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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Are you a SWAG?

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Are you a SWAG?

The SWAG Team is the heart and soul of the Summer Symposium. SWAGs are a volunteer group of dedicated college students, graduate students, band directors, and others interested in music education. Music for All is starting a new SWAG Alumni Program for this very special group of alumni, and we need your help! The purpose of the SWAG Alumni Program is to:

  • Gather and share memories from the Music for All Summer Symposium
  • Assist with identifying, recruiting, and engaging future SWAGs and SWAG alumni
  • Help tell others “the story” of Music for All and the Summer Symposium.

If you’re a former SWAG, we need your help as we work to update contact information for all SWAGs. Please take a moment to update your contact info. Music for All staff will use this information to keep you informed about our new alumni program and facilitate a special gathering in the future. Thank you for the enormous help and involvement at the Summer Symposium. You’re an important member of the Music for All Team!

Help us keep in touch by filling out the contact form here.

From: Selecting Repertoire: A Matter of Conscience A Personal Viewpoint by Craig Kirchhoff

“The future of music may not be with music itself, but rather....in the way it makes itself a part of the finer things humanity does and dreams of.”1
Charles Ives

cropped Kirchhoff CraigEvery decision that we make as teachers, musical and extra-musical, is a reflection of our values. In the case of repertoire selection, the critical balance of aesthetic criteria and personal taste defines that value system. While aesthetic criteria may be more easily agreed upon, the issue of personal taste is more elusive to define, yet, may represent the most important component of this delicate musical eco-system.

Aesthetic Criteria

Acton Ostling’s landmark dissertation, An Evaluation of Compositions for Wind Band According to Specific Criteria of Artistic Merit3 (1978) established important guidelines for the critical evaluation of musical compositions:

  1. The composition has form--not 'a form' but form--and reflects a proper balance between repetition and contrast.
  2. The composition reflects shape and design, and creates the impression of conscious choice and judicious arrangement on the part of the composer.
  3. The composition reflects craftsmanship in orchestration, demonstrating a proper balance between transparent and tutti scoring, and also between solo and group colors.
  4. The composition is sufficiently unpredictable to preclude an immediate grasp of its musical meaning.
  5. The route through which the composition travels in initiating its musical tendencies and probable musical goals is not completely direct and obvious
  6. The composition is consistent in its quality throughout its length and in its various sections.
  7. The composition is consistent in its style, reflecting a complete grasp of technical details, clearly conceived ideas, and avoids lapses into trivial, futile, or unsuitable passages.
  8. The composition reflects ingenuity in its development, given the stylistic context in which it exists.
  9. The composition is genuine in idiom, and is not pretentious.
  10. The composition reflects a musical validity that transcends idiom, and is not pretentious.

Good music, therefore, has form with a calculated balance of repetition and contrast that great composers manipulate to create and to break our musical expectations. Predictability is the death of great music as is music with little variation in orchestration and timbre. Good music is music that can hold the attention of its listeners and can be remembered through the creative use of rhythm, counterpoint, harmonic color, harmonic motion, melodic interest, and unique textures. Good music is also music that can transport us to different emotional landscapes. Great music is music that makes us feel.

Every piece of music considered for programming should be evaluated using these criteria as a general guide. Aesthetic criteria, however, have little meaning without the context of a distinct musical depth and a distinct musical intelligence that we, as musicians and artists, are required to bring to this process of decision-making.

Personal Taste and Musical Depth

Personal taste, musical depth, and musical intelligence are the result of our direct experiences with great art, great music, and great artists. Being an artist in any field is much more than a prescribed level of accomplishment. Being an artist is a way of life, a way of thinking, a way of perceiving and sensing our reality and understanding the entire spectrum of human experiences, from the most grotesque to the most sublime, and from the most tragic to the most trivial. The following questions may help to guide us on this journey of developing musical depth and personal taste:

  1. Are you in touch with the great musical monuments of our time and the past, from Claudio Monteverdi to Duke Ellington, John Harbison, Joan Tower, or Aaron Kernis?
  2. Do you attend live concerts of high quality by important ensembles and by important artists?
  3. Are you knowledgeable about music that does not directly affect your specific level of teaching but may directly affect your depth as a musician, from Johann Sebastian Bach to Libby Larsen, Henryk Gorecki, George Crumb, or Morton Lauridsen?
  4. Do you know as much about the most important musicians and composers of our time and the past as you know about the music for the ensembles that you conduct?
  5. Are you current with the repertoire written for your ensemble, knowing about the latest works from the pen of Michael Colgrass for middle school band, or the most recent publications from the BandQuest Series published by the American Composers Forum or the Windependence Series published by Boosey & Hawkes?
  6. Do you invest in the depth of your listening experience by continually expanding your collection of CDs and DVDs?
  7. Do you continue to make music an important part of your daily life?
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Student Success From Day One

