The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

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!

 

ErinSignatureinJennaSueFont


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

The Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award annually recognizes the extraordinary commitment, dedication, support and sacrifice of music parents and boosters around the world by shining a spotlight on an individual who exemplifies these qualities.

The award is named in honor of Patrick John Hughes, the father of Patrick Henry Hughes. Patrick Henry is a remarkable young man who, despite physical challenges that would seem overwhelming to many, has excelled as a musician and student, singing and playing piano and trumpet with the Louisville Marching and Pep Bands, with the help of his father, who tirelessly maneuvers his son’s wheelchair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band

On Friday night during Grand Nationals the 2013 Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster award was awarded to Dick Zentner, of Pennsylvania.

PBAWARD1Music for All's President and CEO, Eric L. Martin with Dick Zentner, 2013 Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award Recipient

Zentner Family

Eric Martin, Dick Zentner, Zentner's daughter Dawn Tatters, grandsons Dylan and Doug Tatters and Zentner's son Ron Zentner

Mr. Richard “Dick” Zentner first became involved with the Norwin Band Boosters in the 1980’s. He began his booster parent journey on the pit crew and when it became known that he had his commercial driver’s license, he was quickly recruited to drive one of the equipment trucks.

As Mr. Zentner’s other children continued their participation in the Norwin band program, so did he, serving on many booster committees and even serving as booster president for several terms. But Mr. Zentner was not just a supporter of the Norwin band program- he often met with other fledgling band parent organizations and shared with them the Norwin booster model and the wisdom of his experience.

Through the years Mr. Zentner played an increasingly important role in planning and coordinating the band’s transportation to and from all local competitions and community events, as well as events like BOA, WGI and band trips to Florida. Whenever the band had somewhere to go, Mr. Zentner made it happen flawlessly.

Through his involvement with the Norwin band program in the 1980’s, Mr. Zentner became a trusted confidant and friend of Norwin Director of Bands, the late L.J. Hancock. Though Mr. Zentner’s youngest son graduated from the Norwin band program in 1994, he continued to coordinate logistics, attended band parent meetings and served as an advisor to L.J. Hancock. In 2000, L.J. Hancock passed away, and while Mr. Zentner was crushed to have lost such a close friend, he worked toward helping to maintain the quality of the band program for the sake of the students. Since L.J. Hancock’s passing, Mr. Zentner has assisted in the transitioning of four band directors into the Norwin band program.

ZentnerwithNorwinBandMr. Zentner with the Norwin band

Former Director of Bands, Ian Morrison, said “As a former student in the Norwin band program, I personally remember “Mr. Z” unloading my Sousaphone from the truck and wishing me good luck. As a former director of bands at Norwin, and one of the band directors that Dick helped to transition into the program, I can say from personal experience that parents like Dick are invaluable to the success of an organization such as ours. In the uncertain times of transition, Dick was a calming and steadying influence on me and the band parents’ organization.”

There is no denying that Mr. Zentner has been a devoted and loyal advocate of the Norwin band program. After more than 25 years of involvement and working with 5 director of bands, Mr. Zentner has truly become an icon of the Norwin band.

“Since I have become the director of bands at Norwin, Dick and I have talked about the history of the program, what it means to him and why he does what he does. Throughout the conversations the words loyalty and tradition come up often. In many ways, Dick is the keeper of this tradition as he has been around longer than any of our current staff and is truly part of what makes the Norwin Band program successful. The guidance that he has provided me during my brief time as the Norwin director makes him almost like a father figure in this regard. Like me, when I was a student, most students don’t know just how much Mr. Zentner does for all of them and how much he shapes their experience, especially on the road. I will always be grateful for what Dick does for this organization.” –Director of Bands, Timothy Daniels

Norwin Directors and ZentnerDick Zentner with the Norwin HS Directors

Mr. Richard “Dick” Zentner has not only been a booster, pit crew dad, equipment truck driver, logistics specialist, prop construction crew member, volunteer coordinator, Vice President of the Norwin Band Aides, President of the Band Aides, Norwin band historian and Director of Operations during his time with the Norwin band, Mr. Zentner has been a true advocate of music education and a champion of every student.

