Celebrate #GivingTuesday with Music for All!
Join others from around the world in a day of giving to kick-off the holiday season this year. Retailers have Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and we want you to help us support #GivingTuesday! #GivingTuesday was launched last year as a campaign to create a national day of giving to support charitable activities that support non-profit organizations like Music for All. Whether supporting Music for All with a donation or spreading the word about #GivingTuesday, you can make a difference for nonprofits across the world. Here's how you can make a difference:
Support Music for All's Summer Symposium Scholarships
This #GivingTuesday, you can provide positively life-changing experiences to high school students through the Music for All Scholarship Fund. The MFA Summer Symposium is a weeklong summer camp that provides world class music instruction, leadership training, immersive performance opportunities and nightly concerts. Students who attend the Summer Symposium become leaders in their band, school and community and aquire the skills necessary for success beyond high school. Camp scholarships provide valuable opportunties for underserved students and communities with limited access to high qality music and leadership training. By partnering with Music for All as a donor this #GivingTuesday, you are showing that you believe in music education, music in our schools and Music for All. Click here to make your donation today.
Spread the Word about #GivingTuesday
Even if you're unable to make a charitable gift today, you can support #GivingTuesday by spreading the word to support charitable activites all day. One unique way to support #GivingTuesday is the #unselfie. Show your support for #GivingTuesday and Music for All by uploading an #unselfie to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. Encourage your friends and followers to support #GivingTuesday as well. The holiday season is the perfect time to embrace giving, and what better way than with #GivingTuesday. You can visit www.givingtuesday.org for more #GivingTuesday social media resources. Don't forget to check out Music for All's social media pages all day for more #GivingTuesday information.
The performances at the 2013 Band of America Grand National Championships did not disappoint. Students from 91 bands blew away over 10,000 spectators with incredible dedication and talent. Whether you want to re-live the experience or see what it is like behind-the-scenes, be sure to check out MusicforAllTV.
Many videos were posted during and after the event including features of each finalist band. Congratulations to everyone involved in the competitions this fall. Grand Nationals was a legendary culmination to a legendary season!
Today's guest post is from Larry Harper, Jr. Thank you, Larry for allowing us to share your thoughts on the 2013 Grand National Championships!
Seeing smaller bands go out and completely win over the crowd inside a massive stadium.
Witnessing so many countless acts of complete selflessness you don't even bother trying to note them all.
Although the performance might be the highlight of the trip for many bands, I guarantee that the experiences had from the time they arrived in the parking lot, until they left on Saturday night were unlike any found elsewhere and had very little to do with competition.
Competition is healthy and has its place in our activity. It pushes us to work harder and to achieve things we never thought possible, but at Grand Nationals, its about the common bond and experience that all of those performers, parents and staff shared.
Those life-changing experiences are what makes the event great.
Not the props, not the giant eagle, not even the stadium. The fist-bump, the high-five, the "Good Luck".
It's not just being able to have the opportunity to perform at the highest level; its about being supported by, and sharing the experience with 90 other bands.
Regardless of who we are, this week we're all just a stadium full of 'band kids.'
- Larry Harper, Jr.
Larry Harper, Jr. has spent the majority of the last fifteen years living in the Triangle area of North Carolina and filling a variety of roles in the marching-arts world. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Carolina Gold, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a stimulating and rewarding social experience by promoting responsibility and self-discipline through music education, competitive performance and community engagement. After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Larry served as the Assistant Marching Percussion Instructor to the UNC Athletic Bands program in addition to serving as a visual instructor and drill writer for a variety of other area programs. Larry has spent a significant amount of time in service to organizations such as Winter Guard International and Music for All as well as having coordinated events in partnership with Drum Corps International.
Heartland Truly Moving Pictures will hold the 22nd Annual Heartland Film Festival on October 17-26 in Indianapolis. The Festival will showcase the very best in inspiring independent film from all over the world with screenings at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12, AMC Castleton Square 14 and the Wheeler Arts Community in Fountain Square.
Like Music for All, Heartland Truly Moving Pictures is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit arts organization. Their mission is to inspire filmmakers and audiences through the transformative power of film. We are excited to participate in the 2013 Heartland Film Festival $2BACK Program, which gives us $2 back for every ticket purchased online! Use the promo code “MUSIC4ALL.” This is an amazing opportunity to support both Heartland Truly Moving Pictures and Music for All!
You can click here to see the full schedule of films in the Heartland Film Festival, including Life Inside Out, a film that uses music to connect a struggling family: When a mother returned to her musical roots, she rediscovers the passion of her youth and finds a way to connect with her troubled teenage son.
