The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
Emily Ambriz

Emily Ambriz is a Marketing Coordinator with Music for All and has been part of the team since May 2017. She mainly focuses on social media, graphic design, and email campaigns. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Ball State University in May 2017. She is well versed in the arts non-profit world as a previous Drum Corps International Intern and Music for All Administrative Assistant. When she's not chasing the latest social media trends, Ambriz can be found planning her next trip across the pond or playing spider solitaire while binge listening to true crime podcasts. 

The Music for All Foundation awards several scholarships annually. During the Grand National Championships, Finals Opening Ceremonies several students were presented with college tuition scholarship awards. These scholarships were established to contribute to the future of music and music education by honoring the achievements of outstanding graduating seniors who intend to pursue collegiate study as a music major.

Congratulations to Sean Yuxin Chen, Homestead High School in Cupertino, California, award recipient of the $1,000 Yamaha Scholarship. The scholarship was presented by John Wittmann, Director of Artist Relations and Education at Yamaha Corporation of America Band and Orchestra Division.

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Congratulations to Paul Nguyen, Mustang High School in Mustang, Oklahoma, award recipient of the $1,000 Fred J. Miller Family Scholarship. The scholarship was presented by Marlene Miller, President and CEO of Fred J. Miller, Incorporated

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Congratulations to Isaac Tepperman, Brazoswood High School in Clute, Texas, award recipient of the $2,000 Fred J. Miller Memorial Music Education scholarship. The scholarship was presented by Marlene Miller, President and CEO of Fred J. Miller, Incorporated

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Music for All’s efforts to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences include awarding a number of scholarships each year. For more information about Music for All's scholarships click here.

To support future scholarships with a donation click here.

Congratulations to Mr. David LaMorte, Assistant Principal of Visual, Performing, and Career Arts at Tottenville H.S., NY, the 2018 recipient of the George N. Parks Leadership in Music Education award. Mr. LaMorte received the award during the opening finals ceremonies at the 2018 Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha on November 10.

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.

Under Mr. LaMorte's leadership, Tottenville's six bands, three symphonic orchestras, four choruses, training ensembles, and championship marching band enjoy a reputation for musical excellence which is a beacon for New York City and NY State. His symphonic band regularly receives a NYSSMA Gold Rating in Level VI, as do many other of Tottenville's bands, orchestras, and choruses. A professional trombonist as well as conductor, Mr. LaMorte received his education at Montclair State College and the University of Buffalo. He is a recipient of the DaVinci Award; Phi Delta Kappa Leadership in Education Award; City of New York Proclamation Award; Music Educators of New York City Outstanding Service Award; The Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award; and many more. 

Mr. LaMorte also serves as Executive Director of the Summer Arts Institute, a special program that attracts gifted New York City music and art students to participate in a summer of rigorous and creative performance endeavors. He is also conductor of the Staten Island Community Band, NYC's longest-running community band. He has conducted at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and throughout the metropolitan area. Fans of classic movies can see a young David LaMorte in the legendary film, "Fame", which was made as his alma mater, the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan. 

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Congratulations to Mr. LaMorte and thank you for all you do to help create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences for your students. 

Prior recipients:

2017 Marisa Weinstein
Director of Bands, Warsaw Middle School in Pittsfield, ME

2016 Thom Hannum
Associate Director, Minutemen Marching Band, the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA

2015 Patrick M. Erwin
Director of Bands at Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, GA

2014 Cynthia Napierkowski
Director of Bands at Salem High School in Salem, MA

2013 Dr. Barry Shepherd
Superintendent of Cabarrus County Schools, NC

2012 Daniel Kirk
Blue Valley West, KS

2011 Dr. Peter Boonshaft
Hofstra University

The Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster Award recognizes the extraordinary commitment, dedication, support, and sacrifice of music parents and boosters across the nation by shining a spotlight on a recipient 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 the Grand National Championships, the 2018 Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster award was awarded to Randy Barnett of Blue Springs H.S., MO.

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For seventeen years, Randy Barnett has been a volunteer and the cornerstone of the Blue Springs Golden Regiment of Blue Springs H.S. Through the many changes the program has been through, Randy has been a consistent driving force within the band family. With his last child being in the band in 2004, Randy has continued to serve as their key volunteer.

