The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

Stories (283)

Today's blog post is a very special post written by Julianne Clements from Bentonville H.S. in Bentonville, Arkansas. Julianne was one of the four Drum Majors for the 2013 Bands of America Honor Band in the Tournament of Roses® Parade. Our thanks to Julianne for sharing her story with us, and with all of you! We know there are great things ahead for Julianne and  we are looking forward to hearing all about them in the years to come.

Julianne4One of my greatest journeys began last year. I auditioned to be a piccolo player in the 2013 Bands of America National Honor Band. When I got accepted, I was overcome with joy because this was to be the biggest accomplishment of my life. Marching in an ensemble with 300 students from everywhere, working with world-class staff, performing in front of over a million live viewers; it was one of my childhood dreams coming true before my eyes. My dream didn’t end there, so I decided to just go for it and try out to be drum major of the Honor Band. I knew it was a long-shot that I would get the position, but I wasn’t going to shy away for fear of failure. The day I received notification of my selection as one of four drum majors, I was so enthused and excited I could not take the smile off my face. I could not believe that out of all the applicants from around the nation, I had been chosen. It was truly an honor and privilege that I will be grateful for the rest of my life. My dream had come true, but the excitement didn’t stop after making the ensemble. Never could I have pictured that one week could mean so much in my life.

I first met with the group on December 27th. We rehearsed nearly nonstop for two days in order to give our first performance on the 29th. During those days I learned more about myself and the world than I have ever before. I learned that people expect perfection from everyone, including themselves. And that even though I know perfection is impossible to reach, I still believe that this drive found in all of us is what sets us apart and drives humanity to greatness. Demanding and expecting perfection doesn’t constitute infinite failure, it means that excellence is the only outcome that is possible. The staff members there did demand perfection, because they already knew how great the band could be. After our first performance the band too realized and this is what drove us to strive even harder. We thirsted for more; for more time with the other amazing students, for more time with the incredible staff, for more time getting to know everyone who made this group, the National Honor Band. One of the greatest things the staff expressed was that we were THE National Honor Band. No one else was a part of that, and no one else could be. We were it. We could either give it everything we have and make it the greatest experience ever, or walk away knowing we could have done more. I think every single person realized their full potential in that week and we truly became the 2013 Bands of America National Honor Band.  Julianne3 

My favorite moment of all with this band was the final stretch of the parade.  The 300 students I had met only days before came to the end of marching close to 6.8 miles. Some held up 50 pound instruments, others drummed; some moved their fingers, others moved a slide; some danced, others tossed a flag; but I conducted this ensemble. I stood in front and saw all 300 of my peers march for nearly two hours and still have smiles on their faces. I witnessed the band play Firework for the very last time and just give it everything they had. It brings tears of joy to my eyes to remember that final moment of the parade. Even though we had played that song a million times, even though the musicians were exhausted, even though some were bleeding from blisters or shaking with pain, we came together at the end and played that song one last time for us. There was not an audience or any need to continue playing, but we danced away and blasted the music with all our heart and soul anyways. I have never heard an ensemble play with such true exuberance, such joy and such exaltation. We played for the family we had become and for the struggles we had triumphed over. We played because we had become the Bands of America National Honor Band. Never have I been as inspired by an act as in that moment. It truly is indescribable; the way we all smiled when it was over and cheered each other on, it just blew me away. We had persevered and achieved something truly magnificent. 

I don’t know any other group of students that could celebrate the New Year at 9:00 PM and be perfectly happy with it. I don’t know any other group of students that could rehearse for an entire day and still, after 8 hours, run back every time the staff called reset. I don’t know any other group of students that could make close, lifetime friends with a few people, and yet still be friends with everyone involved. I don’t know any other group of students that could make wearing trash bags look so good. I don’t know any other group of students who could change the meaning of eating an orange so much that every time I see one, memories flood my mind. I don’t know any other group of students that could have so many different backgrounds, or accents, or languages, or experiences and yet still come together to perform in complete unison. I don’t know any other group of students like the 2013 Bands of America National Honor Band.

