The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

grammys2For many students, music teachers are often the most impactful teacher in school. Whether it's the countless hours in rehearsal or the inspiration that music can spark, music teachers are a vehicle for student success and deserve to be recognized. This week, the GRAMMY Foundation announced the 222 quarterfinalists for the 2015 GRAMMY Music Educator Award. Music for All is proud that 11 music teachers who participate in MFA programming were honored by the GRAMMY Foundation. The GRAMMY Music Educator Award was created in 2012 to recognize current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. After more than 7,000 nominations, 222 were selected as quarterfinalists. Those quarterfinalists are invited to send additional information to be considered for semifinalist, finalist and eventually the Music Educator Award recognition. Look for the seminifinalist announcement in the fall and the finalist and winning announcements in December. Finalists receive a $1,000 honorarium and the winner receives $10,000 and a trip to Los Angeles to be honored at the GRAMMY Awards next year.

Below are the 11 music teachers who participate in Music for All educational programs. If you know or were taught by any of the recognized teachers, be sure to thank them for their service!

Steven Acciani                   Diamond Bar H.S., CA
Neil Anderson                    Murrieta Valley H.S., CA
Caleb Chapman                 Pioneer High School for the Performing Arts, UT
Josh Chodoroff                  Waubonsie Valley H.S., IL
Mark De Hertogh               R.L. Paschal H.S., TX
Johnnie Green                   Lehman H.S., TX
Randy Greenwell                Lawrence Central H.S., IN
Melissa Gustafson-Hinds    O'Fallon Township H.S., IL
Kyle Johnson                     JJ Pearce H.S., TX
Peter Sampson                  Whiteland Community H.S., IN
Jay Wardeska                    Brunswick H.S., OH

Music for All congratulates each of these educators in addition to the 211 additional honorees! You can view the entire list of honored music educators here.

*Any omissions from this list were unintended. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any corrections.

Published in Advocacy in Action
WakeForestBBTField
We are proud to announce that we have officially confirmed BB&T Field at Wake Forest University for the 2014 Bands of America Winston-Salem, NC Regional. 
 
The Regional Championship at Winston-Salem, NC will be on Saturday, October 11th.
 
Learn more about the stadium here.
 
We hope to see you at the Regional Championship at Winston-Salem, NC!
 
 
Published in News

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!

 

For Teacher Appreciation Week, we'd love to hear about teachers who have impacted you. Send an email to Erin Fortune at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. about why you want to thank your teacher this week, and it could be included in a blog post this week. (If you have a photo to share of you and your teacher, or just your teacher, even better!)

Published in Stories

Another Thursday, another throwback post! This week, we decided to crowd-source Throwback Thursday and give you a few memorable moments from our staff. While many of our staff members (including myself) are alumni of Music for All programs, we do have several staff members who participated in other musical outlets and some who were not involved in music. Here are a few musical moments from our devoted staff members. Enjoy!


LauraLaura Blake
Events Manager

Instrument: Trumpet

Memorable Moment: I completely own that I grew up as a marching band junky! So when I say that my most memorable experience wasn't marching related, some who know me well may gasp. A truly defining moment was performing at the National Concert Band Festival. It was one of the only noncompetitive experiences I had in high school. There is an exhilaration that comes from preparing and performing some of the hardest music written for that medium. You rehearse and prepare and with such a small group you really have to own your part, your notes, your emotional investment in the process. Then you are ushered into a grand hall and have the performance of a lifetime, followed by music giants taking time and working with you, it's an unprecedented experience for most high school students, it certainly was for me. There are no trophies, no high distinctions or even discussion of who gave a better performance.  Your thinking, where's the reward? Trust me, there is a moment. It's one that will never be replicated, but will stay with you forever.

 

johnsbandpic-webJohn DeRoss
Seasonal Marketing Assistant

Instrument: Guitar/Vocals/Harmonica

Memorable Moment: I was playing in a cover band during my Junior year of college, and we got offered a gig at a house party on campus.  We decided to go for a whole new set, and play nothing we had before.  Believe it or not, I can still remember the entire set list (Money - B. Gordy, Mary Jane's Last Dance - T. Petty, Stuck in the Middle with You - Stealers Wheel, The Weight - The Band, I Second That Emotion - S. Robinson, Like a Rolling Stone - B. Dylan, Helter Sketler - The Beatles, and Jumpin' Jack Flash - Rolling Stones).  Anyway, everything was going pretty well and I was having a great time getting to play music by virtually all of my favorite artists.  That was, until we got to "Helter Skelter."  The song started out rocking, and I was screaming the lyrics in my best McCartney impression.  Then, somehow, we fell apart.  I'm not sure who's fault it was (probably all of ours for not practicing enough) but our drummer and lead guitar player switched to a bridge unexpectedly in the middle of the song, as our bass player and I jumped into another verse.  Needless to say it did not sound too great, but we recovered, had a laugh, and I tossed my guitar to the side to belt out our last tune, "Jumpin' Jack Flash", while channeling my inner Mick Jagger.  Even though we had a little flub, the night was still great. Any time that I'm able to play music I love, with great friends is a good time. 