Randy is a veteran of the Vietnam War and his service to our country blends perfectly with his service to the band program. As a supporter of the marching arts, the students are his main focus. He sees the importance of the character development of the students and the lessons the marching arts can teach the youth of today. He’s a shining example of how humanity should be, with his kindness and his can-do attitude. Randy makes tremendous strides to make sure the students of Golden Regiment have everything they need to be successful; from designing and overseeing the repairs and renovations of two trailers for the band to helping the program maximize the space in their band room.

Blue Springs’ band motto is "A Culture of Unstoppable Commitment" and Randy completely embodies that motto. Even though he lives 45 minutes away from Blue Springs, he still makes the drive each way to help the band. He has even attended every performance by the Golden Regiment since 2002, including 24 Bands of America Regional Championships. Randy’s magnanimous nature is apparent, as he once took six days off to travel to California with other truck drivers to pick up props the band had ordered. He did it all with a smile on his face because he knew it needed to be done for the kids.

Highly regarded in his band community, Randy is loved by the students, volunteers, and band director Dr. Allhouse. They believe The Golden Regiment is a better program because of him and future generations will benefit from his selfless actions. He embodies Music for All's mission to "create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all" because of his unity, his selflessness and his amazing attitude. Congratulations Mr. Barnett, thank you for all you do.

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Music for All was honored to have guests from the Tournament of Roses® with us at the 2018 Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha.

Through our unique partnership, each fall a Bands of America Grand National Semi-Finalist band is selected to receive an invitation to perform in an upcoming Rose Parade.

Congratulations to Dobyns-Bennett on being selected during the 2018 Grand National Championships! We’ll be cheering you on in the 2020 Rose Parade!

Previous Grand National Invited Bands in the Rose Parade

2017 Grand Nationals, an invitation for
2019 Rose Parade
Flower Mound H.S., TX

2016 Grand Nationals, an invitation for
2018 Rose Parade
Ronald Reagan H.S., TX

2015 Grand Nationals, an invitation for
2017 Rose Parade
Broken Arrow H.S., OK

2014 Grand Nationals, an invitation for 
2016 Rose Parade
William Mason H.S., OH

2013 Grand Nationals, an invitation for
2015 Rose Parade
Round Rock H.S., TX

2012 Grand Nationals, an invitation for
2014 Rose Parade
Carmel H.S., IN

2011 Grand Nationals, an invitation for
2013 Rose Parade
Broken Arrow H.S., OK

2010 Grand Nationals, an invitation for 
2012 Rose Parade
Avon H.S., IN

We hope that everyone will be joining us on Thanksgiving Day by watching the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! We cannot wait to watch and support all of the amazing marching bands that will be featured throughout the parade. Some of the nation's finest will come together for the 92nd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and we are so excited to see them all in this legendary event.

Make sure you tune in on NBC and join us in supporting these incredible ensembles as they perform for nearly 50 million television viewers nationwide! The parade steps off at 9:00 AM on Thursday, November 22 and will conclude at 12 PM in all time zones.

Below is a list of all of the marching bands you will see in the parade:

Cicero-North Syracuse H.S. Northstars Marching Band
Cicero, NY

Grants Pass H.S. Marching Band
Grants Pass, OR

Homewood Patriot Band
Homewood, AL

James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes
Harrisonburg, VA

Keller H.S. Marching Band
Keller, Texas

Lafayette H.S. Mighty Lion Marching Band
Lafayette, LA

Ohio State University Marching Band
Columbus, OH

Park Vista H.S. Marching Band
Lake Worth, FL

Riverside City College Marching Tigers
Riverside, CA

Woodland H.S. Wildcat Marching Band
Cartersville, GA

Macy's Great American Marching Band
USA 

NYPD Marching Band
New York

For more information about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade visit www.macys.com/parade.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Live Blog: Indianapolis Super Regional

BOA Week42 700x200 Indianapolis

 

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“I think every single student would say they can hear and feel a difference with the VAE Rehearsal System,” says Philip Brown, Choral Director at Bloomington Jefferson High School (BJHS) in Bloomington, Minn. “It’s adding to their skill set and enhancing their music education.”

