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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The First Year: Anything Can Happen

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Every band director aspires for success, especially in the early years of our careers. Far too often, I see that directors doubt themselves and don’t reach the level of achievement they yearn for. In no way, shape, or form, do I consider myself to be an expert, but I do say this: whatever it is that you want for your program, is possible.

Growing up in the Harrison County school system in Cynthiana, KY, there were always high expectations for the success of our music programs. We were consistently state finalists on the marching field, and had distinguished concert and choral programs. Occasionally, we fell short of our goals, but the early-learned expectations stuck with me.

Chris Hedges’ (one of my high school band directors) words always stuck with me: “If you choose to compete, then you have to choose to accept the results.” He was so right. The only thing that I had to do, was decide what I was willing to accept.

Now, I don’t want anyone to think that I’m a fresh-faced, right out of the gate educator. I began my career in 2014 at Harrison County High School, where I worked for a year and a half as the choral director and assistant director of the marching band. With all of the excitement of beginning a career came a countless number of mistakes. Instead of allowing situations to just be mistakes, I began to turn them into learning opportunities. Needless to say, I became well-educated in this area.

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During this time in my career, I began to understand exactly which types of results I was willing to accept. Our marching band was in a state of regrowth. We placed in the state semifinals during those two years. It was not a high placement, but we made it. My choirs grew in number and received proficient ratings at our performance assessments – not “bad,” but it wasn’t something that I was willing to accept.

In the winter of 2015, I accepted the job as the assistant band director at Bourbon County with Eric Hale – a legend in my eyes and one of my former band directors. In the two years that he and I worked together, I truly learned what it meant to make the results you want happen. Due to the band’s historic success, it’s not uncommon to hear the phrase: “there is something in the water in Bourbon County.” Despite these rumors, it isn’t magic or super powers that have led to our triumphs. There is just a lot of hard work paired with smart decision-making taking place.

I know everyone reading this must be thinking, “I thought this article was about their success this year?” It is. All of these moments led to the possibility for this success. The 2018 school year was my first shot at being a head director after Mr. Hale retired, and I decided that I wasn’t going to blow it. I don’t think there is a single person who is familiar with our program that didn’t expect things to decline. Those expectations gave me a challenge, and as a fan of challenges I was happy to accept.

Previously, I mentioned smart decision-making as being an integral part of our success. If I’m being totally honest, by most people’s standards, there wasn’t a lot of that taking place on my part. Throughout my recruiting process, I decided that I wanted to have a 120-member band – the biggest in our school’s history – another challenge. I made it happen. The largest hurdle on that path, was the fact that having a larger band would mean having a larger class of new marchers (43 to be exact). In Kentucky, some schools choose to utilize 7th and 8th grade students for marching band. Bourbon County is especially known for doing this. I made the decision to have thirty-two 7th graders and nineteen 8th graders. Overall, I had around 70 kids that were freshman and below. At an early competition, W. Dale Warren served as a clinician. There aren’t words to describe the look on his face when I told him about the makeup of our band. All he said was that there was a lot of work to be done. He was beyond correct.

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Due to budgetary restraints, Eric Hale always wrote his own drill and arranged his own music at Bourbon County. I chose to continue this tradition. When constructing the show, I had several colleagues listen as I arranged, went through an editing process, and made sure that the music was coming across how I intended. The first draft of the show seemed like it was going to work.

This season didn’t start off strong. We spent our first local competition in 3rd place at a show we had won in 2017. We were 12th place at the BOA Oxford regional. I believe this may have been the first time that our band sat out of finals competition in at least 11 years. We were class champions, but there was still disappointment. Our in-state rival, Russell County, was over 5 points ahead of us. We decided that we weren’t able to accept these results. I wasn’t going to let my kids experience failure, so we pushed forward. We went back and took a closer look at the construction of our show and made changes accordingly, adjusted practice schedules, and focused on the minute detailing of every moment – basically, we worked harder. Throughout the season, my goal was to teach my students that the band who worked the hardest would gain the biggest payoff. They bought in to the concept, and it paid off.

We ended our season as the Class AAA Kentucky State Champions and the BOA Grand National Class A Champion.

