The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
Erin Fortune
Erin Fortune is the Marketing Manager focusing on digital marketing at Music for All and has been working with Music for All since 2010, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. 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.
Monday, April 18, 2016

Robert B. Morrison

Robert B. Morrison was the founder and Chairman of the Music for All Foundation. The Foundation was created by Mr. Morrison and his family to focus on expanding the role of music and the arts in education, to heightening the public’s appreciation of the value of music and arts education, and to creating a positive environment for the arts through societal change. In 2006, Mr. Morrison worked with the leadership and board of Bands of America to merge the two organizations to create Music for All, Inc.

Robert B. Morrison has a long history as a supporter of music and arts education and is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading researchers and advocates for arts education. He is the founder and CEO of Quadrant Research, the nation’s preeminent arts education and market research organization. Mr. Morrison’s leadership in research, public policy and advocacy efforts has led to significant advancements in access to music and arts education programs in America.

Mr. Morrison has a deep body of research and policy work and is recognized as a pioneer in statewide arts education status and condition research. In California, Mr. Morrison’s report The Sound of Silence: The Unprecedented Decline of Music Education in California Public Schools (2004) was one of the catalysts for a $500 million reinvestment into music and arts education in public schools that has been signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; in New Jersey, Mr. Morrison was the managing partner for the groundbreaking New Jersey Arts Education Census Project, completing the first statewide census for arts education in every school building. This work has been hailed as a model for statewide arts education research. Mr. Morrison has completed similar research projects for the states of Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Washington DC and Wisconsin. In May of 2012 the first follow-up longitudinal study was completed in New Jersey.

In arts education policy, Mr. Morrison worked with the Governor of Arkansas to mandate music and arts programs for every child attending public school in state – a policy later replicated by the state of Louisiana; in New Jersey, Mr. Morrison worked with the Commissioner of Education to include the arts in the states mandatory accountability system known as NJQSAC leading the state to include arts education as part of annual school reporting in 2014.
Prior to founding Quadrant Research and Music for All Mr. Morrison helped develop and then served as the CEO of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation where he created a major national brand responsible for donating more than $25 million of musical instruments to restore more than 1,200 music programs. Previously, Mr. Morrison was a senior executive for the NAMM - International Music Products Association, where he also served as Executive Director of the American Music Conference. In this capacity he worked with the late Michael Kamen and Richard Dreyfus to create the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

He was a founding member of the National Coalition for Music Education and is recognized for his work to add the arts to our nation’s education goals. He continues to work closely with leading national arts organizations to promote the development and implementation of the National Standards for Arts Education. He currently serves as the Data Task Force co-chair for State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education, as a member of the boards of the National Creativity Network, ArtPride New Jersey, and is the Governance Chair of the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the publicly traded music software company MakeMusic, Inc. and as a member of the Board of Trustees for both the Berklee College of Music and Little Kids Rock.

Mr. Morrison’s advocacy work has earned him both an EMMY and a Peabody Award. He received an honorary doctorate degree from the State University of New York for his work nationally to advance music and arts education for all children. Mr. Morrison was honored with the Motherland Award – the highest honor from the American Red Cross (ARC) – for developing the national public service campaign for the ARC following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Friday, April 08, 2016

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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Frank Troyka

frank troykaFrank Troyka began his career in 1984 as an assistant band director in Richardson, Texas’ Forest Meadow Junior High School and Lake Highlands High School. In 1991, Frank moved to Houston where he taught in the Spring ISD serving as assistant director to Philip Geiger at Westfield High School. In 1999 Frank joined the faculty of Cypress Falls High School in the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD as its Director of Bands. During his year-seven tenure, the Cypress Falls Band was a featured ensemble at The Midwest Clinic, the Music For All National Festival, and was the recipient of the Sudler Flag of Honor. Frank moved back to Richardson in the summer of 2006 when he assumed the role of Director of Bands and Coordinator of Fine Arts at L.V. Berkner High School.

