The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

BrokenArrowSTL Champions

Congratulations to all of the bands who participated in the 2013 Bands of America Super Regional Championship at St. Louis, presented by Yamaha! We are incredibly proud of all 64 bands who performed in the Edward Jones Dome over the weekend - it was a fantastic display of marching excellence!

Here are some photos from both the Prelims and Finals awards ceremony. Looking for more action photos of your band? Jolesch Enterprises will have photos available on their website coming soon - so make sure you check here  for group photos as well as action shots that they took at the event.

Can't view the slide show? Click here.

Looking for Results and Scores from the event? You can find those here. Congratulations to the 2013 St. Louis Super Regional Champions: Broken Arrow H.S., OK!

Published in Stories
Thursday, October 17, 2013

Throwback Thursday: 1986

 

In honor of our very first Bands of America event in North Carolina** this weekend, we decided to honor the Tar Heel State in this edition of throwback Thursday! North Carolina has a long history of strong marching bands, and the state has produced two national champions: Sylva-Webster H.S. (1979 Summer Nationals) and Rocky Mount H.S.

Rocky-Mount

 

At the 1986 Grand National Championships, Rocky Mount H.S., under the direction of John C. Sykes, became the first three-time national champion. The band also won in 1983 at Eastern Tennessee State University and in 1984 at the newly constructed Hoosier Dome.

Rocky-Mount-1

 

Just like many of the other Grand National Champion photos we’ve shared here, the joy in the students’ faces are a perfect representation of the positively life-changing experiences that were at work in 1983 and still today.

 

We’re very excited to welcome bands from throughout North Carolina, as well as Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia at the BOA Super Regional Championship in Winston-Salem this weekend! If you’d like to find out more about this weekend’s event at Bowman Gray Stadium, click here.

 

**Update: After a BOA fan sent us a message, we found a program book in our archives for the 1982 Cullowhee Regional at Western Carolina University, which was the actual first BOA event in North Carolina! I apologize for the error.

 

--Seth

Seth Williams is the Development Coordinator at Music for All. Seth is no stranger to Music for All and Bands of America – first as a participant and as an intern in Development and Participant Relations. He is a graduate of Butler University and previously worked in the Broadway theatre industry in New York. A proud alumnus of “The Centerville Jazz Band,” Seth is likely the biggest band nerd he knows.

Published in Stories

Today's guest post is from Fran Kick, professional speaker, author and division head of the Leadership Weekend Experience at the Music for All Summer Symposium presented by Yamaha. Fran Kick also co-presents the Future Music Educators' Experience during the Grand National Championships.

  AG 4062 copy

Learning week to week – the real competition!

Are you better today than you were yesterday? Did you do anything to improve what you do and how you do it? That’s the real competition! It has very little to do with what the judges may say, the scores may show, or an audience appreciates. The real competition is improving yourself!

So what could you do to make sure you’re learning week to week? Well here are a few things you can try:

Find yourself one of those inexpensive hand-held audio recorders – the kind the judges use. Record yourself in two different settings: one in rehearsal (set it on your stand and hit the record button) Next time you’re practicing on your own at home, give it a listen and follow along in your part with a pencil in hand. Put a small check mark next to the stuff you need to work on and work on it!

At the end of your practice session, re-record yourself playing the same sections you check marked. If they’re better, erase the check mark. If not, you still know what to work on next time you practice.

Color guard can do a similar approach via video. Ask someone you know to video you (kind of close up) during your next run through at practice. Use the video to review what you know and what you don’t.

Have someone else listen to and/or watch your performance. Give them your part and let them follow along and make the check marks. You might find some other areas you thought were okay, but in truth still need some work.

Developing your own self-assessment skills will enable you to improve what you do and how you do it. Learning week to week and improving yourself, now that’s the real competition.

 

 

This post was originally released on the “Break Ranks” podcast with Dan Potter. The .mp3 audio file is available to hear, download, and share.

