The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
 

This is the eleventh installment of a new series that will highlight the Music for All staff members who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing staff members, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All. A new post will be featured every week!

 Matt Markle Mackowiak

Name/Job Title
Matt Markle-Mackowiak/Marketing Coordinator

Hometown:
South Bend, Indiana

How long have you been with Music for All?
3 years

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
By far the fall season is my favorite Music for All event. Traveling during the fall I am not only able to see some of the best marching bands in the country, but I am able to see drum corps friends and family that teach at schools that participate in BOA. Every weekend tends to be a family reunion.

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
Being able to see the reactions of students, directors, parents, and spectators at our events is the best feeling anyone can imagine. For some, our events are the highlight of the year, if not, their life. The best is seeing the raw emotion left on the stage or football field and then seeing them beam with happiness and sometimes tears. I know after our events that I just made someone's day.

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
My favorite memory is now becoming an annual tradition at the Jacksonville Regional. The Music for All staff always grabs dinner the night before the show at the best barbeque/southern style food you will ever have! It is nice to take time and spend time with one another before the craziness of a show day.

What is your musical background?
I come from a family of music let it be music education, playing in the church choir, etc. I have played everything from piano, trumpet, and percussion. In high school I marched on the snare line for two years and then was drum major for my last two seasons, but I also spun in the winterguard.

Post high school I marched two seasons of drum corps. In 2008, I was contracted as a guard member with the Blue Stars, but due to a serious hip injury I had to forgo the rigorous and demanding choreography of Michael Shapiro. (2008 was by far one of my favorite Blue Stars shows!) However, in 2009 I was the drum major for Revolution Drum and Bugle Corps and in 2010 I was drum major for Spokane Thunder Drum & Bugle Corps.

One thing you couldn’t live without?
COFFEE!

What kind of music do you listen to?
I love me some Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, and Malher.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I am doing either one of two things in my free time. It is either playing with my corgi, Elizabeth, or traveling the world with my husband.

Do you have a favorite quote?
The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page. – St. Augustine

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
The Handmaid’s Tale

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Fall 2017 stadium confirmation

Wednesday, 07 June 2017 15:24 Written by Lucy Wotell

School is out, but the Music for All office is still preparing for the 2017 Bands of America season. We are excited to announce confirmation of two more stadiums. We will be at CEFCU Stadium at San Jose State University on October 28 and then at Desert Hills H.S. in St. George, Utah on November 4.

Mark your calendar as Music for All heads West for these two amazing Regionals!

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Music for All Staff Spotlight: Sarah McKinley

Tuesday, 06 June 2017 09:26 Written by Lucy Wotell

This is the tenth installment of a new series that will highlight the Music for All staff members who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing staff members, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All. A new post will be featured every week!

 Sarah McKinley header

Name/Job Title: Sarah McKinley – Accounting Assistant

Hometown: Loogootee, IN

How long have you been with Music for All?
Fall help for three years, and full-time for one and a half years.

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
Grand Nationals. The excitement on the kids faces is priceless when they get to play in Lucas Oil Stadium.

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
The reason why we do what we do. Some kids wait years to be able to attend our events and it’s a memory of a lifetime.

What is your musical background?
None

One thing you couldn’t live without?
My family

What kind of music do you listen to?
Country and old rock

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to go camping and boating.

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
All the Real Housewives shows

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
“She’s Having a Baby” with Kevin Bacon. I love Kevin Bacon!

 

Music for All Staff Spotlight: Nancy Carlson

Monday, 29 May 2017 12:25 Written by Lucy Wotell

This is the ninth installment of a new series that will highlight the Music for All staff members who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing staff members, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All. A new post will be featured every week!

 Nancy Carlson header

Name/Job Title: Nancy Carlson, Executive VP & Chief Financial Officer

Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN

How long have you been with Music for All?
9 years

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
I love Summer Symposium because I know how important summer camp was for me growing up, and it’s amazing to help create similar experiences for a new group of students every year. Summer camp and I go way back – from being a camper, to a camp counselor, to one especially fun summer as an intern with the camp drama troupe.

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
When my kids were growing up, I loved volunteering to help with their band, orchestra, and choir programs at school. Now that they are all grown up, working at Music for All gives me a chance to keep being a music booster for life. Better yet, I get to work every day with an incredibly dedicated group of colleagues who believe in the power of music to change lives for the better.

