At Music for All, our mission is to provide positively life-changing experiences through music for all. We believe that music is powerful beyond measure and can change lives. At every single one of our events, there is something that I see or hear that proves to me that we have accomplished our mission, and that music CAN change people’s lives in so many ways.
This year at the Music for All National Festival, the Honor Band of America had the opportunity to be involved in something even more incredible than the experience of being part of a national honor band. This year, the Honor Band of America performed the premiere of a commissioned piece, Everything Beautiful by composer Samuel Hazo under the baton of Eugene Migliaro Corporon.
Everything Beautiful was commissioned by The Charles F. Campbell Jr. Memorial Consortium, in memory of Charles (Chuck) Campbell, Jr, a respected music educator, conductor and mentor to young music teachers, and 2012 posthumous inductee of the Bands of America Hall of Fame.
While many of the young musicians who performed in the 2014 Honor Band of America had never had the opportunity to meet Chuck Campbell before he passed, they were tasked with the responsibility of being the very first musicians who would perform this beautiful piece of music in his memory.
During their time rehearsing, the students had the opportunity to learn about Chuck Campbell and why he was special to so many people. They even had the chance to hear from the composer himself, Samuel Hazo, to really understand what this piece of music was about. (To learn more about the piece and the history behind the commission click here.)
Every artist, no matter the medium, strives to connect with his or her audience. I know I’m not the only one who believes that the 2014 Honor Band of America accomplished this the night they premiered Everything Beautiful for a packed house at Clowes Hall during the Music for All National Festival.
Composer Samuel Hazo put it best in this video that takes us inside Everything Beautiful.
Everything Beautiful. Never has there been a more perfect title for a piece of music. Every time I listen to it, I cannot think of a better adjective to describe what I’m hearing than simply – beautiful.
The Honor Band of America did a magnificent job connecting with their audience and invoking so many emotions throughout the three movements. Bravo, members of the 2014 Honor Band of America!
Watch the full performance of Everything Beautiful performed by the 2014 Honor Band of America:
To learn more about the history of the Everything Beautiful commission, composer Samuel Hazo and to read the program notes click here.
At the 2014 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, Eugene Migliaro Corporon will not only be honored as a Bands of America Hall of Fame inductee, but he will also become the first to conduct the Honor Band of America three times in its 23-year history. Today, we're looking back at Maestro Corporon's first Honor Band of America at the 1995 National Concert Band Festival in Chicago, Illinois.
The 1995 National Concert Band Festival was the first since the death of bandmaster Dr. William D. Revelli, who was instrumental in the educational foundation of Music for All and whose vision helped create the National Concert Band Festival just four years earlier. Mr. Corporon, who just took over the baton for the University of North Texas' Wind Symphony, conducted the Honor Band of America at the historic Medinah Temple in Chicago. Like today, the 1995 Honor Band of America was comprised of talented young musicians from across the country. 16 accomplished concert bands also performed as part of the National Concert Band Festival.
1995 Honor Band of America, Medina Temple, Chicago, Illinois
The Honor Band of America performance featured a composition commissioned by Bands of America for the 1995 National Concert Band Festival. The piece, American Faces by David Holsinger, was a musical tribute to the diversity of America and is still frequently performed by high school and collegiate ensembles today. The concert also featured prominent clarinetist Eddie Jones, performing a transcription of Carl Maria von Weber's Second Concert for Clarinet.
Mr. Corporon also conducted the Honor Band of America in 2004 and will return to the Clowes Memorial Hall stage to conduct the 2014 ensemble in a sold out concert. He has been a long-serving member for Music for All's evaluator and clinician team since the early years of the National Concert Band Festival. Mr. Corporon is Conductor of the Wind Symphony and Regents Professor of Music at the University of North Texas. He is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach and Claremont Graduate University. Mr. Corporon, a frequent guest conductor at the Showa University of Music in Kawasaki City, Japan, has also served as a visiting conductor at the Julliard School, the Interlochen World Center for Arts Education and the Aspen Music Festival and School. He is also the principal conductor of the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, a professional group made up of musicians from the Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex.
To learn more about the 2014 Music for All National Festival and the Honor Band of America, click here.
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.
Today's blog is written by Erin Fortune, Music for All's Participant Relations Coordinator.
It’s hard to believe that it is already Friday of camp week. What an exciting week it has been. We saw nearly 1,000 students and directors on the campus of Ball State – all eager to share ideas, learn and come together in support of music making. Today, as I cover the MFA Headquarters, answering questions and phone calls from directors, clinicians, students and parents; I think about how awesome it is to be here in Muncie, Indiana and a part of this camp.
Yesterday was definitely a busy day for me but it was also one of the best. The morning was spent running around getting prepared for the Tournament of Roses® BOA Honor Band Luncheon, where we brought together currently accepted students and students who were interested in applying to be a part of the band. It was pretty amazing to see that we have 21 students at camp who will be joining us for the parade in January!