 

Fran Kick currently serves as division head of the Music for All Summer Symposium Leadership Weekend Experience. He is a nationally-recognized speaker and educational consultant who talks with students and the many people who work with them. You can find more information about his work with music-related organizations and events at http://www.kickitin.com/music/

Published in Stories
Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Trivia Tuesday: Longest Running BOA Venue

Question: What venue has hosted Bands of America events for the most consecutive years?

Answer: Georgia Dome (20 years)

Georgia Dome
Photo courtesy of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (2001)

The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia will be hosting its 21st Bands of America event on October 25-26, 2013 for the Bands of America Super Regional Championship. The Dome opened in 1992 as the largest cable-supported dome structure in the world and has served as the home of the Atlanta Falcons, as well as hundreds of other sporting events including the 1996 Summer Olympics. For 20 years, BOA Championships at the Georgia Dome have been capstone events for bands across the Southeast. The first Regional Champion at the Georgia Dome was Seminole H.S., FL (1993). Tarpon Springs H.S. has won the most Regional Championships at the Dome (8, including 2009-2012).

Georgia Dome

Last fall, Music for All and the Georgia Dome celebrated 20 years of partnership, and a commemorative football sits in the MFA office lobby to honor the occasion. The second-longest running venue is a tie! The RCA Dome hosted the BOA Grand National Championships from 1989 – 2007 (19 consecutive years), as well as 1984 – 1986. Additionally, Illinois State University hosted the Summer Symposium 19 consecutive years from 1992 – 2010.

Click here for more information on the 2013 Bands of America Atlanta Super Regional October 25-26 at the Georgia Dome. you can purchase advance tickets to this event and other Bands of America Marching Championships here.

Published in Stories

Hebron-AllenTXChamp

Congratulations to all of the bands who participated in the 2013 Texas Dairy Queen® Bands of America Regional Championship at Allen, presented by Yamaha! The students definitely put on some amazing shows at Allen Eagle Stadium!

Here are some photos from both the Prelims and Finals awards ceremony. Looking for more action photos of your band? Jolesch Enterprises will have photos available on their website coming soon - so make sure you check here  for group photos as well as action shots that they took at the event.

Can't view the slide show? Click here.

Looking for Results and Scores from the event? You can find those here. Congratulations to the 2013 Allen Regional Champions: Hebron H.S., TX!

Published in Stories

retreat

Arts education leaders, advocates and educators from across the nation responded to an invitation from Music for All to help it identify priorities and supporting initiatives for its next strategic plan.  More than 40 persons assembled with Music for All board and staff on September 11 to hear first hand from key stakeholders and advocates in the field of scholastic music and arts education. The board of directors, executive leadership and sponsors of Music for All are now focusing on those and other new ideas recently proposed for the organization’s future, largely highlighting the need for more inclusive programming and an expansion of resources to further both reach and access of scholastic music education.

 

More than a dozen participants active in the arts and representing various community sizes, ethnic and economic demographics offered TED Talk-style presentations pitching new priorities, ultimately underscoring the need for program development at the elementary level and a stronger focus on underserved communities. Proposing a devotion of resources to offer grants that reduce or eliminate participation fees, speakers emphasized the importance of an encompassing “music for all” approach.


“We recently passed the halfway point of our current strategic plan and feel now is the right time to begin planning and focusing on the future and what’s next for the organization,” said Music for All President and CEO Eric Martin. “We are experiencing unprecedented growth and success in our programming and organizational development, and are well ahead of plan on delivery or current strategic objectives. Our plans and actions should be bold, focused and inspire positive action and change.”

Speakers included:

·      Scott Lang - Scott Lang Leadership

·      Randy Greenwell and Matt James – Directors of Bands, Lawrence Central High School, Indianapolis

·      Richard Floyd – State Director of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin Symphonic Band conductor

·      Corey Bonds – Director of Bands at Glasgow High School in Glasgow, Ky.,

·      Bob Phillips – Director of String Publications for Alfred Music, American String Teachers Association President

·      Pam Phillips – Managing Editor, Suzuki and String Acquisition for Alfred Music

·      Dr. Scott Dorsey – Director of Education and Communication, American Choir Directors Association

·      James Seda – Director of Bands, Southwest DeKalb High School in Dekalb, Ga.

