Mrs. Thompson’s son, Jack, was a camper at last summer’s Middle School Concert Band Camp at the Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha. Jack was one of 115 middle school students – part of the total camp community of more than 1,700 students, band directors, faculty members, staff and volunteers. We talked with Mrs. Thompson about Jack’s Summer Symposium experience – and hers.
How did you hear about the MFA Summer Symposium?
We live in a music-friendly city with passionate and talented music teachers. Our schools provide our children with exposure to professional educators who demonstrate what it takes to make music: hard work, grit, courage and even a sense of humor. My son, Jack, was reluctant to go to band camp in 7th grade, even after his director suggested it. Luckily, Jack attended the following year as an 8th grade student. We had heard of many music camps, but his director shared how much he thought Music for All would be a good fit for Jack.
What did your son like most about camp?
As parents, we were very encouraged not to hear from Jack too often - a good sign that all is well. All parents should be told that when they drop their child off at camp. When we did hear from him, we received brief messages like, “I loved hearing Black Violin!”, “Best food ever!”, and “I’m learning so much from the oboe teacher! This is amazing!”. If you asked Jack what he liked most about his experience, he would share: that is was the music he played, working with the oboe clinician, the people that were present, and the evening concerts he attended.
What were your initial expectations of camp?
Of course we expected Jack to grow as a musician and learn new music skills by going to camp. We also hoped that he would learn or solidify social and emotional skills like setting an alarm to get up on time, meeting new friends, and speaking up if he needed help during a lesson or rehearsal. And he did! Such great development to have happen before starting high school.
What parts of camp were you most impressed with?
The most impactful was summed up in the presentation to the parents on the last day of camp. The Music for All staff discussed, what I like to call, the cycle of work ethic. We learned about three points that motivate musicians, or anyone working towards something they enjoy. Practice...success...fun. That “camp circle” is discussed often in our home.
The idea of deliberate practice taught by Jack’s oboe clinician can be applied with any skill or goal any of us are trying to reach. Jack also learned about flow or being in the zone as he played.
Can you imagine your child being conducted by one of the best band instructors in the country? Or having a composer come and speak to the ensemble so that they understand why the music was written the emotion behind the piece? How about the opportunity to play with master musicians? Music for All offers these opportunities at the right time for young musicians when their brains and abilities are soaring.
What would you tell another parent who is thinking about sending their child to camp?
It can be so challenging to send your child away to camp. For many it is also costly. But for our family, it was one of the best things we’ve had the opportunity to provide for our child. Jack’s future with the oboe looks bright, and the Music for All Summer Symposium has inspired skills that translate to all aspects of his life. Seeing our child grow as a result of his experiences at camp reminds us that band camp holds many more gifts and experiences than music. Is the musical training extraordinary? Yes! Is camp fun? Yes! Was it hard to send him? Yes! But the experience was positively life-changing, and one we are so glad our child had.
For more information about the Middle School division vist http://camp.musicforall.org/middleschool/
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!
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.
Seasonal Marketing Assistant
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.
Events & Participant Relations Administrative Assistant
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!
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.
At 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.
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.
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.
Music for All is proud to partner with instrumental and vocal festivals across the country to present Affiliate Regional Music Festivals.
Affiliate Regional Music Festivals are part of Music for All's ongoing support of the essential core of every music program: the concert idiom. Music for All will provide one Music for All National Festival evaluator to participate, as well as a student and teacher scholarship for each Festival to award to the Music for All Summer Symposium.
