The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog



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

Monday, November 26, 2018

Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday!

Written by

GT logo

During my nine years with Music for All, I have had the absolute pleasure to witness over 1 million students go through Music for All programming. Their experiences with Music for All have been part of their journey for excellence in personal development, ensemble achievement, leadership, teamwork, and the creation of art.  

In my current role at Music for All, I work to raise money through sponsorships, grants, and through donations from individuals like you. Thanks to you, we are able to help support and sustain our current programming, but even more importantly, to further Music for All’s vision to ensure that EVERY child across America has access and opportunity to engage in active music-making in their scholastic environment. 

I’m here, not only as an employee of Music for All but as an active donor myself, because I believe 100% that the experiences and life skills that students receive through music education (and Music for All programming) are not only important, but essential in helping to create a better world full of people who have empathy for each other and know how to work together toward a common goal. 

On #GivingTuesday, and throughout the end of this year, I urge you to consider showing your support of Music for All through a donation to the 2019 Music for All Summer Symposium Scholarship Fund.

I’d like to share an excerpt from a "thank you" letter that we received from a past Summer Symposium Scholarship recipient. Trinity is able to put her experience into words in a way I cannot of why these experiences are so important.

“I’d like to thank you for the Scholarship to Summer Symposium. I learned many valuable things. Not only did it provide me with the opportunity to have an insight into college life, but I also was provided with lessons that I will be able to use for the rest of my life. The teachers and even the SWAGs inspired me to pursue what I want in college. They taught me that it’s okay to be different and that no matter where you go, there will always be someone to challenge you.

I was also having trouble deciding what colleges to apply for. Seeing the Ball State campus and students enjoying their time there makes me want to apply even more. Going to Summer Symposium helped me stop being afraid of college and learn to embrace the opportunities that come with it.

Not only did I discover all these things, but I also discovered myself. When I came to the Symposium for the first time I was very introverted and insecure. This place and all these people helped me come out of my shell, to become more confident in myself and my decision-making. The people taught me many valuable things, but out of everything, the most valuable concept I learned was to be a leader. 

Being a leader has helped me become more than just a listener. It has taught me to follow what I believe, speak my opinion, and be committed in every aspect of life. This leadership is a skill that is helpful in school, but in real life as well. Leadership has assisted in overcoming my anxiety. I don’t let anxiety hold me back anymore. For this, and for everything else, I thank you." 

 - Trinity, Summer Symposium Scholarship Recipient 

Please help us ensure that even more students, like Trinity, can have these types of experiences that will set them up for success for the rest of their lives. 

In 2018 alone, Music for All programs reached more than 144,000 participants. If even 25% of those who participated this year each donated $5 that would be $180,000 that we could raise to help provide access and opportunity to more students across the country.   

If music education has been an important part of your and your family's life… pay it forward this holiday season. $5, $10, $15 – any amount can make a difference and help make sure someone else has the same opportunity that you did.   

If you can’t give monetarily this year, you can still give. I’d love to hear from you about how being involved with Music for All has impacted your life. Email me and share your story! Even better, consider sharing that story online as well and encourage your friends and family to donate this holiday season.

Wishing you the very best this Holiday season,


Erin Signature


For #GivingTuesday 2018, all donations received from 8:00 a.m. ET (5:00 a.m. PT) on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 through Facebook Fundraising will be matched by Facebook and Paypal. The matching offer will expire when $7 million in donations is reached or at 11:59 p.m. PT on November 27th. The button above will take you to Music for All's Fundraising Page on Facebook.

If you would like to support Music for All, but do not want to use the Facebook platform, you can also make a donation directly through Music for All's website  (this will not be counted toward the Facebook/Paypal match but is certainly appreciated).


GT logo

Music for All is proud to be a part of this global celebration of giving. 
Join us in supporting the 2019 Summer Symposium Scholarship Fund on #GivingTuesday 2018!

Created by New York’s 92nd Street Y and United Nations Foundation in 2012, #GivingTuesday is a global holiday that celebrates generosity and kindness by giving to nonprofit organizations all around the world. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday start off the buying season, #GivingTuesday starts off the giving season. 

Please consider joining Music for All this year on #GivingTuesday, November 27, with a donation to support 2019 Summer Symposium Scholarships.

Because of our generous supporters, we were able to award 194 scholarships for students to attend America’s Camp last year leveling the playing field for young musicians with financial need to be part of a truly life-changing experience!

Still, countless students each year are unable to attend due to their financial situation. At Music for All, we believe that every student deserves to have access and opportunity to participate in active music making. That is why we provide both full and partial scholarships to support deserving students.

This summer, America’s Camp celebrates its 44th anniversary! That will be 44 years of giving student musicians and music educators an opportunity to be part of an invaluable weeklong immersive learning camp that prepares them for the future.

The 1,700+ students and educators who attend camp this year will leave with heightened…

  • Leadership skills
  • Confidence through meaningful music creation
  • Instrumental knowledge
  • Performance skills

Our programs are making a difference, but there are more students for us to reach.

