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.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Grand National Anthem Choir


In celebration of the launch of the Music for All National Choir Festival in 2018, Music for All hosted the first massed-choir to perform the National Anthem that opened the Saturday evening Finals of the Bands of America Grand National Championships, conducted by Henry Leck, Artistic Director of the National Choir Festival.

Music for All thanks National Choir Festival Coordinators Lori Lobsiger and Kim Mann for coordinating this special massed-choir, and the students and choir directors from the following schools:

  • Homestead H.S., Fort Wayne, IN – Curtis Shaw, Director
  • Little Miami H.S., Morrow, OH – Sarah Baker, Director
  • Indian Hill H.S., Cincinnati, OH – Jeff Clark, Director
  • Herron H.S., Indianapolis, IN – Jonathan Harris, Scott Riley, Directors
  • Indianapolis Youth Chorale, Indianapolis, IN – Mary Evers, Director

Video of the Performance

The choir sang the Alfred Publication, SATB Star Spangled Banner arrangement by Russ Robinson, under the direction of Henry Leck, founder of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and Music for All Educational Consultant. It was a truly incredible performance that impressed the audience and certainly introduced choir to the Music for All family in a perfect way.






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Congratulations to Mr. Thom Hannum, Associate Director of the Minuteman Marching Band, and the Director of the Marimba Bandand Marimba Ensemble program at the University of Massachusett, who is the 2016 recipient of the George N. Parks Leadership in Music Education award. Mr. Hannum received the award during the opening finals ceremonies at the 2016 Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha on November 12.

Developed by NAfME, the National Association for Music Education and Music for All, the award is named for George N. Parks (1953–2010), director of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1977 until his death, and honors an exemplary music educator who embodies the characteristics and leadership that Mr. Parks personified.

Learn more about the George N. Parks Leadership in Education Award


Thom Hannum has long been regarded as one of the nation’s foremost percussion arrangers, instructors, and clinicians having presented numerous seminars and workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Thom teaches at the University of Massachusetts where he serves as the Associate Director of the Minuteman Marching Band, and the Director of the Marimba Band and Marimba Ensemble program. In 2009, Mr. Hannum was recognized by the university, receiving the prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award.

He is a product consultant and clinician for the Avedis Zildjian Cymbal Company and Vic Firth Sticks & Mallets where he has developed several Signature Series drumsticks and keyboard mallets. Thom is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society where he serves on the Marching Percussion Committee.

Mr. Hannum is currently on the design team and the percussion director for the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. He is also known for his work with the DCI World Champion Cadets of Bergen County and Star of Indiana, and is a member of the design team for the Tony and Emmy Award Winning show "Blast!" In the summer of 2001, Mr. Hannum was selected for induction into the DCI Hall of Fame, and in 2008, was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. Mr. Hannum is also a member of The Cadets and the Crossmen Hall of Fame.

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Prior recipients:

2015 Patrick M. Erwin
Director of Bands at Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, GA

2014 Cynthia Napierkowski
Director of Bands at Salem High School in Salem, MA

2013 Dr. Barry Shepherd
Superintendent of Cabarrus County Schools, NC

2012 Daniel Kirk
Blue Valley West, KS

2011 Dr. Peter Boonshaft
Hofstra University


SOM social

I don’t remember a time that I didn’t love Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music.

I remember watching the movie on repeat as a child with my mom. I knew all of the lyrics and would sing the songbook constantly! I would even say that the Sound of Music was a part of the start of my appreciation and love for music, and definitely the start of my appreciation for musical theatre.

So of course, when I found out that Music for All was partnering with Broadway Across America for a promotion for the Sound of Music tour – I was ecstatic.

There’s nothing that would stop me from attending the Indianapolis show, and now Music for All can benefit from my ticket purchase? Sign me up!

I hope that if you live in or near Indianapolis, and love music and theatre like I do, that you’ll join me and support Music for All by attending The Sound of Music, January 10-15, 2017 at the Old National Centre.

You can support Music for All by purchasing a ticket through using the passcode: MARIA.

$5 from your ticket will go directly to Music for All to help us work to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to active music-making in their school!

Don’t forget, tickets make excellent presents for this upcoming holiday season. Cross someone off your list and support music and arts education all at the same time! Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll even get to hear me singing along to “My Favorite Things.” 

Purchase tickets here.

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We hope that everyone will be joining us on Thanksgiving day by watching the 2016 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! We cannot wait to watch and support all of the amazing marching bands that will be featured throughout the parade. We are especially excited this year to say that all of the high school bands that will be marching in the parade are in the Bands of America family! Congratulations to all of you on being selected for the Macy's 90th Thanskgiving Day Parade!

So make sure you tune in and join us in supporting these incredible ensembles as they perform for nearly 50 million television viewers nationwide! We know they will make us proud! The parade steps off at 9:00 AM on Thursday, November 24th. You can watch the parade live on NBC.

Below is a list of all of the marching bands you will see in the parade!

