The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog



Check out the awards photos from the 2017 Bands of America Powder Springs Regional Championship!

High resolution awards photos (as well as additional action photos of each band) can be viewed and purchased on the Jolesch Enterprises website:

Cut Time

J.W. Pepper & Son Inc., the largest sheet music retailer in the world, has partnered with Music for All for J.W. Pepper’s new online tool, Cut Time®, to be a presenting sponsor for Music for All’s Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha Semi-Finals competition on November 11. J.W. Pepper & Son Inc., the largest sheet music retailer in the world, has partnered with Music for All for J.W. Pepper’s new online tool, Cut Time®, to be a presenting sponsor for Music for All’s Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha Semi-Finals competition on November 11. 

With 140 years of service to music and music education, J.W. Pepper has launched Cut Time®, an online group management tool for music directors and parent booster groups. Cut Time® will help directors manage their music programs and minimize the time spent on administrative tasks. To add to its convenience, Cut Time® is fully mobile, with all the features of the desktop version available on the go with no app required. Core features of Cut Time® include a robust system to manage students, parents, staff, and volunteers; free and easy communication through text and email; event and calendar management; financial tracking; inventory tools; and much more.  

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“As an organization that is dedicated to music advocacy, Music for All is thrilled to have J.W. Pepper’s support and partnership supporting the Bands of America Grand National Championship Semi-Finals and its new Cut Time® product,” says Eric L. Martin, President and CEO of Music for All. “In a world where technology is integral to everyday life, we are excited to see Cut Time® integrate into music education, and anticipate its positive impact benefitting our students, directors, and music education generally.”

Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, is America’s most prestigious marching band event and the culmination of the 21-event Bands of America season. It’s an educational performance opportunity open to all high school bands. With 100 marching bands in attendance, Grand Nationals is a three-day event that takes place in Lucas Oil Stadium, November 9-11 2017, including Preliminary, Semi-Finals, and Finals competition. The Semi-Finals portion of Grand Nationals will feature 30+ bands who advanced from the two days of preliminary competition. With over 1.5 million music students impacted by Music for All’s programs, Bands of America Championships are a celebration of music education at its finest, showcasing excellence, teamwork, and leadership.

According to Kathy Fernandes, Chief Marketing Officer of J.W. Pepper, “we recognize Bands of America Grand Nationals as a premiere event for high school band programs and are thrilled to introduce our Cut Time® platform to participants through sponsorship of the Semi-Final Championships.”

Learn more about the Cut Time® platform here.

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Music for All is excited to announce confirmation of the stadium at Warren High School in Downey, California as site of the 2017 Bands of America Southern California Regional Championship, presented by Yamaha.

The Southern California Regional Championship will be held Saturday, October 28. 

Seventeen bands from California, Indiana, Arizona, Texas, and Nevada are currently enrolled. Space is still available, with preliminary performance times available on a first-come, first-served basis. Join us for our Bands of America “SoCal” Regional Championship!   

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Music for All Staff Spotlight: Sam Cantor

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This is the nineteenth 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!

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Name/Job TitleName/Job Title: Sam Cantor, Events Coordinator

Hometown: North Canton, OH

How long have you been with Music for All? 
I started as an intern in the Fall of 2014 

What is your favorite event at Music for All and why? 
I think the fall regional championships are my favorite. Getting to travel the country and take in the nuances that make each region’s marching bands unique. 

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All? 
Just knowing the impact we have on the students on a daily basis. From reading their survey responses after our events, to the look on their faces after a culminating performance, it’s pretty special! 

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All? 
There are so many! They all seem to have to do with weather though. Whenever mother nature throws us a curveball, we go into our best mode of problem-solving and making sure everyone still has a positively life-changing experience! If I have to narrow it down, it’s a toss up between San Antonio, 2015, and Austin 2016 regionals. 

What is your musical background? 
I started playing trombone my freshman year of high school in North Canton. (Go Vikes!) I continued to play in the marching band and concert ensemble at the University of Toledo. Along the way I learned baritone, euphonium, and most recently Tuba. Currently I play in the Pride of Indy community bands. 

One thing you couldn’t live without? 
Other people! I cannot stand sitting around by myself. Some people find it relaxing, but for me it’s a no go! 

