Music for All has added the Student Peer Teaching Program to the Music for All Summer Symposium starting this year. The Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha is the largest national weeklong summer music camp for students and teachers, and will take place at Ball State University in Muncie from June 26-July 1 at Ball State University for its seventh summer.
The Peer Teaching Program’s primary mission will be to train student leaders on how to be a MODEL for their band program: M-Motivate, O-Observe, D-Demonstrate, E-Educate/Equip, and L-Lead. The program is designed to not only teach students leadership concepts, but also train them how to be effective leaders in their band programs, and become a valuable asset to their directors. With this training, students will be equipped with the tools to help them teach and inspire their peers, which includes being trained to help with musical and visual marching instruction, to effectively communicate with their peers, basic principles of movement, how to read and clean drill charts, and how to observe and conduct sectionals and rehearsals.
The Student Peer Teaching Program has a superb staff that includes Joel Denton, coordinator of the Peer Teaching Program and Director of Bands of Ooltewah High School, TN; Jeremy Spicer, former Director of Bands of Vandegrift High School, TX; John Howell Visual Designer for nationally acclaimed high school bands, drum and bugle corps, and winter guards; and Anna Rodriguez Assistant Director of Bands at Westlake High School, TX.
“You must train your leadership before you can empower them,” states Joel Denton, coordinator of the Peer Teaching Program. “The Peer Teaching Program is designed to produce educated and inspired student leaders, who can actively engage their peers throughout the school year in concert and marching band, and produce a dynamic impact in their entire band program.”
This is the second 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!
Jenny Fultz, Event Manager
How long have you been with Music for All?
I’ve been with Music for All about seven months (started at the end of August 2016). I’ve been blessed to be able to work in many places around the country in a variety of aspects within the Events Industry.
What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
So far, I’ve only experienced the Bands of America season and the National Festival. I’m not sure I can answer that until making it full-circle through camp!
What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
The dynamic balance of the different types of people and backgrounds that make up the Music for All staff. It’s been wonderful learning everyone’s unique circumstances and experiences!
Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
So far, my favorite memory has been standing on the front sideline at Grand Nationals watching the bands enter the field in retreat to start the awards ceremony. It was my “this is why I do what I do” moment!
What is your musical background?
I started playing the clarinet in 5th grade and quickly fell in love with it! I picked up a few instruments along the way for fun, but stayed as a clarinet until I graduated high school. While my musical career ended with high school graduation, I was “all band” up to that point. I met my husband in Marching Band when I was 15 and most of my best friends today are those I made from band.
One thing you couldn’t live without?
Besides the obvious choices of my two beautiful children and husband, Diet Coke is what I can’t live without!
What kind of music do you listen to?
I love just about all types of music (minus the head-banging metal rock). If you checked my radio pre-sets in the car, you’d find a split between country and “today’s hits.” Most played on my Spotify currently are Ed Sheeran and Lady Gaga.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Anything with family! I’m close with my family (they live ten houses down from us!) and my husband’s family – both our parents and six sibling families live within a five-mile radius! We like to host bonfires, take long walks that usually end up at Dairy Queen, and we spend a lot of time camping/boating in the summer.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
What's a show you've binge watched recently?
The Southern Regional Concert Festival at Russellville Center for the Arts took place between March 30 - April 1. Tina Maria Christiansen, a sophomore music education major at Arkansas Tech University, had the pleasure of helping the host of the festival, and has provided a recap and photos from the event!
The 2017 Southern Regional Concert Band Festival was a HUGE success! It was hosted by Arkansas Tech University, Russellville HS and The Center for The Arts.
Throughout the three-day festival, Over 40 bands from the region signed up to give themselves the wonderful opportunity of performing in front of our extraordinary clinicians Robert Ambrose, Sarah McKoin, Cody Birdwell, Gary Green, and Allan McMurray.
We would like to thank all students and directors for participating at the Russellville Performance Arts Center!
Music for All President and CEO, Eric Martin with scholarship winner Leah Warman.