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Vandoren Editorial Image JUNOVandoren has been the preferred reed of professionals since 1905. However, during much of this time beginning students have often had to resort to inexpensive, lower quality reeds to save money. With Vandoren’s introduction of JUNO reeds in recent years, beginning students are finally able to enjoy that trademark, unparalleled Vandoren quality from their first note at an affordable student price.

Designed specifically for beginners, Vandoren JUNO reeds are designed with a special cut that provides young players with everything they need to hit the ground running – immediate response, easy articulation, and a warm, round sound right from the start. Instead of fighting against their reeds, JUNO allows kids to do what they want to do most – PLAY!

“My students have been very successful on JUNO reeds!  The ease of playing with these reeds allows students to focus on other concepts that we're building upon in rehearsal, without sacrificing quality of sound.” – Chris DiMassimo, beginning and Middle School Band Director

Vandoren is keenly aware of the musical needs of young musicians, and is extremely proud to offer a variety of products appropriate for each stage of their development. Most students who begin with JUNO will move to professional Vandoren reeds as they develop.

JUNO reeds are available for Eb, Bb and bass clarinet as well as soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones.

Learn more

Wenger Editorial Band Room after 1   Wenger Editorial Band Room after 2

Above: the "after" photos. See the "before" photos at the bottom of the story.

When Wenger Corporation got the call from a producer at The Ellen DeGeneres Show about participating in a music room makeover to help two local drummers at a Baltimore High School, they simply had to say yes.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show introduced Baltimore drummers Timothy Fletcher and Malik Perry, better known as A1 Chops, to the world. The duo began drumming in high school and decided to take their talents to the streets of Baltimore performing songs with complex drum tricks and popular dance moves. Ellen brought them on her show to perform and show how the two have been giving back to their community along the way.

Wenger partnered with their team to supply a roomful of equipment that converted an old, outdated and disorganized music room into a beautiful, orderly, acoustically superior space. Wenger items now installed include acoustic wall treatments, music chairs, music stands, instrument storage cabinets and conductor’s equipment.

Watch the series and the students’ emotional reactions to the stunning new space on ellentube. The music room makeover portion airs during episodes three and four.

Wenger Editorial band room before 2  Wenger Editorial band room before 2

"Before" the music room makeover.

Savannah Mellichamp of Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina was awarded The Revelli Scholarship on Saturday, March 16 during the Gala Awards Banquet at the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, in Indianapolis.

The Revelli Scholarship is a $1,000 award given annually to a senior who will be attending college as a music 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 an Honor Band of America member and a two-time Summer Symposium participant, Savannah has performed in South Carolina's All State and All Region ensembles for three years. As a drum major at Wando High School, she believes music has shaped her into who she is today and she recognizes that music education changes lives. She looks forward to becoming a music educator!

Congratulations to the 2019 Revelli Scholarship Recipient, Savannah Mellichamp

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

2019 Hall of Fame Members Inducted

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The three newest members of Music for All's Bands of America Hall of Fame were inducted Saturday night, March 16, at the Gala Awards Banquet of the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, in Indianapolis, IN.

Gayl W. Doster, Robert W. Smith, and David Starnes were inducted during a ceremony at the 2,800+ guest Festival Banquet in the JW Marriott Grand Ballroom.

Learn more about our four newest Hall of Fame Members from the announcement of the class of 2019, and the Festival Ceremony Hall of Fame videos.

Please join us in welcoming Courtney Richmond to the Finance Team as the Accounts Receivable Clerk!

Courtney is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in arts management and minors in marketing and music. While at Indiana University, Courtney was a member of the Marching Hundred, Big Red Basketball Band, and Tau Beta Sigma-Rho Chapter, where she held leadership positions. Richmond spent the last two summers working with Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival doing community relations and visual design. Most recently, Courtney served as an Events Intern at Music for All in the Fall of 2018.

