Mindi Abair is no stranger to being in the spotlight. She has performed with artists as diverse as American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, Aerosmith and Josh Groban. And this Tuesday, she will be blowing up the stage at Emens Auditorium at Ball State University as part of the Music for All Summer Symposium Concert Series.
Mindi started playing the saxophone as many do, in elementary school. Traveling with her father as he played sax in a band influenced her to pick it up on the day of instrument. It wasn’t an easy path from that fourth grade music class to playing on the American Idol stage with Phillip Phillips, but she always believed that if you love what you’re doing and you try hard, you will succeed.
Hear all about it from Mindi herself:
Mindi’s latest album, a collaboration with fellow saxophonists Dave Koz, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot, hit #1 on the Amazon.com Best Sellers for Jazz before it was released on June 11. If you want some cool tunes to help you beat the heat, check it out.
See more of Mindi’s amazing performances on her YouTube channel:
Not only does Mindi have a passion for performance, but she also serves the musical community as President of the Los Angeles chapter of NARAS, the company that puts on the Grammys. According to her website, Mindi will “preside over all chapter meetings and guide the board's work with charities like MusiCares and educational music work with kids through the Grammy Foundation as well as advocacy efforts in Washington DC and decisions about the membership and governance of the Grammys.”
We are excited to have Mindi with us at the Summer Symposium! If you are a student or director enrolled in camp we will being seeing you for this concert on Tuesday evening! If you arn't enrolled in camp this year, don't worry, this concert is open to the public! Tickets are $15 for Adults (reserved balcony seating) and $5 for Students/Seniors. Children 10 and under are free. Click here for more information on tickets and how to order!
Rachel McFadden is currently the Participant Relations Coordinator at Music for All and is thrilled to get back to her band nerd roots after so many years of trying to "blend in." She has a degree in Communication Studies from Manchester University and has previously held such varied jobs as Copywriter, Arts and Crafts Director and Aeronaut. Summer Symposium is her favorite Music for All event.
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Admittedly, a summer camp experience for some kids serves as a temporary separation from home and family. It's a chance to briefly be on your own and experience a taste of "dealing with the world" in a developmentally appropriate way. Having worked with a variety of summer camps – from Boy Scout camps to Girl Scout camps, collegiate camps to cabin camps, church camps to band camps – I can personally attest to Music for All having one of the finest music summer camp programs in the country!
Not just because of the spectacular staff, the high-calibre clinicians, the first-class concerts and super SWAG Team volunteers. But more uniquely than other camps, the welcoming and closing activities Music for All intentionally creates for parents. You see many camps are a "dump and run" proposition for both parents and kids. Yet Music for All understands their mission to reach beyond students and directors to parents and communities. For one week, we strive to create a kind of community that cares about everyone involved. Bringing parents in on both the beginning and ending of Symposium significantly ties together the experience for students and their families. Plus, it provides a bridge from home, to what we do at Ball State, to back home again – where ideally the lessons learned at camp are brought to life the rest of the year.
When more people in a student's life are "in on that process," the more impactful the inspiration and instruction they receive becomes – long term. That's why as a fellow parent (with a daughter who's also attending the 2013 Summer Symposium) I want to sincerely encourage every parent who can make the roadtrip to attend the first day and the last day of this year's camp experience. I promise both days will be inspiring. To see 1,000+ students, performers and teachers launch one of the largest summer camps in America is a sight to see. Plus, you'll get to have an exclusive sneak peek into "how we do what we do" following the opening session. Consider it a behind the scenes chance to find out how Music for All brings its mission to life.
Then plan on coming back Saturday morning. We'll buy you breakfast, share a bit about how YOU can "be in on making the magic last longer back home," and share some constructive ideas on how students tend to decompress after such an intense camp experience. You'll get to see and hear final performances and concerts as well as participate in our family picnic – where anyone and everyone can take part in a drum-circle team-building leadership hands-on experience. (No previous drum skills required!)
Please do join us Monday and Saturday at the 2013 Music for All Summer Symposium so we can KICK IT IN!
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.