·      Richard Saucedo – former Director of Bands, Carmel High School, Carmel, Ind., and educational consultant for Music for All

·      Robert W. Smith – composer, arranger, faculty at Troy State University in Alabama

·      Susan Smith – Director of Bands, St. James School in Alabama and educational consultant for Music for All

·      Michael Kumer – BoardsMTO, Interim Executive Director at PANO, a nonprofit organizational management firm

“Our programming currently extends nationally to include direct service to 70,000 student musicians and is presented annually before audiences exceeding 300,000,” said Martin. “Yet, the needs and challenges to music education, student access and participation remain numerous and daunting. We want to learn, be inspired and called to action by our stakeholders. This is what enables us to chart a future course to advance our mission and ensure the validity of our vision.”


Download the press release

Read Music for All's current strategic plan

 


Published in News

Pinnacle-Logo-Winner-2013

Each year, the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) recognizes outstanding accomplishments and top quality creative, promotional, operations and community outreach programs and materials produced by festivals and events around the world, with the Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition.

President and CEO, Eric Martin, VP of Marketing and Communications, Deb Laferty Asbill and Marketing Coordinator, Erin Fortune were at IFEA's 58th Annual Convention and Expo in Pittsburgh, PA where Music for All was awarded 23 awards! We couldn't be more excited and appreciative!

One of the highlights this year for us was our long-time Music for All volunteer, and dear friend, Chris Protho receiving the IFEA/Zambelli Fireworks Volunteer of the Year Award! Chris was presented the award at a luncheon at the IFEA Convention. Read more about Chris' story and nomination here.

Photo 2President and CEO Eric Martin with Volunteer of the Year, Chris Protho

Another highlight for this year was receiving a Bronze Grand Pinnacle for the 2012 Bands of America Grand National Championships. The Grand Pinnacle award is the highest award given by the IFEA in recognition of festivals and events who have a balance of all the elements necessary to ensure a successful event. Music for All has been attending the IFEA Convention since the early 90's - and this is the first year we have been a finalist for the Grand Pinnacle. To say that we were stoked is an understatement!

Photo 1Music for All staff receiving the Bronze Grand Pinnacle award. Pictured from left to right: Eric L. Martin, President and CEO of Music for All; Thérèse St. Onge, Director of IFEA Canada; Erin Fortune, Marketing Coordinator at Music for All; Debbie Laferty-Asbill, VP of Marketing and Communications at Music for All

 “Music for All is thrilled to have been recognized by its festival and event peers in such a significant way this year. Having one of our key volunteers receive the Volunteer of the Year Award is a singular honor. This was also the first time Music for All has been recognized as a Grand Pinnacle Finalist, the highest of IFEA’s awards. These awards are a recognition of the talents, hard work and dedication of everyone who is a part of the Music for All family.”- Deb Laferty Asbill

In addition to the Bronze Grand Pinnacle, and the Volunteer of the Year honor that was awarded to Chris Protho, we also received 21 Pinnacle Awards – 14 Gold Pinnacles, 4 Silver, and 3 Bronze including items and projects that involved  many MFA staff and those in collaboration with partners includingMr. Video Productions,PepWear,Delivra andHansen Multimedia.