Southern Invitation High School Choral Competition & Festival
Georgia Southern University
Thursday and Friday, October 26-27, 2017
August 1, 2017, Application Deadline
Kettering National A Cappella Festival
Kettering Fairmount High School
Friday and Saturday, November 10-11, 2017
Application Deadline: October 6, 2017
Western Regional Concert Band Festival
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Friday and Saturday, March 2-3, 2018
Cincinnati Regional Concert Band Festival
William Mason High School
Saturday, March 3, 2018
Application Deadline: January 15, 2018
Metro East Concert Band Festival
O'Fallon Township High School, Milburn Campus
650 Milburn School Road
Monday, March 5, 2018
Pacific Coast Regional Wind Band Festival
California State University Long Beach
Friday, March 9, 2018
Southeastern Regional Concert Festival at Georgia State University
Georgia State University
Concert Bands: Wednesday-Thursday, March 21-22, 2018
Registration Website: gsuconcertfestival.org
June 1, 2017 Application Deadline
Louisiana Concert Band Invitational
East Bayou Baptist Church
Saturday, March 24, 2018
December 2017 Application Deadline
Northwest Regional Concert Band Festival
Mountain View High School
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Southern Regional Concert Festival at Russellville Center for the Arts
Arkansas Tech University
Tuesday-Thursday, March 27-29, 2018
Festival Website: http://www.atu.edu/bands/festival.php
Chicagoland Invitational Concert Band Festival
John Hersey High School
Arlington Heights, Illinois
Saturday, April 7, 2018
Festival Website: herseyband.com/Fest
Mid-November 2017 Application Deadline
San Joaquin Valley Concert Band Invitational
Clovis North High School
Friday, April 13, 2018
Contact Festival Coordinator for Application Deadline information.
University of Kentucky "Windfest" Concert Band Festival
University of Kentucky
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Application Deadline: Until Filled (up to 16 groups)
Metropolitan Wind Band Invitational
Roxbury High School
Succasunna, New Jersey
Saturday, April 21, 2018
March 15, 2018 Application Deadline
When I was in high school, I always looked forward to the beginning of a new school year. There were pristine pads of paper, a Technicolor rainbow of brand new pens and fresh folders just begging for a doodle or two. There were new things to learn and a locker to decorate and fill with books. All of my color guard friends and I were still excited about what we had learned at band camp, knowing we would get the opportunity to show off soon. The year was filled with possibility and it was mine to shape.
With all the hustle and bustle that accompanies the start of school, it can be easy to get caught up in what needs to be done NOW. The marching season looms large for many of us and concert band season can seem like a distant dream. But it’s not too early to plan. Planning starts today for tomorrow's experiences.
You’re on stage, squinting past the lights to see if you recognize anyone in the audience. Your instrument is tuned, your music is open and you are ready. People who’ve become lifelong friends in the span of 5 days surround you and the nervous energy sounds like an electric buzz. The hours you have spent in sectionals, master classes and full rehearsals have all led to this moment. The conductor enters to applause, you sit up a little bit straighter, the baton raises and it begins.
That is the experience of participating in a Music for All Honor Ensemble, and that kind of life-changing experience really begins long before you set foot in the J.W. Marriott hotel in Indianapolis in March 2014. It begins long before the acceptance letters are put in the mail in November. It even begins before the September 15 application deadline. That experience starts TODAY. It starts when you fill out an application to be part of one of the Music for All National Honor Ensembles.
So as you crack open that new bottle of valve oil, restring your bow, pick up some fresh reeds; enjoy it. Savor this time when possibilities abound. But also take the time to learn more about the Music for All Honor Ensemble experience. Once you know more, the next step will be clear. Don't put off till tomorrow what can be done today. Apply for the Honor Band, Honor Orchestra or Jazz Band of America. Start making memories.
