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.
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!
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!
All of us at Music for All are extremely excited that we are one of 64 nonprofits selected to participate in the Brackets for Good competition in Indianapolis!
Every March, Brackets for Good hosts an online, bracket-style fundraising tournaments in philanthropic communities around the United States. Participating nonprofit organizations compete to out fundraise their opponents, earn increased exposure, and have a chance to win $10,000 from a generous corporate sponsor.
Not only is Brackets for Good a really fun way to fundraise, we are excited about learning more about other nonprofit organizations in our community. And of course, we hope people learn a little bit more about us as well!
First Round: February 26th – March 4th
Second Round: March 4th – March 11th
Supported Sixteen: March 11th – March 18th
Engaged Eight: March 18th – March 25th
Philanthropic Four: March 25th – March 29th
Championship: March 29th - April 1st
Basically every $1 raised equals a point. Two nonprofits go up against each other, and the nonprofit who raises the most money will advance to the next round! You can see the official bracket here: https://indianapolis.bfg.org/bracket.
Since this is our first year, we aren't completely sure what to expect. But we are excited to have the opportunity to participate and raise some funds to help give scholarships to students to attend our summer camp, the Music for All Summer Symposium this June at Ball State University.
Music for All has been providing positively life-changing experiences at its summer camp for 40 years. It’s “America’s Camp:” the national summer learning experience for band and orchestra students, and teachers. We bring together the best faculty, exciting concerts and events, and students from band and orchestra programs from coast-to-coast who share a love of music-making, performance, and student leadership.
Last year 86 full scholarships and 50 partial scholarships were given out for the Summer Symposium. Only 11% of students in 2015 received any type of financial assistance. With your help, we can make camp possible for even more students in 2016! No donation amount is too small. Just think how many dollars could be raised if everyone who has been touched by music, gave up one Starbucks latte this week. The impact would truly be incredible.
The competition begins at 8:00 PM (EST) on Friday, February 26th. Round One will begin at this time, and end at 8:00 PM (EST) on Friday, March 4th.
Music for All has rescheduled the Bands of America Regional Championship that was scheduled for October 8 in North Carolina for October 15, at Wake Forest University.
We'll return with a BOA Championship at Wake Forest for the third consecutive year. The date was originally published as October 8, but after the recent release of Wake Forest's football schedule and home game on that date, the NC Championship was moved to October 15, still at Wake Forest, a date which BOA had on hold.
The Bands of America Championship at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, NC is now confirmed, for October 15. 2016.
We hope to see you at the 2016 Bands of America Regional Championship at Winston-Salem, NC on October 15th.
Frank Ticheli – Dancing on Water
Joel Puckett – Avelynn’s Lullaby
Ron Nelson – Aspen Jubilee
Aaron Copland/arr. Walter Beeler – Lincoln Portrait
John Mackey – Ringmaster March
Christine Barham - Franklin H.S., TN
Evan Curatolo - Lincoln Way North H.S., IL
Emily Elmore - Manatee H.S., FL
Madison Fanning - J.M. Hanks H.S., TX
Brandon Lee - Mount Eden H.S., CA
Michelle Liu - Northview H.S., GA
Katie Riley - Avon H.S., IN
Bailey Southard - Charleston County School of the Arts, SC
Lauren Wood - Hillgrove H.S., GA
Madison McGregor - Upland H.S., CA
Burke Mounts - Wando H.S., SC
Lian Remley - Shades Valley H.S., AL
Ana Sofia Uzsoy - North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, NC
Samuel Bray - Leander H.S., TX
Adella Carlson - Nonnewaug H.S., CT