Winning entries came from organizations as diverse as the 500 Festival, Indianapolis, IN; Kentucky Derby Festival, Louisville, KY; Des Moines Arts Festival, Des Moines, IA; Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Denver, CO and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Pasadena, CA. International contenders included such diverse event organizations as the Seoul Lantern Festival, Seoul, South Korea and the World Gourmet Summit, Singapore. Being listed among these amazing events is simply incredible!

ericwithtieCEO Eric Martin holding the two Gold Awards

Here is a rundown of the awards:


Bronze Grand Pinnacle Award
2012 Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha

IFEA/Zambelli Fireworks Volunteer of the Year Award
Awarded to long-time Music for All volunteer, Chris Protho

Gold Pinnacle Awards
Best Event Video for sale (Bands of America Honor Band in the Tournament of Roses® Parade Commemorative DVD)
Best Event/Organization E-Newsletter (Summer Symposium Daily Buzz)
Best Event/Organization E-Newsletter (Music for All Monthly E-newsletter) Best Miscellaneous Multimedia ((Bands of America Honor Band in the Tournament of Roses® Parade Commemorative DVD)
Best Event/Organization Newsletter
Best Cover Design (Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha program book)
Best Other Merchandise (Bands of America Honor Band in the Tournament of Roses® Parade uniform jacket)
Best Targeted Sponsor Solicitation Package (US Army)
Best Targeted Sponsor Solicitation Package (Texas Dairy Queen®)
Best Educational Program (Bands of America Drum Major Institute)
Best New Promotion Activity (#mfacamp campaign)
Best New Attendee Service (Guidebook app at the Summer Symposium)
Best Overall Merchandising Program (Bands of America Honor Band in the Tournament of Roses® Parade)
Best Vendor/Supplier (Hansen Multimedia)

Silver Pinnacle Awards
Best Event Video for sale (2012 Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha)
Best Single Magazine Display Ad
Best Educational Program (The Wow! Percussion Specialist Academy)
Most Creative/ Effective News Stunt

Bronze Pinnacle Awards
Best Miscellaneous Multimedia (Summer Symposium Promo DVD)
Best T-Shirt Design (Keep Calm & March On shirt)
Best Event/Program within an Event to Benefit a Cause (Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts at the 2012 Bands of America Grand National Championships)

 awards1Gold Awards!

We are honored to have received these awards from the IFEA. You'll see from the list above that the awards recognize the group efforts ofeveryoneat Music for All, as well as our friends and partners who work along side us. Thank you to all who have had a hand in these projects and programs.

Music for All is proud to be a member of the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA). The International Festivals and Events Association has more than 2,000 member festivals from around the world. Each year, the IFEA Pinnacle Awards competition honors the best special events, festival materials, promotions and ideas among the organization’s membership. For more information about IFEA and the Pinnacle Awards Competition you can check out theirwebsiteorFacebook page.

 

ErinSignatureinJennaSueFont

Erin Fortune is the Marketing Coordinator focusing on digital marketing at Music for All, and has been working with Music for All for three years, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. She is a graduate from the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.

Published in Stories
Friday, October 11, 2013

Enjoy BOA as a VIP

BOAonfield

The VIP Experience at select Bands of America Championships offers guests the ultimate way to enjoy BOA at Grand National Finals and four of the 2013 Super Regionals.

Grand Nationals VIP Experience
Tickets are $125 per person for Finals and include food and beverages being served in the Suite at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Super Regional VIP Experience
Both Friday and Saturday, Prelims and Finals, with food and beverages at these Super Regionals:

  • Atlanta – $100 per guest Press Box
  • San Antonio – $100 Press Box
  • Indianapolis – $100 Suite
  • St. Louis – $100 Press Box

To reserve your VIP Experience ticket, contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 800.848.2263.

Published in Stories
Thursday, October 10, 2013

Throwback Thursday: 1998

We’re staying in the 90’s for Throwback Thursday this week, honoring the Lassiter H.S. Trojan Marching Band and their director for more than 30 years, Alfred Watkins. At their third ever Grand National appearance, the Lassiter band won the 1998 Bands of America Grand National Championship. The 1998 event marked the beginning of the 12-band finals tradition that continues today at Grand Nationals.

Lassiter

Lassiter4Utilizing Jerry Goldsmith’s music from the 1975 film “The Wind and the Lion,” Lassiter enchanted the RCA Dome crowd with virtuosic woodwind runs and a beautiful Oboe solo. Just watching the show again today on MFA Video, I was blown away by the incredible student achievement, even 15 years later.