If you are looking for something fun and entertaining to do in Indianapolis this month, why not support local arts organizations while enjoying new, award-winning films! When you purchase tickets online, be sure to enter the promo code “MUSIC4ALL” and support Music for All’s “I believe” campaign.
For more information about the Heartland Film Festival, check out their website: www.HeartlandFilmFestival.org;
As we kick off the Bands of America Regional Championships this weekend in Kettering and Monroeville, the 2013 Bands of America Grand National Championships will be here in less than two months! This Throwback Thursday, I thought I would share my first Grand Nationals experience, as a member of the 2005 Centerville Jazz Band:
When my family moved to Centerville, Ohio my sophomore year of high school, the marching band was the first and only orientation to Centerville High School I needed. Coming from a small, rural school band that marched high-step and played pop tunes, the Bands of America world I stepped into was new and fascinating. For the first time, staff members were paying attention to every detail of my posture, movement and sound quality. At nearly every rehearsal, some mention of “The Dome” was included as we perfected our production, “BLUESprint.” “You’ll never forget the air lock at the Dome,” said most of my new friends. The hundreds of hours of rehearsal would supposedly be worth it once I reached “The Dome.”
As the evening rehearsals grew darker and colder, three months and an incredible first season with the Centerville Jazz Band was nearly finished. “Rock the Dome” posters for each section covered the hallway leading to the band room, filled with cheering band parents to send us off to Indianapolis. I knew something would be special about Grand Nationals after I learned that we would be attending a marching band competition instead of playing for the playoff football game that same weekend.
We boarded the buses Thursday morning, and I could barely stand the three months of anticipation. From the highway, I can remember first spotting the white roof of the RCA Dome. The indoor warm-up area was unlike anything I had experienced before. Hearing the other ensembles warming up across the pipe and drapes was hectic and distracting, and my nerves got the best of me. As we all gathered into the airlock, completely silent, our director gave us the last motivating words before our performance. “Hearts on fire, eyes cold as steel,” said Andrew Markworth. This phrase was handed down from Centerville Jazz Band to Centerville Jazz Band, creating a common experience for all alumni to relate. As the airlock opened and our wide eyes looked toward the fans, the expansive field and the incredible dome, everything clicked. We were able to hold everything together while soaking in one of the most life-changing experiences to-date.
We returned to Ohio for classes on Friday, but departed for Indianapolis after classes for the Prelims Award Ceremony. The RCA Dome was filled to the brim with students, parents and fans late Friday night to watch the 2004 Grand National Champion Lawrence Central and the exhibition Stephenson H.S. Marching Bands perform. The energy in the crowd was unlike anything I had ever witnessed. After prelims awards were presented and over 30 bands were announced for Semi-Finals, we headed to Pan Am Plaza for “Celebrate America!” The Riverside Community College and Stephenson High School bands provided entertainment as we awaited the performance order for the next day. For the finale of the evening, a spectacular fireworks display left us with “oohs” and “aahs” as we walked back to the buses. I was in complete disbelief that a marching band contest could warrant a fireworks display, let alone thousands of fans and a professional football stadium.
Saturday morning was a whirlwind of well wishes as we prepared for our Semi-Finals performance. The surroundings were more familiar this time, but the phrase was the same: “Hearts on fire, eyes cold as steel.” We were extremely fortunate to perform our show once more on Saturday night. There were quite a few tears in that last trip through airlock, but “Hearts on fire, eyes cold as steel” remained. After the performance, I watched our peers from across the country perform with such precision and passion I had not witnessed before, including Carmel’s unbelievable visual feats in “Suspended Symbols” and L.D. Bell’s incredible musical performance of “Lux Arumque.”
The Grand Finale celebration was a perfect capstone to the music-filled weekend. I can still remember distinctly my principal placing my finalist medallion during the ceremony. The intense emotions felt during that ceremony are still unmatched today, especially those final words from Chuck Henson, “Go for it – Break Ranks!” I met fellow high school musicians from across the country, sharing in the common Bands of America experience. Each of us embodied the positively-life changing experiences that made Bands of America events so special. After high school, I decided to pay forward my incredible experiences by volunteering at a Bands of America Regional. Six years later, I’m still involved and still indebted to Music for All’s mission, vision and core values. As a volunteer, intern, event staff and employee, I have constantly sought to continue the positively life-changing experiences I was afforded in high school.
Do you have a memory from your first Grand National Championships or other BOA event? Share it with us in the comments!
As many in the Indianapolis community have heard, a great man and music advocate, Tom Barnett, passed away earlier this month.