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Personally, it was a great accomplishment in my “first year” as a director. I loved that my kids were able to experience performing at that level. In our pre-semifinals performance at Grand Nationals, I told the kids (while fighting back tears) that they had truly made all of my dreams come true. Growing up, I watched my friends at Bourbon County win state and national titles. All I could do was dream about being at that level. Becoming a band director, I sought to give my kids everything that I didn’t get to experience. I can say that I’ve done that now. KMEA and BOA will forever have my gratitude for giving educators the chance to highlight just what these young people can do.

Close colleagues ask me what’s next for Bourbon County and Michael Stone. Other than spending some time with my partner, Josh, and rounding out the concert program, no one knows. When we figure it out, we’ll be sure to let each of you see.

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Music for All is pleased to announce that Nick Ramsey has joined the organization as its Events Coordinator. "We are excited for Nick to be able to share his strong logistics background,” says Mark Sternberg, Events Manager. “He has a great understanding of creating wonderful experiences for visiting artists, and we are excited to see him bring this to our participants and patrons throughout the year."

Nick comes to us from the Cleveland Orchestra, where he was the Artistic Planning Coordinator, and managed the guest artists' logistics during the symphony’s centennial celebration. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, where he earned a Bachelor in Music Education, and a Masters Degree in Arts Administration.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Music for All, Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 educational organization that presents more than 45 programs and events across America annually and is a voice advocating for music and arts education in all scholastic environments.

 

Music for All is pleased to announce that Mariam Watson has joined the organization as its Revenue Analyst & Ticketing Manager. “We are very pleased that Mariam has joined our team! In such a short period of time, she has already made many contributions in streamlining our accounting functions,” says Sarah Loughery, Controller. “We look forward to her future with Music for All and all that she will accomplish!”

Watson has previously held positions with Crowe Horwath as a Senior Healthcare Consultant, AES Corp as a Senior Accountant, IU Health as a Business Intelligence Coordinator, and several other accounting positions. She also traveled to Central America and Asia on a sabbatical. She received her degree in Business Administration and in German from Missouri Southern State University and her M.B.A. from the University of Indianapolis.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Music for All, Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 educational organization that presents more than 45 programs and events across America annually and is a voice advocating for music and arts education in all scholastic environments.

Nearly 100 winners from schools and school districts across America have been recognized as recipients of the Music for All Advocacy in Action Awards for 2019.

Behind most great school music programs are strong recruitment, retention, and booster programs. The Music for All Advocacy in Action Awards recognizes music programs, schools, and communities across the United States that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide access to music education for all students.

Music for All received more than 95 entries for the 2018-2019 school year – the debut year of the awards.

To qualify for the Advocacy in Action Award designation, schools or districts submitted a detailed description of its music program and its project entry. Submissions were reviewed by a national panel of educators, administrators, and community and business leaders.

“For too long music advocacy has leaned mainly on research-based justifications. Music for All’s Advocacy in Action Awards collect and share ideas so music programs and their supporters can get practical and inspire each other,” says Eric Martin, President & CEO, Music for All.

It is Music for All’s vision to be a catalyst to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to participate in active music-making in their scholastic environment.

2018-2019 award-winners are recognized online at advocacy.musicforall.org. The website curates the winning entries as a resource for arts educators.

Dr. Brandon Boyd, and Dr. Andrew Crow join Joseph Flummerfelt, André Thomas, Kent Hatteberg, John Byun, Lynda Hasseler, Jason Max Ferdinand, Karen Kennedy, Stacey V. Gibbs, and Artistic Director, Henry Leck to complete the 2019 National Choir Festival artistic panel.

Dr. Brandon Boyd, Assistant Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at University of Missouri will serve as evaluator/clinician for the 2019 National Choir Festival. “Each year at Music for All National Choir Festival, the organization strives to honor their mission by celebrating musical excellence through life-changing choral experiences. This year will be no different. As a member of the blind-listening and choral artistic committee, I am excited to see the impact the festival will have on these talented choral ensembles as they experience the joy of singing in a national community of choirs and working with international professional conductors. The featured conductor this year is the world-renowned conductor and composer, Dr. André J. Thomas, who will bring a wealth of knowledge and compassion to this year's festival that will penetrate the hearts and minds of participants and attendees for years to come. What an exciting experience this will be for ALL!” - Brandon Boyd

Together, Dr. Boyd and Dr. Andre Thomas will present a Gospel Master Class during the festival. Hear them improvise a joyful holiday piano duet here:

