Music for All has broadened and modified its approach to expanding scholasticmusic education opportunities, refining and opening new pathways for student andmusic program participation. This approach is best demonstrated by our 2018launch of Music for All’s I-65Corridor Project - a program designed to create andimplement sustainable student-teacher driven collaboration and tools intended to increase participation and reduce barriers to scholastic music-making within coreurban school communities along the I-65corridor (from Gary, Indiana to Mobile, Alabama).
The project envisions, develops, and implements “self-help” strategies supporting music education. The focus is to provide students and teachers with a forum and the collaborative planning resources and skills that encourage and are necessary to help them (acting alone and independent of challenges posed by lack of program support from administrators, policy decision-makers, and the community) address everyday challenges and the systemic inequities and disparities facing urban scholastic music programs. The goal is to create small steps (and appreciation and recognition of them) that move the needle in favor of securing an ultimate outcome of increased program support from administrators, policy decision-makers, and the community. Schools from Gary (Region 1), Muncie (Region 5), and IPS (Region 7), are directly engaged in this program, with Muncie serving as an “I-65 Corridor spur,” capitalizing on and levering our existing Summer Symposium programming in and commitment to ensuring access and delivery of quality scholastic music making and education in Muncie/Delaware County.
For nearly two decades, Music for All has maintained a commitment to diligent, hands-on engagement with the scholastic music programs of Indianapolis Public Schools. These efforts have sparked research into “peer” communities in hopes of finding new strategies to address barriers and threats to sequential music education, such as frequent administrative or faculty turnover, financial struggle, and state-imposed solutions. In the course of this research, MFA found many parallels in the challenges and concerns faced by communities along the corridor, with most schools facing challenges characteristic of threatened and traditionally underserved schools and populations. Inspired by this observation, the I-65 Corridor Project was established with the goal of forging and implementing new strategies that address possibilities for growth and increased achievement within these underserved communities. In the first year of the I-65 Project, Music for All developed ongoing partnerships with 11 schools in eight communities along the I-65 corridor: Gary, IN; Indianapolis, IN; Louisville, KY; Nashville, TN; Huntsville, AL; Birmingham, AL; Montgomery, AL; and Mobile, AL.
In order to develop and execute the I-65 Corridor Project, Music for All has assembled the Urban Education Advisory Committee, a team of educators and administrators with extensive knowledge of the strategic planning process and experience working with core urban school districts. Committee members William Earvin, Zachary Harris, Tim Linley, Myran Parker-Brass, and Ayatey Shabazz oversee all aspects of the project, from the development of relationships with corridor teachers and administrators to the creation of content and curriculum for project participants. Committee members serve as liaisons to participating teachers in each community, providing mentorship and guidance as teachers develop and implement strategic plans to maximize local investment and elevate community recognition of their programs. The Committee is also responsible for executing one specially-designed professional development session or “engagement opportunity” per academic school year in each of the corridor communities.
Zachary Harris, Chair
Adjunct Professor of Music, William Carey University
Director of Bands, Baker High School
CEO, The DevMusic Company
Executive Director for Visual and Performing Arts, Dallas ISD
Executive Director for the Arts, Boston Public Schools
Each teacher who participates in the I-65 Corridor Project is invited to attend the I-65 Corridor Summit, which takes place during the Music for All Summer Symposium each June. Music for All provides full-ride scholarships for one teacher and two students from each community to attend this experience. During the I-65 Corridor Summit, participants have the opportunity to network with each other and share their experiences, gaining valuable insight from the successes and challenges of their peers. Participating teachers have access to the full offerings of the Summer Symposium Directors’ Academy, as well as a specialized curriculum for music teachers in core urban environments, which is curated by our Urban Education Advisory Committee.
Student attendees of the I-65 Corridor Summit elect one of ten divisions of study that serves as their primary focus for the week. In addition to rehearsals, master classes, leadership sessions, and performances, I-65 Corridor students also participate in collaborative discussions with their teachers, during which they develop a strategic plan to support the growth and sustainability of their music program during the following academic year. The curriculum for the I-65 Corridor Summit is guided by the belief that collaboration between students and teachers is the best method for creating and developing a comprehensive music program that can sustain itself through the support and investment of its most important groups of constituents.
In 2019, Music for All’s commitment to the I-65 Corridor Project is expanding to include a second school in each of the original eight communities, as well as three new “spur” communities located in districts adjacent to the I-65 Corridor. By expanding this network of similarly-resourced schools, Music for All hopes to continue to inspire productive and engaging communication between participants that will lead to mutual support, actionable strategies, and an extensive anthology of resources for demographically similar communities. Through the I-65 Corridor Project, Music for All aims to identify strategies for the advancement of music education that can be adapted and replicated by programs in core urban school districts across the United States.
