The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
Debbie Laferty Asbill

In recognition of our 40th Anniversary in 2015, Music for All celebrated our past, present, and future. Here are 40 highlights from our 40th Anniversary year:

  1. Music for All receives invitation from the Tournament of Roses for the Bands of America Honor Band to march in the 2017 Rose Parade® in Pasadena, California.
  2. As part of the partnership, the Tournament of Roses also invited the BOA Honor Band to march in the 2021 Rose Parade.
  3. The Tournament of Roses parade will continue to invite one band from among the Bands of America Grand National Semi-Finalists to march in the Rose Parade.
  4. Music for All announces Middle School Student Concert Band Track to launch at 2016 Music for All Summer Symposium.
  5. Planning begins on the new Directors' Track at the Music for All National Festival.
  6. The Chamber Music National Festival launches at the 2015 Music for All National Festival.
  7. Music for All signs five year sponsor agreement to take part in the Music for All State Fair Band Day, presented by Music Travel Consultants starting in 2015.
  8. Music for All joins Music Travel Consultants as a sponsor of CITSA, the Central Indiana Track Show Association.
  9. Music for All signs on as charter partner of Be Part of the Music and Be Part of the Orchestra, both programs begin production in 2015. These new Be Part of… programs expand the Be Part of the Band: Elementary Style that Music for All is also a sponsor of.
  10. Music for All announces partnership with United Sound, a new initiative aimed at helping children with special needs to become involved in their high school band and orchestra programs.
  11. Northern California Regional added to fall schedule 2015, first time in NoCal in over 20 years.
  12. Largest number of Bands of America Championships in Music for All history in 2015, with 20 total shows.
  13. First marching band from Alaska to compete in the Grand National Championships to appear in the 2015 event: Colony H.S., Alaska.
  14. First marching band from Hawaii to compete in the Grand National Championships to appear in the 2015 event: Mililani H.S. Hawaii.
  15. First band from Hawaii is invited and performs at the Music for All National Festival in 2015.
  16. Bellbrook High School, Ohio, Band Alumni coordinate Grand Nationals celebration around MFA's 40th Anniversary.
  17. Largest MFA camp since the economic downturn of 2008 is held in June 2015 at Ball State University, with 1,216 students and 170 directors.
  18. Music for All hits 80% of capacity for its 2015 Bands of America Championships by May 1, 2015.
  19. Music for All launches online application for all honor ensembles at
  20. Music for All prepares to announce the creation of its new Ovation Awards, recognizing advocacy in action and best practices by schools, boosters, music education organizations, teachers, administrators, and communities.
  21. Music for All announces extension of contract with Ball State University for the Summer Symposium through 2018.
  22. Ball State University becomes a Corporate Sponsor of Music for All.
  23. The U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps join Music for All's family of Corporate Sponsors.
  24. Bands of America returns to South Valley of Texas with a Regional in collaboration with the City of McAllen, in Fall 2015.
  25. Music for All undertakes project to digitally archive all past Bands of America videotape masters to protect four decades of recorded marching band history.

...and more to come...!
Music for All will continue to add highlights to this "40 for 40" list throughout the rest of 2015. Tell us your highlights and most memorable moments from the past 40 years of Music for All, Bands of America, and Orchestra America events.

Thank you, INpact students and directors!

$100 Scholarship for INpact students to Middle School Concert Band Track

Music for All is excited to launch our Middle School Concert Band Track at our Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha, June 27-July 2, 2016 at Ball State University.

We hope you enjoyed your INpact experience at DCI and we were pleased to be there and be part of it to support the program.

As a thank you and a special offer to Indiana Middle School students, Music for All is offering a $100 Scholarship for INpact students towards the Middle School Concert Band Track fee (the fee in effect at the time of registration).

Recommended age and experience level for the camp is Grades 7-8 with at least 1.5 years of music study

Online registration for 2016 will go live later this fall. Please complete the online form below so that we can email to you your $100 Scholarship as soon as it is available with instructions on how to use it toward your registration.

Download the 2016 Middle School Track brochure for more details on the program.

We hope you will join us Summer 2016!

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Congratulations to the master educators who have been selected to serve on the staff of the Bands of America Honor Band that will march in the 2017 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. Auditions open online on July 1, 2015. Learn more about the experience – December 28, 2016 through January 4, 2017 for accepted members – and the audition process on our Roses page.

