Super Bowl week in Indianapolis, Indiana was an exciting time for the Music for All (MFA) staff. The MFA office is headquartered in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, placing staff just a block away from the Super Bowl festivities. Music for All is proud to be headquartered in Indianapolis, alongside our partners Drum Corps International and the Percussive Arts Society.
Indianapolis is no stranger to national and world championships. Lucas Oil Stadium has hosted many championship events, including MFA’s Bands of America Grand National Championships and Indianapolis Super Regional Championship as well as several other musical events, including the Indiana State Marching Band Finals and the Drum Corps International World Championships. Lucas Oil Stadium is the only professional stadium designed specifically with marching performance events, like Grand National Championships and DCI’s World Championships, in mind.
Music for All staff are always looking for ways to improve our patrons’ experience at events, and with an event as large and complex as the Super Bowl right in town, the opportunities for brainstorming and idea gathering were endless.
Music for All staff members not only observed Super Bowl festivities, but a couple had the chance to experience the Super Bowl from a behind-the-scenes, volunteer perspective. We're proud of our own staff volunteers. Music for All's own Natalie Mince and Laura Blake were official volunteers during the event.
Natalie Mince, Music for All’s Director of Events, was a member of the Super Bowl Equipment, Logistics and Warehousing Committee, a committee she has been involved with since January 2011. The purpose of this committee was to determine the need for storage and warehousing facilities for the large number of items being brought into town for the Super Bowl. This committee did not have responsibilities on site, but Mince wanted to be actively involved in the Super Bowl events so she also became a “Fans First” Supervisor.
“Fans First” was a new program implemented by the NFL, and the Super Bowl in Indianapolis was the pilot event for this program. Mince says “Fans First” volunteers were stationed on busy streets downtown and surrounding the Stadium to help answer questions, direct guests to the appropriate gates and keep an eye on crowd levels. As a Supervisor, Mince managed a team of volunteers and was in communication with a manager stationed inside the Stadium, to ensure things outside the building were running smoothly.
“I really enjoyed being a part of an event that showcased the entire city, not just the event itself,” Mince says. “The Host Committee did a fantastic job of building excitement for the local crowd in addition to the visitors. Seeing the Super Bowl transform our entire city was exciting, and the wide-range of activities was really phenomenal.”
Through her volunteer experience, Mince had a chance to interact with both the local community and out-of-town visitors as they experienced the event.
“Downtown felt alive, and the number of locals who visited the Super Bowl Village and other downtown activities prior to most of the visitors arriving to Indianapolis was really amazing,” Mince says. “There was a sense of pride in our community, and everyone I spoke with was so happy and complimentary of Indianapolis. I enjoyed just being a part of the Super Bowl experience, and having a hand in contributing to something on such a large scale.”
As Director of Events for Music for All, Mince was also observing and thinking about the Super Bowl from an event production and volunteer coordination perspective. She was impressed with the use of technology in order to keep volunteers informed throughout their shifts. Mince received multiple text messages throughout the weekend alerting her of the weather, road closures, crowd sizes in Super Bowl Village and other important tips. Visitors could also sign up for text message alerts as well.
“The texts were very helpful and allowed me to be ‘in the know’ even when I was not on shift,” Mince says.
Mince also observed the Host Committee very closely; studying their processes and thinking about ways MFA could improve its volunteer management program.
“I thought the Host Committee did an excellent job of making tweaks throughout the week to improve the visitor experience,” Mince says. “When Friday was jam packed in Super Bowl Village, changes were quickly implemented on Saturday to improve foot traffic and prevent bottlenecking. The Super Service online training that was required by every volunteer was a really great tool that got everyone on the same page about basic customer service and extending Hoosier Hospitality to everyone we come in contact with. The fact that 8,000+ people were trained in customer service prior to an event was pretty impressive.”
Mince also took away ideas about volunteer uniforms and other volunteer perks, the usage of signage and banners, and ways to use Georgia Street as an auxiliary event area during Music for All events.