The 2017 William D. Revelli Scholarship was awarded to Leah Warman of Thompson High School in Alabaster, Alabama on Saturday, March 11th during the Gala Awards Banquet at the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This annual scholarship of $1,000 was created in memory of Dr. William D. Revelli, one of America’s finest and most accomplished conductors, to help one graduating high school senior each year that is performing at the Music for All National Festival study music education at the university level. Each recipient is chosen based upon his or her academic, musical and community service accomplishments, a personal essay written about music education and a nomination from a his or her band director.
Leah is a two-time Honor Band of America member, and has performed in a variety of university, district, and state honor bands. As first chair in wind ensemble and trombone section leader in the marching band, Leah discovered that she has a passion for helping others realize their musical potential. Her servant leadership will serve her well as a music educator.
Since each recipient must intend to pursue a degree in music education, this scholarship has become an extension of Music for All’s mission to create, provide, and expand positively live-changing experiences through music for all. Music for All also offers opportunities for students, parents, and directors to perform and improve their musical and leadership skills through its workshops, competitions, festivals, and honor ensembles.
Music for All will continue to offer this scholarship in future years and encourages all qualifying students to apply. The application for next year’s scholarship will be released in late 2017.
Music for All President and CEO, Eric L. Martin, John Miller, Bruce Burritt. Not pictured: Michael Cesario.
Music for All inducted three new members into the Bands of America Hall of Fame: Bruce Burritt, Michael J. Cesario, and John Miller. These new members were inducted on Saturday, March 11th in a ceremony at the Gala Awards Banquet at the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Bands of America Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have had a positively life-changing impact on Music for All’s Bands of America programs and music education. 2017 inductees were announced during the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. They will be permanently recognized in the Bands of America Hall of Fame at Music for All’s Indianapolis headquarters, along with all the BOA Hall of Fame members inducted since the first in 2003.
Longtime Bands of America adjudicator Bruce Burritt began his career as an elementary band director before becoming a high school band director in the West Genesee (NY) Central Schools in 1964. Under his direction, the marching band, symphonic band, and wind ensemble thrived for the next 16 years. As District Supervisor of Music, beginning in 1968, he spearheaded the growth of not only the band program, but also orchestra and chorus. He credits his success to a supportive administration and community.
In 1982, he made the leap to the administrative side of education. He served as assistant principal, high school principal, and finally superintendent of schools before his retirement in 1998 from the Avon School District in New York.
Despite his retirement, his influence continues to reverberate across the nation. Every five years, a call goes out to West Genesee alumni. They converge back on their hometown over Memorial Day weekend to reminisce, rehearse, and perform in the Memorial Day Parade. In 2016, 643 West Genesee High School band alumni converged to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of their first competition by organizing what they believe to be the largest high school alumni performance ever. The alumni band was a quarter-mile long—nearly four and a half football fields in length.
“We’ve had wonderful memories and not so wonderful memories,” said Burritt. “That’s what life is. Each year, you come back. You keep going. Now we have a history and a legacy. That’s incredible.”
When asked for advice for his former students, he replied, “Always believe in yourself and what you can do. And no matter how tough it gets, never give up. Absolutely never give up.”
Michael Cesario is widely known and respected in the world of the marching arts. His uniform designs outfit thousands of ensembles nationwide, including many of the top marching bands, drum corps, and colorguards in the world. Joining his first drum corps at the age of nine in Wisconsin, he grew up in the performing arts, was active in marching band, and trained in theater. He majored in directing, and did graduate work in costume design. Upon aging out of the drum corps activity, he continued to work with corps like Phantom Regiment, the Garfield Cadets, Dutch Boy, the Madison Scouts, and many others.
In the world of theater, his work has appeared on Broadway, television, and on stages nationwide. He has been a member of the Costume Society of America, the Costume Society of England, United States Institute for Theatre Technology, and United Scenic Artists Local 829, where he was instrumental in contributing to the evaluations for their certification. Purchase College (NY) named Cesario a professor emeritus for heading their graduate programs in design and serving as director of design/technology for the conservatory of theater arts in film. His work appears in textbooks for costume design students: The Magic Garment by Rebecca Cunningham and Costumer’s Handbook by Rosemary Ingham and Liz Covey. The Julliard School, School of Visual Arts (NYC), Bennington College, Dartmouth College, and the University of Illinois have welcomed him as a lecturer and teacher.