2017 Staff Bands of America Honor Band in the Rose Parade

Bob Buckner, Band Director

David Starnes, Program Director

Instrumental Staff
Bob Barfield, White Knoll HS (SC)
Greg Bimm, Marian Catholic HS (IL)
Matt Harloff, Avon HS (IN)
Jerell Horton, Vestavia Hills HS (AL)
David Lesser, Clovis North HS (CA)
Jarrett Lipman, Claudia Taylor Johnson HS (TX)
John Miller, American Fork HS (UT)
Mark Stone, Ayala HS (CA)
Frank Troyka, Berkner HS (TX) – Ret.

Drum Major Staff
Bobby Lambert, Wando HS (SC)

Percussion Staff
Matt Henley, Western Carolina University (NC)
Jon Henson, Western Carolina University (NC)

Colorguard and Dance Staff
Susie Harloff, MFA Summer Symposium Director (IN)
Betsy Heathcock, Dance Specialist (TX)
Scott Beck, Colorguard Specialist (GA)
Rhea Jeanne Starnes, Colorguard Specialist (GA)

Musical Arrangers
Thom Hannum, University of Massachusetts (MA)
Percussion Arranger

Michael Klesch, Freelance Composer (MA)
Music Arranger

Music for All is proud to be a new co-sponsor of the Central Indiana Track Show Association (CITSA), along with our partner Music Travel Consultants.

We asked CITSA band directors what topics and professional development sessions would be most valuable and helpful to you. From those responses, we’ve created a one day CITSA Directors’ Academy at the Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha.

CITSA Directors’ Academy
Friday, June 26, 2015
Ball State University, Muncie, IN

8:30 – 10:00 a.m.   Electronics and Percussion – Glenn Fugett
10:10 - 11:40 a.m.   Warm-Up Exercises for A Short Amount of Time – David McGrath
11:50 a.m. – 1:20 p.m   Lunch
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.   What is the Best Use of My Time in Critique? – Lee Carlson
3:10 – 4:40 p.m.   Why Some Shows are Effective and Others Are Not – Michael Gray
4:45 – 6:00 p.m   Picnic Dinner – Full Camp, Pre-DCI Show
Stadium Shuttle runs 4:30pm-7:30pm. Pick-up is from Emens Auditorium Circle Drive.
7:00 p.m.   Drum Corps International Central Indiana
Shuttle from Stadium to Emens Circle Drive runs 9:15 p.m.-10:45 p.m.

Price: $55 for a CITSA Director
Includes sessions, lunch, picnic dinner, and ticket to the DCI Central Indiana show. Housing not included.

Register for CITSA Directors' Academy online today!
Download PDF version of the CITSA Flyer

Are you in high school band? Then we invite you to join us for an amazing week-long summer camp unlike anything else you can attend – America's Camp for high school band and orchestra students in all areas of instrumental music and marching band performance.

Late Fee Waiver – Use by June 1

Our gift to you: For responding to our link on, please download this certificate which will allow you to waive the Symposium Late Registration Fee if you register by June 1, 2015 ($65 late fee in effect after May 20).

Student Divisions include:

Marching Band, with Carolina Crown!
Not only will you work with Jeff Young and the amazing marching band staff, you'll rehearse and perform on field with the Carolina Crown, corps-in-residence, during Friday night's DCI Central Indiana. Learn more about the Marching Band Division.

Color Guard
Join Susie Harloff and the incredible, talented color guard staff for a week of learning and fun! For Flags, Rifles, Sabres at all levels, including a Master Class track for more advanced students. Learn more about the Color Guard Division.

Marching Percussion
Mike McIntosh has assembled an all-star percussion faculty, including Tom Aungst, caption head for Carolina Crown and DCI Hall of Fame member to lead the Marching Percussion track! Learn more about the Percussion Division.

Bands of America Drum Major Institute
Join division coordinator Bobby Lambert and the greatest team of drum major instructors on the planet! Come learn the CORE Teaching Principles: Character, Content, Communication and Chemistry. Learn more about the BOA Drum Major Institute.

Seeing is Believing!

Visit our video playlist to watch videos from last year's camp, including with the Marching Band and Carolina Crown and every student division.

More Student Divisions

Student Division also include Concert Band, Jazz, and Orchestra. See the menu on the left to find details on everything about camp!