“Year after year, rehearsal after rehearsal, performance after performance, Dick is there doing what needs to be done because he knows the importance of supporting the efforts of the student. Dick Zentner is the epitome of a dedicated band booster.” – Linda Hancock, Norwin Band Staff 1985-2001

NorwinGroupNorwin students, directors and fellow boosters supporting Dick Zentner at the Parent/Booster Award Ceremony

Read more about Patrick John Hughes and his family and the Parent/Booster Award at www.musicforall.org, where you can also find out how to nominate the exceptional parent or booster in your music program.


Learn more about the award and how to submit a nomination

Watch the Video of the Award Presentation

 

Published in Stories

Today's guest post is from Larry Harper, Jr. Thank you, Larry for allowing us to share your thoughts on the 2013 Grand National Championships!

Break Ranks GNSo, 5 days and 1,500 miles later I'm back from Grand Nationals.

"To create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all."
 
If you've never attended a BoA Grand Nationals, you probably have an idea in your head of what to expect. Bands with multiple semis, props that can fill a stadium, a hearty helping of vocals and electronics. While all those things are certainly present, they are the things furthest from my memory today on the drive home.

The countless amazing interactions between bands in the hallways before heading to the field to compete, the countless number of staff and volunteers who give unbelievable hours of their time and simply the experience had by each and every performer over the course of the event. Those are the things that stick with you.

Resist your preconceived notion of what a 'BoA Band' is, because you don't have to look far to see countless examples of just how far off-base it is, or how much that idea has nothing to do with the experience provided to the participating bands at Grand Nationals.

Seeing two of the top drumlines passing each other in the hall sharing fist-bumps.

fist bumpSeeing smaller bands go out and completely win over the crowd inside a massive stadium.

Witnessing so many countless acts of complete selflessness you don't even bother trying to note them all.

Although the performance might be the highlight of the trip for many bands, I guarantee that the experiences had from the time they arrived in the parking lot, until they left on Saturday night were unlike any found elsewhere and had very little to do with competition.

Competition is healthy and has its place in our activity. It pushes us to work harder and to achieve things we never thought possible, but at Grand Nationals, its about the common bond and experience that all of those performers, parents and staff shared.

photo-1Those life-changing experiences are what makes the event great.

Not the props, not the giant eagle, not even the stadium. The fist-bump, the high-five, the "Good Luck".

It's not just being able to have the opportunity to perform at the highest level; its about being supported by, and sharing the experience with 90 other bands.

Regardless of who we are, this week we're all just a stadium full of 'band kids.'

- Larry Harper, Jr.

Larry Harper, Jr. has spent the majority of the last fifteen years living in the Triangle area of North Carolina and filling a variety of roles in the marching-arts world. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Carolina Gold, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a stimulating and rewarding social experience by promoting responsibility and self-discipline through music education, competitive performance and community engagement. After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Larry served as the Assistant Marching Percussion Instructor to the UNC Athletic Bands program in addition to serving as a visual instructor and drill writer for a variety of other area programs. Larry has spent a significant amount of time in service to organizations such as Winter Guard International and Music for All as well as having coordinated events in partnership with Drum Corps International.

Published in Stories

Heartland Film Festival

Heartland Truly Moving Pictures will hold the 22nd Annual Heartland Film Festival on October 17-26 in Indianapolis. The Festival will showcase the very best in inspiring independent film from all over the world with screenings at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12, AMC Castleton Square 14 and the Wheeler Arts Community in Fountain Square.

Like Music for All, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit arts organization. Their mission is to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. We are excited to participate in the 2013 Heartland Film Festival $2BACK Program, which gives us $2 back for every ticket purchased online! Use the promo code “MUSIC4ALL.” This is an amazing opportunity to support both Heartland Truly Moving Pictures and Music for All!

