Music for All is grateful that weather conditions allowed completion of the entirety of the Preliminary Competition at the Bands of America Regional at Powders Springs, GA on Saturday, October 26. We were not as fortunate for Finals. Due to the steady rain during the day which grew heavier at the end of Prelims, and more rain in the evening forecast, Bands of America officials conferred with the Finalist band directors and, after considering the safety and well-being of the participants and audience members, cancelled the evening’s Finals. We would like to thank all involved in ensuring the safety of band members, spectators, and staff during the inclement weather.
The overriding ticketing policy for Music for All/Bands of America events is that tickets are “non- refundable.” Nevertheless, where extraordinary circumstances, like severe weather, cause the cancellation of all or a substantial portion of an event, Music for All has established refund polices for that event and offered full or partial refunds as appropriate.
We request that our patrons note that the costs of the event (stadium rental, stadium personnel, judges’ fees and other expenses) were still incurred and paid by Music for All. We invite you to consider foregoing any refund, and instead donate the value of your refund in support of these expenses. Thank you in advance if you choose to donate your refund, and we will provide you with an acknowledgement of your charitable contribution.
Following are Music for All’s policies concerning ticket refunds for the 2019 Regional at Powder Springs:
Cooperative Tickets (issued to bands) - No refund
Day-Pass – $10 refund
Adult Finals Ticket - $21 refund
Discount Finals Ticket - $16 refund
To request a refund, please send your name, address, and copy of your ticket to:
Music for All, Inc.
39 W. Jackson Place, Suite 150
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding our refund policies for the 2019 Regional at Powder Springs, please do not hesitate to contact us at 800.848.2263.
Posted Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. local time – Due to ongoing inclement weather, Music for All has cancelled Finals for the Bands of America Regional at Powder Springs, GA.
The decision was made at the Finalist Directors Meeting, after discussing options with the Finalist Band Directors, and for the safety and well-being of the participants and spectators.
Information will be posted on musicforall.org the beginning of next week to answer questions guests might have about tickets and refunds.
Bands of America and Lucas Oil Stadium would like to thank everyone for attending today’s preliminary competition. At the conclusion of the awards announcement, Lucas Oil Stadium would ask for all patrons to exit the facility before the Stadium is opened for the finals competition at 6:30 PM.
Due to inclement weather, the stadium is allowing for guests to exit the facility through the covered connector tunnel to the Indiana Convention Center near section 103. For the awards ceremony, the North gate will remain as an entrance but guests will also be able to enter through that same connector tunnel entrance until 7:00 PM.
Thank you again for joining us all today, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
It is our pleasure to announce the 2019 International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) awards Music for All has received.
Headquartered in Boise, ID, the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) is The Premier Association Supporting and Enabling Festival & Event Professionals Worldwide. The 64th Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat, presented by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance was held from September 25-27, 2019 in Colonial Williamsburg, VA.
The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Ceremony was held on September 25, where awards were given in 69 different categories. Music for All took home three awards in the Gold Category, five awards in the Silver Category, and eight in the Bronze Category.
Best TV Promotion - 2021 Bands of America Honor Band in the Rose Parade
Best New Promotion - Music for All Summer Symposium Community Engagement Program
Best Individual Sponsor Follow Up Report - Yamaha Corporation of America
Best Misc. Printed Material (Single Page) - 2021 Honor Band in the Rose Parade
Best Cover Design - 2019 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha
Best Misc. Multimedia - Montage from the 2019 Music for All Summer Symposium. presented by Yamaha
Best Pin or Button - I Believe in Music
Best Give-Away Item - Bands of America folio
Best Press/Media Kit - Advocacy in Action
Best Community Outreach - Zippy Zebra
Best Event Program - 2019 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha
Best Event/Organization E-Newsletter - Music for All Monthly E-News
Best Event/Organization E-Newsletter - 2019 Daily Buzz, part of the Music for All Summer Symposium, presented by Yamaha
Best Misc. Printed Materials (Multiple Page) - 2019 Summer Symposium Folder
Best Community Outreach - Music for All Summer Symposium Community Engagement Program
Best Sponsor Gift - Grand Nationals Plaque
Cecily Yoakam has joined the Music for All staff as Advocacy and Educational Resources Coordinator. Cecily comes to Music for All most recently having taught band at Barton Middle School in Buda, TX as part of the Hays Consolidated Independent School District, where she focused primarily on teaching beginner woodwind students.
Cecily graduated from Union High School in Tulsa, OK, where she was a drum major and played the oboe. She went on to study Music Education at the University of North Texas, graduating in 2017. She is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, Texas Music Educators Association, and Texas Bandmasters’ Association.
She is a former Bands of America Championship and Music for All Summer Symposium participant. In the summer of 2017, she served as the Advocacy and Educational Resources Intern. Cecily served on the Summer Symposium SWAG Team for three years.
