The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

Choir

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.

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 https://choir.musicforall.org/

Lynda Hasseler, Capital University, OH, and Jason Max Ferdinand, Oakwood University, AL, will serve on the artistic panel for the 2019 National Choir Festival, March 14-16 in Indianapolis.

In these days of political, personal and spiritual disintegration, music is not a luxury but a necessity, not just because it is the universal language, but because it is the persistent focus of our intelligence, our aspirations, and our good will.’ Though written many years ago, Robert Shaw’s words speak directly to the struggles of our current culture. Never have we needed music more. The work of Music for All to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music is precisely what we need to inspire us to reach across the differences that divide and alienate us from one another. I am honored and excited to be serving this dynamic organization and making music with the many talented young musicians who will be participating in the 2019 National Festival! Together we will focus our intelligence, our aspirations, and our good will - and make the world a better place!” –Lynda Hasseler

After providing feedback to festival applicants during blind listening, Lynda Hasseler spoke to young leaders at 2018 Summer Symposium about working together to destigmatize mental illness and to support those who are battling depression and thoughts of suicide. View her presentation featuring Capital University Chapel Choir performing Please Stay by composer Jake Runestad here:

The Oakwood Aeolians under the direction of Jason Max Ferdinand provided a moving guest choir performance for participants of the premiere National Choir Festival. Hear the Aeolians in rehearsal here:

“My initial festival experience with Music for All was mind blowing. It renewed my faith in music advocacy and music education. The world needs more music. Music for All is helping to better lives and in so doing, making the world a better place. I cannot wait for the 2019 festival!” –Jason Max Ferdinand

Music for All is proud of their esteemed committees who teach and advocate for choral music throughout the year; See our current and past Artistic Choral Committees here.

Music for All is honored to have Dr. André J. Thomas as Guest Conductor and Stacey V. Gibbs as Composer-in-Residence for the 2019 National Choir Festival!

André J. Thomas, conductor, composer, professor and author, is the Owen F. Sellers Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University. He currently serves as president-elect for the American Choral Directors Association. Artist Director, Henry Leck, stated “It is with excitement and pleasure that I look forward to welcoming and co-conducting with the incredible Dr. Andre Thomas at the Music for All National Choir Festival 2019 in Indianapolis.  Dr. Thomas has been a friend for over 30 years … an icon … and a mentor to all of us in the choral profession. We are so honored to include him in this festival.”

Stacey V. Gibbs is a prolific and highly sought-after composer-arranger. Best known for arrangements of spirituals, he is highly acclaimed for his ability to infuse new energy into familiar works without sacrificing their authenticity or power. Lori Lobsiger, Choral Program Coordinator said, “Watching Gibbs interact with singers in 2018, the energy and encouragement he showered upon the young singers underscored his commitment to the support and development of young people through music.”  In preparing for the 2019 National Choir Festival, Gibbs announced, “I am elated to serve as composer-in-residence for the 2019 National Choir Festival, March, 2019.  We will present a commissioned composition titled ‘Music Helps Me Make It Through the Day’ for chorus, solo and orchestra.  Please mark your calendars and join us!”

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2018 was a year of firsts for the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha. The highly-anticipated premiere of the National Choir Festival took place with 12 choral ensembles performing at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, a breathtaking performance by the Aeolians of Oakwood University, and the Music for All National Choir Concert featuring all choral students of the National Choir Festival.

The National Choir Festival performing choirs included:

Conner H.S. Chamber Choir – Hebron, KY; John DeFerraro, director
Dobyns-Bennett H.S. Varsity Choir – Kingsport, TN; Jenny Rogers, director
Herricks H.S. Chamber Choir – New Hyde Park, NY; Louise O'Hanlon, director
Kings H.S. Chamber Choir – Kings Mills, OH; Hope Milthaler, director
Lafayette H.S. Madrigal Singers – Lexington, KY; Ryan Marsh, director
Liberty H.S. Chamber Singers – Colorado Springs, CO; A. J. Wulf, director
Little Miami H.S. Select Women's Chorale – Morrow, OH; Sarah J. Baker, director
Logan H.S. Chamber Singers – Logan, OH; John McClain, director
McMeans Junior H.S. Varsity Choir – Katy, TX; Steve Kalke, director
Miami Union Academy Concert Choir – North Miami, FL; Jeremy Sovoy Jordan, director
Oakwood Adventist Academy Choir  – Huntsville, AL; Justin Jordan , director
Takoma Academy Chorale – Takoma Park, MD; Lulu Mwangi Mupfumbu, director

Many people were moved to tears by these talented musicians. The church was the perfect venue to display the variety of voices. Later on in the evening, the Aeolians of Oakwood University performed a beautiful 90-minute performance, under the direction of Jason Max Ferdinand. Their repertoire included: Lift Every Voice, If I Can Help, How Great Thou Art, Jubilate Deo, Keramos, Psalm 67, Joshua, Ezekiel, True Religion, Take it to the Lord in Prayer by Nolan Williams, Holy City, and Someday

To close out the National Choir Festival, the Music for All National Choir Concert took place at Hilbert Circle Theatre on Saturday afternoon. The concert was bookended by the national Treble Choir and Music for All National Choir, featuring 500 voices from 12 high schools from New York, Maryland, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Colorado, as well as one Junior High School Choir from Texas, and two youth choirs from Indianapolis Children’s Choir: Bel Canto and Bella Voce. This impressive concert was under the direction of Music for All Choral Artistic Director, Henry Leck, founder and conductor laureate of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and Guest Conductor, Dr. Rollo Dilworth, Professor of Choral Music Education at Temple University.

