The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In memory of Tom Barnett

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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.

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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!"

Rain-or-Shine-He is always there for usWhen 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."

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Published in Stories
Thursday, August 22, 2013

Start Making Memories

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.

Rachel Color Guard Girls

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.

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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.

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Click here to learn more about the Music for All Honor Ensembles

Apply today!

 

-Rachel

Rachel McFadden is currently an Administrative Assistant at Music for All and is thrilled to get back to her band nerd roots after so many years of trying to "blend in." She has a degree in Communication Studies from Manchester University and has previously held such varied jobs as Copywriter, Arts and Crafts Director and Aeronaut. 

Published in Stories

Protho Photo

Music for All is proud to share the news that one of our dedicated volunteers, Christopher Protho, has been named the 2013 International Festivals & Events Association Volunteer of the Year!

As the winner of this award, Chris will be the guest of the IFEA and Zambelli Fireworks at the IFEA’s 58th Annual Convention & Expo, September 16-18, 2013 in Pittsburgh, PA where he will be recognized and presented with his award during the IFEA Awards Luncheon on Monday, September 16, 2013.

Chris' name might sound familiar to you because Chris has been in the Music for All family for 23 years, you've probably seen him at a Music for All event! Chris was nominated for this award because of his incredible dedication to Music for All's mission. His Music for All story is truly incredible, and we would like to share that with you:

Chris’s journey with Music for All began in 1990 when he was a freshman at West Virginia University. A member of their acclaimed Marching Band, Chris was required to volunteer at Music for All’s Bands of America Eastern Regional Marching Band Competition for high school students. He was a parking lot attendant. Despite the lackluster volunteer assignment, this first exposure to Music for All made a lasting impression on the young man who grew up outside of Pittsburgh, PA. So impressionable, that he continued to volunteer for Music for All for the next 23 years. Following his debut as a parking lot attendant, Chris traveled the following summer to Wisconsin to be a camp counselor for Bands of America’s Summer Camp for high school marching band students. By then, he was hooked.

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Within those 23 years, Chris experienced nearly every volunteer opportunity available at Music for All, from a parking lot attendant in 1990 to the Contest Director for the Grand National Marching Band Championships in 2009, Chris’s progression is a result of his commitment to the organization at all levels. This is no small feat as Music for All is a multifaceted organization that: provides music education for middle and high school students in marching bands, concert bands, orchestras, music ensembles or as individuals; offers professional development for instrumental music teachers; organizes a series of regional and national performance events that are culminating experiences for schools and student musicians; and serves as an advocate for scholastic music programs across the country.

During his tenure with Music for All, Chris provided logistics support and event management at: 81 Bands of America Regional Marching Band Championships; 20 Grand National Championships; four Summer Symposiums; three Music for All National Festivals; and one Regional Concert Band Festival, which occurred during his honeymoon. His volunteer assignments at these events have included (but not limited to): event management, field manager, field operations, announcer, parking manager, ticketing, concessions, tabulator, timing and penalties judge, loading dock monitor and shuttle driver. Chris has logged 39,000 miles in personal vehicles to these events, and dedicated more than 7,000 services hours to Music for All. After 23 years of volunteering, working a full-time job, earning a Master's Degree, getting married, having children and pursuing a doctorate degree, Chris’s dedication to Music for All has not waned.

Massillon Awards

Chris’s expertise in events management has evolved with the organization, and he has more institutional knowledge than many of the paid staff. Chris’s hands-on experience is greatly enhanced by his academic and career pursuits. Chris holds a Bachelor of Music from West Virginia University, a Master of Education from California University of Pennsylvania, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership from Robert Morris University. Since 1999 he has been a Music Teacher and the Band Director at Mars Area Middle School. In addition, Chris is deeply involved with scholastic music programs in his home state, most recently serving on Pennsylvania’s Department of Education’s Standards and Practices Commission, a position appointed by the governor.

Chris’s extraordinary dedication to working on the front-lines at the many Music for All events earned him the distinguished role of Contest Director for Grand National Championships three years in a row from 2009 to 2011. This is the highest volunteer position available at Music for All, responsible for delivering an event that is consistent with Music for All’s mission, vision and core values. A demanding, complex and highly specialized volunteer position, the Contest Director makes the event—held in Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium—an unforgettable experience for 75,000 people, including the students, teachers, band directors and spectators.

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Chris considers Music for All a part of his family. This deep commitment, coupled with Chris’s positive attitude, is a rare asset to any organization. To Chris, scouting locations for Music for All events while on his honeymoon in Florida was part of life. Driving to various cities for events after Friday night football games was commonplace for Chris. To Chris, this is an adventure, a dream come true, a chance to travel the country doing what he loves—supporting and recognizing students for their outstanding accomplishments in music. Chris is inspired by Music for All’s mission to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experience through music for all.