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
I’ll never forget the year we had a special fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy victims during Grand Nationals. The students who volunteered to go through the stands to collect donations were so excited to help – they came back and begged to go out for a second round. The willingness of these volunteers and all the folks in the crowd to give back to those in need really reminded me of why we do what we do.

What is your musical background?
I was in choir in school and also struggled through five years of piano lessons. I can still play a little, at least with my right hand…

What do you like to do in your free time?
Long hikes, reading, yoga, attending concerts, plays, movies, and cooking.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” Albus Dumbledore

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
“Mozart in the Jungle”, “The Great British Baking Show”, and “Call the Midwife”.

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
“De-Lovely”, a biopic about Cole Porter, starring Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd.

This is the eighth installment of a new series that will highlight the Music for All staff members who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing staff members, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All. A new post will be featured every week!

Patrick Rutledge Header

Name/Job Title: Patrick Rutledge, Advocacy and Educational Resources Coordinator

Hometown: Greenwood, IN

How long have you been with Music for All?
7 months

What is your musical background?
High School: concert, marching, jazz, and pep band at Greenwood Community H.S.
College: Music Education major at DePauw

One thing you couldn’t live without?
Baja Blast

What kind of music do you listen to?
Indie Rock, EDM, and Funk

What do you like to do in your free time?
Visiting parks, thrift shopping, and board games

What are you currently reading?
The Joy of Music - Leonard Bernstein

Do you have a favorite quote?
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” - Walt Disney

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
Teachers (on TVLand) - Seriously one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
Meet the Robinsons - #keepmovingforward

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junoreedsVandoren has been the preferred reed of professionals since 1905. However, during much of this time beginning students have often had to resort to inexpensive, lower quality reeds to save money. With Vandoren's introduction of JUNO reeds in recent years, beginning students are finally able to enjoy that trademark, unparalleled Vandoren quality from their first note at an affordable student price.

Designed specifically for beginners, Vandoren JUNO reeds provide young players with everything they need to hit the ground running – immediate response, easy articulation, and a warm, round sound that is easy to control right from the start. Instead of fighting against their reeds, JUNO allows kids to do what they want to do most – PLAY!

"I asked my students to close their eyes while I changed their reed back and forth from JUNO to our former student reed. Not only could I tell a huge sound difference with JUNO, but my students could hear it and preferred them too! Their sound is so much clearer and cleaner with JUNO!" – Ashley Mayer, Beginning and Middle School Band Director.

Vandoren is keenly aware of musical needs ranging from beginners through professionals and for that reason is extremely proud to offer a full product line. Most students will begin with JUNO and move to professional Vandoren reeds as they develop. JUNO reeds are available for Bb and bass clarinets as well as alto and tenor saxophones.

Learn more at junoreeds.com.

Indy ZooWhether you venture to Indy for Super Regionals or Grand Nationals, here are five new things in store for you and your family in the Circle City.

Magnificent Macaws at The Indianapolis Zoo
A brand new 40,000 sq. ft. Bicentennial Pavilion will become the new home of these brilliant birds. Uncaged, the macaws will dance colorfully through the sky with free reign. During Super Regionals, bring your kids' costumes and trick-or-treat during Halloween ZooBoo.

Circus: Starring You! at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
This colorful, highly interactive exhibit opens up the three rings and the big top to kids of all ages. During Super Regionals, add on a visit to the Children's Museum Guild's Haunted House.

Presidential Pets at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Celebrate America's favorite first pets of the past 200 years, from cats to elephants, at the pristinely restored home of our nation's 23rd president.

Chemistry of Color at the Indianapolis Museum of Art
On a beautiful fall day, stroll the colorful foliage decorating the 152 acres of gardens and grounds. Step inside for an incredible collection spanning 5,000 years of history. This temporary exhibit explores how chemistry and art have developed the artist's palette over these five millennia.

Science at Play and The Power of Poison at the Indiana State Museum
Explore how more than 250 chemistry sets and science toys appeal to kids and parents alike, before discovering how toxic species in a remote Colombian forest fight for survival. Two levels of Core Galleries have also been completely revamped to engage visitors like never before.

When are our Bands of America Championships in Indy? See the fall events schedule here.