You can click here to see the full schedule of films in the Heartland Film Festival, including Life Inside Out, a film that uses music to connect a struggling family: When a mother returned to her musical roots, she rediscovers the passion of her youth and finds a way to connect with her troubled teenage son.

If you are looking for something fun and entertaining to do in Indianapolis this month, why not support local arts organizations while enjoying new, award-winning films! When you purchase tickets online, be sure to enter the promo code “MUSIC4ALL” and support Music for All’s “I believe” campaign.

For more information about the Heartland Film Festival, check out their website: www.HeartlandFilmFestival.org;

Facebook: Heartland Truly Moving Pictures on Facebook

Twitter: @heartlandtmp

Published in News
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In memory of Tom Barnett

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As many in the Indianapolis community have heard, a great man and music advocate, Tom Barnett, passed away earlier this month.

In his years of service as a volunteer with the Ben Davis High School Marching Giants, Tom Barnett saw state and national titles, performances in the most prestigious parades in the United States, a performance at the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan and of course, a countless number of BOA appearances.

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As Gary Wishmeyer, Supervisor of Music Education Students at Indiana University, said “He loved our days of competing at BOA in Johnson City, as this would give him a few days to visit with other competing band parents and equipment crews from around the nation to share ideas and to build friendships. He was a great good will ambassador for Ben Davis and the bands from the state on Indiana”

In 2011 Tom was the much deserving recipient of the Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster award. (Read Tom’s Parent/Booster story here.)

In a recent email, Ben Davis director David Cole told us:

“We would like to thank Music for All for helping us honor Tom as the Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award recipient in 2011. Tom always felt so special for being recognized nationally. Tom asked me once, "How the heck did BOA hear about me?"  We would just tell him that sometimes a person's actions are just too big to go unnoticed. You really made a hard working, selfless volunteer feel like a million dollars. Thanks!"

Rain-or-Shine-He is always there for usWhen someone like Tom Barnett is nominated for the Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award- it is the LEAST we can do, to help showcase all of what they have been doing to support music education. In 2011 we had many deserving nominations for the Parent/Booster award, but in our opinion, Tom's nomination video was particularly special. One of the elements that stuck out to us were the STUDENTS who we heard on the video, expressing what a huge role Tom played in the success of the Ben Davis Marching Giants. The video ends with several students saying "We love him, we love him, we love you Tom."  It truly was a beautiful video and just spoke volumes to what Tom meant to the Ben Davis Marching Giants community.

We want to share that video with you:


Tom’s hard work, selflessness and true love of his time spent with the Ben Davis Marching Giants did NOT go unnoticed. Tom was not only a beloved member of the Ben Davis Band and the Indianapolis community- he was a member of the Music for All/ Bands of America family.

Laura Blake, Events Manager at Music for All has many fond memories of Tom, even before she became an MFA staff member.

"I had the privilege of knowing Tom since I was a little girl. I was a follower of the Ben Davis Band program well before I ever started playing an instrument. I'm convinced that Tom, even at my young age at the time, taught me the best ways to load and pack a truck. I was that little kid who always wanted to help, and the skills I learned from Tom come in handy time and time again with my work for Music for All. But even through high school (and I wasn't a BD Kid by the way), college, and later my work at Music for All; I always looked for Tom at shows and events. I'd find him scoping out the lay of the land, always with a big smile and a hug, wishing everyone participating to have a great show!"

This post is in memory of a great booster, advocate and most importantly, a great human being. Everyone at Music for All feels fortunate to have crossed paths with Tom, and to call him a member of the Music for All family over the years. The Music for All staff, event staff, competing bands, EVERYONE who came across the Ben Davis Band, will all be missing Tom this fall. Our thoughts are with Tom's family and the whole Ben Davis Community, and as the Ben Davis students so eloquently put it in their nomination video two years ago, "We Love You, Tom."

SAM 1275

 

Published in Stories
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's all about the focus!

 

All of us at Music for All love hearing from students, directors and parents about what is happening in THEIR band and in THEIR communities! 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 who BELIEVE in music education! The following note was shared with us via Facebook this week and we thought we would share it with our extended Music for All family by posting it here on the blog. (With permission as always!)