Maya Davis - Highland H.S., IN
Ryan Fisher - Franklin H.S., TN
Sachina Hobo - John Hersey H.S., IL
Mieri Kim - Centerville H.S., OH
Faith Kirkpatrick - Hillgrove H.S., GA
Dory Li - North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, NC
Stephen Li - North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, NC
Michael Puetz - Oconomowoc H.S., WI
Joshua Scarborough - Athens Drive H.S., NC
Lauren Slay - Ridgeland H.S., MS
Isaac Torres - Bullard H.S., CA
Matthew Wang - Hamilton H.S., AZ
Maggie Watts - North Lincoln H.S., NC
Stacey Xiang - Ravenwood H.S., TN
Rhianna Zaidan - Vestavia Hills H.S., AL
Scott Allen - Mountain View H.S., AZ
Adam Cordero - Herricks H.S., NY
Daniel McClure - Liberty H.S., CO
Nicholas Moyer - Clovis North H.S., CA
Sarah Gibes - Warren Township H.S., IL
Brock Nutter - Norris H.S., NE
Kirk Peterson - Apex H.S., NC
Alexander Zhang - Canyon Crest Academy, CA
Emma Fell - Thompson H.S., AL
Michael Johnson - Vestavia Hills H.S. , AL
Steven Locastro - Thompson H.S., AL
Paul Merkamp - Northeastern H.S., IN
Adam Ruble - Columbus North H.S., IN
Brandon Tibbitts - Hamilton Southeastern H.S., IN
Hannah Shea - Long Reach H.S., MD
Kelsey Moore - Sullivan H.S., MO
Adam Julian - Centerville H.S., OH
Jenna Montes - William Mason H.S., OH
Sarah Yarbrough - Klein Oak H.S., TX
Kimberly Blaha - Tomball Memorial H.S., TX
Kane Feltner - Troy H.S., OH
Peter Koury - Madison Central H.S., KY
Minsoo Shin - Rancho Bernardo H.S., CA
Elizabeth Truckey - Roncalli Catholic H.S., WI
Noah Zoller - Olathe North H.S., KS
Joe Ardovino - Thompson H.S., AL
Will Basco - Wando H.S., SC
Eva Bayliss - Grove City Christian School, OH
Austin Broadway - Hebron H.S., TX
Abby Duncan - Hilliard Bradley H.S., OH
Steven Garcia - Cypress Creek H.S., TX
Nicholas Gustafson - Dutch Fork H.S., SC
Brianna Imgruet - Downers Grove South H.S., IL
Clifton Little - Wylie East H.S., TX
Timothy Tucker - Wake Forest H.S., NC
Kyle Tellez - Alexander W. Dreyfoos Schools of the Arts, FL
Thomas Vines - Ravenwood H.S., TN
Christopher Bradley - Parkview Baptist School, LA
Joseph Diaz - Oak Ridge H.S., CA
Alan Fletcher, Jr. - duPont Manual H.S./Youth Performing Arts School, KY
Brett Galey - Troy H.S., OH
Spencer Hawkins - Youth Performing Arts School, KY
Connor Hoverman - McComb H.S., OH
Christopher Johnson - Riverdale H.S., TN
Jaewoo Lee - Saratoga H.S., CA
Michael Neufeld - Clovis North H.S., CA
Chanson Peck - Dobson H.S., AZ
David Seder - Paul Laurence Dunbar H.S., KY
Daniel Agramonte - George Walton Comprehensive H.S., GA
Jason Donnelly - Paul J. Hagerty H.S., FL
Troy Moeller - Sunlake H.S., FL
Nestor Pelayo - Lincoln Southwest H.S., NE
Bridget Conley - Charleston County School of the Arts, SC
Justin Cooper - Madison Central Highschool, KY
Ethan Millington - Norris H.S., NE
Travis Sanders - Paul Laurence Dunbar H.S., KY
David Stein - Morristown H.S., NJ
Christopher Wyllie - Maple Mountain H.S., UT
Phil Barrett - Ravenwood H.S., TN
Branden Bienz - Blue Valley H.S., KS
Maddy Dethloff - Lawrence Free State H.S., KS
Nathan Juarez - Permian H.S., TX
Reilly McLean - Kell H.S., GA
Griffin Miller - Andrew W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, FL
Tyler Primeaux - The Colony H.S., TX
Travis Rowland - Dobson H.S., AZ
Jakob Schoenfeld - Paul J. Hagerty H.S., FL
Christopher Wu - Northwood H.S., CA
Giuseppe Verdi – Nabucco Overture
Carl Maria von Weber – Oberon Overture
Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 1 in D major, Movement 4
Mikayla Chan - Herricks H.S., NY
Annette Chang - Woodbridge H.S., CA
Maia Chua - The Masters School, NY
Rachel Hollis - Youth Performing Arts School, KY
Kevin Kim - North Gwinnett H.S. , GA
Andrew Lewis - Avon H.S., IN
Spencer Metcalf - James B. Conant H.S., IL
Orliana Morag - LaGuardia H.S., NY
Andrew Nguyen - Avon H.S., IN
Ashley Park - Arnold O. Beckman H.S., CA
Jennifer Park - Arnold O. Beckman H.S., CA
Kyle Qian - Centennial H.S., GA
Holly Radford - Dos Pueblos H.S., CA
Patrick Roberts - North Cobb H.S., GA
Zoe Screwvala - Hunter College H.S., NY
Mary Pauline Sheridan-Rabideau - Youth Performing Arts School, KY
