The SWAG Team is a special group of volunteers who give their talent and time at the MFA Summer Symposium to ensure the best possible experience for students and directors. The Inaugural SWAG Scholarship was awarded at the 2011 Summer Symposium to Fiona McGowan, a senior music education and German major at the University of Dayton. McGowan has served as a SWAG for the last three years and was a student participant at the 2006 Symposium. Anmol Mehra, SWAG alumnus, created the $1,000 scholarship to support an exceptional SWAG with college tuition. The scholarship recipient was chosen based on exemplary leadership skills, academic excellence, service to others and a commitment and passion for music and arts education.
Congratulations, Fiona and thank you, Anmol!
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If you're a college student currently majoring in music education (undergraduate or graduate level), you can attend the 2011 DCI World Championship Semifinals as our guest! You'll experience the event inside and out, beginning the day with a special educational workshop led by author and professional speaker Fran Kick. Following this workshop, you'll get a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium, experience drum corps in their warm-up setting and more, all before watching the Semifinals performances from reserved seating! This opportunity is also available to NAfME collegiate members and 2010 DCI alumni.
Space is limited and only offered on a first-come, first-served basis. RSVP is required. Watch for information on MFA's Grand National Championships music education major event in upcoming MFA eNewsletters.
Download the flyer for more details and information on how to RSVP.
This story first appeared in the MFA eNewsletter. You can get the latest news and offers from MFA, too. Sign up now.
The Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award annually recognizes the extraordinary commitment, dedication, support and sacrifice of music parents and boosters around the world by shining a spotlight on an individual who exemplifies these qualities. All current, active parents, boosters or supporters of any scholastic music education program are eligible for nomination (nominees do not have to be affiliated with Bands of America or Music for All participating bands). Former or inactive parents, boosters and supporters of Bands of America and Music for All participating programs may also be nominated. The 2011 recipient will be recognized during an awards ceremony at the BOA Grand National Championships in Indianapolis.
Music for All will be exhibiting at Get IndyVolved tomorrow (Tuesday, July 19) from 6-8 p.m. at the Indianapolis City Market. We'd love to see you - stop by and say hello if you're attending! In fact, if you stop by and tell us you read this blog post, we'll give you a complimentary MFA bracelet (or two)!
IndyHub's 6th annual Get IndyVolved will showcase dozens of Indianapolis organizations and is geared specifically toward 20- and 30- somethings looking for places to plug into the city. It's a casual affair - attendees stop by after work and chat with peers representing groups they're involved with. The 2010 event drew a crowd of more than 400 attendees + 72 exhibitors! The 2011 Get IndyVolved is presented by Frost Brown Todd, with additional support from the Indianapolis City Market.
For more information and to RSVP, visit the Get IndyVolved Facebook page found here.
For more information about IndyHub, visit their website.
Music for All's email marketing efforts, working with our Strategic Partner Delivra, are in the news this week. Read about how MFA's marketing team uses email to communicate with friends and fans in a more targeted way about the information that most interests them.
The third annual Jazz Education Network Conference, January 4-7, Louisville, KY, is calling for submission of research papers related to the conference theme, Developing Tomorrow's Jazz Audiences Today!
The Jazz Education Network is a Strategic Partner of Music for All. Read the complete information and submission guidelines.
It’s hard to believe that the 2011 Summer Symposium is over. Today, I’m writing from a much quieter space – my cubicle at the Music for All office in Indianapolis. It’s good to be home, and I was thrilled to see my family again. But, I also find myself feeling nostalgic, and the quiet of our office is a stark contrast to the music, laughter, hustle and bustle that was all around at camp.
Symposium was a positively life-changing experience for me, and I hope it was for all participants as well. Even though this was my third Symposium, it’s still always amazing for me to see so many musicians and music-enthusiasts gathered on one campus for the purpose of celebrating and learning about the power of music and music education. Music holds a very special place in my heart, and it is truly satisfying to see what so many musicians can do when given a week to rehearse and perform together. The final performances on Saturday were a true testament to all the hard work the students put in over the course of the week.
Saturday and Sunday were quite busy so today has been my first chance to take a deep breath and really reflect on what I experienced last week at Summer Symposium. Last night, I took a moment to watch the Symposium Highlight video montage a second time. (You can find it here if you haven’t had a chance to view this video yet.) It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces, and I find myself already looking forward to next year’s Symposium. Seeing students experience life-changing musical experiences is reenergizing and revitalizing – it reminds me why I do what I do, and why music education is so important.
I was so impressed with all the students at this year’s Symposium. I hope to see many back next year. We’re already starting to think about the 2012 Symposium. I hope to see you there.
Until next year,
We’ve reached the final day of Summer Symposium, and even though it’s early, it has been a busy morning already!
The morning started with a Parent Breakfast at 7 a.m. at The Atrium. Shortly after breakfast, parents and family members participated in a session about their child’s experience at Symposium and what to expect upon returning home. This session also gave family the opportunity to participate in a special session with Fran Kick, Leadership Division Coordinator.
At 9 a.m., the final performances will begin! From 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., the Concert Band, Orchestra, Percussion and Jazz performances will run concurrently on campus. The Concert Band and Orchestra performances will take place in the Music Instruction Building – Sursa Hall. The Jazz performances will take place in Pruis Hall, starting at 10:00 a.m. These concerts provide students with the opportunity to showcase what they’ve learned this week for friends and family.
At 11:30 a.m., the Community Day Picnic will take place on the Quad. Families will enjoy the opportunity to relax a bit and grab a bite to eat before afternoon performances. And, it looks like a gorgeous, sunny day so hopefully families will have a chance to soak up some sun!