Chris’s impact extends far beyond a single event or series of events. Chris has been the bridge to Music for All’s future. He began volunteering when Music for All had a staff of nine, and now that staff has doubled. In many cases, he has helped train and orient new staff for Music for All events. His institutional knowledge is unmatched. Chris believed in the organization from the beginning. When it was a fledging organization striving to evolve and professionalize scholastic marching band events—Chris believed in the mission. When Bands of America and Music for All Foundation merged in 2006 resulting in many organizational pains—Chris believed in the mission. When Music for All faced devastating budget cuts in 2009 exacerbated by the recession, staff morale was low and Music for All considered closing its doors forever—Chris believed in the mission. Simply put, Chris was at his best, when the organization was not at its best. He has been an energizing force throughout Music for All’s evolution.

Today, Music for All is stronger and more stable than it has ever been, thanks to the dedication and commitment from Christopher Protho.

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Please join us in congratulating Chris on this well deserved award. We are all truly lucky to have Chris as a part of the Music for All family. We thank you Chris, for your friendship, your guidance throughout the years and for your dedication to music education.

Read more about the IFEA/Zambelli Fireworks Volunteer of the Year Award

Published in News
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's all about the focus!

 

All of us at Music for All love hearing from students, directors and parents about what is happening in THEIR band and in THEIR communities! Every once in awhile, someone sends us a great message on Facebook, gives us a call, sends a letter, or shares a photo with us, just because. Words cannot express how much we love hearing from all of you who BELIEVE in music education! The following note was shared with us via Facebook this week and we thought we would share it with our extended Music for All family by posting it here on the blog. (With permission as always!)

 

"So excited for the upcoming fall marching season. We attended the BOA Lucas Stadium event last year and I want to compliment the volunteers...they were helpful and courteous. I am hoping my personal work schedule will allow me to volunteer at some point in the future.

I know all schools involved have and continue to work on their programs for 2013...I attached a photo of my son Nik I just took during the summer camp program at Jeffersonville High School, under the direction of Scott Cooksey. I think it is a nice representation of the focus the kids put into their practices. 

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to music!

Regards, Elke W."

Student photo

 

Yes!- this photo definitely showcases that focus reguired in marching rehearsals! Thank you for sharing this photo and your kind note Elke, it definitely brightened this staff member's day!

Have a story or a photo you want to share with our community of music education advocates? We'd love for you to share! Send us a message on Facebook, or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

 

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Erin Fortune is the Marketing Coordinator focusing on digital marketing at Music for All, and has been working with Music for All for nearly 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

 

We appreciate everyone's patience these last few months while we worked diligently on confirming a venue for the scheduled regional in Southern California. We would like to thank Ayala High School for allowing us to keep their stadium as our back up location while we scouted out suitable venues. We are extremely excited to announce that the search is over and the Southern California Regional will be held at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach, California on November 9, 2013.

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Veterans Memorial Stadium is an 11,600-seat stadium located on the Long Beach City College campus. The stadium has artificial turf, ample parking and plenty of warm-up space. You can find more information about the stadium at: http://www.lasports.org/lafacilities/display.php?s=Stadium&id=56

The Southern California Regional also falls on the same date as the Western Band Association RCC Big Orange Classic, which takes place at Riverside Community College. Gary Locke and the RCC Marching Tigers are long-time friends and supporters of MFA and the BOA Regionals, as are we of their outstanding program. We encourage bands to participate in both shows if at all possible. 

We want as many students as possible to experience the positively life-changing experiences that we offer at our events. If you have any colleagues who might be interested in joining us at the Southern California regional – please tell them to contact us, or tell us who they are and we will get to them! We want, need and welcome their participation! We all want this Championship to be strong and there is nothing more effective than word-of-mouth about the event. If you have any questions you can always contact the Music for All office through email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or by phone at 800-848-2263

Ready to enroll? Click here!

We are looking forward to bringing postively life-changing experiences to Long Beach, California and we hope to see you all at this regional!

 

Published in News

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Music for All is thrilled to welcome and announce one of our newest partnerships with Texas Dairy Queen®. The beloved burger and treat restaurant has recently embarked on a multi-year plan to support high school music education throughout the state of Texas through sponsorships, award recognition and a major channel for fundraising and advocacy awareness for high school music programs. Music for All is honored to have Texas Dairy Queen® join our family of sponsors as the title sponsor for the 2013 BOA Regional Championships in Austin, Conroe, Dallas-Ft. Worth area and San Antonio. Our Texas participants will learn more throughout the coming months of ways Texas Dairy Queen® will be supporting your music program—so if you are in the neighborhood of a Texas Dairy Queen®, stop in and tell them thank you for supporting and believing in music education, music in our schools and music for all! 