 

DavidDavid Foth
Events & Participant Relations Administrative Assistant

Instrument: Trumpet/Euphonium

Memorable Moment: While I never had the opportunity to perform in a Bands of America Regional with my high school band, I did have the honor of performing in exhibition with the UMass Minuteman Marching Band at the 2011 Grand Nationals. I had many memorable performances with the UMMB, but that one was definitely in the top 3. Towards the end of our show, we "crashed the stands," meaning the entire band ran past the front sideline, and we formed a giant "wall of sound." Watching the positive reactions of everyone sitting in the first few rows of the stands was priceless. Even better was the huge standing ovation we received afterwards. It's a memory I definitely won't ever forget!

 

MollyMMolly Miller
Event Coordinator

Instrument: Flute/Drum Major

Memorable Moment: In 2004 my band traveled from Kentucky to Indianapolis to compete in Grand Nationals. It was my sophomore year and I’ll be honest- I was a little overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all. As we took the field in Finals competition, all of that anxiety melted away. Looking up from your first set to realize you’re about to perform in front of tens of thousands of people is an incredible feeling. Now, every year that I stand on the front sideline during our GN awards ceremony, I’m reminded of that feeling and am so thankful we are providing that life-changing experience to another group of students. My ‘tied-for-first’ memorable moment (is this cheating?) was winning our state competition my senior year. This photo is from that night- can you tell I was excited?

 

Can you tell we have some pretty passionate and awesome staff members? It is such an honor to be able to work with each of them every day. If you enjoyed this post, stay tuned! We'll have more staff profiles and Throwback Thursday staff posts soon. If you have an idea or story for Throwback Thursday, we'd love to hear it! Just fill out our online "Share Your Story" form and it could be featured in an upcoming post.

Published in Stories
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 1987

This week’s Throwback Thursday takes us back to the teenage years of BOA, a time when newspapers were the primary source of information, and the Berlin Wall was still standing tall.  Seems like a while ago, right? 

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This 1987 article from the Detroit Free Press highlighted what is still BOA’s largest event: the Grand National Championships. However, this Grand Nationals was slightly different than what we’ve grown accustomed to over past years. It wasn’t held in Indianapolis, the city that has become BOA’s home. No, back in 1987 Grand Nationals were staged at the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit, Michigan (They would again be held at the Silverdome in 1988). 50 bands competed, and only two days were needed to crown a champion, Marian Catholic H.S. And, as most know, today we have two jam-packed days of prelims followed by full day of semi-finals and finals performances. Needless to say, Bands of America is now an adult.

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This piece also included a quote that I think sums up BOA performances perfectly: “It’s not the old high step (University of) Michigan marching band performance that many people are used to. It’s a much more sophisticated performance. It’s more of a concert hall effect with motion.”

So what do you think? How have you seen BOA change throughout the years?

Check out the full article below.

Detroit3

Published in Stories

corporonAt the 2014 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, Eugene Migliaro Corporon will not only be honored as a Bands of America Hall of Fame inductee, but he will also become the first to conduct the Honor Band of America three times in its 23-year history. Today, we're looking back at Maestro Corporon's first Honor Band of America at the 1995 National Concert Band Festival in Chicago, Illinois.

The 1995 National Concert Band Festival was the first since the death of bandmaster Dr. William D. Revelli, who was instrumental in the educational foundation of Music for All and whose vision helped create the National Concert Band Festival just four years earlier. Mr. Corporon, who just took over the baton for the University of North Texas' Wind Symphony, conducted the Honor Band of America at the historic Medinah Temple in Chicago. Like today, the 1995 Honor Band of America was comprised of talented young musicians from across the country. 16 accomplished concert bands also performed as part of the National Concert Band Festival.

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1995 Honor Band of America, Medina Temple, Chicago, Illinois

The Honor Band of America performance featured a composition commissioned by Bands of America for the 1995 National Concert Band Festival. The piece, American Faces by David Holsinger, was a musical tribute to the diversity of America and is still frequently performed by high school and collegiate ensembles today. The concert also featured prominent clarinetist Eddie Jones, performing a transcription of Carl Maria von Weber's Second Concert for Clarinet.