The tradition of achievement continued at Lassiter H.S. for many years under the baton of Alfred Watkins, even earning a second Grand National Championship in 2002. The Lassiter band not only enjoyed success on the marching band field, but also in the auditorium, attending the National Concert Band Festival three times and the Midwest Clinic four times. The Lassiter band received the Sudler Shield for Marching Excellence and the Sudler Flag of Honor, and Alfred Watkins was inducted into the BOA Hall of Fame in 2008.

Watkins has also trained many of the finest music educators at clinics across the nation such as the MFA Summer Symposium and as educators in his program at Lassiter. Dr. Catherine Sinon Bushman served as an assistant director at Lassiter from 1998 - 2007. She has just joined the faculty of the St. Cloud State University Department of Music and will even be adjudicating at the Texas Dairy Queen® Bands of America Regional Championship at Dallas-Fort Worth this weekend!

Lassiter HS

Alfred Watkins retired from Lassiter H.S. this past spring, and the Lassiter Band produced an incredible video highlighting his impact on music education in Lassiter, Cobb County, Georgia and the nation.



--Seth

Seth Williams is the Development Coordinator at Music for All. Seth is no stranger to Music for All and Bands of America – first as a participant and as an intern in Development and Participant Relations. He is a graduate of Butler University and previously worked in the Broadway theatre industry in New York. A proud alumnus of “The Centerville Jazz Band,” Seth is likely the biggest band nerd he knows.

Published in Stories

Today's guest post is from Fran Kick, professional speaker, author and division head of the Leadership Weekend Experience at the Music for All Summer Symposium presented by Yamaha. Fran Kick also co-presents the Future Music Educators' Experience during the Grand National Championships.

emotion stock photo

Playing with control vs. playing with emotion

Performing music musically pushes us beyond the notes, rhythms, articulations, and dynamics. Whether you’re a brass or woodwind player, a member of the color guard or a percussionist – playing music and performing to music needs to move both the performers and the audience emotionally beyond what’s printed on the page or counted in our heads.

While marching bands on the field today simultaneously seem like a giant audio sound board, an artists pallet and a theatre, it’s the music, the movement and the emotion that contribute the biggest impact.

Now of course it all needs to be presented with control – that’s a given. The right notes, the right steps, the timing, and all that needs to be done, when it needs to be done, the way it’s supposed to be done. But how do we create that sometimes elusive emotional quality that lifts a performance to a higher level?

Since about 65 to 75 percent of us are "visual" learners, we actually "see" ideas in our mind's eye - visually remembering details via images or pictures we mentally paint in our heads whenever we learn something. What do you “see” in your mind during that phrase of music? If it’s just what’s printed on the page or choreographed to counts – you might be missing out on making an emotional connection with the audience.

So what could you do to make your performance more emotional? Well here are three things you can try:

#1 Define the various passages of music or sections of your show pictorially. Figure out what each section of music represents in your mind. Share with others and come up with various images or pictures that you collectively come to consensus on that best fit what the music is saying.

#2 Set aside some space on a bulletin board in your band room and tack up the pictures you pick. Look for them in magazines, books, online, even create some yourself.

#3 Find sequences of scenes in movies or videos that represent visually what you’re striving to create musically.
You get the idea. Create what a graphic designer would call a reference file of swipes or a collection of similarly inspiring visual representations of what you hope to emotionally communicate to the audience during your performance and soon you’ll be playing with emotion AND control.

This post was originally released on the “Break Ranks” podcast with Dan Potter. The .mp3 audio file is available to hear, download, and share.

 

Fran Kick currently serves as division head of the Music for All Summer Symposium Leadership Weekend Experience. He is a nationally-recognized speaker and educational consultant who talks with students and the many people who work with them. You can find more information about his work with music-related organizations and events at http://www.kickitin.com/music/

Published in Stories
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