On Saturday, close to 500 hundred students arrived at Ball State University to begin the Leadership Weekend Experience! Students began with an opening session featuring Fran Kick, moved on to break-out sessions and small group sessions and finished the evening with a rousing keynote from Dr. Tim. Following the keynote, students were treated to a surprise party to cap off an exciting day!
Students received Leadership Weekend T-Shirts and markers and began signing each other's shirts while dancing to tunes spun by DJ Blitz (aka MFA Senior Marketing Coordinator Erin Fortune). By signing these T-shirts, students are commemorating their Leadership Weekend experience and creating lasting connections with fellow campers.
The Leadership Weekend Party is a long tradition at the Summer Symposium, and while the returning Leadership students likely remember the party from previous years, it was a complete surprise to first-year attendees. The SWAG Team and DTAs (Directors' Track Assistants) chaperoned the party, and even got in on some of the dancing!
At the end of the party, campers left to their dorms for the evening with new leadership skills, t-shirts full of signatures and inspiring notes and memories that the students will keep for a long time.
The Music for All Summer Symposium is almost here and now is the time to make sure you have everything in order and ready to go so that you can have an amazing camp experience! I of course can't get ready for anything without a list (I probably have 10 of my own Summer Symposium lists!) so I thought I'd share a list of 10 things to do to make sure you are ready! So here we go:
Have you paid your registration balance? Have you completely filled out the medical information forms and waivers? Early departure forms? Make sure you have completed all of these before you arrive at camp so that you can sail through registration and get right to the fun parts of camp! (Need to fill out some of these forms? You can find them here.)
These pre-camp communications contain vital information regarding expectations and other important information that students need to know in order to make the week a success. If you need to find out about early departures, if your track requires a placement audition, what to wear for the final performance, how to send mail/packages to camp, camp rules, etc - it's all in the pre-camp communications! (Not sure if you received the pre-camp communications? No worries, you can find all of that here.)
If you are driving, make sure you know your way and leave yourself the proper amount of time so that you are not late for the start of camp (especially if your track requires onsite auditions!) If you are flying to camp, make sure you have all of our itinerary set and have made shuttle reservations.
Not sure that you want to drive or fly to camp? Music for All has teamed up with some awesome music educators and has developed bus routes from areas around the country. Follow this link to find our what routes are available and for more information on how to "get on the bus": http://musicforall.org/what-we-do/summer-camp/bus-routes
You want to be completely prepared for camp so you won't have to worry about anything besides having a great time, making new friends and learning all you can from the amazing educators that you will be working with! So, make sure that you review the lists of items you need to bring to camp. Your final camp communications packet contained a general list of items that ALL campers need to bring, as well as track specific lists. If you missed it, don't worry, you can find that complete list here. Just make sure you scroll all the way down that page and check the track specific lists as well! (Some tracks have specific attire required for the final performance, so make sure you make note of that!)
Do you need to stock up on sunscreen or need a couple more pairs of shorts to make it through the week? Make sure you know (before the night you are packing!) what items you might need to run to the store to purchase. Nothing is worse than putting off your packing until midnight the night before you are leaving, and then realizing you need to run to the store for something on your packing list. Trust me, I've done this too many times to count, and I curse myself everytime! Learn from my mistakes, review your packing list and make your own list of "things to purchase" the weekend before you need to pack! Save yourself (and your parents!) the last minute "oh no, I forgot we didn't have any _____" stress.
It sounds very simple, but like I said before, don’t wait until the last minute to do your packing. It is important to not forget a single thing and to prepare for the worst. This means packing extra socks, rain gear, backup reeds, and anything you think you may need during the week. You never know what the weather will bring, and sometimes that air conditioning in the rehearsal rooms is chilly! Make sure you have plenty of layers and anything you need to make yourself comfortable that might not be on the "must bring" list that we have provided! The first day of Summer Symposium is a long one, so you don't want to be up until 2am the night before still packing!
