At Music for All, we recognize that our programming would not be possible without the support of our hard-working and dedicated volunteers. “Spotlight on Volunteering” is an on-going blog post series that highlights one of these superstar volunteers each month.
This month’s superstar is…. Amber Russell!
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What's your background with Music for All?
I am a former participating member of BOA marching events. I graduated from Center Grove in 2000 and marched flute all four years in high school. I was so taken with this activity that I wasn't ready to hang it up when my marching time ended. I have enjoyed giving back to this organization that gave me so much during my high school years. Surprisingly, it has given me more after high school. I'll be on season number 14 when the fall kicks off, how did that happen?
Q: When was the first time you volunteered with Music for All? Why did you decide to volunteer?
I first volunteered with Music for All in the fall of 2000, I volunteered at the Indy Regional that season. I decided to volunteer because I still wanted to be part of this great event that I could no longer participate in. I was so taken I've been back every year since and have increased the number of shows I volunteer for every year. It is so much fun to travel to various regionals and get to know the staff and other volunteers at each and every show.
Q: You've gotten to see quite a few marching band shows from the field at various Regionals and Grand Nationals. Do you have an absolutely all-time favorite show?
This is a hard question! I have many that will stick with me for many years to come! I think what stands out most to me is how shows overall have evolved over the years. These schools have such high production quality to them and many tackle some very hard themes. It is crazy to think high school kids are able to perform at such high levels and many adjust their shows on a grand scale in a week or less.
Q: You get the fun job of assisting Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser on the field. What's the best part about working with Dr. Tim?
That is a very fun job that I am lucky to have! The best part about working with Dr. Tim is that you walk away after a weekend with him and you want to be a better person. I was lucky enough to attend one of his leadership workshops in 1997, working shows with him is like getting a crash course on one of his workshops. I also get to witness how he is with each and every band that he comes into contact with, that is something amazing to see.
Q: What is your favorite event to volunteer for every year?
Grand Nationals, it is like a crazy family reunion. It is always fun to work a regional, but we all get to be together for Grand Nationals weekend. There is just something special about this event. Many people have worked many years, it is crazy how fast we all just pick right back up where we left off the season before. It is also lots of fun to get to know any new comers!
Q: Would you recommend volunteering with Music for All/Bands of America?
Absolutely! This is a great organization that lives up to its mission statement. "Positively Life-Changing Experiences" isn't just for the kids! I truly believe I am a better person because of my involvement with Music for All/Bands of America (on and off the field) and have made some lifelong friendships because of it.