Kick it off with the Leadership Weekend Experience with Fran Kick and the Leadership Team!

Directors' Academy, too

Professional development for High School and Middle School Band Directors, plus the Percussion Specialist Academy and Color Guard Instructor Academy.

Be Part of the Band In the 2021 Rose Parade!

50 states, 300 members, one band... an unforgettable experience

Music for All is honored to have received an invitation for the Bands of America Honor Band to perform in the 132nd Rose Parade, January 1, 2021 in Pasadena, California.

It's not too early to plan to apply!

The Bands of America Honor Band marched in the 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2017 Rose Parades and were part of the Rose Parade’s President’s Award-winning entry in 2009. Membership in the 2021 Bands of America Honor Band, representing all 50 of the United States of America.

Eligible applicants must be high school students with a graduation years of 2020 or later. (Class of 2020 seniors will be eligible.)

Music for All’s mission is to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. The splendor and excitement of the Rose Parade is an experience of a lifetime for student performers. The national Bands of America Honor Band gives students from every high school band program in the country the opportunity to audition for a performance spot in this unforgettable event.

Coverage of the 2017 Bands of America Honor Band

Video coverage and photo galleries from the 2017 Honor Band experience!

Application for the 2021 Honor Band will open in 2019. You can download the informational brochure for the 2017 band to learn more – pricing, dates, and some details will change, but the 2017 brochure will give you an idea of what this exceptional experience entails.



About the Pasadena Tournament of Roses ®

Every New Year’s Day since 1890, the world has come to Pasadena, California, USA. Nearly a million come in person for the tradition and pageantry, and for fun! Hundreds of millions more watch the worldwide broadcasts on TV in more than 200 international territories.

In addition to the parade, the Tournament of Roses experience will include a performance at Bandfest, which will feature the prize-winning bands of the 2021 Rose Parade®

Monday, November 17, 2014

2014 Grand National Finals Review

By Michael Boo

With assistance from bloggers Michael Reed, Megan Bonfield, and Christopher Drake.

November 15, 2014
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

It was another great experience for everyone at Music for All’s 2014 Bands of America Grand National Championships. The four days of events was presented by Yamaha, a company whose commitment to Music for All and untold thousands of music students continues to grow.

The events in Indianapolis officially launched the yearlong 40th Anniversary celebration of Bands of America, which will culminate in Lucas Oil Stadium during November 11-14, 2015. To add to the celebration, it was announced the Bands of America Honor Band has been invited to march in the New Years Day Tournament of Roses Parades of 2017 and 2021.

In the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament, held on Wednesday night, Crispus Attucks HS won gold in Class A, followed by Northwest HS. Arsenal Technical HS won Class B, with Emmerich Manual HS in 2nd.

After Prelims on Thursday and Friday, the following 35 bands (listed in performance order) advanced into Semi-Finals: Milford HS (OH), Bellbrook HS (OH), Walled Lake Central HS (MI), Norton HS (OH), Archbishop Alter HS (OH), Reeths-Puffer HS (MI), North Hardin HS (KY), Castle HS (IN), Adair County HS (KY), Broken Arrow HS (OK), Lake Central HS (IN), O’Fallon HS (IL), Flower Mound HS (TX), Avon HS (IN), Dobyns-Bennett HS (TN), Franklin HS (TN), Center Grove HS (IN), Wando HS (SC), Marian Catholic HS (IL), Owasso HS, (OK), Centerville HS (OH), Homestead HS (IN), Carmel HS (IN), Plymouth Canton Educational Park (MI), Wakeland HS (TX), Kennesaw Mountain HS (GA), William Mason HS (OH), Lafayette HS (LA), Lawrence Township HS (IN), Tarpon Springs HS (FL), Union HS (OK), Upland HS (CA), Cary Senior HS (NC), Ben Davis HS (IN), and Panther Creek HS (NC).

After the performances of all Semi-Finals bands and the exhibition of the Illinois State University Big Red Marching Band, caption and placement awards were presented to the top bands in each of the four competitive Semi-Finals classes.

In Class A, Adair County HS took Outstanding Music Performance, Outstanding Visual Performance, and Outstanding General Effect, finishing 1st in the class. Bellbrook HS took 2nd and Archbishop Alter HS 3rd. In

Class AA, Tarpon Springs HS won the class by capturing all three caption awards, followed by Marian Catholic HS in 2nd and North Hardin HS in 3rd.