The Festival Singers of Florida perform Dr. Boyd’s arrangement of Until I Reach My Home:

Dr. Andrew Crow, Director of Choral Activities at Ball State University, served on the blind listening panel for the 2019 National Choir Festival, and will be Master of Ceremonies for the 1:30pm National Festival Choir performance, Saturday March 16, 2019 at the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts in Indianapolis. “Hearing a wide range of choirs through the blind listening process of recorded applications allows us to listen intently to each ensemble and evaluate them without distraction. We hear a broad range of repertoire and listen independently for key elements of vocal tone, intonation, ensemble balance, blend, and the mechanics of singing. Plus, with several contrasting songs, we can observe the singers’ ability to adapt stylistic nuance for each piece.” -Andrew Crow

Listen to the Ball State Statesmen performing The Cardinal Call, a medley of school songs:

 

All videos are being used with expressed, written permission of the composers and arrangers.

Music for All is very honored to have Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt serve as the conductors’ clinician for the National Choir Festival. "It was exciting that Music for All decided to launch a National Choir Festival in Indianapolis last year. I was very pleased to have been asked to be a part of what proved to be a very successful first year, and I look forward to continuing to play a role in the life of the festival this year and in the years ahead." -Joseph Flummerfelt

Enjoy a live interview with Joseph Flummerfelt:

Notable excerpts; If he could meet one composer it would be “Brahms!” and his favorite works include “Brahms Requiem, Beethoven Missa Solemnis, Bach B Minor Mass, Verdi Requiem, Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms, and Britten War Requiem.”

The University of Louisville Cardinal Singers under the direction of Kent Hatteberg will perform at the 2019 National Festival opening ceremony, and in concert at St. John’s Church.

Founded in 1970, the University of Louisville Cardinal Singers continue their outreach by offering workshops, performing, and competing internationally. They have performed at nine regional and national choral conventions, and recent international highlights include winning Grand Prize at the 2018 Zadar International Choir Competition in Croatia and feature performances at the 2017 Xi’an International Choral Festival in China. Hatteberg is also founder of the semi-professional Louisville Chamber Choir.

“After the highly successful launch of the Music for All National Choir Festival in 2018, we are looking forward to a fabulous 2019 Festival. I hope you will strongly consider giving this wonderful opportunity to your students. I can’t wait to hear and work with more amazing choirs in 2019. If you haven’t registered for 2020 yet, please do so at www.choir.musicforall.org. Your students will thank you for it.” -Kent Hatteberg

Flummerfelt and Hatteberg join André Thomas, John Byun, Lynda Hasseler, Jason Max Ferdinand, Karen Kennedy, Brandon Boyd, Stacey V. Gibbs, and Artistic Director, Henry Leck to complete the 2019 National Choir Festival artistic panel.

PepWear and Music for All Enter Into An Unprecedented 10-Year Agreement

PepWear and Music for All are poised for an exciting future. The two organizations, which have been working together for more than 15 years, have agreed to a new 10-year merchandise and sponsorship agreement.

With the new agreement, PepWear will continue to design, produce, and sell commemorative merchandise for all Music for All events, including Bands of America Championships, Music for All Summer Symposium, and Music for All National Festival for bands, choirs, and orchestras. In addition, PepWear will be an Official Corporate Sponsor of Music for All.

“Music for All and PepWear have worked side by side for more than 15 years and have developed a very close bond,” said Craig Johnson, President of PepWear. “By entering into a new 10-year merchandising agreement, we are mutually endorsing our shared values. I couldn’t be more proud or supportive of what Music for All stands for.”

“In addition, we will now be an Official Corporate Sponsor of Music for All, strengthening our relationship and reach,” he added.

“We are thrilled to continue our journey with PepWear,” says Music for All President and CEO, Eric Martin. “For more than a decade, PepWear has stood side-by-side with Music for All in commemorating the ‘positively life-changing’ programming and experiences provided to our participants and attendees. We look forward to PepWear’s increased and extended role in advocating and delivering on our mission and vision to make music education and its benefits more available and accessible.”

The new agreement secures PepWear’s long-term partnership with Music for All, one of the nation’s largest and leading organizations in support of scholastic music education, through educational programs, performance events, and music education advocacy efforts.