“The Music for All Education Team along with the Indianapolis office staff are thrilled to have Cecily Yoakam join the organization in this crucial role,” says James Stephens, Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources. “Cecily certainly has the passion, energy, and experience to be a key player in the development and expansion of our educational programming and advocacy work. I am excited to work alongside Cecily through our commitment and support of scholastic music education and access to it for every child.”
“The impact music has had on my life inspired me to become a music teacher so I may have the chance to give others the same experiences, and I feel incredibly humbled and grateful to serve this organization.” says Yoakam, “Without the experiences I had as a student participant and SWAG team member, I would not be who I am today. I firmly believe everyone should have access and opportunity to music, not just the few who can afford it. I believe in Music for All because I believe that through growing young musicians, it is an opportunity to grow a better future. By providing students with diverse and positive opportunities to experience music, Music for All is changing the world -- one student at a time through music.”
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Music for All, Inc. is a nonprofit, a 501(c)3 educational organization that presents more than 45 programs and events across America annually and is a voice for music and arts education in all scholastic environments.
1. The choice or best of anything
2. A group of persons exercising a major share of authority or influence
What does it mean to be ‘elite’?
Elite is a conscious effort to be better, stronger, livelier than the performer you were yesterday. It’s embodying the spirit of an organization. It’s performing harder and engaging the audience more genuinely. It’s following through on tradition and simultaneously impacting those who will follow after you have left. Elite is not a score, nor is it a ranking. It’s earned through the hearts and minds of those you impact.
Elite is not a status; it’s a mindset.
From high school marching band, to winter guard, to drum corps, to college band, DSI is dedicated to supporting a mindset of growth, spirit, and tradition. We share a joy in watching young performers bring crowds to their feet cheering, dancing, singing along, rallying a team to victory. We believe in the power of performance. We believe in Elite.
DSI understands that the most elite performers deserve the most elite equipment! That’s why we are proud to offer footwear, accessories, and color guard equipment that meet the demands of these students. No matter the crowd, it pays to look and feel your best. From Friday Night Football, to Game Day and Competition Saturdays, to indoor performances, to stadium finals, trust DSI to help you reach Elite.
Throughout my career in teaching and adjudicating music festivals, I have observed that successful band performances are based on the development of certain habits. Forming the correct habits takes time, patience and persistence. Developing incorrect habits involves limited effort and can produce a harmful effect on the ensemble’s performance.
Effective and efficient performance in band requires individuals to function cooperatively in the pursuit of common goals. Along the continuum of musical growth from the early to advanced stages, students transition from being dependent learners to independent musicians. For me, an ideal scenario is when they become interdependent performers and achieve a synergistic relationship in their collective musicianship. To aid students along this musical journey, band teachers may find it beneficial to impart their charges with specific, repeatable behaviors. I refer to such behaviors as habits. When students behave in a musical way, the results are musical. By encouraging young musicians to form the correct habits, teachers prepare them to engage in music making without impediments such as poor posture, lack of breath support, lack of attention to detail that may negatively affect the overall outcome.
With the aforementioned assertions in mind, I have generated a list of Seven Habits for Highly Effective Bands (with apologies to Stephen Covey.) While some teachers may have other priorities, it has been my experience that instituting these “habits” leads to confident and competent results. The only priority with these seven habits are the first three which I feel are essential building blocks before others may accrue.
HABIT #1: Posture is the initial step to establish an ensemble that not only looks professional but is physically primed to produce a well-supported tone. Sitting toward the edge of the chair and raising the music stand are two very simple strategies initiate this habit.
When ensembles enter the stage for a festival or perform in a venue other than the rehearsal room, they may encounter a different seating arrangement and should adjust the stands as required. It is well worth the time to address this issue with the band prior to any performance outside of the customary rehearsal/performance space. Young students in particular are reluctant to change a stand height in a new setting. After all this is someone else’s stuff. Ensure they can see you, are grounded with good posture and are positioned comfortably away from the back of the chair.
HABIT #2: Holding the instrument is another habit to bolster any wind players’ musical development. As with posture, ensure that students are aware of the correct holding position and repeat it every time they pick up their instrument.
Try these ideas to improve your players’ set-up:
Some examples of a balanced instrument position include:
HABIT #3: Breathing should be a natural and repeatable habit that wind players demonstrate every time they produce a tone on their instrument. There are countless resources available to assist teachers in establishing good breathing habits with their students. An internet search will yield an abundance of ideas to establish and form effective breathing habits. Developing this habit involves two important phases, inhalation and exhalation.
To introduce the inhalation phase, try the following:
Another technique for experiencing this sensation is to have students flop forward like one of those inflatable tube people you see at car dealerships that's been deflated, letting the arms and head hang down in front. Then, take full, deep breaths. They should be able to feel and see their upper body rising and falling with the intake of air. This exercise helps students more viscerally experience and visualize what it means to take a deep breath.
