Misty Wick
Misty Wick
Alfred-WatkinsMr. Alfred L. Watkins has been part of the Music for All family in many capacities - on the advisory committee charged with designing the format of the National Concert Band Festival, as a Summer Symposium clinician and as a fall marching band adjudicator. As Director of Bands at Lassiter High School since 1982, he attended BOA's Weekend with the Experts series and his bands at Lassiter High School have performed at the Music for All National Festival and BOA Regional Championships and Grand National Championships, the latter of which they were named national champion in 1998 and 2002.

The Music for All Foundation is proud to be part of the Alfred L. Watkins Commissioning Project. The commissioned piece is being created to honor Mr. Watkins’ retirement as Director of Bands at Lassiter High School and celebrates the tremendous contributions of Mr. Watkins’ teaching, music making, leadership and passion for excellence.

We hope that you consider joining in the celebration of Mr. Watkins’ passion and life’s work, by honoring his dedication to music education by donating to the Alfred Watkins Commission Fund. The Fund will support the costs for the creation of a commissioned piece of work and will be showcased in May 2014 at the Cobb Wind Symphony Concert in Marietta, GA, where Watkins was a co-founder; as well as the 2015 Music for All National Festival Honor Band of America Concert.

All donations are needed to ensure this project comes to fruition to honor Mr. Watkins’ retirement as Director of Bands at Lassiter High School. The fund needs to raise more than $20,000 in order to reach its goal. Donors will receive donor benefits for their contributions, which include:

•    Donors who give $1,000+ will be listed in the score and in the commemorative program for the premier concert and will receive an autographed photo of the composer and Alfred.
•    Donors who give $500-$999, will be listed in the score and in the commemorative program for the premier concert.
•    Donors who give $499 or below, will be listed in the commemorative program for the premier concert.

To make a charitable gift to the Alfred Watkins Commission Fund, click the button below.

Watch the tribute video to Mr. Watkins:
Learn more about the Music for All Foundation and other specific initiatives and funds here.

Two Music for All students participated in a live SupportMusic Coalition conference call today during MFA's Summer Symposium. NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants, is one of Music for All's corporate sponsors. The NAMM Foundation seeks to strengthen music education in schools and communities nationwide through its SupportMusic Coalition. Joey, a 5-year MFA Summer Symposium participant in the Marching Band track, and Andrew, a 3-year MFA Summer Symposium participant in the Drum Major Academy, joined MFA Staff, NAMM Staff and other NAMM members on the call today.

Both of the participants commented about the leadership opportunities they've gained from participating in Music for All programs.

"After the first year at camp, I changed and improved and then when I went back home, I was able to change and improve my own program because of all the new skills I learned," said Andrew.

Not only did both of the participants share their excitement about meeting friends from around the globe when attending MFA programs, but they both shared that their experiences have been positively life-changing.

"With music, I've found that I can do anything," said Joey who plans to become a music educator.

Several other guests were on the call, including another student, Kaitlyn Lee, who has been a strong advocate for music and arts education in her school district in Washington state. Her efforts have saved music programs in her community.

Remember that each and every one of us can be an advocate for music and arts education. Help educate your community to support arts education. For advocacy tools and resources, click here.

After the call, the SupportMusic Facebook page received a comment from one of their Facebook friends: "It WAS a great call! Hearing students talking about why they play music - and its emotional power in their lives - was really inspiring. Young musicians = the best evidence @ why music education in the schools is so important."

What an amazing testament to Music for All and music education!




Sunday, June 19, 2011

Leadership Lessons

Visit the 2011 Music for All Summer Symposium online coverage page for more information and camp highlights throughout the week.

More than 400 participants learned leadership lessons yesterday during the Opening Session with Fran Kick, Leadership Divison Coordinator. Kick shared some helpful tips with the students to ensure they have a positively life-changing experience during the Leadership Experience Weekend.

Leadership Tips:

  • Lead by example
  • Actions speak louder than words
  • Make things happen and have people follow you
  • You don't need a title to be a leader
  • Put a lot into anything you do so that you get a lot out of it
  • Pay attention
  • Respond appropriately
  • Get involved with what's going on
  • It's not just what you know, but who you know

After participating in the session, I was reminded of so many tips and pointers to help me on my own leadership journey. Remember when your student comes home to continue to instill these leadership lessons as they embark on their own leadership journey.


Misty Wick
Director of Development and Partnerships


Music for All's efforts to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all include awarding a number of scholarships each year to students who are financially unable to attend MFA programs without financial assistance.

These scholarships assist with financial support for MFA programs like Summer Symposium, which is located at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Music for All has extended the deadline for the L.J. Hancock Scholarship to May 20, 2011. This scholarship honors the life and work of L.J. Hancock, by benefiting students with financial need who are interested in attending the Summer Symposium. To apply, visit this page of our website.