The Indianapolis-based Music Crossroads Strategic Partner organizations awarded for excellence by the International Festivals and Events Association

The International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) paid tribute to two Indianapolis-based arts organizations on September 14, 2017 during the IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Ceremony held at the 62nd Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat, presented by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, in Tucson, Arizona.

Drum Corps International (DCI) and Music for All received a total of 32 awards, including Gold Awards for DCI in the categories of Best TV Promotion (Ad Spot or PSA), Best Event Video Promotion, Best Digital/Social Ad Series, and Best Miscellaneous Multimedia. Music for All earned Gold Awards in the categories of Best Event Website, Best Organizational E-Newsletter, Best Event E-Newsletter, Best Promotional Brochure, Best Event Promotional Photograph, and Best Educational Program.

The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and top quality creative, promotional, operational, and community outreach programs and materials produced by festivals and events around the world.

Both Music for All and DCI relocated their headquarters to Indianapolis as part of the Indianapolis and Visit Indy’s MusicCrossroads initiative – Music for All in 2003 and DCI in 2008. MusicCrossroads is an economic development and community building initiative created by Visit Indy and other stakeholders to attract music performance and education based organizations and their programming to Indianapolis.

Music for All, a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization, draws a half million student musicians, their families, and fans to more than 30 national events each year, including the Bands of America Grand National Championships and Super Regional Championship in Lucas Oil Stadium, the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis, and the Music for All Summer Symposium at Ball State University.

Also a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, DCI’s global presence spotlights Indianapolis each year with multiple activities including the World Championship Finals, held each August at Lucas Oil Stadium. DCI provides marching music entertainment to millions of fans through live performances and nationally-broadcast events. Collectively the organizations attract more than 50,000 annual participants and visitors to central Indiana.

“It is an honor to be recognized by IFEA for the hard work and talents of our staffs, at both organizations,” said Eric Martin, President and CEO of Music for All, “and to celebrate that acknowledgement of Music for All alongside our partner organization and fellow Indianapolis performing arts organization Drum Corps International is special to us.”

DCI Executive Director Dan Acheson added, “These awards are a testament to the professional talent working on behalf of both organizations to further music education and the performing arts for audiences across the country. DCI is particularly pleased to showcase the City of Indianapolis during our events here.”

“Visit Indy – through our MusicCrossroads initiative – sought out Music for All and Drum Corps International not only for their economic impact and great events, but substantially for their unique ingenuity, creativity, inspiration, and capacity to bring out the best in people through the art of music,” said Matt Carter, Vice President of Destination Development at Visit Indy and Executive Director of MusicCrossroads. “Since moving to Indy, it is no surprise to us that they have continued grow and garner attention for the role they play in building the leaders of today and tomorrow to fullest potential in creative ways as evidenced by their work and these affirmational awards. We celebrate their achievement and consider it an honor for them to call Indy home.”

“We would like to congratulate all of our Pinnacle winners for their outstanding entries into this year’s competition,” said IFEA President & CEO, Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE.

Many Texas school fine arts programs have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey, and while school districts are working to help them recover, some immediate needs still exist. Music for All, Texas Music Educators Association, and a number of Texas fine arts organizations want students in these affected programs to have the resources they need to fully experience a well-rounded education that includes the arts, and we don’t want them to have to wait. You can help bring back the arts.

How You Can Help

Please view the Help Requests and find programs you can support. Even if you don’t have the specific items requested, perhaps there is another way you can help them recover.


In conjunction with other state arts education organizations listed below, the Texas Music Educators Association developed this website to be a central registry where arts programs affected by Hurricane Harvey can post their immediate program needs so that individuals and organizations around our state and nation can respond directly to them. As program needs are met, the lists will be updated. Please share this website with your friends, family, and community so we can expand the network of help and resolve every identified need.

Fine Arts Education Associations:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Grand National Exhibition Bands Announced

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The Bands of America Grand National Championships brings bands from across the country, as they all converge to Indianapolis making it the epicenter of the marching arts. This season we have seen amazing performances both by competing bands and special exhibition groups. We are excited to announce our 2017 Grand National Championships exhibition bands as we continue the tradition of iconic collegiate programs. 

Music for All is proud to announce that The University of Alabama Million Dollar Band will perform at the 2017 Grand National Championships. The strong tradition of the Million Dollar band has been an Alabama Crimson Tide tradition for 104 years. What would college football be without the excitement and thrill of the marching band? 

This 400 plus member marching band covers almost every major and department with the university, easily making the Million Dollar Band the largest student organization on campus. The band is no stranger to Bands of America, having made an appearance at the 2007 Grand National Championships.


To continue the excitement we are also proud to announce that the Bowling Green State University Falcon Marching Band and the Miami University Marching Band will also be performing in exhibition. 