What kind of music do you listen to? 
Everything! Some of my absolute favorites though are Neil Diamond, Journey, Simple Plan, and of course anything from a Broadway Show! 

What do you like to do in your free time? 
Being a social creature, I hang out with friends a lot. I play A LOT of darts, and other community sports. Recently, my team won a softball championship! 

What are you currently reading? 
Fall Final Packets haha

Do you have a favorite quote? 
Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. - JFK

What's a show you've binge watched recently? 
Atypical, and Shameless

Favorite movie not many people have seen? 
To Wong Fu: Thanks for everything! Julie Newmar

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2017 March DSI MFA Newsletter adRifles and sabres are embedded in the history of color guard and the tradition of using them in performances is as old as the sport itself. However, due to events in recent years, many schools have banned all weapon-looking items from school grounds. This poses a new challenge for the color guard and their equipment.

DSI has introduced a new twirling prop called the Arc1 that spins and is balanced like a traditional rifle but doesn’t have the traditional rifle look. The Arc1 features no rifle bolt or strap and is contoured for a more unique look. 

The Arc1 is also accepted at all schools so you can feel comfortable that your students are compliant with school regulations.

Created by Director’s Showcase International (DSI) the Arc1 is available now through any authorized DSI retailer. For more information about the Arc1 or DSI please visit:

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In celebration of its 30-year anniversary, Music Travel (MTC) has created a brand-new, state-of-the-art travel design experience. Just as a Director assembles a “Design Team” to help create, score and coordinate a marching show for competition, MTC has assembled an industry leading “Travel Design Team” to provide you a powerful, comprehensive and customized travel experience like never before.Our new Design Studio is home to the MTC Design Team, comprised of Travel Designers who are musicians and teachers, intimately familiar with the intricacies of music group travel. MTC’s Travel Designers are travel industry experts, committed to

Our new Design Studio is home to the MTC Design Team, comprised of Travel Designers who are musicians and teachers, intimately familiar with the intricacies of music group travel. MTC’s Travel Designers are travel industry experts, committed to fast turn-around in sharing their expertise and designs with you.

Be a part of the Music Travel Consultants Travel Design Experience. Click on to reach our new Design Studio, to begin collaboration between your team and the MTC Design Team, and to create the perfect trip for your performing group!

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If your students love music, encourage them to discover the world-class education available at Ball State University.

Recognized for its national leadership and innovative programming at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, Ball State’s School of Music can make students real-world ready for a wide range of careers. Students are challenged academically as well as musically, mentored by faculty while they develop their skills, deepen their artistry, and experience all the School of Music has to offer.

Students also can perform with award-winning ensembles, develop recording engineering and songwriting skills, compose music for a variety of performers and media, or prepare to teach in today's music classrooms.

More than a dozen performance groups are open to Ball State students, including the 65-member Ball State Symphony Orchestra, the “Pride of Mid-America” Marching Band, and Ball State Basketball Band. Students can audition for a spot with the Ball State University Singers, or join the Statesmen or Women’s Chorus, open to any singer, no audition required. 

The School of Music offers five majors and eight minors for undergraduates; two master’s degrees; a doctor of arts; an artist diploma; and an undergraduate certificate, graduate certificate, and doctoral secondary area of study in entrepreneurial music.

At Ball State, students can get involved, feed their spirit, ignite their imagination, and set that journey to music. 

Take a virtual tour of the campus.

Learn more by visiting or calling 765-285-5400.

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The 2017 Indiana State Fair has just come to an end and now we reflect on the Music for All Indiana State Fair Band Day presented by Music Travel Consultants, which took place on Saturday, August 5. This is the final contest of the Central Indiana Track Show Association’s (CITSA) season, where “track-style” marching bands perform and are judged by a panel of educators. CITSA has had an active season with five contests prior to State Fair Band Day that includes, Drums at Winchester, Noblesville Black & Gold Marching Invitational, Muncie Central Spirit of Muncie Contest, Jay County Fair Lions Contest, and Centerville Archway Classic.

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 In 2015 Music for All and Music Travel Consultants began a relationship with CITSA to have a five-year shared partnership of State Fair Band Day, which has been taking place since the 1940s. With our mission being “to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all” this special partnership is significant, as it will provide student musicians more access and opportunity.