Class AAA Music and General Effect honors went to 1st place Kennesaw Mountain HS, with Dobyns-Bennett HS finishing in 2nd and Wakeland HS taking 3rd place and top honors in Visual Performance.

In Class AAAA, Broken Arrow HS took 1st and won General Effect. Avon HS took 2nd place and tied Carmel HS for Visual Performance, while 3rd place Carmel won Music Performance.

The Finalist bands were randomly announced as being Broken Arrow HS, Tarpon Springs HS, Kennesaw Mountain HS, Lawrence Township HS, Avon HS, Marian Catholic HS, Carmel HS, Flower Mound HS, William Mason HS, Wando HS, Union HS, and Homestead HS.

Finals started with a performance of a march by the 100th United States Army Band, followed by the band leading the audience in “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Following was an exhibition by the Class A Champion Adair County HS band.

At the start of the finale, the Illinois State University Big Red Marching Band drum line played the finalist bands onto the field. After a video montage of the bands from the entire Grand Nationals, placements and special awards were announced.

The Al Castronovo Espirit de Corps Award was presented to Marian Catholic HS.
Tarpon Springs HS won both the Grand Finals Outstanding Music Performance Award and the Outstanding General Effect Award. Broken Arrow HS won the Steve Brubaker Outstanding Visual Performance Award.

During the finale, William Mason HS received an invitation to perform in the 2016 Pasadena Tournament of Roses® Parade. Music for All has a current partnership with the Tournament of Roses®, who selects a band from among the Grand National Semi-Finals to extend the distinct honor of an invitation to perform in the Rose Parade®.

Tarpon Springs HS, 1st place: 97.15
For those who like their visual feasts to be as never-ending as an all-you-can-eat pasta dish at Olive Garden, Man Vs. Machine filled up their insatiable appetite for more, and then some. With half the guard appearing as human muscles and the other half as machines, the eternal question was who would come out on top, keeping the giant blue orb spinning through its cosmos-traveling journey.

Broken Arrow HS, 2nd place: 97.00
When the guard emerged from the mouths of the giant faces spread across the FACEme field, one could feel a chill go down one’s trachea. Eerie and disturbing, the show demanded one not look away, but come “face-to-face” with that which haunts us. The scary faces then turned into inquisitive countenances, looking upwards with hope as the winds disappeared behind the faces, now multiplied on each skirt of the guard.

Avon HS, 3rd place: 95.35
Avon’s guard, as moths, was continually Drawn to the Flame, unable to resist the temptation to go where they knew they shouldn’t. The guard’s frenetic fluttering across the field would tire the most in-shape lepidopterans among us. At the end, the enticement of the flames was just too much to bear, and both moths and audience took the plunge, going down, down, down as the flames went higher.

Carmel HS, 4th place: 94.90
As the caravan of gypsy psychic readers rolled into town in five covered wagons, In the Cards provided fortunes to those eager to open their destinies to the fates. For some, love awaited, but others only had the sweet sting of death in their future, seen in the skeleton hands of the flags. But ultimately, love conquered all, asserting that one’s destiny is more prone to commitment than providence.

William Mason HS, 5th place: 92.05
Once Upon a Time explored the evil behind Maleficent, the villainous fairy in Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” who proclaimed herself, “Mistress of All Evil.” She also appeared in the form of a dragon, slithering across the field during the production. The show was expressed from her point of view, the cackling heard during happy-go-lucky music representing the fun she was having in being purely evil.

Flower Mound HS, 6th place: 90.05
Vividly shocking colors wrapped the band in Harmonic Tapestries, inspired by the environmental artwork of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who famously wrapped buildings, islands, and large expanses of nature, and apparently, a large box of nine bassoonists. Colors of the most famous wrappings by the artists permeated the show, making even the most colorblind person see in Technicolor.

Wando HS, 7th place: 89.45*
Of Things Unseen told the story of Joan of Arc, the 15th Century French heroine and saint who was burned at the stake by the English. Joan was a central character throughout the show, leading the band through the travails of martyrdom. A recurring oboe feature captured the youthful innocence of Joan, the show ending as she was lifted into Heaven on wings of angels, true to her calling to the end.

