Celebrate #GivingTuesday with Music for All!
Join others from around the world in a day of giving to kick-off the holiday season this year. Retailers have Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and we want you to help us support #GivingTuesday! #GivingTuesday was launched last year as a campaign to create a national day of giving to support charitable activities that support non-profit organizations like Music for All. Whether supporting Music for All with a donation or spreading the word about #GivingTuesday, you can make a difference for nonprofits across the world. Here's how you can make a difference:
Support Music for All's Summer Symposium Scholarships
This #GivingTuesday, you can provide positively life-changing experiences to high school students through the Music for All Scholarship Fund. The MFA Summer Symposium is a weeklong summer camp that provides world class music instruction, leadership training, immersive performance opportunities and nightly concerts. Students who attend the Summer Symposium become leaders in their band, school and community and aquire the skills necessary for success beyond high school. Camp scholarships provide valuable opportunties for underserved students and communities with limited access to high qality music and leadership training. By partnering with Music for All as a donor this #GivingTuesday, you are showing that you believe in music education, music in our schools and Music for All. Click here to make your donation today.
Spread the Word about #GivingTuesday
Even if you're unable to make a charitable gift today, you can support #GivingTuesday by spreading the word to support charitable activites all day. One unique way to support #GivingTuesday is the #unselfie. Show your support for #GivingTuesday and Music for All by uploading an #unselfie to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. Encourage your friends and followers to support #GivingTuesday as well. The holiday season is the perfect time to embrace giving, and what better way than with #GivingTuesday. You can visit www.givingtuesday.org for more #GivingTuesday social media resources. Don't forget to check out Music for All's social media pages all day for more #GivingTuesday information.
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!
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
or just fill out this "Share Your Story" form!
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.
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.
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.
Music for All's President and CEO, Eric L. Martin with Dick Zentner, 2013 Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award Recipient
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.
Mr. 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
Dick 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
Norwin 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
Join us for the Tim Lautzenheiser Student Leadership Workshop during the 2013 Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha! Work with the man himself, Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser on Friday, November 15th. This leadership workshop encourages the growth of the group via a nurturing of agreed-upon organizational values that establishes a solid foundation for positive growth in every aspect of your band program.
This is a MUST on your list of things to do while at the Grand National Championships. And the best part? The early pricing has been extended! Register online BEFORE you arrive and you can register for the workshop for $30 per person! Remember: one director attends FREE for every 10 students enrolled! (But register now for these savings, it will be $35 per person on site).
Leadership skills are not just something that will help you in band, or in high school. This is one of those workshops where you will learn things that you will utilize every day for the rest of your life, and have fun while learning them!
So don't wait- register now and get ready for an awesome two hours with the incomprable Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser and more than 500 of your new best friends!
Last week we talked about the real competition – learning week to week and improving yourself, yet how can you make sure you know what you’re doing?
Well in addition to the strategies shared last week, here are a few things you can do:
First, learn it right the first time. While it may sound like it’s too late in the season for that – you’d be surprised how many things we learn incorrectly. You’ve heard the expression that “practice makes perfect” – well in truth “practice makes permanent!” The more you do it wrong, the more challenging it can be to fix it later on. After all “old habits do die hard.”
Second, figure out what you’re already doing right and identify what still needs work. Create a list of “everything you still need to fix!” While some of these items will be addressed in the few rehearsals that remain, many more will not.
Finally, take what you need to work on and plan when (outside of rehearsal time) you’re going to work on it. Perform what you work on for others and have them “check you off” so you’ll know you got it.
Making sure you know what you’re doing individually is the single greatest thing you can do to improve yourself and your section. Your directors and staff have a limited number of rehearsals left to correct way too many things. Show some initiative and make sure you know what you’re doing.
Arts education leaders, advocates and educators from across the nation responded to an invitation from Music for All to help it identify priorities and supporting initiatives for its next strategic plan. More than 40 persons assembled with Music for All board and staff on September 11 to hear first hand from key stakeholders and advocates in the field of scholastic music and arts education. The board of directors, executive leadership and sponsors of Music for All are now focusing on those and other new ideas recently proposed for the organization’s future, largely highlighting the need for more inclusive programming and an expansion of resources to further both reach and access of scholastic music education.