Laura Blake, Music for All’s Senior Event Coordinator, volunteered as well and worked Low and Medium Intensity volunteer positions at the NFL Experience at the Indiana Convention Center. Low Intensity work involved having patrons sign liability waivers and giving them wristbands that allowed them to play games. Blake also answered patrons’ questions.
“Medium Intensity was amazing!” Blake says. “I worked in the kid zone area. I worked a game where kids could hike or throw a ball through NFL player cut outs. I've never been so tired and had so much fun…watching tiny kids throw the ball and get so excited when they made it!”
Similar to Mince, Blake was very impressed with the production and volunteer coordination aspects she witnessed while volunteering. She felt volunteer uniform and credential pick up were exceptionally smooth.
“Thousands of people were coming through, and they had minor snags, but the stations they had made sense,” Blake says. “I enjoyed the daily newsletter, which I thought was a unique thing that sort of helped keep the event on your mind even if you weren't working that day.”
Blake was impressed with the online volunteer training, the perks provided to volunteers and the logistics on site. She also gained ideas that apply well to her work at Music for All.
“Getting to see a world class event in our city was amazing. It also made me feel good about what we do. We aren't so far off the mark with our [MFA’s] volunteer program,” Blake says. “I learned a lot and had a great time.”
“I am really honored to have been a part of the Super Bowl, and I'm so proud of Indianapolis and the Host Committee,” Mince says.
Previously, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship was tentatively listed for October 20, 2012 and the site was to be determined. This week, Towson University (MD) was set as a tentative site for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship. Also note: the date of this Regional has changed from October 20 to October 27, 2012.
(*MFA is continuing to pursue other high profile stadiums in the area. For more information, contact Travis Tester, Manager of Participant Relations, 800.848.2263.)
Join Music for All's own President and CEO Eric Martin tomorrow, Friday, January 20, 2012 for SupportMusic Coalition's Webcast and Teleconference! Here are the details:
SupportMusic Coalition Webcast and Teleconference 'Live' from The NAMM Show, Anaheim Hilton, Level 2, California Pavilion
FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2012
2 PM Pacific Standard Time
3 PM Mountain Standard Time
4 PM Central Standard Time
5 PM Eastern Standard Time
To Access Webcast: http://www.nammfoundation.org/supportmusic-coalition-webcast-ns12
1. United States: 1 866 740 1260 code: 2000600#
2. All International Callers dial +1 303 248 0285 code: 2000600#
Click here for international time and date
2:00 PM: Welcome & Introduction - Mary Luehrsen, Director, Public Affairs and Government Relations, NAMM, Executive Director, NAMM Foundation
SupportMusic Coalition Updates
- Welcome New Affiliates
2:10 PM: Panel Discussion Theme: "I Feel Good: Celebrities Advocate for Music Education," featuring guest speakers:
Deanna Brown Thomas, The Brown Family Children Foundation President: www.jamesbrownfamilyfdn.org/site
Bernie Williams, Author, Musician, Former Major League Baseball Outfielder: www.bernie51.com
Bootsy Collins, American Funk Bassist, Singer, and Songwriter: www.bootsycollins.com
Phil Collen, Co-lead Guitarist & Backing Vocalist for English Rock Band Def Leppard: www.philcollenpc1.com/
2:40 PM: SBO Award Presentation: The Don Johnson Music Industry Service Award - Presented to Keith Mardak, Chairman and CEO, Hal Leonard by Sidney Davis, Group Publisher, Symphony Publishing
2:45 PM: ISME Award Presentation: The ISME Global Sonar Award - Presented to NAMM and Joe Lamond by Graham Welch, President, International Society for Music Education and Stanley Jordan, Guitarist, Composer and Clinician
2:59 PM: Closing Remarks
3:00 PM: Teleconference/Webcast ends
3:01-4 PM: Reception
Join the SupportMusic Coalition!
Hear NAMM members and industry leaders Rick Young and Steve West share why they participate - and why you should too!