Afternoon performances from the Color Guard, Marching Percussion, and Marching Band will take place, as will the Drum Major March Off. All these performances will take place in Scheumann Stadium.
Speaking of Scheumann Stadium, the DCI show was last night. What a great night! The show featured some of the world’s best drum and bugle corps - Blue Stars, Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, Glassmen, Madison Scouts, Pioneer, Teal Sound and Troopers. Plus, there was a performance by the Center X Productions Summer Symposium Marching Band. The Marching Band Division students marched side-by-side with Carolina Crown, Summer Symposium artists-in-residence. Imagine being able to stand and rehearse shoulder-to-shoulder with the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps! What a great experience for these students.
Campus is buzzing with activity as parents and families are arriving on campus for final performances. I know the performances will be wonderful. It’s hard to believe the week is drawing to a close. Today will be a busy day so I may not have a chance to blog more until early next week, but check back then for an update and wrap up.
I ended up visiting several tracks early on this morning, but before I get to that, let me fill you in on the concert band track. Last night, I was lucky enough to have a bit of time to stop by and hear the end of the “Oklahoma” Concert Band’s rehearsal.
The band is conducted by Dr. Joseph Missal, who is celebrating his 25th year as Director of Bands and Professor of Music at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Missal also directs the graduate conducting program, teaches undergraduate conducting, and serves as Area Coordinator for the Wind and Percussion Division.
“Practice like you’re going to perform,” Dr. Missal instructed the students.
The band was getting ready to rehearse “Resonances I” by Ron Nelson. I noticed when looking over the shoulder of a student percussionist that the piece is divided into six parts – Unit I, II, III, IV, V and VI. After researching later, I learned that the six parts of this work are made up of “boxes of activity,” and the duration of each section is determined by the conductor. The title makes sense – each instrument has seemingly independent lines that explore different textures and eventually all come together in a cacophony of sound that ends with a mighty, percussive crash.
After the band finished the piece, the bell sets rang on for a moment in the suddenly quiet room. The band waited patiently for the sound to fade away.
“Our goal is to be the best we can be,” Dr. Missal said. “If it’s not about music, it’s not worth doing. I’m so proud of you, but I’m not done [working] with you yet. We’ll take this [music] to another level.”
I chatted briefly with Hunter, a percussionist, on my way out. I asked if he was having a good time this week. He told me it was his first time at camp, and he said it’s been a great experience. He also told me that was really happy with the pieces the band has been rehearsing, and I hope to be able to hear their repertoire in full tomorrow at the final performances.
The morning was a great time for me to visit student tracks. First, I stopped to see the Jazz students. I watched Rex Richardson take the band through rehearsal. Richardson is rated by musicians and critics as being “among the very best trumpet soloists in the world today,” (ITG Journal, Jan. 2011). He cleaned some specific sections and was working with the trombone section as I walked in.
It was fun to listen to Richardson work with Adam, the student playing Drum Set. He instructed Adam to play a drumbeat that was a total contrast to what the horns were doing. The horns were swinging, and Adam played an almost march-like beat. The contrast was a completely unique, interesting sound, and it worked so well! As Richardson put it, “I really like that. It’s kind of goofy, but it’s supposed to be.”
I’m constantly reminded of the musical maturity of these students. One student mentioned that he thought the ensemble needed to go back and work on measure 110 again. Richardson agreed. That kind of maturity is impressive – the fact that students can hear those issues and know how to solve them is amazing.
As I headed out, I took a look at my schedule and realized the Percussion Ensemble students were also rehearsing in the same building. I found them discussing cymbal crashes. It was very interesting to hear about how different types of cymbals affect the sound.
I learned that there are specific cymbals that fit different pieces of music. The discussion turned to how cymbals used to be classified by three weights – French, Viennese and Germanic. Different cymbals produce different sound characteristics, which I guess I always knew, but I hadn't really thought about it in depth before. I thought it was really helpful and unique that the students learned how the dimensions and thickness affect the sound. It really gives a true understanding of what is happening when they play, which is important.
It was starting to look a bit cloudy, but I was energized from the jazz and percussion sessions so I thought I’d brave the potential weather and wander over to see the color guard. I’m so glad I did – they were rehearsing on the quad for their final performance tomorrow, and they were phenomenal to watch!
Melanie Glazer, senior SWAG for the Color Guard Division, told me that Carolina Crown’s guard worked with the students earlier in the day. As I watched the guard students practice, Glazer told me that the first two days of the track, students worked on a routine that they then performed for each other and for directors on Wednesday evening. Then they worked on their final routine, which they’ll perform tomorrow.
Students have also experienced advance technique classes with Vincent Thomas, Associate Professor of Dance at Towson University in Maryland. Students worked in their individual sections as well (flag, rifle or sabre), and they also had leadership classes each day. Additionally, they had the opportunity to take elective classes and work on partner tricks, basic skills on another piece of equipment, or attend a session on how to audition for Drum Corps.
It was great to see the students out on the spacious quad rehearsing, and I know their performance tomorrow will be wonderful.
The Drum Corps International show is happening right now! I was out there earlier tonight and had a chance to see some corps as well as the Marching Band Track students. The Marching Band students performed the National Anthem, and they’ll also perform later tonight with Carolina Crown. The students have been rehearsing and performing with Carolina Crown throughout the week in preparation for the DCI Central Indiana show tonight at Scheumann Stadium.
I'm looking forward to the final concerts tomorrow!