The Bowling Green State University Falcon Marching Band, also known as FMB, has a rich history. Earl Claire Powell established the first marching band in 1923, which only had 20 members, but now the 240 plus member band showcases the finest in musical and visual performances, as well as a centerpiece in BGSU athletic spirit.


The Miami University Marching Band is a game-day tradition for the Redhawks, dating back to 1935 making it one of Miami’s oldest and most active student organizations. The 260-member ensemble has performed across the country including the 2003 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and two bowl games: the 2003 GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama and 2004 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana. The band is excited to perform their 2017 production “Top Secret”, which features music from film and TV, as well as showcasing their new uniforms for the 2017 season.
We kick Grand Nationals week off Wednesday night with the Indianapolis Marching Band Tournament. In exhibition we will have Indianapolis’ own Marian University Marching Knights.Since its rebirth in 2009, the band has performed for many prestigious events on and off campus. The band performs for home football games, parades, pep rallies, campus sporting events, community concerts, and private events. 

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Make sure to mark your calendar for November 8-11, 2017, as The University of Alabama Million Dollar Band, The Bowling Green State University Falcon Marching Band, The Miami University Marching Band, and the Marian University Marching Knights will be taking the field in Indianapolis!

Cut Time

J.W. Pepper & Son Inc., the largest sheet music retailer in the world, has partnered with Music for All for J.W. Pepper’s new online tool, Cut Time®, to be a presenting sponsor for Music for All’s Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha Semi-Finals competition on November 11. J.W. Pepper & Son Inc., the largest sheet music retailer in the world, has partnered with Music for All for J.W. Pepper’s new online tool, Cut Time®, to be a presenting sponsor for Music for All’s Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha Semi-Finals competition on November 11. 

With 140 years of service to music and music education, J.W. Pepper has launched Cut Time®, an online group management tool for music directors and parent booster groups. Cut Time® will help directors manage their music programs and minimize the time spent on administrative tasks. To add to its convenience, Cut Time® is fully mobile, with all the features of the desktop version available on the go with no app required. Core features of Cut Time® include a robust system to manage students, parents, staff, and volunteers; free and easy communication through text and email; event and calendar management; financial tracking; inventory tools; and much more.  

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“As an organization that is dedicated to music advocacy, Music for All is thrilled to have J.W. Pepper’s support and partnership supporting the Bands of America Grand National Championship Semi-Finals and its new Cut Time® product,” says Eric L. Martin, President and CEO of Music for All. “In a world where technology is integral to everyday life, we are excited to see Cut Time® integrate into music education, and anticipate its positive impact benefitting our students, directors, and music education generally.”

Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, is America’s most prestigious marching band event and the culmination of the 21-event Bands of America season. It’s an educational performance opportunity open to all high school bands. With 100 marching bands in attendance, Grand Nationals is a three-day event that takes place in Lucas Oil Stadium, November 9-11 2017, including Preliminary, Semi-Finals, and Finals competition. The Semi-Finals portion of Grand Nationals will feature 30+ bands who advanced from the two days of preliminary competition. With over 1.5 million music students impacted by Music for All’s programs, Bands of America Championships are a celebration of music education at its finest, showcasing excellence, teamwork, and leadership.

According to Kathy Fernandes, Chief Marketing Officer of J.W. Pepper, “we recognize Bands of America Grand Nationals as a premiere event for high school band programs and are thrilled to introduce our Cut Time® platform to participants through sponsorship of the Semi-Final Championships.”

Learn more about the Cut Time® platform here.

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Music for All is excited to announce confirmation of the stadium at Warren High School in Downey, California as site of the 2017 Bands of America Southern California Regional Championship, presented by Yamaha.

The Southern California Regional Championship will be held Saturday, October 28. 

Seventeen bands from California, Indiana, Arizona, Texas, and Nevada are currently enrolled. Space is still available, with preliminary performance times available on a first-come, first-served basis. Join us for our Bands of America “SoCal” Regional Championship!   

2017 March DSI MFA Newsletter adRifles and sabres are embedded in the history of color guard and the tradition of using them in performances is as old as the sport itself. However, due to events in recent years, many schools have banned all weapon-looking items from school grounds. This poses a new challenge for the color guard and their equipment.

DSI has introduced a new twirling prop called the Arc1 that spins and is balanced like a traditional rifle but doesn’t have the traditional rifle look. The Arc1 features no rifle bolt or strap and is contoured for a more unique look. 

The Arc1 is also accepted at all schools so you can feel comfortable that your students are compliant with school regulations.