To celebrate the end of the 2012-13 school year and look forward toward next fall's marching band season, Music for All is making the entire Finals performance of the Carmel High School Marching Greyhounds, Carmel, Indiana, the 2012 Bands of America Grand National Champions, available for viewing FREE online through the end of June 2013.
You can watch that performance right here:
There are many more great full-length performances from the 2012 Bands of America Championships available for your viewing pleasure with a subscription to MFA Video. There are several different subscription plans to choose from to fit your needs!
Live Premium- one-year subscription that includes all Live Webcasts that will happen in the next year (including Grand Nationals 2013!) as well as all On-Demand, post-event video. (includes everything listed in MFA Encore subscription below)
MFA Encore- one-year subscription that includes all On-Demand, post-event video. MFA Encore allows you to view our entire archive of events at your convenience. See all Bands of America Championship shows, prelims and exhibitions since 2008, all Super Regional Final and Grand National Final performances since 2004 and other selected performances dating back to 1979. See all Music for All National Festival Performances from 2012 and 2013 (post-event).
Subscribe to MFA Video TODAY to watch all of the 2012 BOA performances online. The subscription if active for an entire year, so subscribing today will get you ready by reviewing the past year's championships as well as take you through the whole upcoming 2013 fall season!
Check out more details about subscribing to MFA Video here: http://www.musicforall.org/video/subscriptions
While I hope most teachers feel appreciated every day of the year, there’s nothing like a “holiday” to make us really think about why we appreciate someone. With this week being Teacher Appreciation Week I have been doing a lot of thinking about teachers in my life who have given so selflessly to their profession and have had a true passion for educating their students. I have been blessed with having so many remarkable teachers and mentors throughout my life. Grade school through college there have been several teachers who left their mark, but the one who I really want to thank today is my music teacher.
I went to a fairly small school, where my music teacher was with me from Kindergarten until I graduated High School. Thirteen years certainly helped grow a relationship with my teacher, Ms. O’Neil, but even if she had only been my teacher for one year I know she would have made an impact. Through the help of my music teacher, I realized my passion for music at a very young age. Her enthusiasm for music, and her confidence in me as a performer really shaped the way I viewed myself as a child. Throughout school I ALWAYS had a place where I felt I belonged and that was in music class, and then once I hit Junior High, in the choir room.
Ms. O'Neil gave (and is still giving at Yale Public Schools in Yale, Michigan) so tiresly to her students. I will never forget each year hearing about the choir seniors graduating and Ms. O'Neil sharing a beautiful inspiring story with that particular class and giving them a pearl and telling them how unique and special they were. Every year I watched that beautiful end of the year "ceremony" and I couldn't wait until I was a senior. And then that moment came.. and I was sitting in first hour choir, in a circle of the other Senior choir students and Ms. O'Neil and she told the story yet again that was so familiar to me.
It was the story about the man walking along the sand, and trying so hard to throw each starfish he came across that had washed up to the shore back into the ocean. Another man walks up to him and says, what are you doing? There are so many and you can't possibly throw each one back in, you will never make a difference. But the man keeps going, and throws yet another starfish back in and says "it made a difference to that one."
That story that Ms. O'Neil told every year really epitomises to me what she was always all about...and what so many teachers live for. She worked so hard all of the time, because she knew, even if it was just one student at a time...she could make a difference.
Well, I'm fairly certain that Ms. O'Neil has made a difference in so many lives of the students she has taught..not only teaching them about music, but helping each one of us to be a better person. I know I AM a better person from having known her. Ms. O'Neil if you are reading this, I still have and cherish that pearl you gave me on my last day in your class, and the last time I was home, I saw that my brother, who had graduated four years before me, still had his. Thank you for inspiring my passion for music...and for teaching me that I can make a difference, and even if it's just one starfish... I made a difference for that one.
Yesterday when I was thinking about writing this blog and sharing MY story about the special teacher in my life, I knew that there had to be others in the Music for All office who also had stories of teachers who inspired them. I was so happy to read about so many more amazing stories about inspiring teachers that I just had to share those as well.