Published in News
Thursday, July 25, 2013

2014 Festival Ensembles

Congratulations to the ensembles invited to perform at the 2014 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, March 6-8, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

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

 

Orchestra Ensembles

Mt. Eden High School Strings Ensemble, Hayward, CA
E. Ronnie Cato, Director

Oscar F. Smith High School Chamber Orchestra, Chesapeake, VA
Deanna Kringel, Director

Hanford High School Orchestra, Richland, WA
Chris Newbury. 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

Riverwatch Middle School Symphonic Band, Suwanee, GA
Matt Koperniak, Director
 
 
 

Percussion Ensembles

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

Stillwater High School Percussion Ensemble, Stillwater, MN
Dennis Lindsay, Director

 

Sign up for a high school summer camp and… spin alongside a world class drum corps?
caviesguard1That’s exactly what the color guard MFA campers got to experience! On Friday of the Summer Symposium, the color guard track spent the morning working with the members of The Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps color guard. A bright sun, clear skies and open grassy field awaited the campers as they prepared for what would be, for a lot of them, one of the most exciting moments thus far in their color guard careers.

The Cavaliers session was broken into two blocks, with the first part of the morning focusing on movement and the second on equipment. At each block’s beginning, the students sat and watched The Cavaliers staff give a demonstration, taking the color guard through exercises and choreography. The campers got to see a snapshot of the technique exercises that the Cavaliers do every day, such as dance basics, across-the-floor dance exercises, flag drop spins and Peggy spins, a flag backhand exercise, and a spins-and-stops exercise on rifle.

CaviesGuard2This was a great experience for our color guard students. First, they learned that even the biggest, best and most well-known groups still do the same simple, basic exercises that their high school groups do (such as flag drop spins)—and that mastering these “building blocks” skills and learning to control their bodies and their equipment is so very important. On the other hand, seeing the more advanced exercises (such as the spins-and-stops exercise, which incorporated various dance and body movements simultaneously with rifle spins, tosses and catches) gave the students a picture of how their craft can be taken to the next level.

After watching the demonstrations, students broke into small groups and spread out across the Quad to work up-close and personal with The Cavaliers guard. After learning a new exercise, they would come back and everyone—the MFA students with The Cavaliers—would do the exercise together as a group.

CaviesGuard3The most exciting part of the morning, however, was when the campers actually got to learn some choreography from The Cavaliers’ show. Students picked up either a flag or a rifle and broke into small groups once again. A good chunk of the session was spent with the group spread out on the Quad learning this work before everyone came together once more to perform the choreography as an ensemble.

This session for our color guard campers was exciting, challenging, a lot of fun and certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Cavaliers color guard, made up of members who have all worked hard to become the well-trained and talented performers that they are, serve as great inspiration for our students, many of whom are still very new to the color guard activity. The young campers still have a lot of growing and learning to do, but this session certainly marks a monumental day in their color guard careers. 

CaviesGuard4A BIG thank you to the Cavaliers guard for sharing their time with us at Music for All and for helping to create a positively life-changing experience for our campers!

 

 

-Carolyn T.

Carolyn Tobin is the Marketing Intern at Music for All. Drawn to all that is digital media, she was an award-recipient of the NMU Tube Student Video Contest and was named the Outstanding Graduating Senior in the Communications and Performance Studies Department at Northern Michigan University. She is a devout runner, and has also enjoyed blogging about her adventures living in Spain and Argentina. Carolyn is a music, dance and color guard enthusiast, the former color guard section leader of Legends Drum & Bugle Corps from Kalamazoo, and she has served on the guard staff for Legends and for Marian University in Indianapolis.

Published in Stories
Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer Symposium Day 4 Photo Stream

Check out the photos from Summer Symposium Day 4! (Day 6 for our awesome Leadership students!)

 

If the photo stream above is not viewable for you, try this link:

http://www.flickr.com//photos/officialmusicforall/sets/72157634371915257/show/with/9160252454/

Published in Stories
Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Symposium Day 3 Photo Stream

Check out the photos from Summer Symposium Day 3! (Day 5 for our awesome Leadership students!)

 

If the photo stream above is not viewable for you, try this link:

http://www.flickr.com//photos/officialmusicforall/sets/72157634364797692/show/with/9152586279/

Published in Stories
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