It is my hope that you will join me and give your most generous gift today so we can achieve our mission and support more students this summer than ever.

The Music for All Foundation awards several scholarships annually. During the Grand National Championships, Finals Opening Ceremonies several students were presented with college tuition scholarship awards. These scholarships were established to contribute to the future of music and music education by honoring the achievements of outstanding graduating seniors who intend to pursue collegiate study as a music major.

Congratulations to Sean Yuxin Chen, Homestead High School in Cupertino, California, award recipient of the $1,000 Yamaha Scholarship. The scholarship was presented by John Wittmann, Director of Artist Relations and Education at Yamaha Corporation of America Band and Orchestra Division.

Yamaha Scholarship

Congratulations to Paul Nguyen, Mustang High School in Mustang, Oklahoma, award recipient of the $1,000 Fred J. Miller Family Scholarship. The scholarship was presented by Marlene Miller, President and CEO of Fred J. Miller, Incorporated


Congratulations to Isaac Tepperman, Brazoswood High School in Clute, Texas, award recipient of the $2,000 Fred J. Miller Memorial Music Education scholarship. The scholarship was presented by Marlene Miller, President and CEO of Fred J. Miller, Incorporated


Music for All’s efforts to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences include awarding a number of scholarships each year. For more information about Music for All's scholarships click here.

To support future scholarships with a donation click here.

Congratulations to Mr. David LaMorte, Assistant Principal of Visual, Performing, and Career Arts at Tottenville H.S., NY, the 2018 recipient of the George N. Parks Leadership in Music Education award. Mr. LaMorte received the award during the opening finals ceremonies at the 2018 Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha on November 10.

Developed by NAfME, the National Association for Music Education, and Music for All, the award is named for George N. Parks (1953–2010), director of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1977 until his death, and honors an exemplary music educator who embodies the characteristics and leadership that Mr. Parks personified.

Under Mr. LaMorte's leadership, Tottenville's six bands, three symphonic orchestras, four choruses, training ensembles, and championship marching band enjoy a reputation for musical excellence which is a beacon for New York City and NY State. His symphonic band regularly receives a NYSSMA Gold Rating in Level VI, as do many other of Tottenville's bands, orchestras, and choruses. A professional trombonist as well as conductor, Mr. LaMorte received his education at Montclair State College and the University of Buffalo. He is a recipient of the DaVinci Award; Phi Delta Kappa Leadership in Education Award; City of New York Proclamation Award; Music Educators of New York City Outstanding Service Award; The Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award; and many more. 

Mr. LaMorte also serves as Executive Director of the Summer Arts Institute, a special program that attracts gifted New York City music and art students to participate in a summer of rigorous and creative performance endeavors. He is also conductor of the Staten Island Community Band, NYC's longest-running community band. He has conducted at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and throughout the metropolitan area. Fans of classic movies can see a young David LaMorte in the legendary film, "Fame", which was made as his alma mater, the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan. 


Congratulations to Mr. LaMorte and thank you for all you do to help create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences for your students. 

Prior recipients:

2017 Marisa Weinstein
Director of Bands, Warsaw Middle School in Pittsfield, ME

2016 Thom Hannum
Associate Director, Minutemen Marching Band, the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA

2015 Patrick M. Erwin
Director of Bands at Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, GA

2014 Cynthia Napierkowski
Director of Bands at Salem High School in Salem, MA

2013 Dr. Barry Shepherd
Superintendent of Cabarrus County Schools, NC

2012 Daniel Kirk
Blue Valley West, KS

2011 Dr. Peter Boonshaft
Hofstra University

The Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster Award recognizes the extraordinary commitment, dedication, support, and sacrifice of music parents and boosters across the nation by shining a spotlight on a recipient who exemplifies these qualities.

The award is named in honor of Patrick John Hughes, the father of Patrick Henry Hughes. Patrick Henry is a remarkable young man who, despite physical challenges that would seem overwhelming to many, has excelled as a musician and student, singing and playing piano and trumpet with the Louisville Marching and Pep Bands, with the help of his father, who tirelessly maneuvers his son’s wheelchair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band.

On Friday night during the Grand National Championships, the 2018 Patrick John Hughes Parent Booster award was awarded to Randy Barnett of Blue Springs H.S., MO.


For seventeen years, Randy Barnett has been a volunteer and the cornerstone of the Blue Springs Golden Regiment of Blue Springs H.S. Through the many changes the program has been through, Randy has been a consistent driving force within the band family. With his last child being in the band in 2004, Randy has continued to serve as their key volunteer.

Randy is a veteran of the Vietnam War and his service to our country blends perfectly with his service to the band program. As a supporter of the marching arts, the students are his main focus. He sees the importance of the character development of the students and the lessons the marching arts can teach the youth of today. He’s a shining example of how humanity should be, with his kindness and his can-do attitude. Randy makes tremendous strides to make sure the students of Golden Regiment have everything they need to be successful; from designing and overseeing the repairs and renovations of two trailers for the band to helping the program maximize the space in their band room.

