing along to “My Favorite Things.”
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and most people are dreaming about turkey, reuniting with family, and scoring great deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While eating and shopping to your heart’s content are exciting, it is good to remember that the true meaning of the holidays is spreading joy and giving, not only to your loved ones but to those in need. A great opportunity to do so is participating in #GivingTuesday, which takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving every year.
Created by New York’s 92nd Street Y and United Nations Foundation in 2012, #GivingTuesday is a global holiday that celebrates generosity and kindness by giving to nonprofit organizations all around the world. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday start off the buying season, #GivingTuesday starts off the giving season. #GivingTuesday is considered a social media celebration, thus many people post online about their favorite causes and advocate for people to give.
While there are a multitude of fantastic organizations to donate to on #GivingTuesday, we ask that you consider donating to Music for All in order to help us finish the year strong. Your donation will positively impact our advocacy efforts, rural and urban school initiatives, and scholarship offerings. Through these programs, Music for All works to provide all students across America with access to participate in music, no matter their socioeconomic status.
Music powerfully impacts students. Research has shown that music education improves cognition and academic achievement, such as higher GPAs and higher graduation rates. Music also increases decision-making, collaboration, creativity, communication, critical thinking, and emotional awareness. Not only does music positively affect students, but also schools, communities, the economy, and society. That is why Music for All is so passionate about music education in America.
Thus, on this #GivingTuesday, please help us ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to participate in active music making in his or her scholastic environment by making a gift to Music for All!
We hope that everyone will be joining us on Thanksgiving day by watching the 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! We cannot wait to watch and support all of the amazing marching bands that will be featured throughout the parade. We are especially excited this year to say that all of the high school bands that will be marching in the parade are in the Bands of America family! Congratulations to all of you on being selected for the Macy's 90th Thanskgiving Day Parade!
So make sure you tune in and join us in supporting these incredible ensembles as they perform for nearly 50 million television viewers nationwide! We know they will make us proud! The parade steps off at 9:00 AM on Thursday, November 24th. You can watch the parade live on NBC.
Below is a list of all of the marching bands you will see in the parade!
Cary Senior High School
Cary, North Carolina
Band Director: Matthew Minick
Grain Valley High School
Grain Valley, Missouri
Band Director: Reid Atkinson
Greendale High School
Band Director: Tom Reifenberg
Harrison High School
Band Director: Josh Ray
Hendrickson High School
Band Director: Garth Gundersen
Joe E. Newsome High School
Band Director: Michael Miller
Macy's Great American Marching Band
Students from schools across the country
Band Director: Dr. Rick Good
Na Koa Ali'l Hawaii All-State Marching Band
The State of Hawaii
Band Director: John Riggle
NYPD Marching Band
New York Police Department, New York, New York
Band Director: Lt. Tony Giorgio
Prospect High School
Band Director: Chris Barnum
United States Military Academy Band
West Point, New York
Band Director: Major Sergeant Christopher Jones
The West Virginia University Mountaineer Marching Band
Morgantown, West Virginia
Band Director: Jay Drury
For great Macy's coverage (including a list of what these bands will be performing!) visit our friends at Marching.com.
For more information about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade visit www.macys.com/parade.
Written with assistance from Michael Reed.
The Bands of America Grand National Championships Finals in Lucas Oil Stadium was a grand ending to the beginning of BOA’s second 40 years. Once again, Yamaha presented the four days of events in Indianapolis, continuing a mission of music education support that is second to none. For the first time, in 2016, all BOA Championships were live-streamed online by FloMarching.com, helping celebrate the most Championships BOA has ever held in the fall with 21 events.
The Grand National Championships is far from the end of Music for All’s yearlong season. The Music for All National Festival will be in Indianapolis, March 9-11, 2017. After schools let out for the summer, the Music for All Leadership Weekend Experience will be held at Ball State University June 24-25, 2017, followed at the same location by the Music for All Summer Symposium June 26-July 1. The Grand National Championships will return to Indianapolis November 8-11, 2017.
In the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament, held on Wednesday night, November 9, Arsenal Technical HS captured 1st place in the Corps Style division, also winning honors for Best General Effect and Best Visual Performance. Emmerich Manual HS took 2nd place, and George Washington HS took the award for Best Musical Performance. Broad Ripple HS took 1st place in the Show Style division, also capturing honors for Best Music Performance and Best General Effect. Crispus Attucks Magnet HS took 2nd place while taking the award for Best Visual Performance.