Merchandise will be sold at all Music for All events and can be purchased online at: shop.musicforall.org

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If you'll be in Chicago for the Midwest Clinic this week, please come see us at the Music for All booth, Booth #1531! Several of our staff will be there to greet you with friendly smiles and hellos, and we will have lots of great materials available, including the 2019 Bands of America Championship Schedule and Application, 2019 Music for All Summer Symposium promotional materials, and application packets for the 2020 Music for All National Festival!

In addition to seeing us at the booth, we hope you'll catch some of these great clinics and presentations that are happening throughout the week. Below is a list of sessions and performances that are being presented by friends of Music for All!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Question of Proportion and Ethics: Synthetic Sounds in "Live" Marching Bands
1:30-2:30 p.m., Meeting Room W185
Joseph Allison. Bob Buckner, Amanda Drinkwater, 
Jarrett Lipman, Freddy Martin, and Kenneth Snoeck 

Title I School Model Arts Integration Grades 6-12
1:30-2:30 p.m.,Meeting Room W186
Dr. Oscar Petty Jr.

Creating Passion on the Podium
3:30-4:00 p.m., Meeting Room W178B
Anthony Maiello

Music Parents Session with Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser
4:30-5:00 p.m., Meeting Room W178B
Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser

Thursday, December 20, 2018

How to Succeed in Your Next (or First!) Job
8:30-9:00 a.m., Meeting Room W178B
Col. Thomas Palmatier

Performance Techniques for the Young Timpanist
8:30-9:30 a.m., Meeting Room W179
Dr. David Collier

The Midwest Clinic Jazz Performance Application Workshop: Advice from the Board
8:30-9:30 a.m., Meeting Room W192
J. Richard Dunscomb

Connect 4: Practical Music Advocacy Communication Strategies
10:00-11:00 a.m., Meeting Room W187
Dr. Jeremy Earnhart and William Earvin

Copyright: A Composer, a Teacher, and a Lawyer
10:00-11:00 a.m., Meeting W181
Barry Morgan, Robert W. Smith, and David Starnes

Nurturing the Master Teacher: Effective Rehearsal Evaluation
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Meeting Room W179
Col. Timothy Holtan

Performance Preparation for the Middle School or Young Bands
1:00-1:30 p.m., Meeting Room W178B
Charles Jackson, Jr.

Music Parents Session with Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser
2:15-2:45 p.m., Meeting Room W178B
Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser

Addressing the Critical Need to Develop Student Leaders in Challenging Times and Places
3:00-4:00 p.m., Meeting Room W181
Scott Lang

David Maslanka: A Retrospective
3:00-4:00 p.m., Meeting Room W185
Gary Green, Dr. Mallory Thompson, and Dr. Emily Threinen

Excellence and the Inclusive Ensemble
3:00-4:00 p.m., Meeting Room W184
Rachel Maxwell

Jazz Rehearsal Techniques and Strategies
3:00-4:00 p.m., Meeting Room W192
J. Richard Dunscomb

Cobb Wind Symphony
4:30-5:45 p.m., Skyline Ballroom W375AB
Alfred Watkins

Musashino Academia Musicae Wind Ensemble
7:30-8:45 p.m., Skyline Ballroom W375AB
Ray E. Cramer

Friday, December 21, 2018

VanderCook College of Music Symphonic Band
8:15-9:30 a.m., Skyline Ballroom W375AB
Stacey Larson Dolan

Everyday Instrumental Inclusion: Making It Work
8:30-9:00 a.m., Meeting Room W178B
Julie Duty

Directors for Diversity: Grade 1-4 Band Works by Women
8:30-9:30 a.m., Ballroom W183
Jerry Junkin, Dr. Kevin Sedatole, and Dr. Mary K. Schneider

An Interview with John Whitwell
10:30-11:30 a.m., Ballroom W183
Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser

Jazz New Music Reading Session
10:30-11:30 a.m., Ballroom W196
J. Richard Dunscomb

Learn to Think “Principal” and Increase Your Professional Credibility and Effectiveness
10:30-11:30 a.m., Meeting Room W186
Scott Koter

Ronald Reagan High School Wind Ensemble
12:00-1:00 p.m., Skyline Ballroom W375AB
Dan Morrison

Music Parents Session with Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser
12:45-1:15 p.m., Meeting Room W178B
Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser

The Bocalphone: Teaching Fundamentals for Bassoon and Other Winds Using the Reed and Bocal
3:00-3:30 p.m., Meeting Room W178B
Douglas Spaniol

Rio Grande Valley Jazz Orchestra
4:15-5:30 p.m., Ballroom W196
Ronnie Rios

Apply to Perform at the Midwest Clinic
4:15-5:30 p.m., Meeting Room W185B
Dr. Rodney C. Dorsey

Music for All is pleased to announce that Paul St. Angelo has joined the organization as its Vice President – Advancement. “We are delighted to have Paul join us because he brings years of fundraising and management experience to our cause,” said Eric L. Martin, Esq./CFEE, President and CEO of Music for All.