Cary Senior High School
Cary, North Carolina
Band Director: Matthew Minick

Grain Valley High School
Grain Valley, Missouri
Band Director: Reid Atkinson

Greendale High School
Greendale, Wisconsin
Band Director: Tom Reifenberg

Harrison High School
Kennesaw, Georgia
Band Director: Josh Ray

Hendrickson High School
Pflugerville, Texas
Band Director: Garth Gundersen

Joe E. Newsome High School
Lithia, Florida
Band Director: Michael Miller

Macy's Great American Marching Band
Students from schools across the country
Band Director: Dr. Rick Good

Na Koa Ali'l Hawaii All-State Marching Band
The State of Hawaii
Band Director: John Riggle

NYPD Marching Band
New York Police Department, New York, New York
Band Director: Lt. Tony Giorgio

Prospect High School 
Prospect, Illinois
Band Director: Chris Barnum

United States Military Academy Band
West Point, New York
Band Director: Major Sergeant Christopher Jones

The West Virginia University Mountaineer Marching Band
Morgantown, West Virginia
Band Director: Jay Drury


For great Macy's coverage (including a list of what these bands will be performing!) visit our friends at

For more information about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade visit

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Finals Results

97.45 - Carmel H.S., IN
97.45 - Avon H.S., IN
96.55 - William Mason H.S., OH
95.70 - Tarpon Springs H.S., FL
95.30 - Cedar Park H.S., TX
94.65 - Leander H.S., TX
91.85 - Ronald Reagan H.S., TX
91.50 - Wando H.S., SC
91.30 - Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
91.05 - Castle H.S., IN
91.00 - Homestead H.S., IN
90.05 - Marian Catholic H.S., IL
89.45 - Dobyns-Bennett H.S., TN

Outstanding Music Performance - Avon H.S., IN
Outstanding Visual Performance - Avon H.S., IN
Outstanding General Effect - Carmel H.S., IN

"Al Castronovo" Esprit de Corps Award: Vista Murrieta H.S., CA

**In the event of a tie, rank is determined based on the highest General Effect score.

Semi-Final Results

Class A
1st - Adair County H.S., KY
2nd - Williamstown H.S., KY
3rd - Archbishop Alter H.S., OH

Outstanding Music Performance - Adair County H.S., KY
Outstanding Visual Performance - Adair County H.S., KY
Outstanding General Effect - Adair County H.S., KY

Class AA
1st - Tarpon Springs H.S., FL
2nd - Marian Catholic H.S., IL
3rd - North Hardin H.S., KY

Outstanding Music Performance - Tarpon Springs H.S., FL
Outstanding Visual Performance - Tarpon Springs H.S., FL
Outstanding General Effect - Tarpon Springs H.S., FL

Class AAA
1st - Leander H.S., TX
2nd - Cedar Park H.S., TX
3rd - Castle H.S., IN

Outstanding Music Performance - Leander H.S., TX
Outstanding Visual Performance - Leander H.S., TX
Outstanding General Effect - Cedar Park H.S., TX & Leander H.S., TX

Class AAAA
1st - Avon H.S., IN
2nd - Carmel H.S., IN
3rd - William Mason H.S., OH

Outstanding Music Performance - Avon H.S., IN
Outstanding Visual Performance - William Mason H.S., OH
Outstanding General Effect - Avon H.S., IN

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Semi-Finals Schedule

6:45 a.m. – North Hardin H.S., KY
7:00 a.m. – Adair County H.S., KY
7:15 a.m. – Williamstown H.S., KY
7:30 a.m. – Archbishop Alter H.S., OH
7:45 a.m. – Milton-Union H.S., OH
8:00 a.m. – Reeths-Puffer H.S., MI
8:15 a.m. – Lockport Township H.S., IL
8:30 a.m. – Ayala H.S., CA
8:45 a.m. – Green Hope H.S., NC
9:00 a.m. – O'Fallon Township H.S., IL
9:15 a.m. – Ronald Reagan H.S., TX
9:30 a.m. – James F. Byrnes H.S., SC
9:45 a.m. – Wando H.S., SC
10:00 a.m. – Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
10:15 a.m. – Marian Catholic H.S., IL
10:30 a.m. – Avon H.S., IN
11:15 a.m. – Owasso H.S., OK
11:30 a.m. – Castle H.S., IN
11:45 a.m. – William Mason H.S., OH
12:00 p.m. – Union H.S., OK
12:15 p.m. – Bellevue West H.S., NE
12:30 p.m. – Dobyns-Bennett H.S., TN
12:45 p.m. – Leander H.S., TX
1:00 p.m. – Franklin H.S., TN
1:15 p.m. – Cedar Park H.S., TX
1:30 p.m. – Center Grove H.S., IN

2:15 p.m. – Carmel H.S., IN
2:30 p.m. – Plymouth-Canton Educational Park, MI
2:45 p.m. – Homestead H.S., IN
3:00 p.m. – Lawrence Township H.S., IN
3:15 p.m. – Tarpon Springs H.S., FL
3:30 p.m. – Vista Murrieta H.S., CA
3:45 p.m. – James Bowie H.S., TX
4:00 p.m. – Fort Mill H.S., SC
4:15 p.m. – Clovis West H.S., CA
4:30 p.m. – Columbus North H.S., IN
4:45 p.m. – EXHIBITION: The Ohio State University Marching Band

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Finals Awards Live Stream

Replay: Prelims Awards Ceremony Live Stream

Replay: Semi-Finals Awards Ceremony Live Stream

YouTube Playlist


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