A teacher for over 30 years, Frank Troyka has been a part of and served Bands of America in almost every capacity possible. He has been a participating director in our Fall and Spring events and sent dozens of students to our national and regional summer camp and leadership experiences. He has been a clinician at the Summer Symposium, led the Symposium’s Marching Band track, and served on the staff of each Bands of America’s Honor Bands in the Tournament of Roses Parade. He has also demonstrated his support and passion for the organization with volunteer service on the Bands of America Fall Programming Advisory Committee. From 1997 to 1998, Frank was Bands of America’s Director of Events, bringing educator supportive initiatives and approaches to our operating model. Frank coordinated Bands of America’s first European Honor Band experience, leading more than 70 students, faculty, chaperones and guests on a tour that included performances in France, The Netherlands, Germany and the World Association for Symphonic Bands & Ensemble (WASBE) conference in Austria.

Since retiring in 2014, Mr. Troyka has been a clinician for the Wind Bands Association of Singapore, The Midwest Clinic and an active lecturer and clinician, presenting annual student leadership workshops in Texas and across the nation.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Frank Bischoff

frank bischoffFrank Bischoff has been one of the most familiar faces of Bands of America for more than four decades, serving as the dean of BOA’s front sideline field and timing and penalty management. Frank has been a contributor through the years in the development and evolution of Bands of America’s show operational rules, as we migrated from a posture of rule enforcement to one that emphasizes smooth operations and field management designed to embrace performance creativity in a safe and fair competitive environment.

Frank is a living encyclopedia of Bands of America rules and an active contributor to the BOA’s Adjudication Handbook rules committee. Through his proactive approach of working with bands to comply with the rules while achieving their creative objectives, Frank has helped transform a “historically “got you” role and approach to one that embraces and actualizes our “positively life-changing experience” attitude, and environment.

Frank has been on the field for more than 150 Bands of America Regional and Grand National events, logging more than 2,500 hours of on-field service in support of BOA and the pageantry arts in America. Beyond Bands of America, Frank has also loaned his services and expressed his passion for the marching arts to drum and bugle corps shows and color guard competitions. While he gladly served all over the Midwest for drum corps and color guard contests (including Winter Guard International) in the late 70's and 80's, Frank’s passion has always been for band through his association with Bands of America events (since 1976), the Illinois State University “Band Day” (since 1977), and the Lake Park “Lancer Joust” (since 1981).

2016 HOFMusic for All President and CEO, Eric L. Martin, Frank Bischoff, Former President and CEO Scott McCormick, and Frank Troyka

Music for All inducted two new members into the Bands of America Hall of Fame: Frank Bischoff and Frank Troyka. These new members were inducted on Saturday, March 10th in a ceremony at the Gala Awards Banquet at the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Bands of America Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have had a positively life-changing impact on Music for All’s Bands of America programs and music education. 2016 inductees were announced during the opening ceremonies of the 2015 Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. They will be permanently recognized in the Bands of America Hall of Fame at Music for All’s Indianapolis headquarters, along with all the BOA Hall of Fame members inducted since the first in 2003.

Frank Bischoff

Frank Bischoff has been one of the most familiar faces of Bands of America for more than four decades, serving as the dean of BOA’s front sideline field and timing and penalty management. Frank has been a contributor through the years in the development and evolution of Bands of America’s show operational rules, as we migrated from a posture of rule enforcement to one that emphasizes smooth operations and field management designed to embrace performance creativity in a safe and fair competitive environment.

Frank is a living encyclopedia of Bands of America rules and an active contributor to the BOA’s Adjudication Handbook rules committee. Through his proactive approach of working with bands to comply with the rules while achieving their creative objectives, Frank has helped transform a “historically “got you” role and approach to one that embraces and actualizes our “positively life-changing experience” attitude, and environment.

Frank has been on the field for more than 150 Bands of America Regional and Grand National events, logging more than 2,500 hours of on-field service in support of BOA and the pageantry arts in America. Beyond Bands of America, Frank has also loaned his services and expressed his passion for the marching arts to drum and bugle corps shows and color guard competitions. While he gladly served all over the Midwest for drum corps and color guard contests (including Winter Guard International) in the late 70's and 80's, Frank’s passion has always been for band through his association with Bands of America events (since 1976), the Illinois State University “Band Day” (since 1977), and the Lake Park “Lancer Joust” (since 1981).