There are great activities for families to be involved in at the MFA Summer Symposium, so make sure your family knows about them and makes plans to join in on the fun before you leave! There's an opening parent welcome session at 1pm on Monday, June 23rd. There's a Parent Sessions and Breakfast on Saturday, June 28th followed by all of the awesome final performances and a fun family picnic! You can read more about these family friendly activities here and make reservations to join us!
Prepare yourself for having a fantastic and unbelievably exciting week because you are going to have one! Know that your family back home (and everyone at camp!) are supporting you. Even if you are a little nervous about being away from home for the whole week, just know that you will have a great time and learn so many new things. Remember to have fun, bring your positive attititude and open mind, make some friends, and you'll go back home with lots of stories to share! In fact, I'm pretty sure that when 3pm on Saturday rolls around, you aren't even going to want to leave!
I hope that this list has helped you think about some of the things you need to take care of as you prepare to head to camp. If you start your planning now, you have plenty of time to get everything ready and be stress-free when you start your travels to Muncie, Indiana. Have a great beginning of summer and we will see you very soon!
Please join us in welcoming our newest member of the Music for All Marketing Team, Mackenzie Ziegler! We are very thankful to have Mackenzie joining us this summer as we prepare for Summer Symposium this June! You'll definitely be hearing more from Mackenzie throughout her semester here with us, but in the meantime, let her introduce herself to you!
My name is Mackenzie Ziegler and I am the new Marketing Intern here at Music for All. I am a senior (yikes!) at Butler University majoring in Arts Administration Music with a minor in Strategic Communications. Essentially, I am double majoring in business administration and music. I study flute under Karen Moratz, current principal flutist with the ISO, and oboe under Malcolm Smith, former principal oboist with the ISO. I am also involved in many organizations at Butler. I am the President of the Butler chapter of Tau Beta Sigma – National Honorary Band Sorority and am the Treasurer of the Butler chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota – International Music Fraternity for Women. I am always very busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
So, obviously, music is kind of my life. I have been playing for 10 years and have been actively involved in marching band for 8. I attended Warsaw Community High School where I was involved in every musical related ensemble that they had, literally. I was in Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Marching Band, Pep Band, Jazz Band, Clarinet Choir, Flute Choir, and Winter Percussion Ensemble and I loved every minute of it! After graduating in 2011, I began working with the Clay City Imperial Regiment marching band out of Clay City, IN. My uncle, Mark Ziegler, has been the band director there for about 8 years and he wanted me to come to work with the woodwind players. I fully enjoyed that experience and miss it every summer when band time comes around!
When I am not doing something with music you can usually find me watching TV, reading, crafting, playing with my new kitty, Anna, or working my part time job at Starbucks on 86th and Michigan Road in Indianapolis.
At Music for All, our mission is to provide positively life-changing experiences through music for all. We believe that music is powerful beyond measure and can change lives. At every single one of our events, there is something that I see or hear that proves to me that we have accomplished our mission, and that music CAN change people’s lives in so many ways.
This year at the Music for All National Festival, the Honor Band of America had the opportunity to be involved in something even more incredible than the experience of being part of a national honor band. This year, the Honor Band of America performed the premiere of a commissioned piece, Everything Beautiful by composer Samuel Hazo under the baton of Eugene Migliaro Corporon.
Everything Beautiful was commissioned by The Charles F. Campbell Jr. Memorial Consortium, in memory of Charles (Chuck) Campbell, Jr, a respected music educator, conductor and mentor to young music teachers, and 2012 posthumous inductee of the Bands of America Hall of Fame.
While many of the young musicians who performed in the 2014 Honor Band of America had never had the opportunity to meet Chuck Campbell before he passed, they were tasked with the responsibility of being the very first musicians who would perform this beautiful piece of music in his memory.
During their time rehearsing, the students had the opportunity to learn about Chuck Campbell and why he was special to so many people. They even had the chance to hear from the composer himself, Samuel Hazo, to really understand what this piece of music was about. (To learn more about the piece and the history behind the commission click here.)