Created by Director’s Showcase International (DSI) the Arc1 is available now through any authorized DSI retailer. For more information about the Arc1 or DSI please visit:

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In celebration of its 30-year anniversary, Music Travel (MTC) has created a brand-new, state-of-the-art travel design experience. Just as a Director assembles a “Design Team” to help create, score and coordinate a marching show for competition, MTC has assembled an industry leading “Travel Design Team” to provide you a powerful, comprehensive and customized travel experience like never before.Our new Design Studio is home to the MTC Design Team, comprised of Travel Designers who are musicians and teachers, intimately familiar with the intricacies of music group travel. MTC’s Travel Designers are travel industry experts, committed to

Our new Design Studio is home to the MTC Design Team, comprised of Travel Designers who are musicians and teachers, intimately familiar with the intricacies of music group travel. MTC’s Travel Designers are travel industry experts, committed to fast turn-around in sharing their expertise and designs with you.

Be a part of the Music Travel Consultants Travel Design Experience. Click on to reach our new Design Studio, to begin collaboration between your team and the MTC Design Team, and to create the perfect trip for your performing group!

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If your students love music, encourage them to discover the world-class education available at Ball State University.

Recognized for its national leadership and innovative programming at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, Ball State’s School of Music can make students real-world ready for a wide range of careers. Students are challenged academically as well as musically, mentored by faculty while they develop their skills, deepen their artistry, and experience all the School of Music has to offer.

Students also can perform with award-winning ensembles, develop recording engineering and songwriting skills, compose music for a variety of performers and media, or prepare to teach in today's music classrooms.

More than a dozen performance groups are open to Ball State students, including the 65-member Ball State Symphony Orchestra, the “Pride of Mid-America” Marching Band, and Ball State Basketball Band. Students can audition for a spot with the Ball State University Singers, or join the Statesmen or Women’s Chorus, open to any singer, no audition required. 

The School of Music offers five majors and eight minors for undergraduates; two master’s degrees; a doctor of arts; an artist diploma; and an undergraduate certificate, graduate certificate, and doctoral secondary area of study in entrepreneurial music.

At Ball State, students can get involved, feed their spirit, ignite their imagination, and set that journey to music. 

Take a virtual tour of the campus.

Learn more by visiting or calling 765-285-5400.


Seventy-two choirs, orchestras, chamber ensembles, concert bands, and percussion ensembles have been selected to perform at the 27th annual Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, March 15-17, 2018 in Indianapolis. 

Ensembles were selected following a recorded audition process. The Music for All National Festival is a non-competitive event, showcasing outstanding high school and middle school music ensembles from across the nation. Participating ensembles will perform in concert and be evaluated by renowned music educators. The ensembles also participate in master classes and special events.The Festival comprises the National Concert Band Festival; Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival; Middle School National Music Festival; Chamber Music National Festival;  three national honor ensembles: the Honor Band of America, the Jazz Band of America, and the Honor Orchestra of America, and new in 2018, the Music for All National Choir Festival.

Please join us in congratulating these ensembles!


Conner H.S. Chamber Choir – Hebron, KY; John DeFerraro
Dobyns-Bennett H.S. Varsity Choir – Kingsport, TN; Jenny Rogers
Herricks H.S. Chamber Choir – New Hyde Park, NY; Louise O'Hanlon
Hilliard Memorial M.S. 7th Grade Women's Choir – Hilliard, OH; Kelsey D.  Burkett
Hilliard Memorial M.S. 8th Grade Women's Choir – Hilliard, OH; Kelsey D. Burkett
Kings H.S. Chamber Choir – Kings Mills, OH; Hope Milthaler
Lafayette H.S. Madrigal Singers – Lexington, KY; Ryan Marsh
Liberty H.S. Chamber Singers – Colorado Springs, CO; A. J. Wulf
Little Miami H.S. Select Women's Chorale – Morrow, OH; Sarah J. Baker
Logan H.S. Chamber Singers – Logan, OH; John McClain
McMeans Junior H.S. Varsity Choir – Katy, TX; Steve Kalke
Miami Union Academy Concert Choir – North Miami , FL; Jeremy Sovoy Jordan
Oakwood Adventist Academy Choir  – Huntsville , AL; Justin Jordan 
Takoma Academy Chorale – Takoma Park, MD; Lulu Mwangi Mupfumbu


Beck Junior High Chamber Orchestra – Katy, TX; Barbara Nelsen
Hanford H.S. Symphony Orchestra – Richland, WA; Christopher Newbury
Hildebrandt Intermediate School Chamber Orchestra – Spring, TX; Alexandra Jackson
Klein Collins H.S. Symphony Orchestra – Klein, TX; Carlos Lara
New World Youth Symphony Orchestra – Indianapolis, IN; Adam Bodony
Seven Lakes H.S. Symphony Orchestra – Katy, TX; Desiree Overree and John Mays
Seven Lakes H.S. Combined Orchestras – Katy, TX; Colleen Whatley
Seven Lakes H.S. Symphony Strings – Katy, TX; Desiree Overree