Jason Max Ferdinand, Conductor of the Oakwood Aeolians has been named Associate Artistic Director of the Music for All National Choir Festival. “I am filled with joy that Jason has accepted this position,” stated Henry Leck, Founding Artistic Director of Music for All Choral Activities. “Jason has a magnificent sense of artistry. His affirming and inspiring heart is truly aligned with the Music for All philosophy of positively life-changing experiences through music.”
Ferdinand, known for his focus to “Execute the all-important crescendo…the crescendo of the human heart,” serves as Chair of the Music Department and Director of Choral Activities at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. A native of Trinidad & Tobago, Ferdinand received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Oakwood University in Piano, the Master of Arts in Choral Conducting from Morgan State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting with a minor in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Maryland.
Under the baton of Dr. Ferdinand, the Oakwood Aeolians have won numerous gold medals at the World Choir Games in the United States and South Africa; were named “Choir of the World” at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, and were the featured choir in Russia as part of the Russia-US Bilateral Presidential Commission on development of cooperation between Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama. During the recent American Choral Directors Conference, the Oakwood Aeolians became a popular featured choir by presenting a program of international music ranging from Bach to Ken Burton’s “Promised Land.”
The Music for All National Choir Festival is for advanced High School and Middle School Choirs who audition for invitation. Held annually in Indianapolis Indiana, the Festival is part of the bigger Music for All National Festival that includes Concert Band, Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble and Chamber Ensembles.
Music for All is mourning the loss of Marla D. Smith, a member of our Board of Directors, who passed away February 19, 2019. Born in Ft. Wayne, Indiana on January 3, 1946, Marla brought to Music for All not only her expertise as an Executive Assistant and Office Manager, but her lifetime of passion as a featured and state champion twirler and a Westfield High School Marching Band (IN) Band Parent.
Marla will be greatly missed. She is survived by her husband, Tony Smith, daughter, Dede (Felice) Panarisi, grandson, Robert Panarisi, granddaughter, Megan Panarisi, other relatives and many friends.
Nearly 100 winners from schools and school districts across America have been recognized as recipients of the Music for All Advocacy in Action Awards for 2019.
Behind most great school music programs are strong recruitment, retention, and booster programs. The Music for All Advocacy in Action Awards recognizes music programs, schools, and communities across the United States that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide access to music education for all students.
Music for All received more than 95 entries for the 2018-2019 school year – the debut year of the awards.
To qualify for the Advocacy in Action Award designation, schools or districts submitted a detailed description of its music program and its project entry. Submissions were reviewed by a national panel of educators, administrators, and community and business leaders.
“For too long music advocacy has leaned mainly on research-based justifications. Music for All’s Advocacy in Action Awards collect and share ideas so music programs and their supporters can get practical and inspire each other,” says Eric Martin, President & CEO, Music for All.
It is Music for All’s vision to be a catalyst to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to participate in active music-making in their scholastic environment.
2018-2019 award-winners are recognized online at advocacy.musicforall.org. The website curates the winning entries as a resource for arts educators.
PepWear and Music for All are poised for an exciting future. The two organizations, which have been working together for more than 15 years, have agreed to a new 10-year merchandise and sponsorship agreement.
With the new agreement, PepWear will continue to design, produce, and sell commemorative merchandise for all Music for All events, including Bands of America Championships, Music for All Summer Symposium, and Music for All National Festival for bands, choirs, and orchestras. In addition, PepWear will be an Official Corporate Sponsor of Music for All.
“Music for All and PepWear have worked side by side for more than 15 years and have developed a very close bond,” said Craig Johnson, President of PepWear. “By entering into a new 10-year merchandising agreement, we are mutually endorsing our shared values. I couldn’t be more proud or supportive of what Music for All stands for.”
“In addition, we will now be an Official Corporate Sponsor of Music for All, strengthening our relationship and reach,” he added.
“We are thrilled to continue our journey with PepWear,” says Music for All President and CEO, Eric Martin. “For more than a decade, PepWear has stood side-by-side with Music for All in commemorating the ‘positively life-changing’ programming and experiences provided to our participants and attendees. We look forward to PepWear’s increased and extended role in advocating and delivering on our mission and vision to make music education and its benefits more available and accessible.”
The new agreement secures PepWear’s long-term partnership with Music for All, one of the nation’s largest and leading organizations in support of scholastic music education, through educational programs, performance events, and music education advocacy efforts.
Merchandise will be sold at all Music for All events and can be purchased online at: shop.musicforall.org
Since her arrival as Director of Operations in 1989, Camilla Stasa has been a face of Bands of America at its events and music educator conventions where she represents the organization.
On Saturday, October 20, Camilla will become a Voice of Bands of America, when she becomes the first female announcer for a Bands of America Championship, announcing the BOA Regional at the University of Delaware in Newark.
