Since 1998, the NAMM Foundation has been conducting the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) Survey, a nationwide search for communities whose programs exemplify commitment to music education. The initiative recognizes and celebrates communities and their school administrators, teachers, board members, parents, community leaders and students for their support and commitment to their music education programs. The program also acknowledges community and school district commitment to ensure access to music education for all students.

Music for All is proud to take part in this important national recognition effort, and we encourage you participate in it as well by completing the 12th annual Best Communities for Music Education in America (BCME) survey. The 2011 survey will once again be conducted in collaboration with The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, KS, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

Visit The NAMM Foundation on the Web at now and through March 13, 2011 to review and complete an online survey form on behalf of your community. If you prefer, you can forward this message to a school administrator, teacher, or Board of Education member who has more of the data close at hand.

Over the years, school districts have reported that being designated a “Best Community for Music Education” helped them gain valuable recognition for their communities that in turn aided their efforts to sustain and grow their music education programs. We encourage you to participate now on behalf of your community.

Participate in the survey.

Big props to seven members of the 2011 GRAMMY® Jazz Combo and GRAMMY® Jazz Band who are alumni of the MFA Jazz Band of America 2010 or part of next month’s 2011 Jazz Band of America. Great job on the GRAMMY® broadcast Sunday night!

Congrats to these Jazz Band of America members:

GRAMMY® Jazz Combo
William Bridges, Lauderhill, FL, North Broward Preparatory School, Alto Saxophone
Zachary Ostroff, Belvedere, CA,The Branson School, Bass

GRAMMY® Jazz Band
Enrique Sanchez, Kissimmee, FL, Osceola County School of the Arts, Trumpet, Lead
Josh Shpak, Walnut Creek, CA, Northgate High School, Trumpet
St. Clair Simmons III, Dover, PA, Dover Area High School, Trombone
Chris Palowitch, Pleasanton, CA, Amador Valley High School, Bass Trombone
Aaron Shapiro, Highland Park, IL, Highland Park High School, Guitar

…and congratulations to all the 2011 Jazz Band of America members!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Congratulations, Michael Daugherty

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Congratulations to Michael Daugherty, who won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition yesterday for his piece "Deus ex Machina." The Nashville Symphony Orchestra's album with that piece and Daugherty's "Metropolis" also won two more awards.

I enjoyed this interview with Daughtery on NPR when the Grammy nominations were announced.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Marketing Internship

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MFA taking applications for Marketing Graphic Design Intern

Be a part of the team that provides positively life-changing experiences through music for all! Music for All is seeking applicants for a Graphic Design Intern in our Marketing Department, for the semester January 15 through May 15, 2011, in our Indianapolis office. The open Marketing Internship responsibilities include layout and design of print publications, promotional and marketing materials, Web site updates, direct mailings and convention materials. The Marketing Intern will also participate in fulfillment of marketing efforts including direct mailings, e-marketing broadcasts, press release distribution and media relations and other work to support the Marketing Department. This is a paid internship: up to $900 per month depending on experience and education level. This position includes involvement in the on-site production of the Music for All National Festival in March.

  Learn more and see how to apply.

The music education world mourned the sudden loss of George N. Parks in September. George's reach has been felt across generations, from coast-to-coast and beyond. George was a long-time part of the Music for All family. Tens of thousands of young leaders had positively life-changing experiences through George's Drum Major Academy and in the BOA Honor Band in the Rose Parade under his direction in 2009 and 2005.

Music for All will pay tribute to George N. Parks, Friday, Nov. 12, 2010 as part of the Grand National Championships in Indianapolis. The tribute will take place at the opening of the Preliminary Awards Ceremony, at approximately 8:45 p.m. in Lucas Oil Stadium.

As part of this special tribute, MFA invites all alumni of the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy, of the BOA Honor Band in the Rose Parade or the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band to be part of an on field presentation. Alumni of these programs will be invited to join the Grand Nationals Band drum majors on field to pay their respects to this master teacher who taught so many.

You will need a Friday preliminary ticket to enter the stadium. Instructions of where to meet and what time to meet in order to be escorted on to the field will be emailed to you prior to Wednesday, November 10. Please sign up to confirm your participation so that we can plan the on field tribute and send details to you.