Music for All Staff Spotlight: Tonya Bullock

Monday, 15 May 2017 15:30 Written by Lucy Wotell

This is the seventh installment of a new series that will highlight the Music for All staff members who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing staff members, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All. A new post will be featured every week!

Tonya Bullock header

Name/Job Title: Accounting Manager

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

How long have you been with Music for All?
About 7 and a half years

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
Fall Regionals, I like traveling to different locations and the fast pace environment at the Regionals. And I like working the box office, so I can interact with proud family members and friends of those performing.

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
Every day is different. I like working on all shows at various times throughout the year. I also enjoy being the ticketing manager. I enjoy making people happy with tickets to our events.

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
My fondest memories are seeing the lines forming before finals at any of our shows. Everyone is so excited to get into the stadium

One thing you couldn’t live without?
My cats.

What kind of music do you listen to?
Heavy Metal

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to spend time with my family & friends, and work in my yard.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Everything happens for a reason.”

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
I binge watch Law & Order all the time, all versions.

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
Smokey & the Bandit

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Music for All Staff Spotlight: David Foth

Monday, 08 May 2017 14:15 Written by Lucy Wotell

This is the sixth installment of a new series that will highlight the Music for All staff members who work behind-the-scenes to make all of the positively life-changing experiences happen! Get to know each of our amazing staff members, as we learn more about who they are and what they do at Music for All. A new post will be featured every week!

 David Foth header

Name/Job Title: David Foth, Event Coordinator

Hometown: Trumbull, CT (attended college at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst).

How long have you been with Music for All?
I started as an Events Intern in 2012 after graduating college. I was hired on full time in 2013 as an Events Assistant and was promoted to Event Coordinator in early 2015.

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
I love Grand Nationals! It’s so cool to see 100+ bands from all over the country take over Indianapolis for a weekend, and to witness incredible performances by thousands of extremely talented students.

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
It was an amazing experience to travel to California earlier this year to watch the BOA Honor Band march in the Tournament of Roses Parade in front of thousands of people and millions more on TV.

What is your musical background?
I started playing trumpet in fourth grade and played through college as a member of both my high school and college marching bands. I also had the privilege of marching drum corps with the Connecticut Hurricanes and the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps.

One thing you couldn’t live without?
During big events and long hours, coffee (and caffeine in general) is usually a must-have.

What kind of music do you listen to?
Anything and everything! I listen to mostly rock (classic, current, alternative, Indie, etc.), but I always try to find stuff I like in other genres.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m a HUGE sports fan, and will watch just about any game that’s on TV. I’m a devoted Green Bay Packers and Boston Red Sox fan, and since moving to Indy, have become a fan of the Pacers and Indy Eleven (soccer). I also enjoy spending my time with my girlfriend, Shay, and our awesome dog, Beaux!

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
Currently, I’m re-watching Parks and Recreation – it’s hard to live in Indiana and not love that show! I’m also looking forward to the new season of House of Cards later this month.

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
I really enjoy a lot of the “30 For 30” documentaries that ESPN has produced. As a Red Sox fan, one of my favorites is “Four Days in October” which is about the Red Sox’s incredible comeback in the 2004 American League Championship.

P.S. Fun fact about me: I am the creator and one of the voices for the Facebook page of Kevin, the Grand National Champion Eagle! Follow him here: https://www.facebook.com/KevintheEagle/

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Finding the Courage to Create

Friday, 05 May 2017 13:25 Written by Christian Howes

Courage to Create Blog Header

Most artists follow a curve in their development that rises, peaks, plateaus, and eventually declines. The inevitable question we all face is regarding how to keep growing.

What have you done lately to be inspired and how have you followed through on that inspiration?

No matter how good you are at what you do, you’ve got to keep creating if you want to keep growing, and this requires finding courage to put yourself out there again and again, to stretch beyond what you’ve done before and continually reinvent your work. Rehashing what you’ve done before isn’t really being creative, and you’re only as relevant as your last project.

For more established artists, this means you can’t rest on your laurels. For developing artists, it’s a reason to get busy, because if you have the drive and energy to be prolific, generating a bulk of material could take you far, fast.