His work with Fred J. Miller, Inc. continues to delineate the cutting edge of uniforms in the pageantry arts, and he’s largely responsible for modernizing the look of the marching arts for the 21st century. Michael serves as DCI’s artistic director, is an active adjudicator, consultant and clinician nationwide, and a member of the DCI Hall of Fame.
John Miller retired as the 30-year director of bands at American Fork High School in Utah in 2016. Under his direction, the band performed at the Utah Music Educators State Conference, the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, the Peaks Jazz Festival, the Fiesta Bowl, the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C., as well as regular appearances at Bands of America National Concert Band Festival, Regionals, and Grand National Championships. Miller has been widely lauded at the district, state, regional and national levels, and in 2016 was awarded the Sorenson “Lifetime Achievement in Arts Education” Award by the Utah State Board of Education.
Miller believes strongly in the development of student leaders and the growth of the students in all areas of their lives, and believes that every student should experience the joy of music performance and continues to serve as a mentor to many younger teachers—including over 30 of his own former students.
Miller, who holds a master’s degree in music education from Brigham Young University, is an adjudicator and clinician throughout the United States. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Midwest Clinic and is the founding director of the Wasatch Winds Symphonic Band, an adult community band with over 85 members and an established concert series in the community.
Outside of music, he is active in the Boy Scouts of America, having received advanced Wood Badge training, and has received the prestigious Silver Beaver Award for long-term commitment to scouting.
We know that students who participate in Music for All programming have positively life-changing experiences. Many of these students will eventually graduate high school and go on to fulfill life in variety of ways. Some will become engineers, teachers, medical professionals, artists, managers, and influential leaders in a wide range of fields. One former student has done just that, becoming the mayor of Sonoma, California. Native of Charleston, South Carolina, Rachel Hundley began her musical journey at six years old playing the piano. She went on to play the clarinet from middle school through her freshman year of college. Rachel participated in the Music for All National Festival with the Wando H.S. Symphonic Band in 1998.
Ms. Hundley went on to receive her undergraduate degree in political science, and speech and communications, at the University of Georgia, graduating summa cum laude. She eventually received her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law, summa cum laude. After her time as an associate at the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP in New York, she relocated to Northern California and pursued her passions of food and small businesses, and opened up a southern cuisine food truck and catering business with her business partner Arthur Chang. About a year later, wanting to immerse herself into the Sonoma community, Rachel Googled “how to run a campaign” and went on to win a seat on Sonoma’s city council. During that time, Hundley was able to invoke a program that provided “safe parking” for homeless people who lived in their cars. In 2016, when the time came to elect a new mayor, Hundley was chosen. Since being elected in office, Mayor Hundley participated in the Women’s March in Sonoma, and she hopes to inspire younger people to be involved in their communities. She was recently featured on Fortune.com and the Washington Post as a leader on the current political landscape.
Today, Mayor Hundley talks to us about the key role music has played in her life and how she developed into the political activist and leader she is today.
How did your participation in school music impact and shape the person you are today and what lessons did you learn from being in band?
As an adult, my two biggest strengths are critical thinking and creativity. Learning and playing music helps the brain develop reasoning skills, pattern recognition, intellectual curiosity, and creative thinking. By the time I started law school after college, my brain had almost two decades of preparation for a career based in logic and problem-solving.
Participating in school music programs also helped develop self-discipline. Being accountable to a group is a great motivator to practice at home. Whether it is working at home to prepare for a trial, building my business, or keeping myself informed about everything happening in my city, it takes a lot of self-motivation to stay on top of all of the responsibilities I have today. I learned a long time ago the importance of putting in the time and effort no one sees, so that I'm ready when it is time to shine.
Being in band for 13 years also helped develop my social and leadership skills. First I was a section leader. Then I was on the band leadership council. In college, I was president of my chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, a professional music fraternity for women. Today I'm the mayor of my city. Learning how to lead and inspire takes practice, and developing those skills within the microcosm of my band program gave me a strong foundation for the leadership positions I've had later in life.
Also, music is fun! My most cherished memories and my closest friends all came out of school music programs in middle school and high school. Even though we are scattered across the country, I still keep in touch with many of my friends from band, who are all living extraordinary lives.