 

Frank Troyka

Frank Troyka began his career in 1984 as an assistant band director in Richardson, Texas’ Forest Meadow Junior High School and Lake Highlands High School. In 1991, Frank moved to Houston where he taught in the Spring ISD serving as assistant director to Philip Geiger at Westfield High School. In 1999 Frank joined the faculty of Cypress Falls High School in the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD as its Director of Bands. During his year-seven tenure, the Cypress Falls Band was a featured ensemble at The Midwest Clinic, the Music For All National Festival, and was the recipient of the Sudler Flag of Honor. Frank moved back to Richardson in the summer of 2006 when he assumed the role of Director of Bands and Coordinator of Fine Arts at L.V. Berkner High School.

A teacher for over 30 years, Frank Troyka has been a part of and served Bands of America in almost every capacity possible. He has been a participating director in our Fall and Spring events and sent dozens of students to our national and regional summer camp and leadership experiences. He has been a clinician at the Summer Symposium, led the Symposium’s Marching Band track, and served on the staff of each Bands of America’s Honor Bands in the Tournament of Roses Parade. He has also demonstrated his support and passion for the organization with volunteer service on the Bands of America Fall Programming Advisory Committee. From 1997 to 1998, Frank was Bands of America’s Director of Events, bringing educator supportive initiatives and approaches to our operating model. Frank coordinated Bands of America’s first European Honor Band experience, leading more than 70 students, faculty, chaperones and guests on a tour that included performances in France, The Netherlands, Germany and the World Association for Symphonic Bands & Ensemble (WASBE) conference in Austria.

Since retiring in 2014, Mr. Troyka has been a clinician for the Wind Bands Association of Singapore, The Midwest Clinic and an active lecturer and clinician, presenting annual student leadership workshops in Texas and across the nation.

The 2016 William D. Revelli Scholarship was awarded to Emma Fell of Thompson High School in Alabaster, Alabama on Saturday, March 10th during the Gala Awards Banquet at the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana.

2016 Revelli Winner
Music for All Annual Fund Manager Gregg Puls and scholarship winner Emma Fell

This annual scholarship of $1,000 was created in memory of Dr. William D. Revelli, one of America’s finest and most accomplished conductors, to help one graduating high school senior each year that is performing at the Music for All National Festival study music education at the university level. Each recipient is chosen based upon his or her academic, musical and community service accomplishments, a personal essay written about music education and a nomination from a his or her band director.

Fell is a three-time Honor Band of America member, has been selected for numerous honor bands, district bands, and All State bands. She is the principle horn player for the Thompson High School Wind Ensemble, a section leader for the Marching Southern Sounds, and has even taught herself how to play clarinet to a grade 3 level.

Since each recipient must intend to pursue a degree in music education, this scholarship has become an extension of Music for All’s mission to create, provide, and expand positively live-changing experiences through music for all. Music for All also offers opportunities for students, parents, and directors to perform and improve their musical and leadership skills through its workshops, competitions, festivals, and honor ensembles.

Music for All will continue to offer this scholarship in future years and encourages all qualifying students to apply. The application for next year’s scholarship will be released in late 2016.

SpartanStadiumSan Jose University, Spartan Stadium

Due to final stadium schedules, Music for All is announcing important schedule changes for both of the California Bands of America Regional Championships.

The Southern California Regional, which was originally scheduled for October 22, is moving to October 29 and will once again be held in Long Beach at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Northern California Regional, which was originally scheduled for October 29 is moving to October 22 and will be held at Spartan Stadium at San Jose State University, a new venue for this regional.

We believe these date changes are necessary so that Music for All can operate both events in venues that are of the quality that Bands of America and Music for All strive to offer those we serve.

There are still opportunities for bands to enroll in either show. You can view the full fall schedule here.

Final Mailing

A final letter as well as the Important Event Procedures Document and the final schedule were sent to all student and parent emails on 12/21/16. This information is just duplicate of what was already sent out.

 

Initial Mailing

Forms are due back April 1 along with the 1st Student Payment of $389.

Student Housing Registration will be through the Bands of America Honor Band Housing Registration site. Click here to get access to that registration page. Upon filling out the information and submitting the registration, both the student and the parent will receive two emails. One email is a registration confirmation email with important information; please keep this for your records. The second email will contain the Consent Form that will need to be read through, printed, and signed by both the student and parent and sent back to Music for All either by email, fax or mail.

 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Camp Faculty Profile: Taylor Watts

This is the first edition of a new series on our blog that we hope you'll find both fun and interesting! Each week we will highlight a new MFA Summer Symposium faculty member. 