Supposedly, most visionaries make their greatest innovations before they become experts, i.e., when they are novices. Once recognized as experts, once we are “trained,” we become less willing to go into that vulnerable space of the “novice,” where real exploration happens. We become afraid that we will lose our status as experts and be revealed for the bumbling, fumbling human beings that we really are.

I can think of many artists who made their biggest statements at a relatively early age, when they had nothing to lose.

It could be said that each of us is at the same time both immeasurably powerful and incredibly insignificant. To focus on our “smallness” is to wallow in despair. To focus on our power is to become obsessed with delusions of grandeur. The trick is to truly accept this contradiction by both owning your power and accepting your weakness. Ride the wave! Artists who create every day
are optimistic in their ability to transcend their limits, and are at the same time able to be realistic about their limitations and constructively critical of their work, maintaining a skeptical confidence without succumbing to the uncritical denial of arrogance or
the paralysis of insecurity.

If you can’t overcome your insecurity, or if you you have trouble acknowledging any limitations, I recommend sublimating through exercise, meditation, reading, or other activities that allow you to lose yourself in something totally unrelated to your art. (One of my favorite activities that helps me sublimate my feelings is hacky sacking.)

I take inspiration from my students. They haven’t “proven” themselves yet, so they have nothing to lose. Their lack of experience is unrelated to the courage they are capable of employing to reach their goal. I must have demonstrated courage at some point when I was young, but now it’s my students that lead by their example, reminding me that I need to step up to the plate with the kind of fearlessness they demonstrate. “The curve” of development suggests that our willingness to display creative courage diminishes as we get older and more established, and I don’t want to suffer the fate of having my work become stale,
like yesterday’s news.

Many of my students are aspiring jazz violinists and cellists. I meet other jazz string players around the U.S. who complain about the difficulties of “breaking in” the jazz scene. It’s hard to gain acceptance in the jazz community for various reasons. And then there are infinite reasons that each person has for why it’s even harder for them, whether it be their training, race, gender, geography, financial position, physical handicaps, something that happened to them when they were a kid, their Zodiac sign, and so on. Today I listened to the new CD of one of my former students, Tomoko Omura, and I was humbled by the realization of what she has overcome, and the courage it must have taken to produce such a great creative work of art. She came from Japan, learned a new language, a new culture, and overcame tremendous odds to get where she is now.

I can imagine how many times she was NOT invited to play on stage at a jam session after waiting for hours just to play one song. I can imagine how many times she must have thought, “Why am I even trying to do this? It seems impossible!” And now, she’s created one of the most beautiful, important, creative and relevant works of jazz violinists in the recent past. Shu Mei Yap lives in Singapore and has worked with me now on the production of two CDs. She is another example of an artist who refused to allow barriers to get in the way.

My daughter Camille is one of the most inspiring examples to me of courage. She’s gone through her whole life with a dad who might have seemed a little bit bigger than life at times. Every year I surround her with all my favorite jazz string players at my annual “Creative Strings Workshop,” a week during which all the world’s hottest players jam and show their stuff. I’m thrilled that she’s gotten to know all these cool people and amazing artists, except that she’s also got to deal with measuring herself against that standard, and I can only imagine the kind of pressure she may feel sometimes!

Every day that she picks up her violin and keeps going for it, I feel immensely proud and take inspiration from her because that takes courage. My students make me humble. They make me remember that it’s not how much knowledge or experience you have, but whether you’re willing to keep pushing through your own fears, re-engaging continuously in the creative process, no matter what form that process takes for you, because you know that wherever you fall on life’s curve is a function of the strength of your last project.

Here are some quick tips for getting engaged creatively:

  • Narrow down/compartmentalize: Instead of writing “a song,” be specific: Write a 12-bar song, a bass line in 4/4, a song in a certain style/tempo, a melody, etc. Instead of writing “an essay,” write a “persuasive essay” about a specific subject, with a specific duration.
  • Limit the scope; write just one paragraph, one sentence, or 4 bars of a song.
  • Schedule: Schedule time in your calendar for working on your project.
  • Keep notes: Use your phone to keep voice memos or keep a journal.
  • Review: Listen back to your work at various stages – listen uncritically at first, and listen critically later, allowing for your insights to change over time.
  • Try different processes: For a musician, you may work better with pencil and paper, or improvising into a recorder, or using a different instrument, or employing software.

What is your take on “courage and the creative process?”

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