What are your enduring memories you have of being in your high school and middle school band?
My clarinet section was the center of my high school universe. When I was a freshman, I thought the seniors were awe-inspiring. So grown up and smart, and so talented! When my time came to lead the section, I thought it would be fun to give everyone a different tree name. Yes, trees. Willow. Pine. Magnolia, etc. I have no idea why I went with trees. The names stuck for the entire year. My best friends came out of that clarinet section, and we spent countless hours together sweating at band camp, nervously waiting to march out on the field during a competition, riding the bus to away games, even eating lunch together in the band room during the school day. I'm thankful band and my clarinet section was my anchor throughout middle and high school.
What instrument did you play in school, when did you start playing? Do you still make music?
I started playing piano when I was six years old. In 5th grade, I joined the orchestra and played violin. In 6th grade I switched to cello, while also joining band as a clarinetist at Laing Middle School, led by Miller Asbill. After a semester of trying to do both music programs, I decided to focus on band. My high school band at Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina was led first by Miller Asbill and later Scott Rush. I played the clarinet for 13 years, including one year with the University of Georgia concert and marching bands. Eventually I had to give up band as an extracurricular because I had three majors (political science, journalism, and speech and communications), but I stayed involved in music through Sigma Alpha Iota and two chorus classes. In law school, three female classmates and I put together a rock cover band called "Attractive Nuisance." Today, my schedule is too full for an organized group, but I do putter around on the piano and acoustic guitar every now and then.
What book did you most recently enjoy reading? What music are you listening to these days?
My brother, who played trombone in band, recently sent me a fascinating non-fiction book entitled, "If Mayors Ruled the World" by Benjamin R. Barber. Its premise is that local government is the most successful level of government because local leaders tend to focus on finding pragmatic solutions to the problems and issues at hand, rather than getting bogged down with partisan division. If the sewer needs to be fixed, then we better fix it.
Right now, my preferred genres of music are electronic (house) and hip hop (west coast).
What's an interesting fact about you not many people know?
I have terrible stage fright. Recitals, auditions and solos always terrified me when I was a student, but I did them anyway. Running for office was a hilariously terrifying experience. Sometimes when I'd walk up to the podium to speak to a large group of people my knees would be shaking, and I'd silently curse myself for getting myself into the situation. After two years of sitting in front of large groups during televised city council meetings and now running those meetings, the nervousness has faded. I'm an introvert, and extemporaneous speaking is not my strong suit, but I've been forcing myself to perform and speak in front of audiences long enough to know that I'll probably survive and the next time will probably be a little easier.
Anything else we should know or that you'd like to tell our school music student, teacher, and parent readers?
Thank you to all of the music teachers and supportive parents out there! Looking back, I can't believe all of the time and energy all of the "grown-ups" put into supporting our various programs. I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for the music programs I had when I was in school. I'd also like to thank my two biggest fans who shuttled me back and forth to practice, and dutifully attended almost every concert I had: my parents.
This is the first 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!
How long have you been with Music for All?
Since August of 2012
What is your favorite event at Music for All and why?
Summer Symposium, hands down is my favorite event. As a staff member, I’m able to see the transformation and change in the participants as the week progresses. I can see the difference in their confidence level and know that the friends they’re making will be life-long; it’s a truly magical thing to be able to witness.
What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
Having the opportunity to work in an organization that is so mission driven is incredibly rewarding, but being able to work with people who believe wholeheartedly in what they do is equally incredible.
What is your musical background?
I started playing clarinet in the 5th grade and was involved in choir from 7th to 9th grade. My senior year of high school, I was nominated to become the first drum major that the band had had in quite some time. I went to university at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI for Music Industry Management, so went more to the business side of the industry rather than the performing side. I was involved in the Music Industry Management Association (Get it? Got it! Good!) which is a model music production company for the MIM students, and learned a great deal about the ins and outs of the music industry.
One thing you couldn’t live without?
I definitely couldn’t live without my family and friends.
What kind of music do you listen to?
Everything! I secretly love answering this question because I get the opportunity to possibly introduce folks to new music! Currently on repeat is Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, but some other artists I enjoy listening to are City and Colour, Paramore, Taking Back Sunday, Have Mercy, Weezer, Real Friends, Adele, James Bay, The Color Morale and many more.