Julianne1300 people learned to step on the same foot, in the same way, at the same time. 300 people learned to breathe together, eat together, and just be together. 300 people became a family that shares the memories of a lifetime. 300 people’s lives were changed forever by the other 299, and I am one of them.  My life was forever changed for the better by this ensemble. If all of that can happen in a week, well then I truly believe anything is possible. 



-Julianne Clements, Drum Major, 2013 Bands of America Honor Band in the Tournament of Roses® Parade

I’ve had the distinct privilege of bringing our band, from Wheeling High School, Wheeling, IL, to the Music for All Festival on three occasions, including this year. Your 2012 National Festival was incredible. The best one yet! The JW Marriott Hotel, Dr. Tim, meals, Buca di Beppo, Clowes Memorial Hall, clinicians, concerts, Indianapolis, and the Music for All Staff, were all wonderful. Our expectations for the National Festival were extremely high and you exceeded all of them, and much more.

Your goal, “to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all,” was in full force with our kids, parents, and staff. Your event is unique, positive, musical, rewarding, and special. You have made a mark on our kids and program that will last forever. Because of this, we will have many students applying for your 2013 Honor Band of America and Jazz Band of America.

It was incredibly refreshing to hear about your new focus and vision to truly make Music for All, Music for All. I believe our program is an example of where you are heading. Greater than 50 percent of our student body is Hispanic. We also have large Russian and Polish immigrant populations. A large percentage of our student body qualifies for our free and reduced lunch program. While many of our students and families have socio-economic challenges, we have a parent booster group that provides tremendous financial support. Our wonderfully diverse community supports our kids and program like no other. There are many schools, some very close to us, with numerous financial advantages, including large homes, and expensive cars, yet our kids have learned about a great equalizer, education and work ethic.

Thank you for providing a forum for young musicians, and us directors, to aspire. I too believe in Music for All!

Sincerely,
Brian Logan
Director of Bands
Wheeling High School

MFANF11programbook roundedMusic for All is offering space in our Music for All National Festival keepsake program book for you to honor your student, ensemble or director! It’s a great way to acknowledge the dedication, passion and experience of participation in Music for All programs while supporting Music for All’s annual fund.
 
Ideas for Celebration:

• Honor your student, ensemble or director.
• Congratulate a senior for his or her dedication.
• Tell someone how proud you are of him or her.
• Honor a director or parent volunteer.

To learn more and place your order by February 10, 2012, click here.

Misty revelli rounded2Deadline: February 24, 2012

The William D. Revelli Scholarship was established in 1993 in honor of the late Dr. Revelli, for his contributions to music education. This $1,000, one-time scholarship honors a graduating senior who is performing at the 2012 Music for All National Festival and is nominated by his or her director. Recipients must intend to pursue a degree in music education. The scholarship will be awarded during the banquet at the National Festival in Indianapolis on March 17, 2012.

Click here to learn more and complete your application. Completed applications are due February 24, 2012.

Impact2011 roundedImpact, Music for All’s annual report and resource for education, advocacy and performance information for fiscal year 2011 (March 1, 2010 - February 28, 2011), is now available for download here.

As the current fiscal year comes to a close, Music for All has much for which we can be thankful. Most of all, we are thankful for friends and supporters like you who embrace and support our mission to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all.

In 2011, we took Music for All, Bands of America and Orchestra America programs to 11 states and drew participants from 30 other states and three foreign countries. Almost 3,000 students and teachers participated in the Music for All Summer Symposium and Music for All National Festival, and another 70,000+ students participated in Bands of America events before more than a quarter million fans, families and supporters. We provided counsel as well as access to our advocacy tools and resources for hundreds of teachers, parents and students who saw their access and opportunities to participate in music education and performance threatened by educational budget cuts.

We know that you believe in our ideals and programs, and we ask and hope we can continue to have, deserve and count on your support. As we approach the end of the year (February 29, 2012), Music for All has reached 97% of our fundraising goal, and we need your help to continue to strengthen our programs and educational experiences.  A gift from you will give us the significant boost we need to reach our goal of influencing students and educators through our programs and providing Positively Life-Changing experiences through music for all. More importantly, your gift provides leadership and inspires others – individuals, corporations and foundations alike – to join in and support our cause.

