The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

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
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
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

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.

Published in Stories

Nominations due Sept. 15

Patrick John Hughes

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. All current, active parents, boosters or supporters of any scholastic music education program are eligible for nomination (nominees do not have to be affiliated with Bands of America or Music for All participating bands). Former or inactive parents, boosters and supporters of Bands of America and Music for All participating programs may also be nominated. The 2011 recipient will be recognized during an awards ceremony at the BOA Grand National Championships in Indianapolis.

Learn more about the award and download the nomination form.

Watch video interview with the 2010 award recipient.

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.

The inspirational Hughes story has been featured on ESPN College Game Day, ABC World News, National Public Radio, Oprah and in Sports Illustrated and People magazine, among others. In 2008, the family was featured as a recipient of ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover." Patrick Henry Hughes, Patrick John Hughes, and Bryant Stamford are also the authors of the book “I Am Potential – Eight Lessons on Living, Loving, and Reaching Your Dreams."

Nominate the outstanding parent/booster in your life!

All current, active parents, boosters or supporters of any scholastic music education program are eligible for nomination (nominees do not have to be affiliated with Bands of America or Music for All participating bands). Former or inactive parents, boosters and supporters of Bands of America and Music for All participating programs may also be nominated.

Selection Criteria

  • Value of service
  • Level of involvement with the music program
  • Strength of the letters of support
  • Results achieved by nominee
  • Power of story to motivate others.
  • Creativity of the nomination entry
  • Audio/video support materials

Winners are notified in advance and the award presented during the Bands of America Grand National Championships in November.

2017 Nomination Deadline: September 15

Download 2017 Nomination Form

 

2016 Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award

Music for All honored Fort Mill H.S., SC booster Robert Edwards with the 2016 Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award.

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Past winners

2017 Nomination Deadline: September 15

Download 2017 Nomination Form

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