In addition to the competition on the field among the Indianapolis Public Schools bands, the schools also vie for the coveted Spirit Award, which includes a $1,000.00 scholarship and is awarded to the school demonstrating the best enthusiasm and support for their band. Crispus Attucks Magnet H.S. was named the winner of the award.
After 100 bands competed in Prelims on Thursday and Friday, the following 36 bands (listed in performance order) advanced into Semi-Finals: North Hardin HS (KY), Adair County HS (KY), Williamstown HS (KY), Archbishop Alter HS (OH), Milton-Union HS (OH), Reeths-Puffer HS (MI), Lockport Township HS (IL), Ayala HS (CA), Green Hope HS (NC), O'Fallon Township HS (IL), Ronald Reagan HS (TX), James F. Byrnes HS (SC), Wando HS (SC), Claudia Taylor Johnson HS (TX), Marian Catholic HS (IL), Avon HS (IN), Owasso HS (OK), Castle HS (IN), William Mason HS (OH), Union HS (OK), Bellevue West HS (NE), Dobyns-Bennett HS (TN), Leander HS (TX), Franklin HS (TN), Cedar Park HS (TX), Center Grove HS (IN), Carmel HS (IN), Plymouth-Canton Educational Park (MI), ), Homestead HS (IN), Lawrence Township HS (IN), Tarpon Springs HS (FL), Vista Murrieta HS (CA), James Bowie HS (TX), Fort Mill HS (SC), Clovis West HS (CA), and Columbus North HS (IN).
After the performances of all Semi-Finals bands and the exhibition of the Ohio State University Marching Band, caption highest achievement awards and caption placement awards were presented to the top bands in each of the four competitive Semi-Finals classes.
In Class AAAA, 1st place Avon HS took Outstanding Music Performance and Outstanding General Effect, and 3rd place William Mason HS took Outstanding Visual Performance. In between was 2nd place Carmel HS. In Class AAA, 1st place Leander HS took all three caption awards, sharing Outstanding General Effect with 2nd place Cedar Park HS. Castle HS finished in 3rd place. In Class AA, 1st place Tarpon Springs HS took all three caption awards, followed by 2nd place Marian Catholic HS and 3rd place North Hardin HS. In Class A, 1st place Adair County HS took all three caption awards, followed by 2nd place Williamstown HS and 3rd place Archbishop Alter HS.
The Finalist bands were randomly announced as being Carmel HS, Leander HS, Avon HS, Claudia Taylor Johnson HS, Cedar Park HS, Tarpon Springs HS, Marian Catholic HS, Homestead HS, Wando HS, William Mason HS, Ronald Reagan HS, Dobyns-Bennett HS, and Castle HS. For the first time in BOA Grand Nationals history, there were 13 bands in Finals due to a tie for 12th place in Semifinals.
Representatives from each band drew for their performing position in Finals in two blocks; the 7th-12th place bands followed by the 1st-6th place bands. (Prior to 2016, all Finalist bands drew for position in one block.) Finals performances concluded with an exhibition performance by Class A Champion Adair County HS, as Class Champions present an exhibition in Finals if they aren’t in the top-12.
Other special awards included Tom Hannum receiving the George N. Parks Leadership Award. The Yamaha Scholarship was awarded to Sarah Watt of Bentonville HS (AR), the Fred J. Miller Family Scholarship went to Olivia Klein of Norton HS (OH), and the Fred J. Miller Memorial Scholarship went to Lesly Hinojosa of Roma HS (TX). The Al Castronovo Espirit de Corps Award was presented to the Vista Murrieta HS (CA). Ronald Reagan HS (TX) received an invitation to perform at the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Avon HS was awarded both the Outstanding Music Performance and Outstanding Visual Performance Awards, and Carmel HS took the award for Outstanding General Effect. Because Carmel won GE, they were declared the 2017 BOA Grand Nationals National Champion when it was announced that both Carmel and Avon tied with the highest score, being that General Effect is used to break any ties in any of Finals placements.