High School Concert Bands: Featured Stage
Cherry Creek High School Wind Ensemble, Greenwood Village, CO
Tim Libby, Director
Cypress Ranch High School Symphonic Band, Cypress, TX
Russell Holcombe, Director
Eden Prairie High School Wind Ensemble, Eden Prairie, MN
Elizabeth Jackson Kirchhoff, Director
Fort Mill High School Wind Symphony, Fort Mill, SC
John Pruitt, Director
Hickory High School Wind Ensemble, Chesapeake, VA
David Enloe, Director
James W. Robinson Secondary Symphonic Band, Fairfax, VA
Andrew E. Loft, Director
Kempner High School Wind Ensemble, Sugar Land, TX
Branden L. Hill, Director
Lafayette High School Wind Ensemble, Lafayette, LA
Scotty Walker, Director
Legacy High School Wind Symphony, Mansfield, TX
Glenn Fugett, Director
Mountain View High School Wind Ensemble, Vancouver, WA
Sam Ormson and Eric Smedsrud, Co-Directors
Mt. Eden High School Wind Ensemble, Hayward, CA
Kevin Cato, Director
Orange County School of the Arts Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble, Santa Ana, CA
Teren Shaffer, Director
Warren Township High School Symphonic Band, Gurnee, IL
Kurt Gros, Director
William Mason High School Wind Symphony, Mason, OH
Robert Bass, Director
William S. Hart High School Wind Ensemble, Newhall, CA
Anthony H. Bailey, Director
Wylie High School Wind Symphony, Wylie, TX
Todd Dixon, Director
High School Concert Bands: Invited Stage
Benjamin E. Mays High School Wind Symphony, Atlanta, GA
William Oliver, Director
Bothell High School Wind Ensemble, Bothell, WA
Philip Dean, Director
Hanford High School Wind Ensemble, Richland, WA
Kevin Swisher and Chris Newbury, Co-Directors
J. E. B. Stuart High School Wind Ensemble, Falls Church, VA
Brian Thomas, Director
Lafayette High School Symphonic Band, Lafayette, LA
William R. Gleason, Director
Stillwater Area High School Wind Symphony, Stillwater, MN
Dennis R. Lindsay, Director
Warren Central High School Honors Band, Indianapolis, IN
John Hilmer, Director
William Mason H.S. Symphonic Band, Mason, OH
Robert Bass, Director
Mt. Eden High School Strings Ensemble, Hayward, CA
E. Ronnie Cato, Director
Middle School Concert Bands
Bumpus Middle School Symphonic Band, Hoover, AL
Josh Lynch, Director
Dickerson Middle School Symphonic Band, Marietta, GA
John Palmer, Director
Griffin Middle School Wind Ensemble, The Colony, TX
Leigh Ann McClain, Director
Mason Middle School Symphonic Winds, Mason, OH
Susan Bass, Director
Cypress Ranch High School Percussion Ensemble, Cypress, TX
Kyle Stahl, Director
Dickerson Middle School Percussion Ensemble, Marietta, GA
Scott Brown, Director
Eden Prairie High School Percussion Ensemble, Eden Prairie, MN
Scott Palmer, Director
Lafayette High School Percussion Ensemble, Lafayette, LA
Scotty Walker, Director
Mt. Eden High School Percussion Ensemble, Hayward, CA
Kevin Cato, Director
Orange County School for the Arts Percussion Ensemble, Santa Ana, CA
Axel Clarke, Director
San Marcos High School Percussion Ensemble, San Marcos, CA
Matthew Armstrong, Director
As an avid fan of the Music for All blog, (we know everyone currently reading is a subscriber. No? Well what are you waiting for?) you probably know all about the Directors’ Academy and what is has to offer.
But JUST in case you don’t know about the sessions offered at Summer Symposium FOR DIRECTORS- I’m going to tell you about it. (And even if you think you know, humor me and read this post? It helps my self-esteem when my work gets read; my ego thanks you in advance.) ☺
First of all, the Summer Symposium really is an amazing opportunity. It brings you the absolute best to provide a comprehensive experience. It truly is a TOTAL experience, with something for every band director: high school and middle school, from the most experienced to the younger teacher at the start of his or her career. Music for All offers tools that will allow you to achieve peak performance for your ensembles and yourself. The Symposium is the place to get a head start on next year’s thinking. It’s a place to make connections, get new ideas and learn new strategies.
At the Music for All Summer Symposium Directors’ Academy, you get:
• Control of your own experience
• The Cavaliers in Residence
• Peer-to-Peer Networking
• Professional Development
• Dream Team Faculty
• Great Facilities
• One-on-one directors’ lounge: personal consultation with the masters
• Universal Pedagogy for Schools Small and Large, Suburban, Rural and Urban
• Nightly concerts
• An opportunity to play in the Directors’ Band
• And everyone’s favorite part: Director Socials in the evening!