Blue Springs’ band motto is "A Culture of Unstoppable Commitment" and Randy completely embodies that motto. Even though he lives 45 minutes away from Blue Springs, he still makes the drive each way to help the band. He has even attended every performance by the Golden Regiment since 2002, including 24 Bands of America Regional Championships. Randy’s magnanimous nature is apparent, as he once took six days off to travel to California with other truck drivers to pick up props the band had ordered. He did it all with a smile on his face because he knew it needed to be done for the kids.

Highly regarded in his band community, Randy is loved by the students, volunteers, and band director Dr. Allhouse. They believe The Golden Regiment is a better program because of him and future generations will benefit from his selfless actions. He embodies Music for All's mission to "create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all" because of his unity, his selflessness and his amazing attitude. Congratulations Mr. Barnett, thank you for all you do.


John Byun and Karen Kennedy will add their flare and philosophy to the 2019 National Choir Festival.

In describing his master class about movement for singers, Byun writes, “We are singers too! Opera, musical theatre, country, rock, jazz....all singers in any genre move when they sing. Why do choirs stand still when they sing? Choirs can sing freely and without tension through movement. The voice is connected to the body, we must release tension in our body to be able to sing properly.” John Byun, Riverside City College

“Whether I’m on the podium or part of an audience, I always rejoice in how a devoted group of individual singers can transform into one entity that is even greater than the sum of its parts. When we share each other’s diverse skill sets in a choral ensemble, we can reach musical and emotional heights beyond our offerings as solo performers. That which compels us to sing together speaks to our need for musical and personal connection, and so together we may then explore every element of our human experience through song. Our vulnerability to the power of music ultimately emboldens us to reach out, take in, comfort each other, activate for our causes, and spread joy. As I now wage the battle of my life against cancer, our universal choral family has become a crucial, positive force in my recovery. I continue to draw strength from the inspired performances, compositions, and spirit of community that defines us as choral artists. It is my honor to join Music for All this spring. Until we meet, I carry our songs in my heart.” -Karen Kennedy, University of Miami Frost School of Music

The Music for All National Choir Festival will take place in Indianapolis March 14-16, 2019
Learn more at


Music for All was honored to have guests from the Tournament of Roses® with us at the 2018 Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha.

Through our unique partnership, each fall a Bands of America Grand National Semi-Finalist band is selected to receive an invitation to perform in an upcoming Rose Parade.

Congratulations to Dobyns-Bennett on being selected during the 2018 Grand National Championships! We’ll be cheering you on in the 2020 Rose Parade!

Previous Grand National Invited Bands in the Rose Parade

2017 Grand Nationals, an invitation for
2019 Rose Parade
Flower Mound H.S., TX

2016 Grand Nationals, an invitation for
2018 Rose Parade
Ronald Reagan H.S., TX

2015 Grand Nationals, an invitation for
2017 Rose Parade
Broken Arrow H.S., OK

2014 Grand Nationals, an invitation for 
2016 Rose Parade
William Mason H.S., OH

2013 Grand Nationals, an invitation for
2015 Rose Parade
Round Rock H.S., TX

2012 Grand Nationals, an invitation for
2014 Rose Parade
Carmel H.S., IN

2011 Grand Nationals, an invitation for
2013 Rose Parade
Broken Arrow H.S., OK

2010 Grand Nationals, an invitation for 
2012 Rose Parade
Avon H.S., IN

We hope that everyone will be joining us on Thanksgiving Day by watching the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! We cannot wait to watch and support all of the amazing marching bands that will be featured throughout the parade. Some of the nation's finest will come together for the 92nd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and we are so excited to see them all in this legendary event.

Make sure you tune in on NBC and join us in supporting these incredible ensembles as they perform for nearly 50 million television viewers nationwide! The parade steps off at 9:00 AM on Thursday, November 22 and will conclude at 12 PM in all time zones.

Below is a list of all of the marching bands you will see in the parade:

Cicero-North Syracuse H.S. Northstars Marching Band
Cicero, NY

Grants Pass H.S. Marching Band
Grants Pass, OR

Homewood Patriot Band
Homewood, AL

James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes
Harrisonburg, VA

Keller H.S. Marching Band
Keller, Texas

Lafayette H.S. Mighty Lion Marching Band
Lafayette, LA

Ohio State University Marching Band
Columbus, OH

Park Vista H.S. Marching Band
Lake Worth, FL

Riverside City College Marching Tigers
Riverside, CA

Woodland H.S. Wildcat Marching Band
Cartersville, GA

Macy's Great American Marching Band

NYPD Marching Band
New York

For more information about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade visit

Check out the awards photos from the 2018 Bands of America Southern California Regional Championship!

High resolution awards photos (as well as additional action photos of each band) can be viewed and purchased on the Jolesch Enterprises website:

Page 1 of 101