“Mr. Philip Shepherd was my high school band director (1977-81). I went to an average sized high school (about 1,000 9-12, I think), in a smallish town (about 7,000) in Eastern Kentucky. What is amazing to me looking back is that he instilled in us not just a belief that we could accomplish anything but a real sense of connection at the deepest level to the music and to the highest level of music-making. He had high expectations and it never occurred to us that we weren't going to meet those expectations. I follow the careers of my fellow band mates from that time and see that they are contributing at the highest levels in their chosen professions and I have no doubt that part of that is due to having the privilege of being a student of Mr. Shepherd.”
- Debbie Laferty-Asbill, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
"Though I have had the pleasure of learning from and working with many remarkable educators in my lifetime, I'd specifically like to celebrate my high school band directors, Mr. Charles M. Smith and Dr. Terry Magee. They are both selfless advocates of music education in our schools and deserve consistent recognition for their commitment to excellence. The time I spent as a student at Lafayette H.S. in Lexington, KY under their direction had a huge impact on who I am as a leader and professional today. I know that I am not the first or last person to acknowledge their efforts and want to personally thank them for being such valuable assets to the 'Pride of the Bluegrass!'"
- Molly Miller, Event Coordinator
"Even after many years of education and hundreds of teachers, the most impactful remains my elementary music teacher, Mrs. Mason. After looking forward to music class each week in third grade, I was entranced by Mrs. Mason’s piano playing and begged my parents to buy a piano. Mrs. Mason’s passion for music was contagious, and after starting lessons, I was hooked. Her compassion for students and high standards of success both propelled my interest in music and improved my work ethic in subjects beyond music. After succumbing to cancer while I was in high school, her legacy of inspiring young students through music for over 40 years solidified my belief in music education and music in our schools. Because music remains a cornerstone of who I am, Mrs. Mason’s legacy lives on."
- Seth Williams, Development Coordinator
“I am blessed to have crossed paths with a number of amazing, inspiring educators, from a cross country coach who kindled my love for my sport and a physics teacher whose “Socratic Method” of teaching helped me discover how much of an investigative thinker I am at heart, to a college professor who taught me as much about broadcast media as he did about persevering through life’s challenges through faith. It certainly takes a special kind of heart to fill the role of a teacher, and I feel so thankful for all the people in our nation who double as amazing educators and amazing human beings.
Undoubtedly, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if it wasn’t for a certain color guard instructor of mine. When I met him, I felt like a very little person trying to break into the very big world of drum corps. Under his leadership, I learned how to focus my energy, refine my skills, and after five spectacular seasons have blossomed into an extremely confident performer and person. What impacted me the most is that he continually challenged me to challenge myself, showing he was confident in me and my talents and never letting me think otherwise. It really is true that when you hold someone to higher standards, they WILL go beyond their original expectations of themselves to achieve them. A heartfelt thanks to Ryan Miller, as well as to all our other teachers who set out on a daily basis to change the lives of students!“
- Carolyn Tobin, Marketing Intern
"Thank you Frank Herzog! My 8th grade history teacher who inspired and rewarded intellectual curiosity. The quote posted on our classroom wall: "in this room, ignorance is not bliss" "
- Nancy Carlson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
For every story of an inspiring teacher we have here in the Music for All office, we know there are millions more out there in the world. So share it with us. Çomment with a story here on this post. Tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter. Send that amazing teacher a note, to tell them just how much they meant to you. Spend a few minutes thinking about what an incredible job they did. Just celebrate these wonderful teachers in some way.
To all of the teachers who personally touched MY life. Thank you.
To all of the teachers who touched the lives of my coworkers and made them the extraordinary people they are today. Thank you.
To all of the very special band and orchestra directors I have had the pleasure of getting to know through my work at Music for All. Thank you.
To all of the music teachers of all of the students our organization has ever touched. Thank you.
And to all teachers out there in the world, the ones I know and the ones I don’t have the pleasure of knowing: Music, Math, Science, English, History, Art, Health, Physical Education, Technology… no matter what you teach, you are appreciated. Thank you for sharing your passion and for being there each day for your students.
Thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts, for giving all that you can to your students, for working late, for spending your extra money on something for your classroom because your school budget doesn’t cover it, for being someone your students can talk to, rely on and learn from. You really do make a difference. You really do shape and mold young people to be the best they can possibly be.
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week.
Erin Fortune is the Marketing Coordinator 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.
Today's guest post is from CJ Longabaugh, Assistant Director of Bands at Blue Valley West High School in Kansas. CJ was a part of the Collegiate/Young Teacher division of the Music for All Summer Symposium the summer before his very first teaching job! Our many thanks to CJ for sharing some thoughts on his experience and why he recommends others to take part in the Summer Symposium as well!
As CJ explains, the Collegiate/ Young Teacher division is a great way to start your career and set yourself up for success! The best part is that you get to participate in the Director's Track, but at a discounted price! If you want to read more about this incredible value, check out the Collegiate/Young Teacher division page on the Music for All website.
Are you still debating whether or not you should attend the the Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha in June? Here are the top 10 reasons why you should consider it!
10. Awesome Evening Concerts!
Each night after a day full of track intensive work (and fun!), the WHOLE camp comes together for an evening of inspiring music! Whether your favorite is an evening of jazz, virtuosic soloists or some of the world’s best drum corps, there will be at least one night you can’t wait to tell your friends back home about!
9. There’s something for everyone
Whether you are a jazz cat, guard diva, marching band buff, orchestra nut, concert band wiz, or drum guru, there’s a division and a place for you at the Music for All Summer Symposium.
8. Leadership is the theme
At the Music for All Summer Symposium we don’t believe that only drum majors or section leaders benefit from leadership. We believe that EVERY student benefits from leadership training and that’s why it is incorporated in EVERY division of the Summer Symposium. Anyone who is willing to pay attention, respond and get involved has the potential to positively lead others.
7. Learn from the best
Where else would you get to go to be instructed by so many of the top music educators and clinicians from across the country?
6. Create life-long friends
At camp you will be with nearly 1,000 other students from all across the country. You will not only have the opportunity to make friends within your own track, but you will make friends with other students in your dorm, your swags, and faculty! These are relationships that can last you a lifetime; just think of the friend requests you will have when you get home!
5. Take music & performance skills to the next level
This IS the Music for All Summer Symposium, so first and foremost you will be getting top-notch performance instruction from our outstanding faculty!
4. Get energized for next school year
There is no doubt about it that you will take things that you learn at Music for All Summer Symposium back to your own band, orchestra or guard program back home, not only music or performance skills, but attitude, energy, and a new outlook. Imagine how much stronger of a performer and leader you’ll be and how it could positively impact your school ensemble!
3. Get the away from home “college experience”
You’re probably already thinking leaving home to go to college and into the broader world in the next 1-4 years. Heading away from home can be pretty nerve wrecking. Going to a week long summer camp on a college campus is a great way of getting the experience of being away from home, navigating around a campus and having a roommate! It’s a week of learning about yourself in a new environment.
2. It’s more fun than a summer job!
This one is pretty self-explanatory. What would you rather do? Come to camp, make music and hang out with awesome people or go to work everyday? (p.s. you have the rest of your life to work, spend this summer at camp!) Plus, we know that a large percentage of Fortune 500 CEOs participated in their school music programs, so think of it as an investment in your future!
1. Surrounded by students from across the country who are different – but also JUST LIKE YOU!
At school you probably are in a band with anywhere from 50-250 students (give or take) who have similar interests as you, and maybe half who are as PASSIONATE about music making as you are. Can you imagine being in one place, where the focus is music making and you are surrounded by nearly 1,000 people who are just as passionate as you are about band, orchestra or guard? Well, you can stop dreaming because that place exists, and it’s in Muncie, Indiana at Ball State University June 24-29.
So what are you waiting for? If these reasons didn't convince you that the Symposium is the right place for you, check out our videos on YouTube, Student Testimonials, and the Symposium coverage from last year!
Are you a student or director who has been to Symposium in the past? Comment and give us your top reasons for why someone should come to the Music for All Summer Symposium this year!