Support you provide now will help ensure that we can continue to serve at a high level and execute key objectives for 2012 and beyond. To donate to Music for All, donate online, or send your donation to:

Music for All
Development Department
39 W. Jackson Place, Suite 150
Indianapolis, IN 46225

Thank you for supporting Music for All’s positively life-changing programs and experiences!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Maggie Vetter receives Jolesch Scholarship

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Maggie VetterMaggie Vetter of Kings High School in Kings Mills, Ohio received a $2,000 scholarship from Jolesch Photography.

“Maggie is driven toward excellence, and she loves to practice,” her band director Greg Mills says. “She possesses an engaging, upbeat personality and views obstacles as opportunities to improve.”

Observations of her father, who is a music teacher, and Mr. Mills helped Vetter to form her future teaching philosophies as well as define her passion for being an educator.

“I will be patient with my students as they begin to learn,” Vetter says. “I will also be flexible and love the art of music making, all while keeping the passion of teaching music so students can see, feel and embrace it too, and, of course, I will encourage students to practice.”

Maggie has not only learned the importance of arts in her own life, but she already knows the difference a music educator can make in the lives of students and has begun to put these traits into practice. 

“The first [trait] is patience. The second is time. One of the last traits of a successful music educator is love for the art,” Vetter says.  Music is a part of who I am, Vetter says, and she looks forward to the rest of her life as a music teacher. 

 

Ben ClemonsThe Fred J. Miller Family presented a $1,000 scholarship to Benjamin Clemons from Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park, Illinois. 

Clemons grew up surrounded by music and music educators, as both of his parents are music educators. However, it wasn’t until high school that Clemons became inspired to become a music educator. In his scholarship essay, he wrote that being a section leader gave him insight into becoming a music teacher. He enjoyed teaching a group and pushing them to meet their goals. Clemons says he aspires to be a teacher who has a vast array of musical knowledge and technique, someone who is an effective communicator and, most importantly, a teacher with the ability to inspire his students to keep music in their lives.

“Ben has all the talents and qualities that you would expect to see in a fellow educator,” Mr. Mark Iwinski, Victor J. Andrew High School’s band director, says. “He will be a fine teacher and an excellent trumpet player because he recognizes high quality performances and is inspired by great musicians and educators.”

Devon GordonYamaha Corporation of America presented a $1,000 scholarship to Devon Gordon of Danville High School in Indiana. Gordon was nominated by Adrian Hartsough, Danville High School’s band director, due to his strong musicianship, leadership qualities and strong work ethic.

“Devon’s a gifted French horn player and percussionist and has the strongest musical ear I’ve encountered from a high school student,” Hartsough says.

Gordon leads by example while encouraging others and supporting his peers. Gordon’s first experience assisting his band director with the middle school band provided him with an opportunity that would set his sights on becoming a music educator one day.

“I will always remember the day of their band contest,” Gordon says. “I sat myself down at the side of the gym, fully confident they were going to make me proud no matter what award they took home – they took home a gold rating. I still remember that being one of the proudest moments of my life.”

For Gordon, a valuable lesson was learned and a music educator was born. 

“I realized that being a music educator is more than scores and successes,” Gordon says. “My dedication to these students has been my pride and joy, and I would love nothing more in the world than to be able to do this for the rest of my life.”

GroupThe Music for All Foundation presented three scholarship awards at this year’s Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha. The MFA Marching Band Scholarships were established to honor graduating seniors who plan to major in music education in college. These one-time awards are made possible through generous gifts from the Yamaha Corporation of America, Fred J. Miller Family and Jolesch Photography.

You can also create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all by donating to the Music for All scholarship fund today. A gift to the scholarship fund provides lifelong impact and is a wonderful way to show support of music and arts education. Learn more about Music for All’s scholarships, or click here to donate to the scholarship fund. 

Place a special message to honor your student, band, director or booster program in the keepsake Grand Nationals program book.

• Congratulate a senior band member for his or her dedication.
• Tell someone how proud you are of him or her.
• Honor a band director or booster volunteer.

Learn more and place your order by October 7.

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