 

"So excited for the upcoming fall marching season. We attended the BOA Lucas Stadium event last year and I want to compliment the volunteers...they were helpful and courteous. I am hoping my personal work schedule will allow me to volunteer at some point in the future.

I know all schools involved have and continue to work on their programs for 2013...I attached a photo of my son Nik I just took during the summer camp program at Jeffersonville High School, under the direction of Scott Cooksey. I think it is a nice representation of the focus the kids put into their practices. 

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to music!

Regards, Elke W."

Student photo

 

Yes!- this photo definitely showcases that focus reguired in marching rehearsals! Thank you for sharing this photo and your kind note Elke, it definitely brightened this staff member's day!

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, or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

 

ErinSignatureinJennaSueFont


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 Stories
EDITED NCCAS banner 620x316
The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) released PreK-8 draft music standards online for public review from June 30th, 2013 to July 15, 2013. Now knowing this is a short period of time, during most music educators summer vacations, it remains to be seen the quality and quantity of feedback they will get.
 
Yet, our future music education world depends on getting more musically-smart and engaged people (directors, teachers and parents) to share "what they think" about these soon-to-be national music teaching standards. Especially knowing that many teacher evaluations in the future will be based on student growth. (Which will be measured agains these standards PreK-8.) So, help us get more "smart real-world music educators" and "music advocating parents" to add their input and insight!
 
The NCCAS web site has a page that contains an orientation video with instructions and links to all the information needed to complete the review. While there is an element of massively-minutiae detail, the survey mechanism makes it a bit easier to comment as much, or as little, as you would like. Feel free to pass this link along to any and all of your music education listservs, web sites, organizations, etc.... because the more the better!

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards
http://nccas.wikispaces.com/NCCAS+June+30th+Public+Review

Published in Advocacy in Action
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Power2Give

Homepage p2g
In partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Music for All is proud to launch two projects on the new power2give site. The power2give site is an online cultural marketplace designed to connect donors with projects for which they are passionate. Music for All will utilize power2give to offer our supporters opportunities to make direct impact on our world-class programming.


Music for All currently has two projects posted on power2give.org that supporters can donate to:“Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”-IPS Rose Parade Sponsorship, which is an opportunity to send an Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) student to Los Angeles to participate in the BOA Honor Band in the 2013 Rose Parade®; and “Music Matters: Support Music in our Schools,” a project to develop an advocacy and awareness campaign through PSAs that promote the importance of music education in our schools.  You can view information and help fund these projects at: http://www.power2give.org/go/o/552.

Chase Bank will be donating $0.50 for every $1.00 donated to the, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”-IPS Rose Parade Sponsorship. Music for All would like to thank Chase Bank for its support of the arts in our community.

 We hope you join us in showing your support for music and arts education by sharing these projects with fellow supporters of the arts via email and social media. If you have questions about the projects, please feel free to contact Music for All at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 317-636-2263. 

 
FAQs

How does it work?
Music for All and other 501(c)(3) organizations in Central Indiana will submit projects in need of funding to the power2give website. After approval from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the project will be posted to the website for up to 90 days, where you can select an amount to donate toward the project. The minimum donation is just $1. For every dollar raised, 12 cents goes to cover administrative costs and credit card fees.

What happens if the project I donate to isn’t fully funded?
If you give to a Music for All project that isn’t fully funded, a representative of our Development Department will contact you to notify you how the project will be adapted to utilize your generous gift.

What are the donor benefits?
Music for All has developed incentives for donors to ensure that they are closely connected to the project.  After the project is funded or has expired, Music for All will distribute the donor benefits listed on the power2give give project page.
 
Is my gift tax deductible?
Yes, because power2give is a program of the Arts Council of Indianapolis, a 501(c)(3) organization and the donor benefits listed do not have tax implications, your gift is fully tax deductible.

What are ways I can get involved with a project aside from donating?
You can help promote projects through email and social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. For information on volunteering for Music for All, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information on power2give, please visit www.indyarts.org/power2give.

