The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

Stories (321)

Monday, September 22, 2014

BOA Regional at Louisville Awards Photos

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Check out the awards photos from the 2014 Bands of America Regional Championship at Louisville!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MFA Staff Profiles – Ashley Peterson

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Ashley-PetersonName:  Ashley Peterson
Position:  Accounting Assistant
Hometown:  Born and raised in Lexington and Richmond, Kentucky, but have lived in Greenfield, IN for the past 11 years.

How long have you been with MFA?
Almost 8 whole months! I began at the end of January.
What is your educational background?  Where did you go to school, and what did you study?
I received my Associates degree for accounting from Ivy Tech, and I am currently studying for my Bachelors at Indiana Wesleyan University.
What is your musical background?  (What instruments have you played? Played in groups or bands? Just enjoy music in general?)
Since I was about 8 years old, I’ve played piano. I’ve gotten rusty over the years, but I still get excited when a piano is in front of me and I have the opportunity to play, or just mess around. I’ve also played acoustic guitar (although I’m not very good at it) and I was in choir in high school. I still enjoy singing, but it seems to only happen when I’m in the car or hanging out with friends now!
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
I enjoy a wide variety of music. I’ll listen to anything and give it a chance. I mainly listen to the top 40 pop/rock type stations, and country.  But I have to admit, if I had to choose one artist or band to call my favorite, it would definitely be the Backstreet Boys! I’ve been a huge fan since they started out, and always will be. I actually finally got the chance to go to a sound check and meet them in August. Best day of my life!!
Why is music important to you?
Music is my therapy. No matter what mood I’m in, excited or upset, I can always find something to listen to that will either keep that great feeling going, or cheer me up.
Why do you believe in music education?
I truly believe that anyone and everyone deserves the opportunity to have music in their lives.  Whether you are playing an instrument, or just someone in the audience enjoying listening, music education makes this possible.
What sort of things do you do in your free time (hobbies)?
I usually just enjoy hanging out with friends, even if we’re just sitting around chatting.  Besides that, I love swimming and doing jigsaw puzzles. I also like to do crafty things, but they never turn out the way I had hoped!
What led you to Music for All?
Well, I had been working temporary positions for nearly a year, and I feel like I just kind of got lucky. When I heard about it, I was thrilled with the idea of working for such an amazing organization, and now here I am!
What do you enjoy the most about working for Music for All?
I enjoy being able to work with a group of people who are so dedicated to what the organization stands for. It makes for such a great work environment when everyone loves his or her job, coworkers, etc. You don’t see that often.
What is your favorite Music for All event, and why?
The only events I have worked so far is National Festival and Summer Symposium.  It was overwhelming, but I loved it.  It makes you feel good inside when you see all those students having such a great time. I look forward to experiencing the fall events.
What’s one interesting thing about yourself that some on staff may not be aware of?
Since I’ve only been around a few months, I’ll give a few little facts.
I am the oldest of 7 kids (and 2 cousins lived with us growing up, as well). Also, my mom was 1 of 10, and just on her side of the family, I have around 40 cousins. Things at home/family get togethers are never boring! I love animals, specifically dogs. But the most interesting pets I’ve ever owned were sugar gliders.
Check out the photos from the sixth and final day of the full-week Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha! 
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Saturday, June 28, 2014

MFA Summer Symposium Photo Stream: Day 5

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Check out the photos from the fifth day of the full-week Summer Symposium! 
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Inside the Circle with Carolina Crown

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The Music for All Summer Symposium provides many amazing opportunities for students. One of these experiences is definitely found in the Marching Band Division. The Marching Band students had the unique opportunity to rehearse and perform with Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps at the DCI Central Indiana show. They also will be playing the national anthem at the start of the show tonight.
Yesterday, the Marching Division had the chance to have a clinic with Crown where they experienced what most marching band division students would say was "one of the coolest things ever." The students actually got to sit inside the Carolina Crown horn line circle.
We have heard from so many different students, that hearing the horn line like that is simply incredible (and dare we say, possibly life-changing!) 
The students also had the chance to interact with Carolina Crown members and were even instructed by Matt Harloff, Brass Caption Head of Carolina Crown, to take 30 seconds to "take a selfie" with Crown members!
Even better than all of that, the script was flipped, and the students played for members of Carolina Crown who were then sitting inside the circle of Marching Band Division members!
Yesterday was definitely an incredible experience for these students and we know tonight's performance in front of a full crowd at the DCI Central Indiana show will also be a moment these students will never forget.
On Thursday night Christian Howes and Southern Exposure joined us at Emens Auditorium for the fourth night in the Summer Symposium evening concert series. Christian Howes is a jazz violinist, educator, and producer from Columbus, OH. Christian Howes began working with Southern Exposure to create a style that combines modern jazz with Latin musical influences. This concert included a good mix of different types of music that surely did not disappoint.
The concert began with a more classical style mixed with jazz. Each instrumentalist had the opportunity to take a solo as Christian Howes played the melodies. One unique aspect to this group was the accordion player. This was definitely something that students had not been exposed to before and a great experience for them to have!