While this is her Bands of America announcing debut, this is not Camilla’s first announcing gig. She has been the Master of Ceremonies at the Chicagoland Invitational Concert Band Festival since 2003. For over 20 years, she has announced the Lake Park Lancer Joust, a high school marching band competition held annually on the campus of Lake Park High School in Roselle, IL. In fall of 2016, Cam had the privilege to announce the 51st Annual State of Illinois Invitational High School Marching Band Championship at Illinois State University.
A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Camilla taught in secondary schools prior to joining Bands of America. She is currently Director of Participant Relations for Music for All. She previously served as Associate Director of Admissions at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago before returning to Music for All and rejoining the staff in its Indianapolis headquarters. In March 2014, Camilla was inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame.
All of her colleagues at Music for All wish Camilla the very best as she makes Bands of America history in Delaware – Go for it!
Posted Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 12:44 PM CT – Due to ongoing inclement weather and for the safety of our participants and spectators, Music for All, in consultation with the participating band directors, has made the decision to cancel the remainder of the Bands of America Regional Championship in Waco, TX.
Please travel safely.
Music for All's official policy for Bands of America events is that tickets are non-refundable, however, Music for All may offer full or partial refunds as appropriate at a later time. Please keep your ticket stub and visit www.musicforall.org next week for further information on possible refunds. Refunds are not available on site.
Waco, TX, Oct. 13 (8:24 a.m. CT) – Performances will resume at the Bands of America Regional Championships at Waco at 9:30 a.m. CT with the Sachse H.S. marching band.
Preliminary performances were suspended earlier due to weather. Any further updates will be posted on the musicforall.org blog and on Facebook and Twitter (Bands of America ).
WACO, TX – For the safety of participants and spectators, the Bands of America Regional Championship at Waco, TX is on a delay due to extreme weather. Music for All officials on-site are assessing the situation and updates will be posted here as soon as available.
INDIANAPOLIS - Music for All has announced the music education leaders who will be inducted into the 2019 Bands of America Hall of Fame: Gayl W. Doster, Robert W. Smith, and David Starnes.
The Bands of America Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have had a positively life-changing impact on Music for All and Bands of America programs, as well as in music education. 2019 members will be inducted at a ceremony during the Gala Awards Banquet of the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, on Saturday, March 16 in Indianapolis. Hall of Fame members are permanently recognized at Music for All’s Indianapolis headquarters.
Gayl W. Doster
Gayl W. Doster is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Music for All. Mr. Doster first connected with Music for All as an event volunteer and has served since not only as Chairman of the Board, but as a significant donor along with his wife Beverly. He is the retired President and Chief Operating Officer of Brooks Drug, Inc. Mr. Doster is a graduate of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. While at Indiana University, he was a member of the Marching Hundred and numerous other musical organizations and is a life member of Kappa Kappa Psi. He serves on the Indiana University Eskenazi Museum of Art National Advisory Board and is a board member and Co-Treasurer of the Lawrence Central High School Performing Arts Association. Mr. Doster has been inducted into the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Business and Industry Hall of Fame, is a member of the Indiana University School of Business Alumni Association’s Academy of Alumni Fellows, is the 2009 recipient of the International Festival & Events Association Zambelli Internationale Volunteer of the Year Award, and was awarded the Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2010.
Robert W. Smith
Robert W. Smith is one of the most popular and prolific composers in America today, with more than 800 publications. Mr. Smith’s credits include many compositions and productions in all areas of the music field. His original works for winds and percussion have been programmed by countless military, university, high school, and middle school bands throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, South America, and Asia, and have become standards for developing bands throughout the world.
Mr. Smith’s music has received extensive airplay on major network television as well as inclusion in multiple motion pictures. As a conductor, clinician and keynote speaker, Mr. Smith has performed throughout North America, Asia, South America, Europe and Australia. Mr. Smith is a long-time member of Music for All’s faculty at the Summer Symposium and Music for All National Festival. He serves as the division coordinator for the Middle School/Young Teacher track of the Directors’ Academy at the Summer Symposium.
Mr. Smith is currently teaching in the Music Industry program at Troy University in Troy, Alabama.
David Starnes is Assistant Professor/Director of Athletic Bands, where he directs the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band and the Symphonic Band. Prior to coming to Western Carolina, Starnes was the founding Director of Bands at Kennesaw Mountain High School in Kennesaw, Georgia, where he served for 11 years. His bands performed at Bands of America Championships, earning accolades on the Regional and National level. He is currently a Music for All Educational Consultant for student programs, is the camp director for the Student Divisions of the Summer Symposium, and program director for the Bands of America Honor Band, which appeared in the Tournament of Roses® Parade in Pasadena, California in 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2017, and will appear again in 2021.
Mr. Starnes earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. He is sought out nationally and internationally as an adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor and creative designer. He serves as an adjudicator for several state, national and international organizations, including Music for All and Bands of America. He currently serves as Design Advisor for Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps.
Congratulations to our 2019 Hall of Fame inductees!