Published in News
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Inspiring Words

Music Quote

I’m not going to try to hide it.  I am completely fascinated with quotes. I love beautiful words. Add some wonderful graphic to those beautiful words and I’m in heaven. Thank you Pinterest for deepening this love for me.

 Last Friday I wanted to do something fun on the Music for All Facebook page so I asked our Facebook fans what THEIR favorite quote about music was. I was surprised by the number of quotes I had never heard before and decided to ask some of my coworkers what THEIR favorite music quotes were! I found out that I’m not alone in my love for a beautiful quote, so I thought I’d share some of them with you.

 
Here is what some members of the Music for All staff said:

 ·      Nancy Carlson, EVP and Chief Financial Officer: “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible in music”- Aldous Huxley
·      Mike Pyron, Marketing Intern: ”It’s funny how a melody sounds like a memory”- lyrics from an Eric Church/ Springsteen song
·      Seth Williams, Development Coordinator: “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music”- Aldous Huxley
·      Rachel McFadden, Participant Relations Coordinator: “You are the music while the music lasts.” –T.S. Eliot
·      Zachary Modjeski, Participant Relations Intern: “Music without passion is just noise”
·      Kyle Courtney, Events Coordinator: “Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.”
·      Julie Rapp, Accounting Specialist: “Music is what feelings sound like.”- Author Unknown and “A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence”- Leopold Stokowski
 
Here are some of the favorite quotes that our Facebook Fans posted:

·      “You can take me out of the music, but you can never take the music out of me”
·      “Music for All is a wonderful organization and doing wonderful things!” (Sorry couldn’t resist sharing these very kind words from the Musicians of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra!)
·      “I believe in music the way people believe in fairy tales.” – August Rush
·      “Music is Art Painted on Silence”
·      “When words fail, Music speaks”
·      “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”- Albert Einstein
·      “Being in the band is one of the greatest things you can do, and don’t let anyone ever tell you any differently!”
·      “La musica es el idioma universal” translation “Music is the universal language”
·      “If it sounds good, it is good”
·      “Without music, life would be a mistake”- Nietzsche
·      “Music is what feelings sound like”
·      “Even if the whole world has forgotten, the song remembers when”- Hugh Prestwood, sung by Trisha Yearwood
·      “Music will save the world”- Pablo Casals
·      “God gave us music so we could pray without words”
·      “To all those who enter, you are subject to the relentless refining process of music, through uncompromising standards”- Bruce Dinkins
·      “Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us”- Martin Luther
·      “If Music is Love, Love is Music, then Love is everywhere”
·      “It’s all about music. Everything else is second”
·      “Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn”- Charlie Parker
·      “Life without art is stupid”
·      “The great thing about music: when it hits you, you feel no pain”

  
While it is extremely hard to pick a favorite, especially after reading all of these wonderful quotes, my personal favorite music quote is:

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”

Which is your favorite?


ErinSignatureinJennaSueFont
Erin Fortune
Marketing Coordinator- Music for All






Published in News
The Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award annually recognizes the extraordinary commitment, dedication, support and sacrifice of music parents and boosters around the world by shining a spotlight on an individual who exemplifies these qualities.

The award is named in honor of Patrick John Hughes, the father of Patrick Henry Hughes. Patrick Henry is a remarkable young man who, despite physical challenges that would seem overwhelming to many, has excelled as a musician and student, singing and playing piano and trumpet with the Louisville Marching and Pep Bands, with the help of his father, who tirelessly maneuvers his son’s wheelchair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band

On Friday night during Grand Nationals the 2012 Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster award was awarded to PJ Littleton, of Tennessee.

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Eric Martin-President and CEO of Music for All, David McCullough-Director of Bands at Butler University, Webb Littleton, Casey Littleton, PJ Littleton, Susan Littleton, Cameron Gish- Director at Hillsboro M.S.

PJ Littleton is an active volunteer and arts supporter with the new band program at Hillsboro Middle School in Franklin, Tennessee.