Some people don’t realize, but in addition to the 7 student tracks we have at camp we also offer a Directors’ Track and Color Guard Instructor Academy. Throughout the week, the directors can choose from different sessions to attend like “Competition and the Instrumental Program” by Joe Allison and Amanda Drinkwater, “iPad Apps for Band and Beyond!” by Robert W. Smith, and “Exploring Show Concepts in Design” by Michael Gray, Lee Carlson, Alfred Watkins, and David Vandewalker. One highlight of my day is the director and clinician lunch that I get to attend daily. I love talking with directors about the sessions they have been attending.
After lunch I was able to escape headquarters long enough to go check in on some student tracks. The color guard moved inside to escape the heat in the afternoon so they were doing some staging for their final show in the Sports Complex. The SWAGs in the color guard track have had “theme days,” and yesterday’s theme just happened to be Princess Day, which is my favorite day of the week! When I arrived, they already had a sash made for me that said “Princess Erin,” and they gave me a crown and a wand! They definitely have fun over in the color guard area of camp!
Later in the day I decided to go over to Emens Auditorium a little early to try to catch part of the Time for Three rehearsal. I’m going to forewarn you that I will absolutely GUSH about Time for Three. I think they are amazing! But on my way to check their rehearsal out, I got distracted by what I heard coming out of the University Theatre’s door that was ajar. I was really curious about what I was hearing so I wandered over to that stage and found out that the Directors’ Concert Band was rehearsing. It was pretty neat to see the directors in the seats where their students typically sit, and it was great to see them conducted by the one and only Alfred Watkins. They also sounded fantastic, and I ended up staying to watch longer than I had anticipated!
By the time I was done listening in on the director’s band, the Time for Three rehearsal was almost over. The Orchestra Track students were sitting in the audience, and you could tell they were very excited! Prior to this, the Orchestra Track had a few rehearsals with Time for Three’s Nick Kendall so they already knew a little bit of what was in store for them during the evening concert.
The evening concert opened with a wonderful tribute by Music for All’s CEO Eric Martin for Dr. Margot Lacy Eccles, a supporter and frequent patron of the arts, Time for Three, and Music for All. Dr. Eccles passed away earlier this week. Mr. Martin reminded us that our life is the dash between birth and death, and that we should all strive to have the type of “dash” that Dr. Eccles had.
After this touching tribute, the Time for Three concert opened with the playing of their new music video, and anti-bullying message, “Stronger,” an arrangement of Kanye West's “Stronger” and Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” and “Nightvision.” Here is what Time for Three says about this music video on their YouTube channel:
“We are Time for Three, and this is our story -- the story of so many kids who every day face challenges to who they are and who they want to be: their dreams, their ambitions, their identity. This video is for you guys. Be strong. Stick with it. We did, and we are stronger for it. http://www.tf3.com”
As someone who has seen the video several times I knew what to expect, but I have a feeling that the majority of the students in the audience had never seen the video before. It was shockingly quiet as the video played, which still astounds me because how do you get nearly 1,000 high school students in one room to be silent? But when the video comes to an end, and the student featured in the video is playing at his school’s talent show, every single student started clapping in unison with the audience in the video. You can find the music video for “Stronger” here.
Time for Three then came out and wowed the audience with their impressive style and passion for improvisation, composing and arranging – all prime elements of the ensemble’s playing. They transcend traditional classification, with elements of classical, country western, gypsy and jazz idioms forming a blend all its own. Time for Three is Zachary (Zach) De Pue, violin; Nicolas (Nick) Kendall, violin; and Ranaan Meyer, double bass who met at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music.
Time for Three played many selections, including arrangements of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek.” The energy in the auditorium was electric, as Nick Kendall from Time for Three mentioned on several occasions.
“It’s awesome to play for other musicians, no, performers, who really listen,” Kendall said. “We get our energy from the energy you are giving to us.”
Last night I was in awe watching Time for Three, as I usually am when I see them perform, but my favorite thing about Time for Three is their passion and dedication to music education and the next generation.
Time for Three invited the 2012 Music for All Orchestra Track on stage with them to perform their last two pieces, “Hymn” (which Time for Three dedicated to Dr. Eccles) and “Orange Blossom Special.” The students received the music at the beginning of camp and have been working on these two, in addition to the pieces they will be performing during Saturday’s concert. Seeing their faces as they performed with Time for Three was awesome, and I’m sure the reaction from the audience made each and every one of those student’s nights. I know I was incredibly proud of them all.
After the concert I headed to the Vic Firth reception and got the chance to hear the Directors’ Jazz Band, and they were also incredible! It was awesome to see and talk with Vic Firth himself, who was in town for Summer Symposium.
As busy as yesterday was it ended in such a positive way that I couldn’t help but smile the whole way back to my dorm room as I thought about the day and all of the people I had the chance to talk with. Thank you to all of the students, SWAGs, directors, and fellow staff members that made my Thursday wonderful. Thank you to Time for Three, the Orchestra Track, and the directors’ bands for making me smile while watching their performances. I’m looking forward to joining the students and directors at the DCI show tonight and can’t wait for another awesome evening at camp!
-Erin Fortune, Participant Relations Coordinator at Music for All