More than a dozen participants active in the arts and representing various community sizes, ethnic and economic demographics offered TED Talk-style presentations pitching new priorities, ultimately underscoring the need for program development at the elementary level and a stronger focus on underserved communities. Proposing a devotion of resources to offer grants that reduce or eliminate participation fees, speakers emphasized the importance of an encompassing “music for all” approach.
“We recently passed the halfway point of our current strategic plan and feel now is the right time to begin planning and focusing on the future and what’s next for the organization,” said Music for All President and CEO Eric Martin. “We are experiencing unprecedented growth and success in our programming and organizational development, and are well ahead of plan on delivery or current strategic objectives. Our plans and actions should be bold, focused and inspire positive action and change.”
· Scott Lang - Scott Lang Leadership
· Randy Greenwell and Matt James – Directors of Bands, Lawrence Central High School, Indianapolis
· Richard Floyd – State Director of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin Symphonic Band conductor
· Corey Bonds – Director of Bands at Glasgow High School in Glasgow, Ky.,
· Bob Phillips – Director of String Publications for Alfred Music, American String Teachers Association President
· Pam Phillips – Managing Editor, Suzuki and String Acquisition for Alfred Music
· Dr. Scott Dorsey – Director of Education and Communication, American Choir Directors Association
· James Seda – Director of Bands, Southwest DeKalb High School in Dekalb, Ga.
· Richard Saucedo – former Director of Bands, Carmel High School, Carmel, Ind., and educational consultant for Music for All
· Robert W. Smith – composer, arranger, faculty at Troy State University in Alabama
· Susan Smith – Director of Bands, St. James School in Alabama and educational consultant for Music for All
· Michael Kumer – BoardsMTO, Interim Executive Director at PANO, a nonprofit organizational management firm
“Our programming currently extends nationally to include direct service to 70,000 student musicians and is presented annually before audiences exceeding 300,000,” said Martin. “Yet, the needs and challenges to music education, student access and participation remain numerous and daunting. We want to learn, be inspired and called to action by our stakeholders. This is what enables us to chart a future course to advance our mission and ensure the validity of our vision.”
We’re staying in the 90’s for Throwback Thursday this week, honoring the Lassiter H.S. Trojan Marching Band and their director for more than 30 years, Alfred Watkins. At their third ever Grand National appearance, the Lassiter band won the 1998 Bands of America Grand National Championship. The 1998 event marked the beginning of the 12-band finals tradition that continues today at Grand Nationals.
Utilizing Jerry Goldsmith’s music from the 1975 film “The Wind and the Lion,” Lassiter enchanted the RCA Dome crowd with virtuosic woodwind runs and a beautiful Oboe solo. Just watching the show again today on MFA Video, I was blown away by the incredible student achievement, even 15 years later.
The tradition of achievement continued at Lassiter H.S. for many years under the baton of Alfred Watkins, even earning a second Grand National Championship in 2002. The Lassiter band not only enjoyed success on the marching band field, but also in the auditorium, attending the National Concert Band Festival three times and the Midwest Clinic four times. The Lassiter band received the Sudler Shield for Marching Excellence and the Sudler Flag of Honor, and Alfred Watkins was inducted into the BOA Hall of Fame in 2008.
Watkins has also trained many of the finest music educators at clinics across the nation such as the MFA Summer Symposium and as educators in his program at Lassiter. Dr. Catherine Sinon Bushman served as an assistant director at Lassiter from 1998 - 2007. She has just joined the faculty of the St. Cloud State University Department of Music and will even be adjudicating at the Texas Dairy Queen® Bands of America Regional Championship at Dallas-Fort Worth this weekend!
Alfred Watkins retired from Lassiter H.S. this past spring, and the Lassiter Band produced an incredible video highlighting his impact on music education in Lassiter, Cobb County, Georgia and the nation.