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Mr. Corporon also conducted the Honor Band of America in 2004 and will return to the Clowes Memorial Hall stage to conduct the 2014 ensemble in a sold out concert. He has been a long-serving member for Music for All's evaluator and clinician team since the early years of the National Concert Band Festival. Mr. Corporon is Conductor of the Wind Symphony and Regents Professor of Music at the University of North Texas. He is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach and Claremont Graduate University. Mr. Corporon, a frequent guest conductor at the Showa University of Music in Kawasaki City, Japan, has also served as a visiting conductor at the Julliard School, the Interlochen World Center for Arts Education and the Aspen Music Festival and School. He is also the principal conductor of the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, a professional group made up of musicians from the Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex.

To learn more about the 2014 Music for All National Festival and the Honor Band of America, click here.

 

Seth Williams is the Advocacy Coordinator at Music for All. Seth is no stranger to Music for All and Bands of America – first as a participant and as an intern in Development and Participant Relations. He is a graduate of Butler University and previously worked in the Broadway theatre industry in New York. A proud alumnus of “The Centerville Jazz Band,” Seth is likely the biggest band nerd he knows.

Published in Stories
Thursday, February 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Whitewater, WI

This Throwback Thursday, I thought I would share a recent trip I made to the original home of Music for All: Whitewater, Wisconsin. While driving through a cold and snowy Wisconsin late last month, I decided to take a short detour to the quaint town of Whitewater. I can't imagine what this town looked like during the summers of the 1970s and 1980s, high school students and music educators teaching, practicing and performing. Starting in the summer of 1976, Whitewater became the center of marching music education when McCormick Enterprises took a huge risk and decided to invest in the success of young music students.

As I drove up to Perkins Stadium (originally Warhawk Stadium) in Whitewater, I was overcome by the memories made here. I could imagine the students and fans walking up the large hill to the stadium, overlooking the rolling fields of Wisconsin farmland. Bands of America Hall of Fame band directors Michael Rubino, Bob Buckner and Greg Bimm would be preparing their ensembles for a performance in the Marching Bands of America (MBA) Summer Nationals. MBA clinicians such as William D. Revelli would be providing valuable insight to young music students and band directors. If you were a music student or educator in the 1970s and 1980s, Whitewater was the place to be.

Whitewater1

Driving through the small farm town, I wondered, "Why Whitewater?" Whitewater not only served as the home of Marching Bands of America, but also previously hosted the very first Drum Corps International Championships in 1972 and 1973. Both DCI and MFA provided placques to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater honoring the college, which still stand out today on the stadium wall. Last year, DCI providing a fascinating look at the beginnings of drum corps at Whitewater. I also looked to Music for All founder Larry McCormick's book God Is My Drum Major for more information on Whitewater: "It was a perfect location with a beautiful stadium and facility with dorm housing available at reasonable prices."

Whitewater2William D. Revelli, Gene Thrailkill and Mike Davis at the 1976 Summer Nationals

Participation in the Summer Nationals and music workshops grew and grew after the inaugural year. The original purpose of Marching Bands of America stands true to Music for All's mission today to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. In fact, you may recognize some of the language from MBA's original purpose statement: "An individual's choice to participate in the band, and that band's participation in the broadening experience of competition, is a postive step toward becoming a winner in life." That's right, even in 1976, each of the participants was a "winner in life!"

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1976 Grand National Champions, Live Oak H.S., CA and director Michael Rubino

Whitewater3Whitewater was home to Music for All during the formative years of the organization. From the decision to move to a fall marching band championship in 1980 to restructuring as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Whitewater was home to some of the earliest memories and first positively life-changing experiences. Still today, Perkins Stadium remains a venue for marching ensembles, including a yearly DCI show and the Wisconsin State Marching Band Championships. Although Summer Nationals ended after 1988 and the Summer Band Symposium moved to Illinois State University in 1992 to accomodate the growing camp, Whitewater remains an important part of Music for All's story. My short trip to Whitewater was well worth the detour and provided a fulfilling look into Music for All's earliest history.

 

--Seth

Seth Williams is the Advocacy Coordinator at Music for All. Seth is no stranger to Music for All and Bands of America – first as a participant and as an intern in Development and Participant Relations. He is a graduate of Butler University and previously worked in the Broadway theatre industry in New York. A proud alumnus of “The Centerville Jazz Band,” Seth is likely the biggest band nerd he knows.