Wenger’s Virtual Acoustic Environment (VAE) technology enhances and accelerates music learning by creating realistic acoustic simulations of a variety of performance spaces, including recital hall, auditorium, arena or cathedral. Wenger acoustical engineers also simulated the BJHS’ auditorium’s acoustics with a custom setting.

Brown considers this custom setting very convenient because it’s difficult to hold many rehearsals in the auditorium. He says high school auditoriums are more heavily scheduled these days, including with rental events.

The beauty of this VAE Rehearsal system is threefold. First, its simplicity makes the system very easy to use. The environment can be changed at the touch of a button. Second, the system’s different acoustic environments offer flexibility and because they are preset, users don’t have to worry about them.

Finally, the digital record and playback capability works with any of the nine acoustical settings – for immediate listening in rehearsal, to save for future use or to create an audition recording.

Brown agrees. “The VAE Rehearsal’s record-playback function is awesome,” he notes. “We can hear problems, make adjustments and listen for improvements.”

Wenger will offer live demonstrations of its Virtual Acoustics technology at Midwest Clinic in Chicago December 19-21. To learn about these demonstrations and other Virtual Acoustics installations, click here.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Weather Delay at BOA Bedford, TX

Performances at the Bands of America Regional in Bedford, TX are being suspended as of 8:00 p.m. CT due to inclement weather. The safety of the students, spectators, and everyone at the event are our priority. We will post what time performances will resume as soon as information is available.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Weather Delay at BOA Austin, TX

As of 12:25 p.m. CT performances at the Bands of America Regional in Austin, TX are on a weather delay. We will posts updates when we know what time performances will resume. The safety of the students, spectators, and everyone at the event are our priority.

This summer, 1,700 student musicians and directors will travel from across the country to “America’s Camp,” the Music for All Summer Symposium presented by Yamaha. One road, in particular, will provide the path for select educators and students from urban city centers to experience the Symposium. Interstate-65, one of the major U.S. highways that travels right through the heart of Indianapolis, will bring together 34 students and 12 teachers from 9 districts along the corridor to take part in an exciting new initiative: the Interstate-65 Corridor Project.

Directors and students from the Corridor will have the opportunity to network, share ideas and resources, and participate in special workshops as part of this unique experience. The newly formed Music for All Urban Education Advisory committee has developed a specialized curriculum geared towards growth and opportunities for these participants, with topics such as team-building, collaboration, and strategic planning.

About the “I-65 Corridor Project”

Music for All, with the generous support of the Country Music Association Foundation, has launched this initiative as the first step towards serving urban music education on a national level. The goals for this initiative include increasing support and fostering positive opportunities for these programs, as well as decreasing barriers often present in core urban school communities like those found along the Corridor.

The I-65 Corridor was chosen for this initiative based on existing relationships with Indianapolis Public Schools, observed challenges and achievements in communities along the Corridor, and Music for All’s organizational capacity to effectively engage new communities in our programming. By providing guidance and ongoing professional development to these music programs, Music for All hopes to enhance musical instruction and performance-based achievement, which will help us realize our ultimate goal of helping build self-sustaining music programs in these communities.

About the Urban Education Advisory Committee

In order to ensure that the efforts of this initiative are relevant and engaging, Music for All has assembled an Urban Education Advisory Committee, a team dedicated to the strategic planning and facilitation of all efforts related to the I-65 Corridor Project. The Committee is composed of six distinguished music educators and industry leaders who not only have experience working with programs similar to those along the Corridor, but also have been recognized as competent music educators, innovative thinkers, and facilitators of comprehensive educational programming. The committee is excited to work with directors and students in the I-65 Corridor Project during the Summer Symposium and throughout the academic year. The team is comprised of the following music education consultants:

  • William J. Earvin, Baker HS, Director of Bands – Baker, LA
  • Zachary Harris, William-Carey University, Assistant Professor of Music Education – Hattiesburg, MS
  • Sybil James, Willowridge HS, Director of Bands – Houston, TX
  • Tim Linley, Dallas Independent School District, Director of Visual & Performing Arts – Dallas, TX
  • Myran Parker-Brass, Boston Public Schools, Executive Director for the Arts – Boston, MA
  • Ayatey Shabazz, Devmusic Publishing Company, LLC, Founder/President & CEO – Biloxi, MS
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