Every artist, no matter the medium, strives to connect with his or her audience. I know I’m not the only one who believes that the 2014 Honor Band of America accomplished this the night they premiered Everything Beautiful for a packed house at Clowes Hall during the Music for All National Festival.
Composer Samuel Hazo put it best in this video that takes us inside Everything Beautiful.
Everything Beautiful. Never has there been a more perfect title for a piece of music. Every time I listen to it, I cannot think of a better adjective to describe what I’m hearing than simply – beautiful.
The Honor Band of America did a magnificent job connecting with their audience and invoking so many emotions throughout the three movements. Bravo, members of the 2014 Honor Band of America!
Watch the full performance of Everything Beautiful performed by the 2014 Honor Band of America:
To learn more about the history of the Everything Beautiful commission, composer Samuel Hazo and to read the program notes click here.
As my time at Music for All comes to an end, I though it fitting to dedicate this throwback Thursday post to my first and favorite event, 2013 BOA Grand Nationals.
This past year’s Grand Nats was one of the most exhilarating, challenging, sometimes frustrating, and all around fun experiences of my life. Helping produce positively life-changing experiences for the participants, their families, and all of our amazing volunteers is something I will never forget. And, as a huge Colts’ fan, walking on the field, into the press box, and all around Lucas Oil Stadium was a dream come true.
As a non-BOA participant myself, I didn’t fully grasp just how important these championships were to our many fans. But, I learned very quickly. One afternoon I, along with my fellow marketing assistant (we miss you Cristina!) were tasked with handling quite possibly the most prized possession in the house: The Eagle. We wheeled the trophy up from the field, through elevators and onto the main concourse. The looks we were garnering from passersby throughout the stadium gave me my first clue to just how “big” this was. A few stopped us to ask “Is that the real Eagle?” When we answered with “yes, and we’re giving everyone the chance to get their very own picture taken with it,” their faces lit up.
Soon, fans from all across the stadium began coming to our booth hoping to have their own moment with the trophy. We snapped photos, exchanged stories, and learned some really interesting history about the Eagle, and BOA itself. I can’t even tell you how many folks just wanted to come and look for their school’s engraving from past championships, and share a tale from that year’s marching season. The amount of joy that came from these people as they thought back to their marching days or stood next to the Eagle for the first time could have lit the entirety of Lucas Oil Stadium that weekend.
This was the moment that cemented in my mind just how important Music for All is. BOA is not just a competition but, as we at Music for All like to say, an absolutely life-changing experience. I will never forget my time with Music for All, and am honored to add my name to the incredible legacy of the organization.
Name: Kyle Courtney
Position: Event Coordinator
Hometown: Newburgh, Indiana
How long have you been with MFA?
Just over two years.
What is your educational background? Where did you go to school, and what did you study?
I went to Indiana State University and got a Bachelor of Science with emphasis on Music Business. Give or take a couple of credit hours, it is essentially a double major in Music and Business Administration.
What is your musical background?
In high school, I played Euphonium for the Castle Marching Knights (yes, I was a BOA kid) and the concert bands. I also sang in our show choir and was a part of several stage productions. In college, I stuck to singing and performed with of our concert choir and chamber ensemble, the Sycamore Singers. I also play guitar (badly), and my biggest regret is that I never was in a rock band in high school. If I could have had just ONE successful stage dive…
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
It truly depends on my mood, but I have a particular love for 90’s rock music, only because it is the best era of music (fact). That being said, I have a VERY eclectic array of albums, from Metallica to Queen to the Goo Goo Dolls to Michael Buble. Growing up, I was introduced to many different types and styles of music and I am still constantly discovering new artists, as well as appreciating those that have paved the way.
Why is music important to you?
Music is one of the few things that touches everyone. It’s on the radio, on our phones, on our computers, in the movies and TV shows that we watch, and is continuing to be made every day. We develop personal relationships and become emotionally and monetarily invested in the art because it invokes feelings within us that nothing else can. Music can be a reminder, an escape, an outlet and a career, connecting us all to one another in various shapes and forms.