St. Angelo has previously held positions with the Children’s Home Foundation, the International School of Indiana, Ivy Tech Community College, Culver Educational Foundation, the Indiana University School of Dentistry, Marian University, and began his career in the nationwide United Way system. He has also owned his own consulting company and has been a resident of Indianapolis for many years.

“I am quite impressed with the Music for All organization and mission,” said St. Angelo. “It’s an organization that started with the nationally recognized Bands of America (BOA) and Orchestra America programs in 1975. Now, its events are recognized as the pinnacle of educational programming for high school and middle school instrumental and choral music programs nationwide. Each year, more than 500,000 people attend our events, more than 125,000 students participate, and 100,000 people subscribe to its online services. It’s got an impressive history and reputation and I am proud to be a part of the organization.”

Eric Martin commented, “In the coming years, Music for All hopes to increase its philanthropic revenue as it has its sponsorship, grants, and event income streams. We believe Paul can accomplish this objective and look forward to more success for the organization and the youth that we serve and educate.”

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Music for All, Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 educational organization that presents more than 45 programs and events across America annually and is a voice advocating for music and arts education in all scholastic environments.

This year, Music for All introduced its newest advocacy initiative - the Advocacy in Action Awards. In the inaugural year of this program, we received a record-setting number of applications representing music programs, schools, and communities across the United States. We are extremely grateful for those who took the time to showcase their advocacy efforts on the national stage by applying for this program.

The Advocacy in Action Awards program is a radically different call to action which collects and shares the best methods to elevate music education in your community. Mark your calendars, the 2018 award recipients will be announced Tuesday, January 15, 2019. Please join us in thanking all of these outstanding programs:

B.E. Mays H.S., GA
Baker H.S., LA
Biloxi H.S., MS
Brighton H.S., MI
Broken Arrow H.S., OK
Buchholz H.S., FL
Burrell School District, PA
Canton Public Schools, MA
Capistrano Valley H.S., CA
Carmel H.S., IN
Castle H.S., IN
Cedar Grove H.S., NJ
Cedar Hill H.S., TX
Centerville H.S., OH
Central M.S., MI
Charlottesville H.S., VA
Creekside M.S., IN
Decatur Central H.S., IN
Desert Hills H.S., UT
Desert Vista H.S., AZ
DuBois Area M.S., PA
East Central H.S., TX
Fishers H.S., IN
Glen Ridge H.S., NJ
Greenwood Community H.S., IN
Haltom H.S., TX
Hastings H.S., MI
Hastings M.S. ,MI
Highland H.S., AZ
Hillcrest Intermediate School, PA
Indian Valley School, OH
Jay County H.S., IN
Jensen Beach H.S., FL
JL Long M.S., TX
John Foster Dulles H.S., TX
John M. Harlan H.S., TX
Lake Hamilton H.S., AR
Lava Ridge Intermediate School, UT
Longwood Central School District, NY
Marshwood M.S., ME
Mater Dei H.S., CA
Morton School District 709, IL
North Cobb H.S., GA
Northbrook Jr H.S., IL
Norwin H.S., PA
Norwin M.S., PA
O'Fallon Township H.S., IL
Open World Learning Community, MN
Orleans Jr./Sr. H.S., IN
Owasso H.S., OK
Princeton City School District, OH
Prosper H.S., TX
Reidland Intermediate School, KY
Rouse H.S., TX
Rowan-Salisbury School System, NC
Spring Valley Academy, CA
St. Francis Prep, NY
St. Ignatius College Prep, IL
Tarpon Springs Leadership Conservatory for the Arts, FL
Vestavia Hills H.S., AL
Wando H.S., SC
Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, NY
West Brook M.S., NJ
Windsor H.S., NY
Youth Orchestras of Lubbock, TX

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