Volunteer at Music for All's Bands of America Grand National Championships!

Join us November 10-13 for the Bands of America Grand National Championships and be a part of the Music for All Family's 35th Anniversary Celebration!

90 Bands from 20 states compete over three days to crown one Bands of America Grand National Champion. Be part of the volunteer event staff and make a difference for thousands of young musicians, while serving an integral role in presenting this world-class event in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Learn more about how to volunteer and Grand Nationals and register online today!

Watch live video of A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of George N. Parks on Saturday, October 16, beginning at approximately 11:30 a.m. The video will remain on this site after the event.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst celebrates the life and legacy of Professor George N. Parks, who led the Minuteman Marching Band to national prominence during his 33-year tenure. Professor Parks was in the BOA Hall of Fame, led his Drum Major Academy of the Music for All Summer Symposium and directed the BOA Honor Band in the 2009 and 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Professor Parks died September 16 after suffering a heart attack following a performance with the band at an Ohio high school.

Music for All is seeking volunteers to round out our event staff team for the Bands of America Regional Championship at Pontiac, Michigan, in the Silverdome, this Saturday, October 9. Volunteers are needed for a variety of positions for the evening Finals shift.

If you’re able to volunteer for a Finals shift, in addition to our heartfelt appreciation and a volunteer t-shirt, we will donate $5 per hour for your work during the event to the Booster Organization of your choice. two Grand Nationals Finals tickets

Although we still have needs for the daytime shifts, at this point we're very much still in need of Finals shifts. Shifts are available at three different times of day:

‘Morning’ – Beginning between 7am and 9 am and lasting until Noon or 1 pm.

‘Afternoon’ – Beginning around Noon or 1 pm and lasting until around 5 pm.

‘Evening’ – Beginning around 6:30 pm and lasting until the end of Finals competition.

To sign up, or for more information, e-mail Larry Harper at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name and phone number.  Experience is not necessary and students, parents, boosters and fans of the activity are all welcome to sign-up.  If you do have previous experience please include that information in your e-mail so that we may assign volunteers to areas which most strongly meet their skill set.

Please help us make this a positively life-changing experience for the participating bands as we return to the Silverdome!

Larry Harper, Event Coordinator, Music for All

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

MFA text and dial-to-give

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As many of you know, Music for All is a not-for-profit organization, which means we can apply for grants and can accept donations from our supporters.  Admission fees, ticket sales, and sponsorships also cover the costs of much of what we do -- and no matter how you support MFA, be it through a charitable gift, ticket purchases, or other means, we really appreciate everything you do. 

For the past couple of years we've looked for fun and easy ways for our friends, family, and fans to make charitable donations in support of our mission to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all.  This work has ranged from programs like the Doster Challenge to the Alumni Campaign, when over 1,700 new donors made their first gifts to our Annual Fund!  These initiatives were successful, a lot of fun, and did a considerable amount of good for MFA.

Now we've just launched another easy and fun program that allows you to make a contribution. It's our "Text-to-Give and Dial-to-Give" program.  In less than a couple of minutes you can make a pledge of support to Music for All just by using your mobile phone. 

If you'd like to give it a try and make your pledge, dial 1-866-687-4261 or (1-866-MUSIC 61) and listen to a message from Chuck Henson, the Voice of Bands of America OR just text MUSIC to 86132. We’ll send you a letter a few days later with instructions on how to fulfill your pledge.  If you have questions about texting or dialing to give, send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Give it a try, pledge your support to music education, and let us know how you like this new way to give.  Thanks!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Remembering the incomparable George Parks

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All of us at Music for All are heartbroken by the sudden passing of our dear friend and colleague George N. Parks Thursday night. George has been a member of the Music for All and Bands of America family and programs for decades, with our summer camp and as director of the 2005 and 2009 Bands of America Tournament of Roses Parade Honor Band. He profoundly impacted the lives of tens of thousands of young people and all of us in the Music for All family. Please join us in remembering George and keeping his family and the UMass family in our thoughts and prayers.

Read news story

Looking Back at the 2005 Tournament of Roses

This footage is from the documentary that was produced for the 2005 Band. Take a moment to hear some timeless comments from George and remember the excitement of the parade.