Why do you believe in music education?
I can state all kinds of statistics and studies proving that music education is an essential component for healthy and sound academic development, but really I was just very fortunate to have a lot of great educators that taught me life skills through music. They pushed me to work hard, be a good leader, be focused, set and accomplish realistic goals, learn to work as a team and strive to be as good as I can. What I realize now is every component that makes an ensemble successful also makes a business successful. Only a handful of my friends ended up in the music industry or music education, but many of the people that were involved with me in music found success and happiness in various other industries and I ABSOLUTELY believe that it was because of the training we received.
What sort of things do you do in your free time (hobbies)?
I am a HUGE football fan. However, I am a Steelers fan living in Indianapolis, so I get plenty of grief from Colts fans, but my allegiance will not waiver. I also have an (unhealthy) obsession with movies and pop culture and a barrage of obscure facts that, I feel, really makes me a hit at parties.
What led you to Music for All?
Between my sophomore and junior year of college, I was struggling to figure out which aspect of the music industry I wanted to work in, so I went to a Foo Fighters concert to clear my head. For three hours, I screamed lyrics and sweated uncomfortably close to complete strangers, and it was the most pure I had felt in a long time. From that point forward, I made it my goal to work in the world of live performance, just to provide others with that same feeling.
I had the opportunity to work as the stage manager for the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra my last two years in college, gaining valuable event planning and “gear schlepping” experience. Upon graduation, I moved down to Nashville where I worked for a couple of music agencies, assisted at the Country Music Awards and went on the road with Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan. It was all a lot of fun, but I couldn’t help feeling like something was missing from the equation. I had the very fortunate opportunity to interview and get the Event Coordinator position here at Music for All, where I am able to provide the same experiences that made me the person I am today. I couldn’t be happier!
What do you enjoy the most about working for Music for All?
Seeing the kids faces after they DO have a “positively life-changing experience.” I still remember at Grand Nationals last year, hearing a girl say “I can’t believe we just marched on the same field the Colts play on!” and it brought me back to that moment for me when I was in high school. Working on our side of it, we are often so caught up in making the event run, it’s easy to forget that those reactions are why we do what we do. We make it a point to step back and watch a few shows, just to remember what it’s really about.
Also, I have the best co-workers in the world. It takes a special kind of person to do this kind of work, and we are so lucky to have an office full of them. Plus, they tolerate me making EXTRA strong coffee.
What is your favorite Music for All event, and why?
Grand Nationals is my favorite event that we do. First of all, Lucas Oil Stadium is an INCREDIBLE venue and the stadium staff we work with are amazing. The city of Indianapolis embraces this event and we are so grateful that they work with us each year to make it bigger and better.
From my perspective, it is really nice to have the MFA and site staff together in one place. For the previous two months, we have all been traveling around to various parts of the United States and we get to finally sit down and share the hilarious and enlightening experiences from the fall. It is a perfect end to the season!
What’s one interesting thing about yourself that some on staff may not be aware of?
I have a little sister that my parents adopted from China when I was a junior in high school. It has been an awesome experience to watch her grow up and I absolutely love her to death. I am jealous of her ability to ALREADY play piano better than I ever could (she has been playing for 4 months…I took it for 2 years in college), but am very proud to see her embracing music as a part of her life. In a few years, I look forward to seeing her in a Castle Marching Band uniform.
Are you still debating whether or not you should attend the the Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha in June? Here are the top 10 reasons why you should consider it!
Each night after a day full of track intensive work (and fun!), the WHOLE camp comes together for an evening of inspiring music! Whether your favorite is an evening of jazz, virtuosic soloists or some of the world’s best drum corps, there will be at least one night you can’t wait to tell your friends back home about!
Whether you are a jazz cat, guard diva, marching band buff, orchestra nut, concert band wiz, or drum guru, there’s a division and a place for you at the Music for All Summer Symposium.