One could be forgiven for wondering why Carmel was so small at the beginning of “Adagio-Presto.” Suddenly, the band appeared to double in size in this production that had no particular theme, celebrating music for music’s sake. Reflecting the show title, brass on one side of the field moved in slow curvilinear forms while brass on the other side moved at an accelerated tempo, resolving in a huge glorious show-ending statement.
Kinetic sculptures inspired by Burning Man Festival enhanced the Americana music of “Go Forth,” based on the Walt Whitman poem, “Pioneer, O Pioneer,” which was heard throughout. The program explored the restlessness and adventurousness of youth—as well as the ongoing desire to explore the unknown—by employing the inviting wide-open expanses of the western United States as a thematic motif for manifest destiny.
The music of Samuel Barber and multitudes of giant rolling bubbles helped William Mason achieve its first GN placement in the top-3 with “World Out of Balance.” The bubbles rolled around the field like giant tumbleweeds, each swallowing up a member of the band. The juxtaposition of Barber’s music with a continual visual so wacky, and yet so captivating, allowed this show to roll over the audience as well as the marchers.
“Pandora” studied the ancient Greek story of the first woman on earth, who unleashed all the troubles of the world through her curiosity and subsequent opening of a container full of various miseries. She inadvertently let everything escape the box except Hope, which popped out of the box at the end bedazzled with a giant white peacock-like silk, suggesting there was still a chance of she and all humanity becoming free.
Eerily spooky and impishly fun, “All Hallows’ Eve” (“Halloween”) delighted with its wry mischievousness, pitting smiling Jack-o’-lanterns (the treats) counter to their more sinister twins (the tricks), each taking turns popping up and just as quickly disappearing. Maneuvering amidst the sticky threads of a giant spider web, flying bats had their way until the sun arose, demonstrating everyone survived the night.
Leander HS, 6th place: 94.65
“The Fourth Dimension” explored the fascinating mathematical field of Euclidean geometry, enhanced by cube props and sets, with many of the flags emblazoned with images of cubes. Rotating 3-D cubes manipulated by the guard and the winds revealed new shapes when viewed from the changing perspective of different angles, the morphing of the shapes further reflected in the continual morphing of the sonic landscape.
“One Love” explored the need to love and embrace the diversity in the world, celebrating how the inclusion of others from all different walks of life adds value to our existence. Shocking to the eyes and brain was when the dresses worn by the massive guard all changed from either pink or blue to yellow in the blink of an eye. The show ended with the band forming a giant hand on the field, reflecting the hands imprinted upon the flags.
Cataclysmic has never been as much fun as the opener of “Gorgon” suggested in the cerebral production of “Therefore,” which encouraged us to question everything, but only after thinking about it to the nth degree. From “Violence of the Mind” to the reassuring strains of “How Great Thou Art,” the thoughts and words of famous philosophers through the millennia were intimidating, challenging, and ultimately encouraging.
Claudia Taylor Johnson HS, 9th place: 91.30
One could be forgiven for thinking that if a dance had ever been created, there was a good chance it had been snuck into “flashDANCE” somewhere. The show was all about dance, the dancers controlled by a DJ overlooking the dance floor from his platform. Hints of dances of long-ago centuries led into the jazz era of flappers, to the refined artistry of prim ballerinas and throbbing head banging to the latest pop hits.
Castle HS, 10th place: 91:05
In mythology, Sirens were stunning female creatures who lured sailors to their demise upon jagged rocks with the beauty of their irresistible voices. “A Siren’s Song” explored the interplay between such a creature and her unsuspecting prey, the sailor quickly learning that resistance was futile as he reluctantly-yet-willingly joined the Siren in a flute duet prior to being led by the hand to the destiny of the unforgiving rocks.
“A Time to Turn” was based on the lesson of Ecclesiastes 3, which inspired the folk song, “Turn, Turn, Turn.” LED lights on tree sets changed colors as the show progressed through the times and seasons of life. These included the vibrant summer celebration of tender love, the caring autumn contemplation of mutual embracing, the harsh wintery chill of sorrowful weeping, and the festive spring jubilee of ecstatic dancing.
Completing the band’s 33-year unbroken string of being a Grand Nationals finalist, “Unbroken” explored the Japanese art of kintsugi (repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted with precious metals) as a metaphor for healing after suffering tragic loss. Out of the chaos of disaster, life moves forward, reflected by the final commentary: “The world breaks everyone. Afterward, everyone is strong in the broken places.”