Percussion Ensembles

Ashley Ridge H.S. Percussion Ensemble – Summerville, SC; William Register
Creekview H.S. Percussion Ensemble – Carrollton, TX; Matthew Neal
DeKalb H.S. Percussion Ensemble – DeKalb, IL; Steven Lundin
Dickerson M.S. Percussion Ensemble – Marietta, GA; Scott Brown
Friendswood H.S. Percussion Ensemble – Friendswood, TX; Julio Sanchez
Klein Forest H.S. Percussion Ensemble – Houston, TX; Joseph MacMorran
Propser H.S. Percussion Ensemble – Prosper, TX; Michael Huestis
Seguin H.S. Percussion Ensemble – Seguin, TX; Craig Turner
Union H.S. Percussion Ensemble – Camas, WA; Mark  Claassen
University H.S. Percussion Ensemble – Orlando, FL; Jeffrey Willis

Middle School Bands

Bayside Intermediate School Wind Ensemble  – League City, TX; Kyle Mapp
Friendswood Junior High Symphonic Band – Friendswood, TX; Sarah Bennett
Hudson Bend M.S. Honors Band – Austin, TX; Ryan O'Donoghue
Kinard Core Knowledge M.S. Symphonic Band – Fort Collins, CO; Mike Perez
Krimmel Intermediate School Symphonic Band – Spring, TX; Sharon Kalisek
Mason M.S. Symphonic Winds  – Mason, OH; Jason Sleppy
West Ridge M.S. Wind Ensemble – Austin, TX; Susan Glover

Chamber Ensembles

Cypress Fairbanks ISD Honor Clarinet Choir – Houston, TX; Brian Drake
Cypress Falls H.S. Woodwind Quintet – Houston, TX; Mark Edenfield
Huntley H.S. Saxophone Quartet – Huntley, IL; Philip Carter
McLean H.S. Chamber Winds – McLean, VA; Deidra Denson
Mountain View H.S. Chamber Strings – Vancouver, WA; Sam Ormson
Salyards M.S. Flute Ensemble – Cypress, TX; Joe Glass
Victor J. Andrew H.S. Flute Quartet – Tinley Park, IL; Mark Iwinski

Featured Bands

Cherry Creek H.S. Wind Ensemble – Greenwood Village, CO; Tim Libby
Creekview H.S. Wind Symphony – Carrollton, TX; Arturo Denis
Cuthbertson H.S. Blue Note Winds – Waxhaw, NC; Todd Ebert
Cypress Ranch H.S. Wind Ensemble – Cypress, TX; Russell Holcombe
Dillard H.S. Wind Orchestra – Fort Lauderdale, FL; Sheldon McLean
Germantown H.S. Symphonic Band – Madison, MS; Justin Harvison
James W. Robinson Secondary School Symphonic Band  – Fairfax, VA; Andrew Loft
Jefferson Forest H.S. Wind Symphony – Forest, VA; David Webb
Jenks H.S. Wind Symphony – Jenks, OK; Scott Hillock
Klein Collins H.S. Wind Ensemble – Klein, TX; Chris Rugila
Lockport Township H.S. Wind Symphony – Lockport, IL; Brian Covey
Mansfield Legacy H.S. Wind Symphony – Mansfield, TX; Adam Hoffmann
Palmer Ridge H.S. Wind Ensemble – Monument, CO; Raleigh Eversole
Palo Verde H.S. Wind Orchestra – Las Vegas, NV; David Irish
Seven Lakes H.S. Wind Symphony  – Katy, TX; John Mays
University H.S. Wind Ensemble – Orange City, FL; David Martin

Invited Bands

Blacksburg H.S. Symphonic Band – Blacksburg , VA; Darrell Pearman
Chantilly H.S. Symphonic Winds – Chantilly, VA; Douglas Maloney
Conroe H.S. Wind Ensemble – Conroe, TX; Bobby Heathcock
Denver School of the Arts Wind Ensemble – Denver, CO; Dave Hammond
Evergreen H.S. Wind Symphony – Vancouver, WA; Brent Johnson
Joliet West H.S. Symphonic Band – Joliet, IL; Eric Wellman
Norcross H.S. Wind Symphony – Norcross, GA; Lee Newman
Parkway H.S. Wind Symphony – Bossier City, LA; Mark Minton
Sapulpa H.S. Wind Ensemble – Sapulpa, OK; Craig Amendt
West Boca Raton Community H.S. Wind Ensemble – Boca Raton, FL; Larry Shane

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We are pleased to announce that we have officially confirmed Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the 2017 Bands of America Championship season.

The Atlanta Super Regional Championship will be on Saturday, October 28th.

We hope to see you in Atlanta as we bring BOA to this beautiful new stadium. Take a look at the progress that has been made on construction so far, we can't wait to see it in person!