What are you currently reading?
Sickened by Julie Gregory
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” - William Shakespeare
What's a show you've binge watched recently?
Favorite movie not many people have seen?
Across the Universe
Developing student leaders is an important part of almost every music program in the nation. Many programs send their students to Leadership camps and symposiums. In many of these student leadership camps, the focus is on defining what leadership is and what it looks like to your peers; however, these student leaders may not actually be taught how to refine their own student leadership skills. In other words, much time and effort is invested in teaching students (and in some cases directors) what leadership is and how to look like leaders, but due to a lack of time, or possibly understanding, little is accomplished in developing the leader so they can actually lead.
My friend and mentor, the incomparable Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, often says: “Leadership is not something you do. Leadership is something you are.” This is so true; however, an apple tree produces apples and a grapevine produces grapes, so a leader must produce leadership. If we are truly leaders, we will do things that a leader does!
What are some qualities most leaders possess? They are usually good communicators, they are energetic, they are influential with their peers, and they usually possess good performance skills. While all of these are great attributes, the one essential for a leader to produce the most influence comes when they can actually instruct/teach their peers. This moves the student leader beyond being just a role model – someone their peers may model themselves after – and moves them to being a real model – someone that is capable of not just showing, but is also capable of producing leadership by helping to move their peers through instruction to higher levels of excellence.
What does a REAL student leadership MODEL do?
They Motivate. They are their peers’ biggest cheerleaders.
They Observe. They work to understand better the needs of their peers and their program.
They Demonstrate. Through their actions and words, they demonstrate what their peers should strive to become. They demonstrate how to play, march, behave, respect, and ultimately how to be the best possible member of their program.
They Evaluate/Educate. They evaluate their peers’ strengths and weaknesses, and then help instruct/educate them to achieve excellence.
They Lead. In difficult times and in times of celebration, they are consistent leaders day in and day out! To quote Dr. Tim again, “They walk the talk!”
At Ooltewah, we have done this for almost my entire career. Most of our marching band staff is comprised of former students, who developed their instructional skills by being leaders in our band program. Fortunately, we have now developed our program to the point we have a Band Leadership class that meets during the school day and mentors two to three days a week in our middle school band programs. Many other programs use a student leadership Peer Teaching model as well, but maybe none as well as the great Marian Catholic Band Program and Mr. Greg Bimm. For decades, the student leaders at Marian have taught music sectionals, taught marching fundamentals, and helped to teach drill. These are student leaders who are producing leadership! Through trust from their director and being taught how to be a peer teacher, they have moved beyond defining their leadership abilities and now are refining their leadership skills. When student leaders (and directors – we must allow it) make this shift in responsibility, their impact is like a pebble being dropped in the water. The initial splash may not be very large, but the ripple effect of influence keeps going and going. The efforts of these initial student leaders BEING leaders and producing leadership inspire other students to strive for the same excellence and influence. At my school, we have not used a title for all of these student leaders. The focus of our program has been that a title is much less important than actually being a leader and producing quality leadership. While some positions may require a title, our ultimate goal should be to inspire and equip student leaders to lead.
This is why we developed the new Peer Teaching Division at the Music for All Summer Symposium. The purpose of this new track will be to provide student leaders with the tools necessary to become effective leaders and Peer Teachers in their programs. They will learn how to teach music and marching techniques from some of the best instructors in the band world, and should return to their music programs eager and ready to MODEL REAL LEADERSHIP in their programs.
The Peer Teaching Division Staff includes Mr. Jeremy Spicer – outstanding band director/music educator, owner of SASI the Leadership People, and a national adjudicator. Mr. John Howell – accomplished visual designer, instructor, and a national adjudicator of all of the marching arts. Miss Anna Rodriguez – vibrant young band director/music educator, outstanding drum major instructor, and inspiring leadership instructor. Division Chair – Mr. Joel Denton – band director/music educator, national leadership consultant, and a national adjudicator. We will also be joined each day with a special guest who is an expert on developing student musicians and inspiring them to lead. These guests will include Greg Bimm, Bobby Lambert, Gary Markham, David Starnes, and Jeff Young. All of our division staff has a focused desire to see students become outstanding and productive leaders in their music programs and in life.