“Echoes of Hope” served elegant old wine in sparkling new bottles by reinventing the music of Richard Wagner, allowing us to hear the master’s work from a novel perspective. Commencing with an unorthodox saxophone octet treatment of “Pilgrims’ Chorus,” the relatively abstract production Wagner-fied a couple contemporary works that one might suspect had been written under a pseudonym by a latter-day Wagner.
The marching band community was shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Castle High School’s Sophie Rinehart, who, along with her father and grandmother, lost her life in an auto accident on the way home from Indianapolis. All in attendance at Grand Nationals were uplifted by her ethereal voice, which will serve as a haunting reminder that life is fragile, must continually be cherished, and is a gift that can evaporate in a heartbeat. Debbie Laferty Asbill perfectly captured the essence of our collective grief with the following reflections on Sophie’s life, complete with a video from what no one could have suspected would be her last performance. http://www.musicforall.org/blog/stories/remembering-sophie-rinehart
Band people often talk about their “band family.” In the days following the 2016 Bands of America Grand Nationals it became clear that “family” extends beyond one’s own band and school to all of us who are alumni, band parents, and boosters.
Just hours after Sophie Rinehart’s standout feature performance with the Castle Marching Knights of Newburgh, Indiana in their first BOA Grand Nationals Finals appearance, her life was taken in a tragic car crash, along with her father and grandmother. Her older sister was injured.
Sophie’s vocal solo and flute duet during Castle’s 2016 show had moved audiences all fall. Grand Nationals was no exception. It seemed everyone, from the 100 participating bands and their supporters to those watching online and fans in the stands, was talking about “the singer with Castle.”
When news spread online Sunday that Sophie had passed away just hours after her Finals performance and celebrating Castle’s 10th place accomplishment with her fellow band members, the band world expressed its shock and sadness.
Condolences began pouring in from band parents, students, teachers, and fans from the Grand National bands and fans from across the country and around the world. Sophie’s vocal solo performance was of Sara Bareilles’ Gravity; Sara herself sent an email offering condolences to the Castle band.
Personally, after sharing the sad news and Music for All staff’s own sadness on the Bands of America Facebook page on Sunday, I was riveted to my computer screen the rest of that evening, finding some small comfort in the thousands of shares and comments from band programs nationwide. #weareallcastle became a way to share the pain and honor Sophie, her family, the Castle band, and the Newburgh community.
Bands of America interviewed many band directors and students during Grand Nationals. When we asked Castle band director Tom Dean to select a student representative for us to interview, he brought Sophie to the set. To honor her memory, and share her special gifts with the world, we are offering this video with portions of that interview and her final performance.
Special thanks to Tresona Multimedia for helping us to secure the rights to allow us to include a portion of the performance, and to Hansen Multimedia for donating the production of this video.
We remember Sophie and her unforgettable performance in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Hello, my name is Madi Dornseif and I am a senior at Homestead H.S. in Fort Wayne, IN! I’m in the color guard and winter guard at Homestead, and I’m hoping to pursue a degree in Marketing. On October 19, I had the experience to job shadow Music for All in the Marketing Department. I quickly realized there is so much that goes into for preparing each show. I was able to sit by Lucy, one of the Marketing Coordinators, and see what she does on a busy day before a Super Regional Competition like making press kits, scheduling, and seeing what she does on the media side of Music for All. I even got to sit in a meeting with the Marketing Manager Erin Fortune, for the St. Louis Super Regional; it was very interesting to see all of the planning that goes it. Getting the experience really helped me with figuring out what I want to pursue as a career, hopefully someday I will be working with Music for All.
Check out the awards photos from the 2016 Bands of America Regional Championship at Plano, TX
If this photo stream is not viewable for you, try this link: https://www.flickr.com//photos/officialmusicforall/sets/72157673757463932/show/
Check out the awards photos from the 2016 Bands of America Regional Championship at McAllen, TX
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Check out the awards photos from the 2016 Bands of America Regional Championship at Powder Springs, GA
If this photo stream is not viewable for you, try this link: https://www.flickr.com//photos/officialmusicforall/sets/72157671440856754/show/