The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
Erin Fortune
Erin Fortune is the Director of Sponsorships at Music for All and has been working with Music for All since 2010, first in the Participant Relations department, followed by the marketing department as Marketing Manager, and is now in advancement. She is a graduate of 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.
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

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Several bands from the most severely affected regions of Hurricane Sandy’s path, including Bridgewater-Raritan High School and Hillsborough High School from New Jersey, Annapolis Area Christian School from Maryland, and Cape Fear High School and Panther Creek High School from North Carolina, have found a way to make it to Indianapolis, Indiana for the Bands of America Grand National Championships presented by Yamaha as scheduled despite the difficulties these bands have faced over the last few weeks. Music for All is proud to have these bands here in Indianapolis this weekend and is asking for help in embracing and supporting their participation.

In addition Music for All is asking its participating bands and their fans to join in supporting ALL of the victims of Hurricane Sandy by making a donation in the name of ALL of the bands (and music students) in America to the American Red Cross. “At Music for All we want to teach students about more than just music. We are committed to helping to prepare students to be great citizens and professionals. One of Music for All’s core values is Leadership. We lead through positive action and are committed to serving others for the greater good of society. While the devastation of Hurricane Sandy is terrible, it is an opportunity for our students and communities to practice real leadership and engage in doing so” says Eric Martin, President and CEO of Music for All.

The Hurricane Relief initiative has started with a $100 donation from Music for All’s President and CEO, Eric Martin. Additional funds (cash or checks) are being accepted at the Music for All Information & Awareness Booth on the North Concourse of Lucas Oil Stadium from Wednesday November 7 through Saturday November 10th. Additionally on Saturday, volunteers including members of the Avon High School and Carmel High School Orchestras from Indiana will come through the stands with buckets to accept donations. ALL of the funds will be delivered to the Indianapolis office of the American Red Cross in honor of Music for All and ALL of the band and music students and boosters in America.

If anyone wishes to join in the relief efforts they can also send a check made out to the “American Red Cross” to the Music for All office at 39 W. Jackson Place, Suite 150, Indianapolis, IN 46225 or make a donation to the America Red Cross directly at www.redcross.org. 

Music for All has already seen support for the Hurricane Relief initiative from its partners as well as the Indianapolis area community. Pepwear has provided t-shirts that will be the uniforms of the volunteers on Saturday, Sharp Business Systems has donated printing services and the Home Depot has donated the collection buckets. Avon High School has also graciously opened its doors to the Bridgewater-Raritan High School band to rehearse, which will be their first rehearsal since the super storm hit.

 Music for All hopes that this Grand National’s initiative becomes a catalyst to inspire a “student participant lead and driven commitment to create, determine and support a special Bands of America project benefiting others at each Grand Nationals, beginning November 2013.”

Friday, November 02, 2012

Shaun Canon at Grand National Finals!

Shaun Canon to perform at the finals of Music for All’s Bands of America Grand National Championships

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Music for All is pleased to welcome international singer-songwriter Shaun Canon to the 2012 Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, taking place November 7-10, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

 Shaun will perform live as part of the championships’ Grand Finale on Saturday evening, November 10. Surrounded by the 2,000 student members of the Grand National Finalist bands on the field, Shaun plans to perform his hit song, “Live for Music,” which gained international attention earlier this year. Shaun’s “Live for Music” videos (featuring marching arts performances, including of bands performing in Bands of America Championships,) have been viewed more than 700,000 times on YouTube.

 Formerly known as Shaun Barrowes (a top contestant on American Idol Season 7) has built an impressive resume since leaving the popular show. With a potent combination of tenacious work ethic built upon a familiar and comfortable pop/rock sound, Shaun has deftly navigated the often-tumultuous dynamics of a competitive music industry with a mixture of innate artistic talent, entrepreneurial sensibilities and good old-fashioned grit.

 Shaun’s “Live For Music 50/50 tour” has traveled to over 50 locations and supports “Save the Music Programs” in the school systems and has received great reviews from students as well as teacher and parents.  Shaun has been positioned as the spoke person to lead the charge to save and bring attention to the decline of funding for music and art programs in schools. This is a cause that he is very passionate about and he supports with his strongest tool, his voice and his lyrics.