At the Music for All Summer Symposium we don’t believe that only drum majors or section leaders benefit from leadership. We believe that EVERY student benefits from leadership training and that’s why it is incorporated in EVERY division of the Summer Symposium. Anyone who is willing to pay attention, respond and get involved has the potential to positively lead others.
Where else would you get to go to be instructed by so many of the top music educators and clinicians from across the country?
At camp you will be with over 1,000 other students from all across the country. You will not only have the opportunity to make friends within your own track, but you will make friends with other students in your dorm, your swags, and faculty! These are relationships that can last you a lifetime; just think of the instagram followers you will have when you get home!
This IS the Music for All Summer Symposium, so first and foremost you will be getting top-notch performance instruction from our outstanding faculty!
There is no doubt about it that you will take things that you learn at Music for All Summer Symposium back to your own band, orchestra or guard program back home, not only music or performance skills, but attitude, energy, and a new outlook. Imagine how much stronger of a performer and leader you’ll be and how it could positively impact your school ensemble!
You’re probably already thinking leaving home to go to college and into the broader world in the next 1-4 years. Heading away from home can be pretty nerve wrecking. Going to a week long summer camp on a college campus is a great way of getting the experience of being away from home, navigating around a campus and having a roommate! It’s a week of learning about yourself in a new environment.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. What would you rather do? Come to camp, make music and hang out with awesome people or go to work everyday? (p.s. you have the rest of your life to work, spend this summer at camp!) Plus, we know that a large percentage of Fortune 500 CEOs participated in their school music programs, so think of it as an investment in your future!
At school you probably are in a band with anywhere from 50-350 students (give or take) who have similar interests as you, and maybe half who are as PASSIONATE about music making as you are. Can you imagine being in one place, where the focus is music making and you are surrounded by over 1,000 people who are just as passionate as you are about band, orchestra or guard? Well, you can stop dreaming because that place exists, and it’s in Muncie, Indiana at Ball State University this June.
So what are you waiting for? If these reasons didn't convince you that the Symposium is the right place for you, check out our videos on YouTube from last year's camp as well as the extended online coverage!
Ready to dive in and have the best summer of your life? Register for the MFA Summer Symposium here!
Since 1975, passionate and skilled educators have been key to ensuring that Music for All programs are positively life-changing. We are incredibly thankful for the continuous support of music teachers across the country. In celebration of both Teacher Appreciation Week and Throwback Thursday, here are some of the many wonderful teachers who have impacted Music for All!
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will be performing as a part of the 2014 Concert Series at the Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha on Wednesday, June 25th.
We were lucky enough to hear from Karl Hunter from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy about how excited the band is to be performing at the Summer Symposium.
Formed in 1989, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has been keeping the soul of 40’s and 50’s swing music going strong for over 20 years. Named famously after an autograph by blues legend Albert Collins, they busted onto the scene in 1996, when their original songs “You & Me & the Bottle,” “I Wan’na Be Like You” and “Go Daddy-O” were featured in the soundtrack of the hit comedy Swingers. From there, the seven-piece group went on to sign with Capitol Records, releasing albums and touring extensively. Their popularity rose during this time, culminating with a performance at the 1999 Super Bowl half-time show, where they played alongside music icons Stevie Wonder, and Gloria Estefan in a “Celebration of Soul, Salsa and Swing.” The group’s music has been featured in over sixty movies and television shows during their career.
Over the last few years, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has shifted their focus. They are no longer performing in large arenas, and at Super Bowl halftime shows. Instead, they have begun playing with a number of American Symphony Orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Indianapolis Sympony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and recording more songs for projects such as the film The Wild, and Disney’s Phineas and Ferb.
We are extremely excited to have Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at the Music for All Summer Symposium, and know that the MFA Campers will have a great time at this evening concert. Click here to learn more and to register for the Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha, held June 23-28, 2014 at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
Tickets are also available for those who are not attending the MFA Summer Symposium. Click here for more information.