"We are so excited to have Courtney join the Accounting Team,” says Sarah Loughery, Music for All Controller. “With her previous experience as an Events Intern and her attention to detail, she is a natural fit to join us as an Accounts Receivable Clerk. We are glad to welcome Courtney back to our family!"

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.

Jason Max Ferdinand, Conductor of the Oakwood Aeolians has been named Associate Artistic Director of the Music for All National Choir Festival. “I am filled with joy that Jason has accepted this position,” stated Henry Leck, Founding Artistic Director of Music for All Choral Activities. “Jason has a magnificent sense of artistry. His affirming and inspiring heart is truly aligned with the Music for All philosophy of positively life-changing experiences through music.”

Ferdinand, known for his focus to “Execute the all-important crescendo…the crescendo of the human heart,” serves as Chair of the Music Department and Director of Choral Activities at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. A native of Trinidad & Tobago, Ferdinand received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Oakwood University in Piano, the Master of Arts in Choral Conducting from Morgan State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting with a minor in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Maryland.

Under the baton of Dr. Ferdinand, the Oakwood Aeolians have won numerous gold medals at the World Choir Games in the United States and South Africa; were named “Choir of the World” at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, and were the featured choir in Russia as part of the Russia-US Bilateral Presidential Commission on development of cooperation between Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama. During the recent American Choral Directors Conference, the Oakwood Aeolians became a popular featured choir by presenting a program of international music ranging from Bach to Ken Burton’s “Promised Land.”

The Music for All National Choir Festival is for advanced High School and Middle School Choirs who audition for invitation. Held annually in Indianapolis Indiana, the Festival is part of the bigger Music for All National Festival that includes Concert Band, Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble and Chamber Ensembles.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

In Memoriam: Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt

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FlumWebsite

It is with an enormous sense of loss that I acknowledge the passing of my colleague and friend Dr. Joe Flummerfelt. I really only got to know Joe well after he moved to Indianapolis, but immediately he felt like a life-long friend. He never took the time a brag about himself or his accomplishments. You sort of had to find out about his greatness indirectly. With his character of humility and calmness he always seemed much more interested in what others were doing or in the music itself. This last year he and I attended a dress rehearsal of Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion at Indiana University. We walked into the quiet, near empty auditorium, sat down …. and almost immediately there was a flock of doctoral choral students surrounding us, each paying tribute and offering their unbridled admiration and thanks to the maestro. He had previously just done a week of seminars. Then as the rehearsal was getting ready to begin. Krzysztof Penderecki and his wife entered and immediately they rushed over to greet their lifelong friend. Little did I know that Joe had been instrumental in the American premiere of the work with Robert Shaw. You could immediately feel the mutual love and respect between these colleagues. Penderecki immediately saw that we had a full score to follow during the rehearsal. We shared the score … commented on various sections and had a very complete musical evening. But I noticed something….. Joe didn’t really need the score. He knew the work. If you want to know about the professional accomplishments of Joe Flummerfelt, you don’t have to look very far. He prepared choruses for the New York Philharmonic and nearly all the great conductors for years. His recordings from Westminster Choir College are a testament to his knowledge of the craft and the art of choral music. As I think of him today I realize we not only suffer the loss of a friend but also his wealth of knowledge, insight and experience.

When it came to starting a new project in Indianapolis… (the Music for All National Choir Festival), Joe was one of our strongest supporters. He loved choral music and loved the idea of creating more choral music in his home city. But he took on the mantle of helping conductors grow. He became a teacher to each conductor by providing a “Conductor’s Critique” experience. Each conductor was video recorded in performance. He created written comments and then met individually with each of them. Almost without exception, the conductors considered it to be a life changing experience. This position at the festival will continue in his honor.

Joe we will miss you, but your friendship, your teaching, your humility, your leadership, and your love for choral music will remain with us always. Thank you my friend.

marlasmithMusic for All is mourning the loss of Marla D. Smith, a member of our Board of Directors, who passed away February 19, 2019. Born in Ft. Wayne, Indiana on January 3, 1946, Marla brought to Music for All not only her expertise as an Executive Assistant and Office Manager, but her lifetime of passion as a featured and state champion twirler and a Westfield High School Marching Band (IN) Band Parent.

Marla will be greatly missed. She is survived by her husband, Tony Smith, daughter, Dede (Felice) Panarisi, grandson, Robert Panarisi, granddaughter, Megan Panarisi, other relatives and many friends.

Celebration of Life Services and Obituary.

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