 “We are thrilled that Mr. Canon will be joining us at Grand Nationals,” said Eric L. Martin, President and CEO of Music for All. “His commitment to music education makes his performance during the Finale a meaningful celebration for every student, director, parent and supporter of music who steps into Lucas Oil Stadium during the four day showcase of marching excellence.”

 After what seems like a lifetime of paying dues at the indie level, Shaun has finally come into this own as a major player and is now set to break out nationally with his third  tour ,  the “We Are Music tour”, scheduled for early January 2013.

Shaun's Website: http://www.shauncanon.com/

Find Shaun on Facebook

Follow Shaun on Twitter: @ShaunCanonMusic


Watch the "Live for Music" Video!
Thursday, November 01, 2012

Directors' Behind the Scenes Tour

Music for all invites band directors to join us Saturday, November 10 for the Directors' Behind-the-Scene Tour at the Bands of America Grand National Championships.

The Directors' Behind-the-Scene Tour gives band directors and booster leaders of bands who are considering participating in Grand Nationals or any Bands of America Championship for the first time a look at the event flow and procedures for bands.


The Behind-the-Scenes Tour at the Grand National Championships is during Saturday's Semi-Finals, from 10-11:15 a.m. in Lucas Oil Stadium. A Semi-Finals ticket is required for admittance to the stadium. There is no charge for the Tour. Reserve your spot by completing this online form.

You'll then pck up your Tour pass at the Music for All Info Table, Booths 1-3 in the Expo, on the North Gate concourse inside the stadium. You can pick up your pass on Thursday or Friday, Nov. 8-9, during open stadium times.


Space is limited. Submit the form to reserve your spot today!
Friday, October 12, 2012

Call for Medallion Bearers

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Are you a Bands of America alumnus from 1975-2011? We are looking for you to come and be a part of the magic of Finale at Grand Nationals!

Music for All is currently taking applications for alumni to participate as Medallion Bearers at the 2012 BOA Grand National Championships, during the Finals Awards Ceremony, Saturday evening, November 10th in Indianapolis.

We are seeking a wide range of BOA and MFA alumni – graduates over the three-plus decades of BOA events - and will select Medallions Bearers who best represent the diversity of history, geography and storytelling of the "BOA story."

Medallion Bearers are on field during the Grand Finale awards ceremony, accompanying the MFA dignitaries as they present Finalist medallions to the Grand National finalist bands.


Interested?
 
Fill out an application

Remember:

Transportation and housing is not covered, but if you are already planning to attend, have participated in the past in BOA events and would like to be a part of the awards ceremony, carrying the Drum Major medallions for the Finale presentation.

Please note that MFA is unable to provide or reimburse any travel or housing expenses. If you are planning to only attend to participate in the ceremony, please understand that if event production plans change, the role of the selected medallion bearers may change.

Apply Now- Applications due by October 26th

Pinnacle-Logo-Winner-2012

Each year, the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) recognizes outstanding accomplishments and top quality creative, promotional, operations and community outreach programs and materials produced by festivals and events around the world, with the Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition.

President and CEO, Eric Martin was at IFEA's 57th Annual Convention and Expo in Denver, CO where Music for All was awarded eight Pinnacle awards! We couldn't be more excited and appreciative!

Here is Mr. Martin receiving one of the Gold awards.

Eric Martin Receiving IFEA Award
Photo Credit: IFEA


We won several awards spanning different categories, including items and projects that involved many MFA staff and those in collaboration with partners including Mr. Video Productions, PepWear, Delivra, DCI and Hansen Multimedia.

GOLD - BEST EVENT VIDEO (FOR SALE)- 2011 BOA GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
GOLD - BEST MISCELLANNEOUS MULTIMEDIA- 2011 BOA GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS MONTAGE
SILVER - BEST EVENT/ORGANIZATION NEWSLETTER
SILVER - BEST COVER DESIGN- 2012 MUSIC FOR ALL NATIONAL FESTIVAL
BRONZE-TIE - BEST EVENT/ORGANIZATION E-NEWSLETTER
BRONZE - BEST MISCELLANEOUS MULTIMEDIA- FAN NETWORK
BRONZE - BEST PIN OR BUTTON (BY AN EVENT)- I BELIEVE PIN
BRONZE - BEST COMPANY IMAGE PIECES

Music for All IFEA Awards

Music for All is proud to be a member of the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA). For more information about IFEA and the Pinnacle Awards Competition you can check out their website or Facebook page.

