Music for All is saddened by the passing of Dr. Karen Kennedy, a founding member of the Music for All Choral Artistic Committee. Dr. Kennedy’s insights and vibrant inspiration were instrumental in the early development of the Music for All National Choir Festival.
Dr. Kennedy was the Director of Choral Studies at the University of Miami, where she oversaw the DMA and MM programs in choral conducting. Previous to her appointment at Miami, she held positions as the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Artistic Director of the Honolulu Symphony Chorus, and Director of Choral Studies at Towson University.
Outside of her work in academics, Karen enjoyed leading festival performances, most recently in notable venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Mormon Tabernacle, the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Sweden, St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, Canterbury Cathedral in England, and multiple venues in Austria. Off the podium, Dr. Kennedy was passionate about leading workshops on innovative rehearsal technique, vocal pedagogy and the choral classroom, and music literacy, garnering invitations nationally and internationally for teaching residencies at established festivals and retreats.
Equally at home working with orchestra, Dr. Kennedy conducted fine ensembles including the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, the Miami Symphony, the Boca Raton Philharmonic, and the Symphony of the Americas. She prepared choruses for a wide range of events, from performances on MTV to collaborations with the Cleveland Orchestra. NAXOS released two recordings with her ensembles in spring 2017, joining her featured choir performance on the Latin Grammy-winning album Loco de Amor.v
Dr. Kennedy received numerous awards for teaching, including the University of Hawai’i Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching, and Arizona State University’s Manzanita “Top Prof” Award and was a two-time recipient of the Lawrence Township Schools Superintendent’s Award. She was a past-president of the Hawai’i Chapter of the America Choral Directors Association (ACDA), founding member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), a past Repertoire and Standards Chair for Collegiate Choirs in ACDA’s Eastern Division, and maintained an active student ACDA chapter at the University of Miami.
“Karen was my student at Butler University, an esteemed colleague, and a friend,” said Henry Leck, Artistic Director of Choral Activities at Music for All. “She was beloved by her students and all those who witnessed her inspirational passion as a teacher and conductor.”
Music for All is pleased to welcome Neil Larrivee as Vice President of Mission Advancement. Mr. Larrivee will play a crucial part of Music for All’s current efforts to lead through the challenging times of the pandemic with new and expanded fundraising efforts through donations, grants, and new sponsorships. Looking forward, Mr. Larrivee’s vast experience and knowledge of the music industry will help support a strong Music for All long into the future.
Mr. Larrivee was the Vice President of Drumstick & Mallet Innovation for the Avedis Zildjian Company. For 34 years, Neil played a unique role in the overall growth of Vic Firth while also coordinating its music industry leading education program. In 2016, he was responsible for bringing together both the Zildjian and Vic Firth Education staffs into a single, fully integrated department. Most recently he was responsible for drumstick and mallet product innovation for Zildjian, Vic Firth & Mike Balter Mallet brands.
Outside of Zildjian, Neil has over 40 years of music teaching experience within the marching band, drum corps, and indoor marching percussion activities as well as private lesson instruction resulting in his induction into The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps, Winter Guard International, Massachusetts Drum Corps and Music Educators Hall of Fame.
Neil is an active clinician and adjudicator in the marching band and indoor percussion arena. As an avid concert attendee, Neil will often be found taking in live performances of jazz, orchestral, or contemporary chamber music in Boston or wherever his travels may take him.
“With a decorated multi-decade career in the music education and business world, Neil will be a resource for all facets of Music for All, which includes the shouldering of responsibilities which will allow others to shift focus as we retool MFA for the realities of the years to come,” said Jeremy L. Earnhart, President and CEO of Music for All.
Headquartered in downtown Indianapolis, Music for All is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization that uniquely combines regional and national music education programming with awareness and advocacy efforts aimed at ensuring and expanding access to music in schools and communities.
Schools across America are in the midst of finalizing their plans for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. After thoughtful conversations over several months with enrolled directors, educational consultants and advisors, and several state associations, Music for All has announced today that it is unable to present its 2020 Bands of America Championships due to the many challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was recommended by the Music for All staff and affirmed by the Music for All Board of Directors.