Bryant So - Rampart H.S., CO
Cayleigh Stewart - duPont Manual/Youth Performing Arts School, KY
Gene Tanaka - Palisades Charter H.S., CA
Thompson Wang - Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, CA
Jessica Ling Yan - Dulaney H.S., MD
Isaac Yoo - Arnold O. Beckman H.S., CA
Alice Zheng - Brookfield Central H.S., WI
Julia Zhong - Hunter College H.S., NY
Atlee Daniel - Homeschooled, TX
Whitney Larson - Avon H.S., IN
Ethan Nell - Homeschooled, FL
Francis Ramas - Smith - CyWoods H.S., TX
Sergio Robert-Kim - Clements H.S., TX
Adam Savage - Homeschooled, FL
Priscilla Tsai - Northwood H.S., CA
Nicole Walters - Colburn Music School, CA
Alice Yoon - Fishers H.S., IN
Michael Berg - City H.S., IA
Danielle Davis - Baldwin Senior H.S., NY
Allie Kreitman - University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, IL
Jaebok Lee - Harvard-Westlake School, CA
Seri Lee - Vernon Hills H.S., IL
Gregory Llewellyn - Dwight Englewood School and Manhattan School of Music, NJ
Daniel Paik - Northwood H.S., CA
Megan Savage - Homeschooled, FL
Max Walters - Gabrielino H.S., CA
Alexander Wemmie - West Senior H.S., IA
Zoe Hood - Alan C. Pope H.S., GA
Joseph Lee - The Loomis Chaffee School, CA
Eric Nakamoto - Hamilton H.S., AZ
Pablo Ocampo - Gulliver Preparatory, FL
Shane Savage - Homeschooled, FL
Isaiah Ward - Lawrence Central H.S., IN
Daniel Woo - Irvine H.S., CA
Alison Addie - duPont Manual H.S./Youth Performing Arts School, KY
Daniel Chen - Montgomery Blair H.S., MD
Michael Huerta - James Bowie H.S., TX
Jessica Shand - Discovery Canyon Campus H.S., CO
Andres Ayola - LaGuardia H.S./Manhattan School of Music, NY
Nathania Hartojo - Temple City H.S., CA
Anatole Storck - Wando H.S., SC
Amelia Wingard - Wando H.S., SC
Andres Bryan - Cypress Creek H.S., TX
Marissa Johnson - Avon H.S., IN
Cynthia Liu - Montgomery Blair H.S., MD
Harrison Cody - Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, FL
Kody Harrington - Hebron H.S., TX
Kenny Wang - Whippany Park H.S., NJ
Brian Boydston - Keller H.S., TX
Shuzo Kayatama - Fort Lee H.S./Manhattan School of Music
Mauricio Mondragon - Stephen F. Austin H.S, TX
Jacey Rosengren - Marcus H.S., TX
Luke Schwerer - Oconomowoc H.S., WI
Justin Ellena - Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, FL
Matt Gorman - Cypress Creek H.S., TX
Aimy McCrosky - West Stokes H.S., NC
William Melancon - New Iberia Senior H.S., LA
Ashlyn Pugh - Stephen F. Austin H.S., TX
Madison Ray - D. W. Daniel H.S., SC
Brady Zeller - Avon H.S., IN
Christian Boletchek - Green Hope H.S., NC
Katie Franke - JEB Stuart H.S., VA
Noah Roper - Aledo H.S., TX
Matthew Baker - Athens Drive H.S., NC
Daniel Gratz - duPont Manual/Youth Performing Arts School, KY
Brandon Lim - Cypress Ridge H.S., TX
Caleb Paust - Homeschooled, FL
Maxwell Thompson - Youth Performing Arts School, KY
Jake Wohleb - James Bowie H.S., TX
Friday, March 11, 2016
Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler University
Kyle Schroeder - J.W. Mitchell H.S., FL
Austin Zhang - Plano West H.S., TX
Andrew Golub - Smithtown H.S. West, NY
Rico Jones - Denver School of the Arts, CO
Zach Gross - Liberty H.S., TX
Ethan Chilton - Golden Valley H.S., CA
Zachary Davis - Saint Ann's School, NY
Eric Gonzalez - Osceola County School for the Arts, FL
Erik Ondrejko - Denver School of the Arts, CO
Aiden Thieme - Northgate H.S., CA
Tyler Bonilla - Osceola County School for the Arts, FL
Wyatt Forhan - Saint Dominic H.S., MO
Jonah Paquette - Charleston County School of the Arts, SC
Stephan Tenney - Charleston County School of the Arts, SC
Jan Knutson - Eleanor Roosevelt H.S., MD
Sam Towse - Friends Academy, NY
Philip Norris - Wake Forest H.S., NC
Christian McGhee - Westminster Christian Academy, MO
Jacob Britton - Osceola County School for the Arts, FL
We're giving our enewsletter readers an advance chance to read this article from our upcoming Music for All Newsletter, "Always Remember," by Richard Floyd.
ALWAYS REMEMBER why you chose this wonderful profession in the first place. It is very likely that you were seduced into this magic world of music and music making because of the way it made you feel.