The program is designed to ensure the language and verbiage being used is consistent with what is being used by directors and staffs across the nation. It is going to be a dynamic week of learning, and of BEING and DOING for all involved! I hope you and your students will join us!
Congratulations to Maddie Fitzgerald on joining Music for All as a Participant Relations Coordinator! Maddie joins Music for All full-time having served previously as a Participant Relations intern.
As Participant Relations Coordinator, Maddie will provide support to Music for All’s participant relations team. The Participant Relations team serves as a first point-of-contact for directors and students involved in Music for All’s programs, attends local and national conventions on behalf of the organization, and maintains participant and event data.
"We're excited to add Maddie to our team because she brings a positive energy and commitment to building relationships," said Camilla M. Stasa, Director of Participant Relations and Special Projects. "Her internship at Music for All has certainly paved the way to make this hire a successful one for our department.”
Maddie has a strong music background, participating in various ensembles from fifth through twelfth grade. At Olathe Northwest High School, she was in the marching band, pep band, wind ensemble, full orchestra, pit orchestra, and she was involved in the Youth Symphony of Kansas City. Maddie received her bachelor's degree in Arts Administration with a concentration in music from Butler University. While at Butler, she was involved with the athletic band program, the wind ensemble, and Kappa Kappa Psi. She previously completed internships at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and Music for All.
Join us in congratulating Maddie on joining the Music for All Team! We look forward to seeing her strong work ethic and passion in action as she supports our mission to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences!
It’s March 8, 2017 at Broad Ripple Magnet High School. A spirited energy fills the air as 21 instrumental and choral ensembles line into the school, ready to perform at the Indianapolis School Music Festival. These ensembles from the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), six middle schools and five high schools, performed for evaluators and participated in clinics. This is the 2nd annual Indianapolis School Music Festival, which commences the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, and gives instrumental and choral ensembles from IPS the opportunity to perform for and learn from notable evaluators and clinicians.
Hosted by the Broad Ripple Magnet High School, principal W. Briant Williams expressed the importance of the relationship between IPS and Music for All, and how Broad Ripple Magnet High School can be the epicenter of these arts opportunities for these students. The participating ensembles have learned valuable lessons that not only improve the group as a whole, but the individual musicians and their directors as well.
“One of the great things about the Indianapolis School Music Festival is that it gives the students who are in their formative years in their musical journey a chance to become part of a very important process, and be recognized and validated for the hard-work they do in the classroom,” states John Phillips clinician and evaluator.
Furthermore, for these ensembles that come from the inner-city areas of Indianapolis, this festival is the highlight of their year, with some of the ensemble directors expressing the importance of exposing their students to these types of festivals. These students are eager to learn so much from renowned clinicians who have traveled from all over to aide these students in their musical journeys. This is Northwest Community High School band director Christopher Abbey’s 15th year as an IPS band director, and the one thing that keeps bringing him and his ensemble back to the Indianapolis School Music Festival are the kids. “A lot of good kids at IPS get underserved and this is a good place to bring them,” said Abbey.
With the success of last year’s festival, choral ensembles were introduced to participate this year. Six choral ensembles performed in front of evaluators and received a clinic immediately after. Clinics are a time when a clinician, the ensemble, and director can work together one-on-one, in order for the ensemble and director to better improve their skill-sets. Music for All Choir Coordinator and choral clinician Kim Mann was delighted to share her joy of choral singing with the young musicians and instructors. “The inclusion of choir in this year’s festival broadens the continued advocacy for music education supported by IPS, Music for All, and the Indiana Music Education Association,” said Mann.
The attitude of learning and working hard was ubiquitous. While working with Edison Middle School of the Arts Middle School Choir, clinician Jeff Vallier explained to them that taking their work to the next level was going to come with making mistakes. Aside from the hard work, the students, also had an enjoyable experience. Before each performance, and even during their clinics, there was nothing but enthusiastic attitudes. “We practice hard with our music and we just came here to have fun,” says Northwest Community High School Advanced Band senior saxophone player Jesus Franco. “We hope it goes well, but the most important thing is to have fun.”