We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of the students, band directors, staff, volunteers, spectators, and others associated with our programs remain our number one priority.
With this extraordinary development, we share in the deep disappointment of the thousands of performing students, teachers, and supporters.
Music for All remains committed to providing educational opportunities this fall. We are offering several remote evaluation opportunities in order to provide quality feedback from BOA adjudicators and MFA evaluators, and goal-oriented experiences to motivate and inspire students during this unusual time. Details on how to sign up for remote evaluation and virtual performance opportunities will be announced soon.
We will begin work right away on the 2021 Bands of America Championship season, in order to announce the 2021 schedule and open registrations later this fall. We cannot wait to see you all on the field and in the concert hall in the future.
Thank you to all of the music educators, adjudicators, event staff, volunteers, and fans who have continued to support Music for All during this difficult time. We will get through this together. Music for All continues to be here for you to provide positively life-changing experiences through music for all and to do everything we can to ensure that we all make sure music in our schools is stronger than ever in the future.
As with most of us, Music for All has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ticket sales and event-related revenue from our Bands of America Championships is normally what sustains us year-round, serving more than 150,000 student and teacher participants each year.
In spite of current challenges, Music for All has been offering online learning opportunities for students and educators – and we want to continue to offer online guidance and peer support for teachers as we all work to make the most of this school year.
Your gift today will help Music for All to overcome current financial challenges and continue to promote and support music education, at a time when students need music and the arts the most.
Your Donation Makes a Difference: https://www.musicforall.org/ways-to-give/give-now
Music for All is extending the ensemble audition/application for the 2021 Music for All National Festival to September 1, 2020. Music for All is also expanding the period of time during which ensembles’ audition recording can have been made. Applicant ensembles can send a recording made on or after November 1, 2018 (within 22 months prior to the deadline).
These adjustments have been made to take into account the circumstances around the impact of COVID-19 on the final weeks and months of the 2019-2020 school year. We hope that this will help make application possible for more ensembles who wish to apply. All ensembles who apply receive recorded and written evaluation from the listening panel.
Download the full 2021 Festival application brochures and audition requirements at https://www.musicforall.org/what-we-do/mfa-national-festival.
Music for All has teamed up with online musical instruction provider MusicProfessor to bring high-quality lessons to all levels of students, at a special Music for All discounted rate. We’ve heard the current concerns of band directors as they plan for large group instruction, whether in the classroom, remote learning, or a blend of both.
MusicProfessor’s catalogue offers solutions for beginning band teachers whose recruitment efforts and instruction for the start of the 2020-2021 school year may be impacted by COVID-19. Student lessons start from opening their case for the first time, to playing their first melodies, to all-state-level material—including music theory and musicianship skills.
This substantial library of lessons, taught by some of the finest faculty in the country, contains more than 5,000 pre-recorded, high-quality videos for students at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The curriculum covers a wide breadth of instruction for woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone), brass (trumpet, french horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba), percussion, plus music theory and conducting.
A Teacher Pass gives teachers unlimited access to the entire MusicProfessor content library—over 229 hours of material. Teachers can easily supplement full-time classroom environments by providing access to students in their home and in blended learning environments. Additionally, in conjunction with group plans, teachers can track what content their students are consuming outside the classroom.
“Music for All is glad to collaborate with MusicProfessor and bring these instructional resources to teachers and students in schools throughout America at a deep discount,” said Dr. Jeremy Earnhart, President and CEO of Music for All. “I was so impressed with the quality of pedagogy when I was a fine arts administrator for the Irving and Arlington Independent School Districts near Dallas that we made Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA) funding available to make these online lessons available to students and teachers.”
Visit education.musicforall.org/instruction and use the Music for All discount code MUSICFORALL to save up to 50% on lessons and bundles.
Gracie Moore of Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia was awarded The Revelli Scholarship in connection to the 2020 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha.
The Revelli Scholarship is a $1,000 award given annually to a senior who will be attending college as a music education major and who is participating in the Music for All National Festival. The scholarship honors the legacy and memory of Dr. William D. Revelli and his vision for music education.