The grand-stands were filled with many excited spectators, fans, and parents of the 49 participating bands, with 16 bands advancing to finals. Richmond High School who made their 58th appearance at the Indiana State Fair Band Day, earned a spot in finals. The final results were Noblesville High School placing first, Winchester Community High School placing second, and Jay County (Portland) High School placing third.


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The 2017 Fall season is approaching, with less than one month left and Music for All could not be more thrilled! There are 21 Bands of America regional championships across the country, including the Grand National Championships that will be taking place November 8-11 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. It’s a privilege to have positively life-changing events in world-class facilities across the country, where students get the opportunity to perform in good-natured competition and where people get to witness the showcase of some of the most talented students in the nation. 

This year Music for All is excited to be holding the Bands of America Northeast Ohio Regional Championship, presented by Yamaha at the new Tom Benson Stadium in the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, September 16. This event will bring the arts and sports together, and will give students, teachers, and spectators a unique experience. This Regional will be the first marching band competition to take place in this stadium! As Music for All’s partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame continues to grow, not only will students get the unique experience of performing in an incredible venue, they will get free admission to the Hall of Fame museum!  Spectators will also get to share in the excitement with 20% off admission for the museum! If you’re interested in attending the Northeast Ohio Regional be sure to check out the ticket options here:

We hope both participants and fans will enjoy this unique and fun perk from the Pro Football Hall of Fame! We look forward to seeing everyone in Canton, Ohio very soon!

DCI Champs

With the marching band season approaching and summer ending, Music for All’s Strategic Partner Drum Corps International’s (DCI) 45th season came to an exciting conclusion on August 12 with the Blue Devils taking their 18th Champion title. 

As a Strategic Partner of DCI, and a fellow organization based in Indianapolis, Music for All took part in DCI World Championship week festivities. Music for All staff attended the DCI Hall of Fame event to kick off the week, participated in the Future Music Educators Experience, volunteered at events throughout the week, and hosted guests and VIPS during quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals. One-hundred and six shows took place across the country from June through August. Fans and spectators also got to enjoy the DCI Central Indiana show that took place at the Music for All Summer Symposium. DCI wrapped up their diamond anniversary with World Championships, from Thursday, August 10 through Saturday, August 12 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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(Members of the Music for All Summer Symposium Drum Major Institute stopped by the Music for All booth during DCI week at Lucas Oil Stadium.)

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(Various members of Music for All staff volunteer at DCI Showcase, August 9.) 

DCI kicked off their Championship’s Week with Open Class Prelims and Finals in Michigan City, IN on Monday, August 7. Vanguard Cadets who are celebrating their 50th anniversary placed first, with Blue Devils B placing second. Things kicked off in Indianapolis on Wednesday with the DCI Showcase at the Indiana Convention Center and Indianapolis Arts Garden. This is an event that takes place before the Preliminary, Semifinals, and Finals performances that gives corps members the opportunity to perform in a solo and ensemble setting outside of their regular corps repertoire, with vocal and woodwind categories included as well. Forty World and Open Class Corps performed in Prelims on Thursday, with 25 corps advancing to Semifinals performances on Friday, and with 12 corps moving on to Finals on Saturday. However, it was not just all corps performances. DrumLine Battle kicked off the final day of performances at the SoundSport International Music and Food Festival at the Pan Am Plaza with drumlines from high schools, colleges, and different corps performing.   

Blue Devils took the Drum Corps International World Championship title in front of a record-breaking crowd of 23,342. Santa Clara Vanguard who is celebrating their 50th anniversary placed second. The remaining top 12 corps in placement order include, Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, Bluecoats, Boston Crusaders, The Cadets, Blue Knights, Phantom Regiment, Blue Stars, Crossmen, and Madison Scouts. Additionally, Blue Devils took two World Class Caption awards for Best General Effect and Best Visual Performance, with Santa Clara Vanguard taking Best Percussion Performance and Best Color Guard Award, and Carolina Crown took home the Best Brass Performance Award. 

Congratulations to all of the corps, the age-out performers, and to DCI on another fantastic season! We can hardly wait for the 2018 season!