The choir performed new choral works written specifically for the Premiere National Choir Festival. The concert began with conductor Richard Saucedo’s Music for All 2018 National Fanfare, followed by Saucedo’s arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner, newly-arranged for choir and orchestra for the Music for All Premiere National Choir Festival. The National Treble Choir performed Great Camp Meeting, and I Sing Because I’m Happy composed by Rollo Dilworth, and two original compositions by Jim Papoulis. Next, a special guest choir NOTUS, from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, performed three contemporary musical selections under the direction of Dr. Dominick DiOrio. NOTUS is committed to championing living composers through the commissioning, programming, and recording of new works. The National Festival Mixed Choir then performed Freedom’s Plow by Rollo Dilworth, Jubilate Deo, (Movements 6 and 7) by Dan Forrest. The concert came to a spectacular close with Henry Leck’s We Believe in Music – written in honor of the premiere National Choir Festival. The choir was accompanied by members of the Ball State University Symphony Orchestra, directed by Douglas Droste. NOTUS of Indiana University and The Aeolians of Oakwood University also joined in the finale of the concert, filling Hilbert Circle Theatre with more than 500 voices raised in joyful song.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Grand National Anthem Choir

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In celebration of the launch of the Music for All National Choir Festival in 2018, Music for All hosted the first massed-choir to perform the National Anthem that opened the Saturday evening Finals of the Bands of America Grand National Championships, conducted by Henry Leck, Artistic Director of the National Choir Festival.

Music for All thanks National Choir Festival Coordinators Lori Lobsiger and Kim Mann for coordinating this special massed-choir, and the students and choir directors from the following schools:

  • Homestead H.S., Fort Wayne, IN – Curtis Shaw, Director
  • Little Miami H.S., Morrow, OH – Sarah Baker, Director
  • Indian Hill H.S., Cincinnati, OH – Jeff Clark, Director
  • Herron H.S., Indianapolis, IN – Jonathan Harris, Scott Riley, Directors
  • Indianapolis Youth Chorale, Indianapolis, IN – Mary Evers, Director

Video of the Performance

The choir sang the Alfred Publication, SATB Star Spangled Banner arrangement by Russ Robinson, under the direction of Henry Leck, founder of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and Music for All Educational Consultant. It was a truly incredible performance that impressed the audience and certainly introduced choir to the Music for All family in a perfect way.

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Music for All will add programs for choir in 2018 with the premiere of the Music for All National Choir Festival, at the 2018 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, in Indianapolis. The Music for All National Choir Festival will be an integral part of Music for All’s ongoing mission to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Henry Leck, Founder and Artistic Director of the famed Indianapolis Children’s Choir, has joined as Artistic Director of the Music for All National Choir Festival. Lori Lobsiger and Kim Mann, leaders in choral event programming and past producers of the World Choir Games, have joined Music for All as program consultants for the new MFA National Choir Festival.

“It’s extremely exhilarating to be involved in this new choral initiative and with an organization of such high caliber,” said Henry Leck, Artistic Director. “I look forward to bringing many talented choirs from all over the nation to the festival to further music education and help students experience the magic that Music for All offers with all of its programs.”

The new National Choir Festival is a non-competitive experience for outstanding high school and youth choirs, of both treble and mixed voices, to celebrate musical excellence and provide opportunities for growth and learning. The Festival offers an opportunity for each ensemble to receive recorded and written evaluation of its performance from a knowledgeable audience of music educators and fellow choir members. The festival also incorporates master classes led by world-renowned musicians and top applied faculty, as well as social events that give students the chance to network with colleagues, guest artists and icons of music education. At the end of the festival, students, directors, parents, staff and evaluators will attend a Gala Awards Banquet where all ensembles are recognized for their participation.

“Music for All is excited to take this next logical step in support of and advocacy for scholastic music education,” said Eric L. Martin, President and CEO of Music for All. “For 40 years we have created and provided programs supporting, elevating and advocating for the availability and excellence of instrumental music instruction in our schools and nation. Expanding our commitment to choral music fulfills requests of MFA alumni and music educators from across the nation, as well as Music for All’s vision to ensure that every child across America has access to the benefits of quality scholastic music education offerings.”

The 2018 MFA National Choir Festival will be held March 15-17. This year, 2016, marks the 25th anniversary of the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, which currently includes concert bands, orchestras, percussion ensembles, chamber ensembles, and three national honor ensembles – the Honor Band of America, Honor Orchestra of America, and Jazz Band of America. A full schedule of Festival ensemble concerts, times, and locations for the upcoming 2016 Festival to be held in Indianapolis, March 10-12, will be available at www.musicforall.org/festival.

 

Download the Music for All National Choir Festival Brochure.

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