Repeat breathing activities often to form habits that reinforce both ensemble sound and unity. A general caveat is when dealing with slower or more nuanced music. In such instances, encourage an approach that leads to breathing in the tempo, expression and character of the music.
Exhalation is equally important and can underpin musicality through extended phrasing, expression, tonal focus, pitch accuracy and tuning. As with inhalation, this habit can be practiced without the instruments. Transferring the concept to the instrument is critical.
Try this exhalation method:
I reiterate, one can locate innumerable resources to support introductory through advanced breathing techniques. These initial breathing habits are intended to merely establish a base line for students to utilize each and every time they inhale and exhale. To quote Arnold Jacobs, “We must keep simple things simple.”
These first three habits create conditions for consistent and repeatable individual musical behaviors (habits) which lead to effective performances. Devoting time each day checking and rechecking a player’s set-up while emphasizing correct breathing practices will produce confidence and competence.
The following habits focus on the entire ensemble. These group exercises can be practiced in a warm up and seamlessly transferred to any piece of music. Essentially, the habit transforms from individual to communal behavior. Where scales are indicated in the exercises, a 5-note scale may be substituted for beginning bands.
HABIT #4: Watching the conductor is an important habit for all students to acquire. Inattentiveness is typically caused by not requiring the performers to watch direction from the podium or because the director counts the group in far too often. Counting aloud is not an especially bad practice on the part of the conductor since it encourages a consistent pulse and tempo. However, the result of frequently counting time may result in a band that does not respond to conducting gestures.
This conducting strategy may be used to establish the habit of watching more and synergize non-verbal communication between the conductor and the performers:
Applying this habit will soon have dozens of pairs of eyes focused on the podium. Make this habit a transferable skill that can be applied to the repertoire by indicating dynamics, style, tempo through all conducting gestures. In particular, consider repertoire or study material containing a variety of caesura to verify the habit has been established with your band.
Another strategy to garner visual focus is to draw scale degrees or solfège names on a blackboard as a target point. Move a pointer, yardstick, baton or finger up and down the “modulator” and have the students play the scale degrees that you point to. Make up tunes using these scale degrees. Have the students play “Name that Tune” as you challenge them by incrementally adding one note before they solve the puzzle.
HABIT #5: Expression is an important concept many ensembles seem to lack or marginally develop. Expressive playing should not be foreign to any musician. It may take time to acquire this musical behavior, but it is well worth the effort and will soon become an innate habit for your students. Developing expressive performance during the formative stages of music learning yields positive results for the student’s entire musical experience.
An introductory strategy for this habit is shaping a phrase cultivated through the warm up routine:
A further extension of this habit is to have the musicians provide their own expression for a unison passage from a method book or an entire etude containing no expressive markings. Have them share their product with the class and then the full ensemble repeats what is demonstrated.
Perhaps the most natural way to inculcate expression as a natural habit for young musicians is to have them sing. Whether they vocalize just one note or an entire phrase, producing a sound from within can have a profound effect on their musical development. Singing should become a natural habit that supports all music learning including sight reading, pitch control, and most importantly expression. When band members are reluctant to vocalize by singing, try having them “say” the note. Ask them to “say” this note (F concert) but you sing it. They will respond by “saying it” at pitch – actually singing. Move from this one note approach to singing segments of the melody and having them repeat. Eventually the group will move from “saying” short melodic phrases to singing their own parts independently. To quote Arnold Jacobs again, “Singing is what develops the music centers in the brain.”
HABIT #6: Rhythm, counting and playing in time are important ensemble skills as well. Once rhythmic independence and interdependence becomes a habit, the more fluency and facility the performers will demonstrate. There are countless resources to aid in the development of rhythm and pulse control. I recommend these simple strategies to assist in nurturing this habit.
The “thinking exercise”, like previously suggested warm-ups, is based on a scale.
Once they can perform this with a steady pulse in the background, take the pulse away and have them do it by simply breathing together at the end of each measure.
Using solfège, it looks like this:
d+ 2+ 3+ 4+; dr, 2+ 3+ 4+; drm+,3+ 4+; drmf, 3+ 4+; drmfs+ 4+; drmfsl 4+; drmfslt+; drmfsltdtlsfmrd.
Another strategy is the play and rest approach:
Using solfège, it looks like this (R=rest): Do - R; Re Re - RR; Mi Mi Mi - RRR; Fa Fa Fa Fa - RRRR; Sol Sol Sol Sol Sol - RRRRR; La La La La La La - RRRRRR; Ti Ti Ti Ti Ti Ti Ti - RRRRRRR; Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Do – RRRRRRRR.
