The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

Stories (284)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Story Behind Our Fall Championship Wall

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The Midwest Clinic, starting today, marks a busy time for everyone here at Music for All as we prepare for our upcoming events. It has been an annual tradition to announce our upcoming Fall Championship schedule on the first day. We look forward to yet another sensational season as we gear up for 2016! 

Since moving to Indianapolis in 2004, Music for All has started a tradition of hanging a photo of our most recent Bands of America Grand Champion on our “Fall Championship Wall”. The wall has everything from the humble beginning when Bands of America was our Summer National Championships, to all of the stadiums we hosted Grand Nationals in, to the faces over the years, and of course our Champions. Lawrence Central H.S., IN was honorable number one in 2004 with their 2004 “La Rosa” (fun fact, Lawrence Central won Grand Nationals without winning a single caption!).

Fall Wall

With our 40th anniversary and 2015 Grand Nationals in the book, it is time for the annual tradition and changing of the guard. We salute our 2014 Grand National Champion, Tarpon Springs H.S., FL, as they had the honor and prestige of hanging up in the office for a year. Now we make room for our 2015 Grand National Champion, Broken Arrow H.S., OK. 

Tarpon Springs Wall Art

BA Wall Photo

Don’t worry; those photos don’t go to waste, as we still recognize all Champions on our “Wall of Champions”. Every year we look forward to adding to our collection of memories and building on the rich tradition and history that is the Bands of America Grand National Championships.

Wall of Champions

Will we see you this upcoming fall for a BOA Regional, Super Regional, or our Grand National Championships? We want you and your school to be a part of our history. You never know - your school might be the next band featured in the office as the 2016 Grand National Champion!

Rebecca Palmer, alumna of Henry Clay High School in Lexington, KY and Music for All programs, tells us first-hand about her experience with the Bands of America Honor Band that marched in the 2013 Rose Parade®

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It was my first day in California for the Rose Parade® and we were getting fitted for uniforms. We were all waiting in line and talking with the other students, it was so interesting because I met someone from Alaska on one side of me and someone from the South on the other side of me. Also, one of the drum majors was going up and down the whole line memorizing everyone’s name, instrument and favorite color or food, which was pretty impressive! Just the immediate chemistry between everyone was astounding.

We had many rehearsals over the next week, but the one that sticks out most is the last rehearsal for the parade. We started with a fun dance warm-up and then after that we had the most impressive rehearsal I have ever been a part of. They had taped off the parade corner and we only had a handful of hours to master the turn. The work ethic from my fellow band members was outstanding. After every set, we all sprinted back and you could just feel the energy everyone was putting into the rehearsal. I remember the directors telling us to slow down and pace ourselves but everyone was so dedicated that we just wanted to go all out so we could be the best we could possibly be. 

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The day of the parade came and I couldn’t believe it. Along the route there was a spot where we went under a bridge and all of the sound echoed back on the band and it blocked everything else out. To just be so immersed in the marching and the music and to be surrounded by so many people I had grown close with was an amazing feeling.

My happiest memory from the Rose Parade® was at the end of the parade route when we stopped and played “Firework” one last time. The drum line started dancing and that energy trickled down to the rest of the band. By the end of the song we were all jumping around and playing our hearts out. We were all so proud of what we accomplished, and to have that moment together of just pure joy brought tears to my eyes. 

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Being a part of the 2013 Bands of America Honor Band in the Rose Parade® helped me as a musician because I got to work with talented instructors like Matt Harloff, who really brings the best out of anyone he directs. Also, I developed a much greater appreciation for playing music as a group because it was amazing how everyone focusing beyond their own sound improved our overall sound. In life, it showed me how much more effective you can be when everyone gives it their all. The dedication and passion that was exhibited in this group was something that I haven’t experienced since because it was just that strong. It truly demonstrated to me what teamwork means and that is something I will always hold near and dear to my heart.

I was a member of the Bands of America Honor Band almost three years ago and it truly changed how I view music and band. Though I have not pursued a career in music, this experience is one I will never forget and Music for All helped make my high school band experience incredible. I still regularly talk to some of the people I met in California as part of the Rose Parade® and we are from all over the U.S. (Texas, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, to name a few). It’s great that when people from this unique group are traveling across the U.S. they will post in our Facebook group and see if people can meet up every so often. Music for All really provided me with a second band family through this Rose Parade experience and I am truly thankful for that. In fact, my younger sister plays clarinet and is applying to become a member of the Bands of America Honor Band marching at the 2017 Rose Parade®! I hope she makes it so I can go to California and remember my experience again by cheering on her ensemble!