Kettering Fairmont High School was confirmed this week as the venue for the Kettering, Ohio Regional Championship on September 29, 2012.
To view the 2012 full fall schedule, click here.
Check back often for additional 2012 fall schedule updates and information.
Marching Band Division at the Music for All Summer Symposium at Ball State University June 25-30
Brought to you by Center X Productions and staffed by Dynamic Marching
Although 2012 has just begun, before we know it, it will be March and band directors all over the country will be starting to think ahead to the marching band season. Despite being in the middle of the busiest time of year for concert band festivals and competitions, by March most directors are taking care of important long-range planning such as hiring staff members, choosing music arrangers and/or composers, and choosing drill writers. In addition, this is a very important time of year for choosing drum majors and potential sections leaders for the upcoming summer and fall season. Soon after drum majors are chosen, band directors typically sign up these students for camps, such as the very successful drum major academies put on by the late, great George Parks. At a well-run drum major camp, students learn important lessons in conducting, musicianship, and leadership. Hopefully, after returning from camp these highly-motivated drum majors are able to put their lessons to work to help the band directors and staff members to achieve a successful season.
What about the section leaders? Band directors should take the same steps toward nurturing and training these students as they do with their drum majors!
Where can you send your marching band section leaders to learn music ensemble fundamentals from the director of the 2005, 2009 and 2010 Grand National Champion marching band?
Where can you send your marching band section leaders to learn marching fundamentals from the author and producer of the critically-acclaimed Dynamic Marching DVD series?
Where can you send your marching band section leaders to learn section-specific fundamentals with individualized instruction from current teachers at literally the top band programs in the country? (Our staff comes from Avon High School (IN), Carmel High School (IN), Center Grove High School (IN), Pomona High School (CO), Murietta Valley High School (CA), and McEachern High School (GA)!)
How can you guarantee that in one week your section leaders will learn the most current and educationally-sound fundamentals and bring back these concepts to YOUR program?
The Music for All Summer Symposium Marching Band is exactly the kind of place. Band directors will see immediate and measurable gains when these students return home.
In addition, these students get to perform with the Carolina Crown Dum and Bugle Corps in front of a packed stadium full of cheering DCI fans.
As a director attending camp, YOU can be in the rehearsal rooms and on the football field where these nationally-renowned teachers and instructors teach your kids! Even if you don't bring your kids, the experience for band directors is unbelievable.
By Jeff Young, MFA Summer Symposium Marching Band Division Coordinator
It's Saturday, the last day of the 2011 Grand National Championships, and Semi-Finals performances are already under way this morning. You can find the Semi-Finals Performance Schedule here.
Congratulations to the Semi-Finalists and all 92 amazing bands that participated in preliminary competition. We saw such amazing performances Thursday and Friday during prelims, and we were so impressed by the outstanding performances and the dedication exhibited by all the bands.
You’ve likely seen bands in performance on the field, but have you ever wondered about the behind-the-scenes happenings at Grand Nationals? Check out this video to learn more and take a behind-the-scenes tour. And, view additional videos on Music for All’s YouTube channel.
You can also see behind-the-scenes photos here, on the BOA Facebook page.
We hope you enjoy today’s Semi-Finals performances!
The first Live Webcast of the Bands of America 2011 Championship season is this weekend. The BOA Super Regional Championship at St. Louis, presented by Yamaha, will be Webcast live, Friday and Saturday, October 14-15 from Edward Jones Dome.
You can subscribe to get all four Super Regional and Grand National Championships Live Webcasts, plus video on demand, post-event, of all Regional Championship performances – this Plus Subscription is your best deal at only $59 (we held pricing flat for 2011 from 2010).
There is also a Pay-Per-View option if you want to only order one Live Webcast event.
If you cannot be there in person, watch it online! Subscribe at http://mfa.thefannetwork.org/.
Check out the preliminary performance schedules for both of this weekend's BOA Championships, St. Louis and Akron, Ohio.
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