Published in Stories

All of us at Music for All love hearing from students, directors and parents about their stories involving band and music education! Every once in awhile, someone sends us a great message on Facebook, gives us a call, sends a letter, or shares a photo with us, just because. Words cannot express how much we love hearing from all of you! Today's Student Feature is one of those photos and a story that was shared with us by Sara from the Cary Senior Marching Band!

Green Hope Hearts

 This past fall at the first ever BOA Winston-Salem Super Regional, The Cary Senior H.S Marching Band was attending along with our down the street rivals, The Green Hope H.S Marching band. During the award ceremony for prelims, when either of our band's names were called for caption awards, clapping didn't seem to be enough to show our respect to our fellow high-schoolers, musicians, and friends. At one point, a member in our band stood up when Green Hope's name was called and made his hands into a heart, and quickly the rest of our band followed. As the award ceremony progressed, suddenly there were hundreds of hearts in the air when either of our names were called. While both of our bands were able to move on to finals, that wasn't the point. The hearts and support we both gave and received is something I'll never forget. It perfectly showcased what marching band is really about, the love of performing, musicianship, unity, and the experiences you get along the way.

- Sara Mears

Sara is absolutely right- THIS is what band is all about. THIS is what Music for All is all about. The experience, the music education community coming together. What a fantastic story and an awesome photo, thanks for sharing Sara!

Have a story or a photo you want to share with our community of music education advocates? We'd love for you to share! Send us a message on Facebook, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or just fill out this "Share Your Story" form!

 

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Erin Fortune is the Marketing Coordinator focusing on digital marketing at Music for All, and has been working with Music for All for nearly three years, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. She is a graduate from the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.

Published in Student Features

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Congratulations to all of the bands who participated in the 2013 Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha! Here are awards photos and behind-the-scenes photos. Looking for more action photos of your band? Jolesch Enterprises has you covered - so make sure you check here for group photos as well as action shots that they took at the event.

 

Can't view the slide show? Click here. 

Looking for Results and Scores from the event? You can find those here. Congratulations to the 2013 Grand National Champion: The Woodlands HS, TX!

Published in Stories

Congratulations to Dr. Barry Shepherd, Superintendent of Cabarrus County Schools in North Carolina who is the 2013 recipient of the George N. Parks Leadership in Music Education award. Dr. Shepherd received the award during the opening finals ceremonies at the 2013 Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha on November 16.

Developed by NAfME, the National Association for Music Education and Music for All, the award is named for George N. Parks (1953–2010), director of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1977 until his death, and honors an exemplary music educator who embodies the characteristics and leadership that Mr. Parks personified.

Learn more about the George N. Parks Leadership in Education Award

About Dr. Barry Shepherd

Since joining Cabarrus County Schools in February 2008, Dr. Barry Shepherd has led the school system through some of its most challenging and exciting times.

During his tenure, the school system has seen unprecedented reductions in funding. Yet, Cabarrus County Schools has continued to thrive thanks to Shepherd, who has successfully advocated for placing value on “people rather than things.”

Despite the challenging economy, student enrollment for Cabarrus County Schools has continued to grow – resulting in the need for more schools. And Shepherd has the led the school system through the construction of five new school buildings, as well as numerous academic and educational programs including magnet schools at Coltrane-Webb Elementary and J.N. Fries Middle, Central Cabarrus and Concord High Schools, the Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College High School, Language Immersion at Furr Elementary School, and the Mary Frances Wall Center, a preschool for children with special needs.

Under his direction, Cabarrus County Schools’ students are making strides on end-of-year assessments, the graduation rate has increased and the school system has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding.

Dr. Shepherd also is leading the school system in its focus on global education. Through a partnership with the Center for International Understanding at the University of North Carolina, Cabarrus County Schools is among several school districts across the state participating in Confucius Classrooms. Through this program, Cabarrus County Schools’ teachers and administrators have visited schools in China to learn about Chinese education and as part of a reciprocal agreement.

Prior to joining Cabarrus County Schools, Dr. Shepherd served as superintendent of Elkin City Schools and as assistant superintendent in Mooresville Graded School District.

Dr. Shepherd is a native of Wilkes County, N.C., and has held administrative positions in Iredell-Statesville Schools, Lexington City Schools and Thomasville City Schools.

He is a graduate of Appalachian State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in music education and a Master of Arts degree in educational leadership. He received his Doctor of Education degree in education from Columbia University in New York.

Dr. Shepherd is married to Laura Shepherd. They have two daughters: Fran and Parker, who attend Cabarrus County Schools.


Published in Stories
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