As a youth, PJ Littleton represented his home state of West Virginia in the McDonalds’s All American Band, performed in the All-American Jazz Band, minored in music at West Virginia University, studied at the Berkley College of Music and worked in the music industry for over 10 years before moving to Franklin to raise a family.

In 2011 Hillsboro Middle School was the only middle school in Williamson County in Tennessee without an established band program- and the school that Mr. Littleton’s 6th grader would be attending. Mr. Littleton an avid supporter of music and music education attended every district roundtable discussion, every zoning meeting and every PTO meeting, fighting tirelessly for district support of a new band program.

When others said that the school’s small enrollment (275 middle school students) would not have enough interest for a band, Mr. Littleton pushed on with his belief that each student at Hillsboro deserved the right to perform in a band program similar to any other school in the county. After weeks of discussion the Board of Education agreed to hire a band director for Hillsboro. PJ Littleton is more than a proud parent and a dedicated band booster president. PJ Littleton is a true music advocate who saw a need for a music program and didn’t stop until the students of Hillsboro Middle School had access to music.

While administration was busy hiring new leadership for the school and building new classrooms for the influx of new students, a group of parents began meeting to discuss other academic, athletic, and arts-related needs of the group. This group of parents eventually formed a 501(c)(3) organization called Hillsboro Tomorrow, an organization that has funded over $300,000 in improvements to the school. PJ Littleton has been an active member of this organization since its conception, and worked with board members to allocate $45,000 of funds raised to support the new band program. Mr. Littleton was however responsible for finding the donors and business supporters to raise his requested amount of money.
 
“PJ has been a cornerstone of our band program, even before most knew we were going to have a band program. He has given of himself tirelessly with his time, his passion, and his resources. As someone who has worked alongside of him and has a child benefitting from his efforts, I can’t say enough wonderful things about PJ Littleton. We have worked together for the benefit of Hillsboro for nearly two year now, and the only complain I have heard him utter during this time is that he has not been able to do more” – Rhonda Kollenborn, President, Hillsboro Tomorrow.

Not only was PJ Littleton instrumental in making sure this school had a band program, but he was also instrumental in recruitment of band members. Even before the band director was hired, PJ was working with the community and creating a campaign “Catch the Dream, Build the Band,” that would spread awareness. The campaign was not only a tool for fundraising, but created a buzz about the band to incoming students.
 
Throughout the summer before the first year of the band Mr. Littleton raised over $35,000 in private donations that were used to purchase new chairs, stands, equipment ad a stock of school-owned instruments.

He not only gave of his time to fund raise but also gave of his time to help the new band director to prepare the new band room (a former storage room/ computer room) by spending hours painting and readying the room for use.

Throughout the 2011-2012 school year, Mr. Littleton served as the Band Booster President and continued to raise funds, help spread the accomplishments of the students to fellow parents and district administrators, volunteered at concerts and school events, attended PTO meetings, created band traditions, coordinated a year-end banquet, and even taught trumpet sectionals for the inaugural jazz band.

Thanks to PJ Littleton’s efforts, the new band program included nearly 60 students in its first year (20% of the student body). Enrollment soared to 90 students (30% of the student body) the next year. Mr. Littleton was there once again to help raise funds needed for new instruments to meet the increased enrollment.

PJ Littleton has no doubt been instrumental in raising much-needed funds for the new Hillsboro Middle School Band program, but his impact is much larger than that. “His impact reaches further than dollars and cents. His innovative ideas have transformed the way we think about band at Hillsboro School, and within our own county. I am constantly inspired by his selfless attitude, his contagious energy, his tireless pursuit of excellence, and is unmatched passion for public school music education. Through his efforts, we are becoming a comprehensive band program with a large stock of high-quality instruments, appropriate equipment, and an outstanding parent support system. But more importantly, he is helping to provide outstanding and memorable experiences for our students and their families, in a way that Hillsboro School has never achieved prior to this endeavor.” – Cameron Gish, Band Director, Hillsboro Middle School

Learn more about the award and how to submit a nomination

Watch the Video of the Award Presentation

Published in News
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