An additional strategy to develop this habit, and watching, involves students counting aloud as you conduct a variety of tempos and beat patterns in changing meter. This approach ensures that all eyes are on the baton and interpreting the meter changes you indicate. Practicing without instruments further reinforces what students experience while performing and introduces a certain degree of novelty.
HABIT #7: Listening is a skill that may be taken for granted by wind band conductors. We tend to assume the students are listening to one another and recognize how their parts connect to the other voices in the score. In most instances however, student listening is focused exclusively on their own part. While we may praise this independence, I challenge us to demand they become more interdependent performers and listen across the large ensemble setting. Consider using reflective questions to have students identify their role within the musical context.
Some simple strategies to focus and foster listening as a reliable habit are as follows.
With very little adjustment, the tuning, blend and balance progresses significantly. Why? Because they are listening!
Beyond listening for single pitches, transfer the habit of listening to include multidimensional aspects as well. Selecting passages within the repertoire to heighten the ensemble’s awareness of role is an advanced skill that will eventually lead to more clarity and quality in overall sonority of your group.
It is important that we make listening a habit for students to apply continuously in order to improve their individual, sectional and ensemble sonority.
All teachers have interesting ways of assisting students in the development of habits leading to successful performance. I encourage you to emphasize those that work for you and to be consistent in your expectations. Remember that patience and persistence are key conditions in the pursuit of skills, techniques and behaviors which eventually become effective habits.
According to Covey, a habit is the intersection of knowledge, skill and desire. He defines knowledge as the What to do and the Why; skill as the How to do; desire as the Want to do. In order to make musical behaviors repeatable habits, students should possess all three characteristics. Developing effective habits with your band will eventually lead to effective performance.
John Phillips is a retired Music Professor from the University of Western Ontario. Throughout his career, he has participated as a clinician and consultant in numerous initiatives with Music for All including the National Concert Festival, the Summer Symposium, and the Bands of America Grand Nationals.
Music for All has appointed Robin Clendening as the new Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Clendening will assume the CFO role from Nancy Carlson, MFA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Carlson will continue to serve Music for All as Senior Financial Analyst.
Most recently, Ms. Clendening worked at IU Health as the Manager of Financial Operations and System Lab Services where she served as a liaison between Lab Executive team, central finance, and System Clinical Services Leadership, with financial responsivity for over 50 cost centers. While at IU Health, Ms. Clendening led the financial components of a system-wide workgroup to redefine the intercompany revenue methodology for laboratory services to ensure break-even in future years. Previously, Ms. Clendening worked at the YMCA of Central Kentucky as the controller, as well as at various other organizations providing accounting, payroll, tax function and consulting services. Ms. Clendening holds a degree in Business and Accounting from Indiana University.
A native of Indianapolis, Robin resides in Avon where she volunteers for her children’s school programming and is actively engaged in the Avon Choir Boosters.
“As someone who blossomed in music programs growing up, it is my passion for my children and every student to have the opportunity to find a love for music,” Ms. Clendening says. “It is not often that you find a position where you can combine both your professional knowledge and personal passions, but for me, this would be it.”
“With over 15 years of experience in finance and accounting, Ms. Clendening is equipped to be an integral member of the executive leadership team, ensuring the organization is sustained through strong internal control systems, diversified funding, and a strategic and compelling position,” says Eric L. Martin, Music for All’s President and CEO. “As an experienced and active ‘Parent-Booster leader, having served as Co-Treasurer of the Avon Choral Boosters, Ms. Clendening’s work helps to ensure directors and students have the support necessary for performance and show success and delivery of positively life-changing outcomes for student participants.”
Ms. Clendening will have a direct responsibility for organization wide financial strategy, performance, and risk management. She will manage and actively participate in all financial functions with direct responsibility for accounting, financial analysis, strategic planning, budgets and forecasts, payroll, and human resources.
Headquartered in downtown Indianapolis, Music for All is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization that uniquely combines regional and national music education programming with awareness and advocacy efforts aimed at ensuring and expanding access to music in schools and communities.
Music for All is pleased to announce that Memorial Stadium at Bakersfield College will host the 2019 Bands of America California Regional Championship, presented by Yamaha, on Saturday, November 2.
Music for All has adjusted the fall event schedule to include one Bands of America Championship in Central California in 2019, combining the two previously-scheduled shows in Northern California in Fresno and Southern California.
Memorial Stadium at Bakersfield College is a double-decked stadium and will feature new artificial turf, installed this fall during phase 1 of renovations.
Bands who were enrolled in the two Northern and Southern California shows have been given the option to move their registration to the Championship in Bakersfield. There are still preliminary performance spots available.
“We are thrilled to be having a Bands of America Championship in Memorial Stadium at Bakersfield College,” says Cam Stasa, Director of Participant Relations and Special Projects. “There are still preliminary performance spots in the show. Bands of America Championships provide a fantastic educational performance opportunity for bands, with a positive, supportive environment and great input from our adjudicators for program growth.”