Homestead HS, 8th place: 89.45*
In Dance of the Wind Spirits, guard members wore large translucent white angel wings that more than doubled their height, floating through a mystical garden of mushrooms in an imaginary forest. The spirit of new life springing forth throughout nature continually opened up new vistas to explore, leading the audience and the nymphs towards ever more charming discoveries.

Kennesaw Mountain HS, 9th place: 88.80
The Final Peace addressed the tranquility within oneself that is so often elusive. Colorful tarps of flowers floated in ponds, connected by eight footbridges, turning the field into a massive Zen garden of repose from the stresses of modern life. Relentless frenzy was always just a few steps away from the transcendent power of inner peace, if one just takes the time to smell the water lilies.

Marian Catholic HS, 10th place: 87.45
Rapture of the Deep took us beneath the waves to explore inner space. Guard members dressed as early divers, complete with diver down flags, dove deep into the abyss to discover new forms of sea life incomprehensible to those not under the influence of nitrogen narcosis. It was a fanta-sea of epic proportions, a voyage to 20,000 leagues under the sea that landlubbers would just not understand.

Union HS, 11th place: 86.55
Caged Bird, with ten large birdcages on the field, explored the eternal quest to be free. Members became trapped in the cages at the will of others, but always managed to escape back into the wild. We were reminded that freedom is a universal desire, but is often fleeting. At the end, caged walls surrounded the entire band, providing just enough distraction for the final caged bird to fly free.

Lawrence Township HS, 12th place: 86.45
The Green Table was based on the 1932 choreographed modern dance of the same name, which explored the senselessness and horror of war. Throughout the work, people were faceless pawns, seemingly destined to face extermination at the hands of death. The show poignantly interspersed moments of frivolity amidst the doom that instructed us that we don’t need to succumb to the absurdity of conflict.

(*In the event of a tied final score, the band with the higher General Effect total receives the higher placement.)

For many years, Michael Boo has covered a large variety of pageantry events. He is the Staff Writer for Drum Corps International and has written for BOA and WGI for much of the existence of the two organizations. Michael Reed writes and blogs for WGI Indoor Marching Percussion and Color Guard events. Megan Bonfield and Christopher Drake are both Staff Writers for

See Grand National results by list – as well as all 2014 BOA Championship awards results.

Urgent update for parents, boosters and fans attending the Bands of America Super Regional Championship in San Antonio, Oct. 31-Nov. 1

Music for All was recently informed (late last week) that the City of San Antonio municipal ticket surcharge from the Alamodome had increased (effective October 18, 2014) from $1.00 per ticket to $4.00 per ticket. This increase will be in effect for the BOA Super Regional this weekend, increasing previously announced single session ticket prices by $3.00 per ticket. Super Tickets (all sessions) will increase by $9 per ticket. A $1.00 per ticket fee was already included in announced Super Regional pricing.

Our (Music for All/BOA) pricing has not changed. Additional amounts being charged are San Antonio municipal fees levied by city ordinance and entirely out of our control. Initially, we were told the fees would not apply this year, however today, even after we presented contractual and detrimental reliance objections, we were informed the new municipal surcharges would be in effect. We apologize for the inconvenience and economic impact on you and your families.

The Music for All website,, will be offline for several hours starting shortly after 3 p.m. ET, Friday, October 3, for maintenance.

We are making improvements to the site that we expect will correct issues we've had the past two weekends with the site not loading during peak traffic times.

You can keep up on any breaking news and Bands of America Championship updates by following us on Twitter @bandsofamerica and on Facebook at Bands of America.

We apologize for any convenience and expect that this maintenance will provided a much better visit experience!


Music for All announced yesterday that the U.S. Army has partnered with Music for All (MFA)/Bands of America to educate young musicians, band directors, educators, parents and others about the unique opportunities to serve in the Army.

Saturday, September 20, members of the U.S. ARMY will be on site at the Bands of America Regional Championship at Papa John’s Stadium in Louisville. Students can participate in special U.S. Army challenges and activities created just for them at the BOA Louisville Championship. If you’re attending the event, please visit the area located at the northwest corner* of the stadium, just under the stands near the band entrance gate. See the locator map at the bottom of this page.

The U.S. ARMY Challenge area will be open throughout the event until the start of Finals, including the break between Prelims and Finals.

Be sure to visit to learn more about scholarships and hundreds of career opportunities available in the U.S. Army.

** Location pending, check on site for any location changes.

Louisville Army Challenge Locator