Download an official press release here.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Trivia Tuesdays

Trivia

Trivia Tuesday!

To celebrate the rest of the 2012 BOA season we want to try something fun with all of our fans on Facebook, so every Tuesday until Grand Nationals week we are going to have BOA Trivia for prizes!


It's a simple game, but just to keep everyone on the same page, here are the guidelines for how this will work each week.

  • There will be a trivia question every Tuesday until the week of Grand Nationals.
  • It may not be at the same time every Tuesday.
  • A few hours before we post the trivia question we will post a reminder about the game, and an approximate time that the question will be posted on Facebook.
  • We will ask ONE trivia question each Tuesday, the first correct response will receive the prize for that day.
  • You may win only ONE TIME during Trivia Tuesdays for the 2012 Fall season
  • Final decisions/ disputes about the accuracy of a "correct response" will be determined by Music for All officials

If you have any great BOA trivia that you want to share, we would love to hear it! You can send those to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you just might see your question used this season!

We hope that you enjoy Trivia Tuesdays and good luck!

Don't forget to Like us on Facebook to be able to see the Trivia questions.

http://www.facebook.com/bandsofamerica
Rainout Ticketing Policy for 2012 Bands of America Regional at Denton, TX

Bands of America is grateful that "Mother Nature" allowed completion of the entirety of the Preliminary Competition at the Denton Regional. We were not as fortunate during Finals. Due to extreme weather conditions (and following the counsel, advice and preference of the participating Finalist directors), Finals were cancelled before the performances commenced. By rule, the preliminary results became the final results of the competition.

The overriding ticketing policy for Music for All/Bands of America events is that tickets are "non-refundable." Nevertheless, where extraordinary circumstances, like severe weather, cause the cancellation of all or a substantial portion of an event, Music for All establishes event-specific refund policies that may include full or partial refunds, as appropriate.

Following are Music for All's policies concerning ticket refunds for the 2012 Denton Regional:

Cooperative Tickets (issued to bands) - No refund
Day-Pass - $9 refund
Adult Finals Ticket - $17 refund
Military or Senior Finals Ticket - $14 refund
Student Finals Ticket - $10 refund

We request that our patrons note that the costs of the event (stadium rental, stadium personnel, judges' fees and other expenses, and the like) were still incurred and paid by Music for All. We invite you to consider foregoing any refund. If you require a refund, we ask that you consider donating the value of the refund to Music for All in support of its educational programs and music education advocacy initiatives. If you choose to donate your refund, Music for All will provide you with an acknowledgement of your charitable contribution for your tax records.

To request a refund or, please send your name, address, and tickets to:

Music for All, Inc.
39 W. Jackson Place, Suite 150
Indianapolis, IN 46225

Alternatively, you may fax your refund request to 317.524.6200 or e-mail it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please include your actual tickets if requesting a refund via mail, or a copy of each ticket if requesting via fax or e-mail. If you choose to donate the value of your ticket refund and request a tax receipt, please indicate this in your request. Refund requests must be received by November 30. 2012.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding MFA refund policies or the Denton Regional event, please do not hesitate to contact us at 800.848.2263.
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Heartland Truly Moving Pictures
will hold the 21st Annual Heartland Film Festival on October 19-27 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The festival showcases inspiring independent films from all over the world and will hold screenings this year at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12 and AMC Castleton Square 14.

The Heartland Film Festival is a fellow nonprofit arts organization. Their mission is to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. We are excited to participate in the 2012 Heartland Film Festival $2BACK Program, which gives us $2 back for every ticket purchased online! Use the promo code Music4All. This is an amazing opportunity to support both Heartland Truly Moving Pictures and Music for All!

To top it off one of the films that is showcased during this festival is "Stronger," a story of an extraordinarily talented violinist deals with the problem of bullying at school, featuring our friends Time for Three! For any of our students who were at Summer Symposium this past year, the "Stronger" is what played at the beginning of the evening Time for Three concert! Any students who were a part of the Orchestra track at Symposium would also have fond memories of performing with Time for Three! You can see clips of that here and relieve the memories!