Welcome to the very first edition of the Camp Faculty Profile series! Today I'd like to introduce you to Taylor Watts. This year will be Taylor's first year as an official faculty member on the BOA Drum Major Institute staff, but he is certainily no stranger to the MFA Summer Symposium! Taylor has experienced camp as a student, a SWAG team member, a Directors' Track Assistant, and now this year he is joining the ranks of our amazing faculty. We know Taylor will be a wealth of knowledge for all of those who are planning on participating in the BOA Drum Major Institute this year. Let's dive into getting to know Taylor, I hope you enjoy reading his responses as much as I did! 

TaylorToughMudder

Name: Taylor Watts

Camp Division: Drum Major Institute

Home Town: Kennesaw, GA

Current Location: Marietta, GA

Favorite Things About Being A Teacher:
I love watching students grow as human beings – learning to treat others with love and respect, to develop and pursue their passions, and to grapple with the inner workings of their own person. I definitely consider myself blessed to witness (and sometimes impact) the transformation of so many people during some of the most formative years of their lives.

Why do you like to come to the MFA Summer Symposium each year:
Having experienced the camp as a student, SWAG team member, Director Track Assistant, and now staff member, one thing always holds true of my time spent at Summer Symposium – no other place in my life challenges and supports me in being the best version of myself that I can possibly be like MFA. As Jamie Weaver, one of the SWAG team coordinators, always poses to our group: “We come here every summer to be who we are truly meant to be.”

What would you say to a student who was thinking about possibly coming to camp?
Take the leap, and bring any friend you care about! Camp will challenge you and provide opportunities that most people never have the chance to experience. The lessons and relationships that you’ll find here have the potential to change you in ways that you’d never imagine – they can truly change the entire course of your life!

Most memorable moment/interaction at camp?
Despite now serving as a staff member, I think my most cherished memory at camp still stems from my time as a student. I’ll certainly never forget my last evening together standing in the auditorium with my drum major squad embracing and shedding a few tears as we reminisced on several outstandingly life-changing years spent at this camp.

Funniest thing that has happened at camp?
It may be a bit silly, but I always enjoyed participating in the “everyday camp preparation” skit that the SWAG team puts on with Norm Ruebling. The crowd always got a kick out of our ridiculous outfits and choreography that we put together to over-accentuate our points – not to mention how difficult it was to hold a static pose in our crazy get-ups without laughing myself!

Favorite spot on Ball State's campus?
I love spending time under the bell tower, particularly in the evening. It’s such a beautiful structure.

What book are you reading right now?
Most of the books on my shelf right now have titles like The Five Love Languages and The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work as I prepare for my quickly approaching wedding. Normally, however, I enjoy reading philosophy, psychology, and science articles, with the occasional high fantasy novel to spice things up.

What are you listening to right now?
Over the last few years I’ve gotten into primarily acoustic music to the tune of Nickel Creek, Fiction Family, and Mumford and Sons. I love the stories and sounds and am always impressed by the technical virtuosity of their more bluegrass-style songs.

What is ONE thing you recommend a student do at camp?
Normally I would suggest that students get outside their comfort zones and reach out to develop relationships with other campers (which they should ABSOLUTELY still do), but I have to say, as teacher as it sounds, I recommend HUGELY that all students write down every bit of wisdom that they hear during their conversations at camp (both with the staff and other students). Going back through my old binders of notes always inspires and reenergizes me, even years later – sometimes some of the truths sink in even deeper later in time.

What made you decide to be a teacher?
Truth be told, I had originally planned to go into psychology – my driving passion has always been helping people become better versions of themselves. Fortunately, a wise mentor of mine (coincidentally, a band director – go figure!) enlightened me to the opportunity for a wider spread audience over a longer period of time, and so I became a teacher!

What do you wish other people knew about the Summer Symposium?
Most camps provide students with entertaining and exciting experiences, but few other places challenge students to grow in their very being like Summer Symposium. I can certainly attest that you’ll leave camp a much stronger, bolder, and more compassionate person than you came.

What do you do when you aren't teaching at the Summer Symposium?
During the few moments that I’m not teaching or planning to teach (few and far between!), I love spending my time pushing myself physically. Most recently, this has taken the form of obstacle course races (Spartan Races, the Tough Mudder, the Warrior Dash, etc.), skydiving, and snowboarding trips!

 

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