Now I realize that everything I just told you is a very general overview and you are probably still reading this and thinking, “But WHAT will I really be learning in sessions at camp? Is it worth it?”
Well, I can tell you that we have directors from all different backgrounds and school sizes who come back to camp year after year. And if those directors were sitting across from you today they would all absolutely tell you it’s worth it.
But don’t take it from me- hear it from those directors themselves!
We know sometimes it’s hard to make a case for attending a workshop/convention/camp without first knowing exactly what sessions will be available. Maybe you are looking to brush up on new technology, talk with someone about your marching band show design, or just looking for a chance to play your instrument and hear new music coming out in the next year. Well, we understand that completely! Here's the full, tentative schedule of sessions for the 2013 Directors' Academy!
You can also watch a collection of featured Directors’ sessions on the MusicforAlltv YouTube channel:
Don’t forget- if you are a Color Guard or Percussion Instructor, there are specialized tracks within the Directors’ Academy for you!
So make sure you register today and I'll see you in Muncie in just a few weeks. Make sure you stop by headquarters and say hi and tell me about your camp experience!
If you are a band director, orchestra director or percussion ensemble director who is considering applying for the 2014 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, don't forget that applications and audition recordings must be received by .
Recorded and Written evaluation: All who apply receive recorded and written evaluation from the listening panel, making the audition process itself an educational resource.
A national stage: High School and Middle Schools concert bands, orchestras and percussion ensembles from all over the country are invited to apply to be a part of the Festival.
A non-competitive experience: without the worry of ratings or rankings, directors are free to explore and stretch themselves, and students can enjoy music-making without the pressure of competition.
Concert Performances and Clinics: Each ensemble performs a concert before a knowledgable audience, including the Festival evaluation panel, music educators and fellow band and orchestra members. Ensemble directors will receive recorded and written comments from evaluators and input on their conducting as well. Following the peformance, each ensemble will have a clinic providing even more educational opportunties.
Master Classes: All students participate in instrumental master classes, led by top applied faculty and professional musicians.
Social Events for Students and Directors: The Festival social gives students the chance to relax, have fun and get to know students from other programs across the country. The director and evaluator reception and hospitality opportunities offer networking and informal interaction with colleagues, guest artists and icons of music education.
Gala Awards Banquet: The "black-tie-optional" banquet for students, directors, parents, staff and evaluators culminates the Festival with first-class standards that distinguish the Music for All National Festival. The formal banquet with over 2,000 guests is sure to be unforgettable for you, your students, parents and supporters.
DVD & CD Package: Each student member and director gets a recording package of their concert, including professionaly-produced video on DVD and audio on CD.
Ensemble Hosts: Each invited ensemble will be assigned a "host" to help guide you through the Festival weekend and is committed to ensuring that you have the best possible experience before and during the Festival. Hosts are familiar with, and in most cases have had an ensemble perform at, the Festival.
Opportunities for Additional Ensembles: Many groups want to travel with all of the students in their school's band program and Music for All provides educational options to allow as many of your instrumental music students as possible to participate. Directors can choose to submit audition applications for multiple bands from one school for the Featured Band and/or Invited Band stages. Selected bands from both stages can choose to bring additional ensembles- concert bands, percussion ensembles, or orchestras- to participate in additional opportunities during the Festival.
Music for All is receiving applications and audition recordings now for the 2014 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, March 6-8 in Indianapolis, IN. Applications and audition recordings are due June 5, 2013. So that we can be sure to expect your application and prepare for the listening process, we invite you to submit this form indicating your intention to apply for the 2014 Festival.
All submissions are confidential and non-binding. This simply helps us to plan for the listening process and to ensure that we receive audition materials you might send (we'll be on the look out for your application).
The Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha celebrates outstanding music making by the nation's finest concert bands, orchestras and percussion ensembles. Learn more about the Festival here.