We definitly want to get as many people out to see and support Time for Three's film, it has such a powerful message! You can find more information about the film and show times here:

http://www.ticketinguide.com/Heartland2012/Stronger.html

Also, check out Time for Three on Facebook and Twitter if you get a chance!


So if you are looking for something fun to do in Indianapolis and want to get out and support the arts, we definitely recommend you check out Stronger, or any of the other films this festival has to offer!

And if you decide to purchase a ticket, why not use our promo code and help support Music for All's "I believe" campaign.

Just use the promo code: Music4All when purchasing your tickets online!

For more information about the Heartland Film Festival, check out their website . www.HeartlandFilmFestival.org or

Facebook: Heartland Truly Moving Pictures on Facebook

Twitter: @heartlandtmp

 
Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Believe- A Day at the Penrod Art Fair

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Music for All staff were lucky enough to get the chance to exhibit at the Penrod Art Fair in Indianapolis this past weekend.

Penrod is an art fair who’s mission focuses on the cultivation, encouragement and development of public interest in and support of those arts, cultural and educational institutions located in and around Marion County, Indiana, its surrounding counties and the Central Indiana area in general.

We at Music for All love to see our community engaging and supporting public interest in the arts, so naturally this was a perfect fit for us! We joined over three hundred artists, six stages of entertainment and more than 50 arts-related non-profit organizations for what’s known as “Indiana’s Nicest Day.”

And what a gorgeous day it was!

Not only was the weather pretty much perfect, but everyone who stopped by to talk to us during the fair was incredible and had wonderful stories to share about their love of music.

For this particular exhibit our Development department wanted to do something extra special. They decided to create a fun and engaging activity that goes along with our “I Believe” campaign (if you are not familiar with the campaign, you should check it out here).

They created a tri-fold poster board with the heading “Tell us why you believe” and three panels that said: in music, in music in our schools, in Music for All.

The responses to the prompt were incredible. As someone who walked up to the booth toward the end of the day, I can tell you that the board had an incredible impact filled with the post-it note responses!

Here are some of the things that people wrote on the post-its.

In music in our schools:
  • Because music helps us learn to express ourselves
  • Because it installs creativity in students
  • Because it improves test scores!
  • Music in our schools is a safe haven for students to express themselves. It's crucial that all students have access to ALL music
  • Music makes kids smarter
  • It teaches students to work together toward a common goal
In music:
  • Music makes you smarter
  • Music moves you mind, body & soul
  • Music is always there for you
  • Music speaks across the universe
  • Because it is the window to the soul
  • Music takes you away (amen added by another!)
  • Expression and inspiration
  • It's my livelihood
  • Kids need exposure and education beyond the core subjects
  • It transformed my life
  • Because it heals the soul
  • It changes lives
  • It is essentially inexplicable
  • When words fail, music speaks
  • Music goes beyond facts and logic to the sublime!
  • So much expression- so much hope!
  • Music connects to everyone
  • Because music is my life
In Music for All
  • Every kid should be able to have good things about them and that means trying new things.
  • To find it!
  • Because music opens door of your soul to soar
  • Because helps the soul
  • Sounds are good
  • Because music is truly the universal language
  • Because music is for everyone
  • Music is reflection of the soul
  • Because it changes lives
  • Music is an art that you listen to and connect to
  • Music education develops the WHOLE person
  • Because music gives people a place to belong

 

I believe Poster

Penrod was on Saturday and I can tell you that I haven’t stopped thinking about these responses. I find it reassuring that there are so many people out there (and in my community!) that feel the same way about music as I do. I know that there are people across the country that feel this way as well.

Reading all of the responses encouraged me to come up with my own responses for why “I believe.”

So why do I believe?

  • I believe in music because music enriches my life and the lives of others.
  • I believe in music education because EVERY child deserves to be touched by music.
  • And I believe in Music for All because I believe in the power of music and the power of the positively life-changing experiences that Music for All brings to students across our country.

So today as you take a break from work, from school, from rehearsal, your busy life in general, read through the repsonses again on why people at the Penrod Art Fair in Indianapolis, Indiana believe.

And then? Tell me why you believe.

 
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Erin Fortune
Marketing Coordinator
Music for All

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