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If you are interested in marching with the Bands of America Honor Band at the 2017 Rose Parade®, applications are still be accepted until January 15, 2016. Learn more and apply at

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


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December 1, 2015 is #GivingTuesday…a global movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy.

Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday connects individuals, communities, and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.

As you plan YOUR charitable year-end giving, please consider including Music for All!

Your gift will strengthen our ability to deliver our nationally recognized programs that support the efforts of music teachers on the high school and middle school levels, as well as provide positively life-changing experiences for students.

On #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!

Check out the awards photos from the 2015 Bands of America Regional Championship at American Canyon, CA

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What’s the Future Music Educators’ Experience? Well, I’m glad you asked! Music for All has partnered with DCI, Fran Kick, NAfME, NAMM, and WGI to bring a one-of-a-kind opportunity to undergraduate and graduate music education students. 

The Future Music Educators’ Experience includes a complimentary ticket to see Bands of America Grand National Championships Semifinals, an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Lucas Oil Stadium, and the opportunity to meet one-on-one with highly regarded band directors and industry leaders from the scholastic music community.

So why should you go?

1. It’s FREE!

That’s right college students, FREE!!! Your ticket to the Bands of America Grand National Championships Semifinals performances and the workshops are complimentary.

2. You get to learn from the best in their field! You'll have the opportunity to meet with and talk to nearly 30 industry leaders and learn how to be a successful music educator.

Presenters will include . . .

  • Richard Saucedo, Nationally Recognized Arranger and Retired Band Director, Carmel H.S. (IN)
  • Wayne Markworth, Retired Band Director, Centerville H.S. (OH)
  • Eric Martin, President/CEO, Music for All
  • James Stephens, Director of Advocacy & Educational Resources, Music for All
  • John Wittman, Artist Relations & Education Manager, Yamaha
  • Dan Acheson, Executive Director/CEO, Drum Corps International
  • Bart Woodley, Director of Operations & Sponsor Relations, Winter Guard International
  • Michael Butera, Executive Director/CEO, National Association for Music Education
  • Eric Ebel, Senior Project Manager, National Association of Music Merchants
  • Michael Cesario, Educational and Artistic Director, Drum Corps International; Uniform Artist, FJM Inc.

These guest presenters, as well as many other successful band directors from across the nation, will all be focusing on what you need to know as a beginning music educator. In addition, you’ll also gain helpful tips and tricks from industry leaders on resources available to you and how to utilize them. When else are you going to have so many influential people in one place dedicated to your career achievement?

3. If you think you’re motivated now, just wait until you hear from Fran Kick!

Are you feeling like the semester will never end? Wishing you could just watch Netflix and
hibernate until winter break? Well you won’t feel that way after you hear Fran Kick KICK IT IN!

When asked about the role and benefits of the Future Music Educator’s Experience, Fran said, “Our goal is to really reach future music educators with a message and a method that inspires them to professionally pay attention to what’s possible in today’s marching music genre . . . If we want music education to improve, music educators need to improve, and one of the places where many music educators learn the most about how to be a better music educator is during college . . . This experience offers students currently majoring in music education a behind-the-scenes, insiders-look into what marching music ultimately can be.”

4. You get to meet and hang out with music education majors from across the nation!

What’s more fun than making friends and seeing a great show? Hundreds of students and faculty agree that the Future Music Educators’ Experience is a can’t-miss opportunity to expand your knowledge and connections in the marching community.

“The Grand Nationals Future Music Educator’s Experience was probably the most exciting and educational day of my college career to date. All the speakers were great and very motivational. Getting to know other music education majors was also another aspect I enjoyed. It was an overall fantastic experience.” – Jessica Metzger, Music Education Major

5. If you want to bring a band someday, then you need to come to the Future Music Educators’ Experience.

The bands performing at the Bands of America Grand National Championships represent some of the finest music education programs in the country, and you have a chance to hear from the band directors themselves about what got them to this stage. Fran Kick is right, “You can’t learn everything you need to know from one semester of a marching band methods class.” So if you want to learn from the best . . . if you want to make an impact right away . . . if you want to be the best music educator you can be… come to the Future Music Educators’ Experience.

Visit to register online. Space is limited so don’t wait to reserve your spot for the Future Music Educators’ Experience on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN!

Check out the awards photos from the 2015 Texas Dairy Queen® Bands of America Super Regional Championship at San Antonio

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Check out the awards photos from the 2015 Bands of America Super Regional Championship at Atlanta

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Check out the awards photos from the 2015 Bands of America Regional Championship at St. George, UT

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Check out the awards photos from the 2015 Bands of America Super Regional Championship at Indianapolis, IN

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Check out the awards photos from the 2015 Bands of America Regional Championship at Long Beach, CA

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