In his years of service as a volunteer with the Ben Davis High School Marching Giants, Tom Barnett saw state and national titles, performances in the most prestigious parades in the United States, a performance at the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan and of course, a countless number of BOA appearances.
As Gary Wishmeyer, Supervisor of Music Education Students at Indiana University, said “He loved our days of competing at BOA in Johnson City, as this would give him a few days to visit with other competing band parents and equipment crews from around the nation to share ideas and to build friendships. He was a great good will ambassador for Ben Davis and the bands from the state on Indiana”
In 2011 Tom was the much deserving recipient of the Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster award. (Read Tom’s Parent/Booster story here.)
In a recent email, Ben Davis director David Cole told us:
“We would like to thank Music for All for helping us honor Tom as the Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award recipient in 2011. Tom always felt so special for being recognized nationally. Tom asked me once, "How the heck did BOA hear about me?" We would just tell him that sometimes a person's actions are just too big to go unnoticed. You really made a hard working, selfless volunteer feel like a million dollars. Thanks!"
When someone like Tom Barnett is nominated for the Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award- it is the LEAST we can do, to help showcase all of what they have been doing to support music education. In 2011 we had many deserving nominations for the Parent/Booster award, but in our opinion, Tom's nomination video was particularly special. One of the elements that stuck out to us were the STUDENTS who we heard on the video, expressing what a huge role Tom played in the success of the Ben Davis Marching Giants. The video ends with several students saying "We love him, we love him, we love you Tom." It truly was a beautiful video and just spoke volumes to what Tom meant to the Ben Davis Marching Giants community.
We want to share that video with you:
Tom’s hard work, selflessness and true love of his time spent with the Ben Davis Marching Giants did NOT go unnoticed. Tom was not only a beloved member of the Ben Davis Band and the Indianapolis community- he was a member of the Music for All/ Bands of America family.
Laura Blake, Events Manager at Music for All has many fond memories of Tom, even before she became an MFA staff member.
"I had the privilege of knowing Tom since I was a little girl. I was a follower of the Ben Davis Band program well before I ever started playing an instrument. I'm convinced that Tom, even at my young age at the time, taught me the best ways to load and pack a truck. I was that little kid who always wanted to help, and the skills I learned from Tom come in handy time and time again with my work for Music for All. But even through high school (and I wasn't a BD Kid by the way), college, and later my work at Music for All; I always looked for Tom at shows and events. I'd find him scoping out the lay of the land, always with a big smile and a hug, wishing everyone participating to have a great show!"
This post is in memory of a great booster, advocate and most importantly, a great human being. Everyone at Music for All feels fortunate to have crossed paths with Tom, and to call him a member of the Music for All family over the years. The Music for All staff, event staff, competing bands, EVERYONE who came across the Ben Davis Band, will all be missing Tom this fall. Our thoughts are with Tom's family and the whole Ben Davis Community, and as the Ben Davis students so eloquently put it in their nomination video two years ago, "We Love You, Tom."
When I was in high school, I always looked forward to the beginning of a new school year. There were pristine pads of paper, a Technicolor rainbow of brand new pens and fresh folders just begging for a doodle or two. There were new things to learn and a locker to decorate and fill with books. All of my color guard friends and I were still excited about what we had learned at band camp, knowing we would get the opportunity to show off soon. The year was filled with possibility and it was mine to shape.
With all the hustle and bustle that accompanies the start of school, it can be easy to get caught up in what needs to be done NOW. The marching season looms large for many of us and concert band season can seem like a distant dream. But it’s not too early to plan. Planning starts today for tomorrow's experiences.
You’re on stage, squinting past the lights to see if you recognize anyone in the audience. Your instrument is tuned, your music is open and you are ready. People who’ve become lifelong friends in the span of 5 days surround you and the nervous energy sounds like an electric buzz. The hours you have spent in sectionals, master classes and full rehearsals have all led to this moment. The conductor enters to applause, you sit up a little bit straighter, the baton raises and it begins.
That is the experience of participating in a Music for All Honor Ensemble, and that kind of life-changing experience really begins long before you set foot in the J.W. Marriott hotel in Indianapolis in March 2014. It begins long before the acceptance letters are put in the mail in November. It even begins before the September 15 application deadline. That experience starts TODAY. It starts when you fill out an application to be part of one of the Music for All National Honor Ensembles.
So as you crack open that new bottle of valve oil, restring your bow, pick up some fresh reeds; enjoy it. Savor this time when possibilities abound. But also take the time to learn more about the Music for All Honor Ensemble experience. Once you know more, the next step will be clear. Don't put off till tomorrow what can be done today. Apply for the Honor Band, Honor Orchestra or Jazz Band of America. Start making memories.