You are not in this profession because you finally learned to play the chromatic scale at MM=144. You didn’t choose music as your career path because you finally played a “high C” on your trumpet or mastered a challenging passage. You chose music because of an emotional connection. It was that defining moment or series of moments when music touched your soul and you came to the realization that you couldn’t live without it and you were consumed with the dream of sharing it with others.
Never loose sight of that reality. It will be easy to become obsessed with personal achievement, extrinsic goals, a boundless litany of suggested strategies, endless competitions and seductive peripheral activities that disguise themselves as been central to the true purpose of music education. Do not be seduced by these illusions and false values. If you remain ever mindful of those magic moments that ignited the fire for making and teaching music and you strive to create those kinds of experiences in your students then your professional life will be happy, fruitful and long.
ALWAYS REMEMBER to seek opportunities to play your instrument and personally make music. That is a major component of what brought you to this juncture in your life. It is essential that you remember what it is like to be on “both sides of the stick.”
ALWAYS REMEMBER that it is the art of making music that gives it true value. In truth, recreating the notes on a printed page of music is no more or less rewarding than solving an algebra equation. No music has been created. But when those notes and rhythms are infused with your human spirit and your passion for creating and sharing beauty the outcome has the potential to be priceless.
ALWAYS REMEMBER to maintain a musical fortress of great music that offers you inspiration, comfort and revival. There will be countless times when you will need to be reminded of the intrinsic place of music in your life and the lives of others. Your musical fortress must reflect the greatest music that mankind has to offer. Be it Mozart or Mahler or composers on the cutting edge of compositional thought make it the best of what is out there. And, it must be a compendium of great music that constantly grows and evolves.
ALWAYS REMEMBER that you will always be a student. Explore new frontiers, embrace fresh ideas and seek opportunities to collaborate with master teachers. Be on the look out for occasions to observe and be engaged with the finest teachers and conductors within you sphere. The great golf teacher Harvey Penick said it best, “If you want to be a better golfer don’t have lunch with lousy players.”
ALWAYS REMEMBER that it is perfectly OK to be pleased with your successes. To be pleased is perfectly normal and healthy. But, never, ever be satisfied. If you are satisfied you become comfortable and if you are comfortable you become complacent and if you are complacent you will cease to challenge yourself and cease to grow.
ALWAYS REMEMBER as the Chinese proverb reminds us, “It is good to have a goal to journey towards but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
And above all, ALWAYS REMEMBER …life is a “do it yourself” project.
State Director of Music Emeritus
University of Texas at Austin
Music Director – Austin Symphonic Band
Music for All will add programs for choir in 2018 with the premiere of the Music for All National Choir Festival, at the 2018 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, in Indianapolis. The Music for All National Choir Festival will be an integral part of Music for All’s ongoing mission to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Henry Leck, Founder and Artistic Director of the famed Indianapolis Children’s Choir, has joined as Artistic Director of the Music for All National Choir Festival. Lori Lobsiger and Kim Mann, leaders in choral event programming and past producers of the World Choir Games, have joined Music for All as program consultants for the new MFA National Choir Festival.
“It’s extremely exhilarating to be involved in this new choral initiative and with an organization of such high caliber,” said Henry Leck, Artistic Director. “I look forward to bringing many talented choirs from all over the nation to the festival to further music education and help students experience the magic that Music for All offers with all of its programs.”
The new National Choir Festival is a non-competitive experience for outstanding high school and youth choirs, of both treble and mixed voices, to celebrate musical excellence and provide opportunities for growth and learning. The Festival offers an opportunity for each ensemble to receive recorded and written evaluation of its performance from a knowledgeable audience of music educators and fellow choir members. The festival also incorporates master classes led by world-renowned musicians and top applied faculty, as well as social events that give students the chance to network with colleagues, guest artists and icons of music education. At the end of the festival, students, directors, parents, staff and evaluators will attend a Gala Awards Banquet where all ensembles are recognized for their participation.
“Music for All is excited to take this next logical step in support of and advocacy for scholastic music education,” said Eric L. Martin, President and CEO of Music for All. “For 40 years we have created and provided programs supporting, elevating and advocating for the availability and excellence of instrumental music instruction in our schools and nation. Expanding our commitment to choral music fulfills requests of MFA alumni and music educators from across the nation, as well as Music for All’s vision to ensure that every child across America has access to the benefits of quality scholastic music education offerings.”
The 2018 MFA National Choir Festival will be held March 15-17. This year, 2016, marks the 25th anniversary of the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, which currently includes concert bands, orchestras, percussion ensembles, chamber ensembles, and three national honor ensembles – the Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America, and Jazz Band of America. A full schedule of Festival ensemble concerts, times, and locations for the upcoming 2016 Festival to be held in Indianapolis, March 10-12, will be available at www.musicforall.org/festival.