In addition to being the principal bassoon for the Lake Secondary School Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra for two years, Gracie has performed in the All-District Band for four years, two on clarinet and two on bassoon. As a drum major at Lake Braddock Secondary School, she has a passion for music that she wants to share with as many people as possible and believes music is an important part to a curriculum. She looks forward to becoming a music educator, and hopes to inspire the future generation of musicians!
Congratulations to the 2020 Revelli Scholarship Recipient, Gracie Moore!
Music for All has elected a new member to its Board of Directors, David A. Golden of Kingsport, Tennessee.
Mr. Golden recently retired from Eastman Chemical Company where he served since 1995 as Senior Vice President, Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer, and Corporate Secretary. He also has experience in law, having worked at the international law firm of Hunton & Williams prior to joining Eastman.
David received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Juris Doctorate from Brigham Young University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Order of the Coif. Additionally, he is an alumnus of the Harvard Business school having completed Harvard’s Advanced Management Program in 2012.
Mr. Golden engages in public service across the state of Tennessee and beyond. In addition to his appointment at Music for All, David also serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of East Tennessee University, on the Board of Directors at Ballad Health, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, the Niswonger Foundation, and the Marine Advanced Technology Education Inspiration for Innovation based in California. Other service includes membership on the advisory board of Western Governor’s University and the University of Tennessee’s Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy and service on the Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments and the Tennessee Business Court Rules Commission. His passions and expertise include topics surrounding leadership, motivation, education, ESG, and sustainability.
“Mr. Golden brings to the Music for All Board a wealth of non-profit experience, including being involved with music programs at the scholastic level,” said Gayl Doster, Chairman of the Board for Music for All. “We welcome him to the Board and look forward to working with him.”
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Music for All is a nonprofit educational organization, with a mission is to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Music for All annually presents more than 50 Music for All and Bands of America programs and events nationwide. Music for All’s programs also include the Advocacy in Actions Awards and educational resources available online at education.musicforall.org.
Music for All’s (MFA) Board of Directors today announced that Eric L. Martin, Esq., C.F.E.E., has resigned as Chief Executive Officer of Music for All. Mr. Martin submitted his letter of resignation to the Board on April 15, concluding more than 25 years of MFA leadership.
“It has been a privilege and pleasure to serve Music for All” Mr. Martin said, “and to support and contribute to the achievement and advancement of its mission. There is still much important work to be done and I wish and hope for the best for the entire MFA team.”
“On behalf of the Board, staff, and everyone who benefitted from his leadership, we thank Mr. Martin for his enduring contributions to Music for All,” Gayl Doster, Chairman of the MFA Board of Directors said. “We wish him only the best in all of his future endeavors.”
In accepting Mr. Martin’s resignation, the Board elected Jeremy L. Earnhart, Ed.D, to the position of President and CEO of the organization.
“The election of Dr. Earnhart to CEO is clear indication he has earned the confidence of the entire organization to guide us through what will be challenging times, said Doster. “In the two years that Dr. Earnhart has been with us, he has demonstrated a clear vision, an inspiring sense of operational excellence, and a real passion for music. We could not be in better hands.”
“Even in the most difficult times,” said Earnhart, “few things have the uplifting power of music. Although musicians are staying socially distant now, music brings hearts and spirits together in ways nothing else quite can. What we at Music for All learn during these days will make us stronger in different ways and will enable us to reinforce our fundamental mission of making music available to everyone in the new tomorrows that everyone will share. I’m thrilled to be part of that process.”
The University of North Texas (UNT) College of Music has the largest enrollment for public university music programs in the U.S. and is one of the world's most respected comprehensive music schools.
Its Bruce Hall dormitory is home to the Music & Jazz Living Learning Communities and cultivates a rich, creative environment for all its residents. Since 1964, 100 UNT College of Music alumni have worked on projects nominated for Grammy Awards, and an incredible 53 of those have won the prestigious award.
One of the secrets to student success is supplying them with the equipment necessary to succeed. First-rate practice rooms with advanced acoustical technology fall into that category. To make sure students could get the most out of their practice time, the school partnered with Wenger to install brand new Wenger SoundLok® Sound-Isolation Rooms with the latest Virtual Acoustic Environment (VAE®) technology in Bruce Hall, home to hundreds of student musicians.