High School Concert Bands: Featured Stage
Cherry Creek High School Wind Ensemble, Greenwood Village, CO
Tim Libby, Director
Cypress Ranch High School Symphonic Band, Cypress, TX
Russell Holcombe, Director
Eden Prairie High School Wind Ensemble, Eden Prairie, MN
Elizabeth Jackson Kirchhoff, Director
Fort Mill High School Wind Symphony, Fort Mill, SC
John Pruitt, Director
Hickory High School Wind Ensemble, Chesapeake, VA
David Enloe, Director
James W. Robinson Secondary Symphonic Band, Fairfax, VA
Andrew E. Loft, Director
Kempner High School Wind Ensemble, Sugar Land, TX
Branden L. Hill, Director
Lafayette High School Wind Ensemble, Lafayette, LA
Scotty Walker, Director
Legacy High School Wind Symphony, Mansfield, TX
Glenn Fugett, Director
Mountain View High School Wind Ensemble, Vancouver, WA
Sam Ormson and Eric Smedsrud, Co-Directors
Mt. Eden High School Wind Ensemble, Hayward, CA
Kevin Cato, Director
Orange County School of the Arts Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble, Santa Ana, CA
Teren Shaffer, Director
Warren Township High School Symphonic Band, Gurnee, IL
Kurt Gros, Director
William Mason High School Wind Symphony, Mason, OH
Robert Bass, Director
William S. Hart High School Wind Ensemble, Newhall, CA
Anthony H. Bailey, Director
Wylie High School Wind Symphony, Wylie, TX
Todd Dixon, Director
High School Concert Bands: Invited Stage
Benjamin E. Mays High School Wind Symphony, Atlanta, GA
William Oliver, Director
Bothell High School Wind Ensemble, Bothell, WA
Philip Dean, Director
Hanford High School Wind Ensemble, Richland, WA
Kevin Swisher and Chris Newbury, Co-Directors
J. E. B. Stuart High School Wind Ensemble, Falls Church, VA
Brian Thomas, Director
Lafayette High School Symphonic Band, Lafayette, LA
William R. Gleason, Director
Stillwater Area High School Wind Symphony, Stillwater, MN
Dennis R. Lindsay, Director
Warren Central High School Honors Band, Indianapolis, IN
John Hilmer, Director
William Mason H.S. Symphonic Band, Mason, OH
Robert Bass, Director
Mt. Eden High School Strings Ensemble, Hayward, CA
E. Ronnie Cato, Director
Middle School Concert Bands
Bumpus Middle School Symphonic Band, Hoover, AL
Josh Lynch, Director
Dickerson Middle School Symphonic Band, Marietta, GA
John Palmer, Director
Griffin Middle School Wind Ensemble, The Colony, TX
Leigh Ann McClain, Director
Mason Middle School Symphonic Winds, Mason, OH
Susan Bass, Director
Cypress Ranch High School Percussion Ensemble, Cypress, TX
Kyle Stahl, Director
Dickerson Middle School Percussion Ensemble, Marietta, GA
Scott Brown, Director
Eden Prairie High School Percussion Ensemble, Eden Prairie, MN
Scott Palmer, Director
Lafayette High School Percussion Ensemble, Lafayette, LA
Scotty Walker, Director
Mt. Eden High School Percussion Ensemble, Hayward, CA
Kevin Cato, Director
Orange County School for the Arts Percussion Ensemble, Santa Ana, CA
Axel Clarke, Director
San Marcos High School Percussion Ensemble, San Marcos, CA
Matthew Armstrong, Director
Music for All is proud to announce that three employees have been promoted to executive and manager positions.
Debbie Laferty Asbill has been named Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Asbill joined the Music for All (MFA) staff in 1985, when the organization was known as Bands of America. She most recently served as MFA’s Director of Marketing and Communications. She has a degree in communications from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky and was inducted into Music for All’s Bands of America Hall of Fame in 2011.
Laura Blake has been named Events Manager. Blake joined the Music for All (MFA) staff in May 2005 as Receptionist and quickly moved to an Event Coordinator position the next fall. Since then she has been heavily involved in the operations of all events, taking the lead on volunteer recruitment and management as well as equipment logistics. Laura, raised in Indianapolis, attended Butler University and is a former Bands of America participant.
Tonya Bullock has been named Accounting Manager. Bullock joined the Music for All (MFA) staff in September 2009 as an Accounting Specialist. Since then she has been heavily involved in the daily accounting functions as well as managing tickets and merchandise for all events. She has a degree in Accounting from Indiana University.
Join us in congratulating Debbie, Laura and Tonya on their promotions as they continue to provide postively life-changing experiences for all!