As the concert progressed, the group did something really unexpected. They went from a classical jazz ensemble to a rock band. Christian Howes whipped out his electric violin, changed some settings on his soundboard, and made the violin sound like an electric guitar! The students in the audience were in awe of this and immediately began cheering and clapping along. This sure was a unique aspect to the concert and something that many had never heard before.

About halfway through the concert, Christian Howes asked all the students to get out their phones and tweet about something in music that has inspired them. It was so amazing to see the different responses that the students came up with!
The final number of the concert featured some very special guest artists, the orchestra division students participating the Summer Symposium! Christian Howes wrote the piece for an orchestra accompaniment to play with the group. This sure was a once in a lifetime opportunity for these students.
Check out the photos from the the fourth day of the full-week Summer Symposium!
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Returning students to the Bands of America Drum Major Institute put their leadership skills to the test today with a new challenge: The Marble Exercise. In addition to conducting and score study classes at the Symposium, drum major participants build and improve leadership qualities important to marching band leaders. Teambuilding exercises that expose leaders and move them outside their comfort zone are important in ensuring that drum majors can lead and empower in almost any situation.

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IMG 2156In a group of 20, students received a piece of paper folded in half and one marble, which they were required to roll from one point, 25 feet out and around back to the original point using only the folded sheets of paper. Group members lined up their folded paper and attempted to move the marble down the line. After the marble passed through their paper, the participant would then have to move to the end of the line, helping the marble advance further. At first, the marble moved very quickly, students were unable to react in time and the marble fell soon after. Participants then realized that they would need to carefully control the pace of the marble, especially when it reached a curve in the track.

Throughout the exercise, some students because visibly frustrated, while others keep encouraging and supporting others. Many had simple phrases to help their fellow participants remember tactics they had agreed on, such as “Stay with your partner,” or “Keep your shoulders out.” After several tries and some discussion, the group was able to successfully roll the marble through the entire track. While many cheered at the distance they achieved, several even wanted to go further and keep improving.

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IMG 2150Like the brick exercise and other leadership activities that the drum majors participate in, the Marble Exercise is applicable to their own program. The marble, like their band, does not stop rolling. Leadership must utilize control, make adjustments along the way and communicate constantly to ensure that the ensemble does not falter and fall. When the marble fell and the participants failed, they had to get up and try again, and keep encouraging the others in their group. While applicable to a lot in life, the nonstop rolling reflects the fast-paced nature of marching band. From band camp to daily rehearsals to competitions, you cannot allow yourself or fellow members fall off the wagon. If so, they’ll not only be behind, but also be discouraged.

“When you go back to your own program, I charge you to find a way to make a flame,” said DMI faculty member Kim Shuttlesworth. Drum majors must empower their band members to be passionate about the ensemble. They must create a supporting family environment, where students can be honest, caring and respectful of each other. Just one of many exercises throughout the week, the Marble Exercise helped students realize the importance of group encouragement and teamwork in a larger group. At the end of the day, the marble keeps rolling, and you must adjust.

For the third performance in the MFA Evening Concert Series, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was in Emens Auditorium! BBVD is a contemporary swing revival band from Southern California. They have produced several records and even performed at the 1999 Superbowl. They lit up the auditorium with their upbeat jazz charts and had the crowd dancing, clapping, and singing along with them.
The students at the Summer Symposium fell in love with this group from the very first note played. Every time one of the instrumentalists took a solo, the students went crazy with applause. They were so awed by the range of the trumpet players and the talent of the saxophone and trombone players.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy was even generous enough to set up a meet and greet after the concert so that the students had the opportunity to get souvenirs signed. They absolutely loved this once in a lifetime experience!
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The students have the opportunity to see a wide variety of professionals perform at the Summer Symposium and having BBVD here is such a special experience for them to have. With every performance, they are inspired to continue striving towards the best in music in hopes that one day, they will be able to perform on stage for other aspiring musicians.
Thursday, June 26, 2014

MFA Summer Symposium Photo Stream: Day 3

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Check out the photos from the third day of full-week Summer Symposium!
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