UNT was one of the first schools in the country to install Wenger sound isolation practice rooms. For 45 years, those rooms served thousands of students well. But the rooms were in need of repairs. The college was interested in learning about new features and new technology that new rooms could provide.
“The design had changed significantly over the years, so we couldn’t make repairs in a cost-effective way,” explains Neal Jorgenson of Wenger Corporation. “The fans also weren’t working very well anymore, so it was uncomfortable for the students in the rooms. UNT agreed to install new rooms to give the musicians a much better place to play.”
Records indicated the old rooms had been used 6,700 times in the 2016-2017 academic year alone. It was no wonder they needed replacing.
The process began with a site visit so that Jorgenson could see the existing practice rooms. Right away, he noticed a big problem.
“There were some 9-foot high beams in the rooms that we needed to tear out,” Jorgenson says. “We need at least ten feet of height, so we drew up the plans, got some feedback from UNT, and had to vet everything through the fire marshal. Then we began tearing out the old rooms and making room for the new.”
Jorgenson’s team installed 13 Wenger SoundLok® Sound-Isolation Rooms with built-in VAE technology.
VAE technology offers more realistic acoustical simulations, creating the sensation of being enveloped by the sound. This innovative approach enables musicians to hear themselves in various performance venues, from a large recital hall to a cathedral to a small auditorium. VAE allows the musicians to record and play back their practice sessions, helping them adapt and improve their performance. Those recordings can also be downloaded to other devices for sharing or performing accompaniments.
The sound isolation rooms are quieter than any other on the market. They’re also strategically located in the basement of Bruce Hall, allowing its residents to practice at any time of day without disturbing anyone nearby.
VAE technology also allows teachers to follow the assessment strategy recommended in the National Standards for Music Education, and increase their ability to evaluate the progress of more students in less time.
“The students were very excited to explore this technology,” explains Penny Gustafson, Assistant Director of Housing and Business Operations at UNT. “Given the creative drive of our typical music majors, we were confident that these rooms would be beneficial.”
The final step was for a team of acoustical equipment experts to show the students and teachers how to use the system to maximize its benefits.
The new rooms were a big hit.
“The students love the VAE technology,” Gustafson says. “They particularly enjoy being able to record themselves and track progress over the course of the semester or year. Music professors were also eager to listen to their students’ recordings and offer feedback.”
Gustafson says students have also found the spaces useful for recording podcasts, music for personal projects, or sound clips for film. The rooms are used an average of 500 hours each week. Because of their popularity, UNT had to implement a one-hour limit per person to give all residents an opportunity to use the rooms.
The practice rooms are also used as a recruiting tool, providing a major draw for prospective freshmen music majors and their families when considering their options for undergraduate music studies.
Throughout the process, Gustafson appreciated the customer service Jorgenson provided.
“Neal has been extremely informative, patient, and supportive,” Gustafson says. “When we hit bumps in the road with project management, we called on him to intervene, and he always took care of us.”
The SoundLok practice rooms join other Wenger Corporation products elsewhere on campus. The auditorium boasts a beautiful Diva® Full Stage Acoustical Shell to help both performers on stage and audience members hear the best possible sound. The rooms also contain StageTek® seated risers, as well as musician and cello chairs and Wenger’s Classic 50® Music Stands.
Wenger Corporation’s hallmark is to build quality, durable, lasting products that stand the test of time.
SoundLok rooms that lasted 45 years prove the point. And now, the new and improved rooms will serve thousands of future students for many more years to come.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, MARCH 12, 11:00 PM ET – On Thursday, March 12, the Governor of Indiana issued a mandate that the gathering of non-essential groups of 250 members or more is prohibited. Due to this mandate, Butler University's performance halls and facilities are unavailable to us. We have concluded the Music for All National Festival as of Thursday evening and have completed all musical performances and activities.
Ensembles and participants have been notified and departure arrangements are being made for those on-site.
Our mission remains to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Our vision is to be a catalyst to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to active music-making in his or her scholastic environment.
We, like every American and citizen of the world, are hopeful and expectant that we will all persevere and never compromise on our belief in music, music in our schools, and music for all.