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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Music for All is proud to announce that Caleb Chapman will be the 2014 Jazz Band of America conductor! Caleb's incredibly unique combination of skills as a producer, educator, author, and performer have marked him as a rising star in the music industry. We are very excited that Caleb will be sharing his talents with the 2014 Jazz Band of America this March in Indianapolis.
Already know about Caleb Chapman and can't wait for the opportunity to work with him this March? Don't wait! Send your application in today to be a part of the 2014 Jazz Band of America. You can find the application and audition requirements here on the Music for All website.
Want to know more about Caleb? Read on!
As the President of Caleb Chapman Music, Caleb oversees nearly 200 of Utah’s most talented musicians in thirteen elite ensembles, including the Crescent Super Band, which has frequently been hailed as one of the best professional bands in the world to be comprised entirely of young talent.
Caleb’s groups have been featured at many of the world’s most prestigious music festivals including appearances in The Netherlands, Mexico, Switzerland, France, Sweden, and Italy. Caleb’s bands are so well recognized, the Crescent Super Band easily filled the world's most famous concert venue - Carnegie Hall - in their debut performance there in May of 2013. The bands have also performed with nearly 200 guest artists, including Grammy-winners David Sanborn, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Peter Erskine, Kurt Elling, Gordon Goodwin, Wayne Bergeron, Dave Weckl, Nicholas Payton, Jeff Coffin, Eric Marienthal, Ernie Watts, and Bob Mintzer. They have been featured with musicians from such recognizable bands as Journey, Dave Matthews Band, the Neon Trees, Steve Miller Band, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Tower of Power, Genesis, the Saturday Night Live Band, and many others. Additionally, his bands have received national airplay on Sirius XM.
In the last 8 years Caleb’s bands have been honored with 22 DownBeat Awards. The Crescent Super Band has also won eight consecutive “Best of State” awards for Utah and twice won the prestigious Best of State Statue Award identifying Caleb’s program as the top organization in Arts and Entertainment in Utah, beating out every other professional music, arts, and film organization in the state for the honor.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert presented Caleb with the prestigious 2013 “Governor’s Performing Artist Award”, given to one artist annually for significant contributions to art in Utah.
In 2011, Caleb was named the “John LaPorta International Jazz Educator of the Year”, one of the highest honors in music education. Age 37 at the time, he was by far the youngest to ever receive this honor. Additionally, Caleb has been named Utah’s “Best Educator” (2011) and “Best Music Educator” (2012) by Utah Best of State.
Caleb is a finalist for the first ever "GRAMMY Music Educator Award" which will be presented in 2014. In 2007 he was honored as the inaugural inductee into the Horne School of Music Hall of Fame and received the “Superior Accomplishment in Music Award” from the Utah Music Educators Association. He is the 2006 recipient of the KUER FM90 “Voice of Jazz Award”. He currently serves as Vice President on the Board of the Jazz Education Network (JEN), the world's leading organization for jazz education and advocacy.
Caleb has been invited to direct several All State Jazz Bands and will be conducting the prestigious Jazz Band of America at the Music for All National Festival in March of 2014. He has performed and presented at the famed Midwest Clinic. He has presented clinics at music festivals accross the country and is in high demand as a guest speaker and presenter.
In addition to his position at Caleb Chapman Music, Caleb serves as Music Academy Director at the innovative Pioneer High School for the Performing Arts, one of the nation's leading charter schools dedicated to the arts.
Caleb's book, "The Articulate Jazz Musician", written with Dave Matthews Band saxophonist and multi-GRAMMY winner, Jeff Coffin, was released by Alfred Publishing in January of 2013. He has also written for Hal Leonard Publishing and JAZZed Magazine, and has a regular column, "Sound Thinking" which is published monthly by the Daily Herald newspaper.
Caleb is an active saxophonist. He is a fixture in the Utah scene and has appeared with artists as varied as GRAMMY-winning bassist, Christian McBride and Neon Trees frontman, Tyler Glenn. He has performed the National Anthem on solo saxophone at NBA games for the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat, the Denver Nuggets, and the Utah Jazz. His playing is featured on recordings by dozens of artists, including the GRAMMY-winning DJ, Kaskade.
Caleb is a featured clinician and sponsored performer for Yamaha Saxophones.
Check out this video where Caleb describes his style as a music educator and why he believes music education is important!
Learn more about the Jazz Band of America here. The Jazz Band of America is one of three prestigious honor ensembles that are a part of the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha. The 2014 festival will take place March 6-8 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
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
Sign up for a high school summer camp and… spin alongside a world class drum corps?
That’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.
This 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.
The 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.
A 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 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.
We’ve only had two evening concerts so far and the talent that has come to Emens Auditorium this week has already blown me away!
On Tuesday evening, Mindi Abair and her band came to the Ball State campus and I was lucky enough to get a few moments of her time to chat after her sound check.
Anytime I need to interview I interview anyone, let alone a professional musician, I wonder what the interview will be like: if it will be easy or hard, if they will be kind and sincere or if I will feel like I’m an imposition.
Lucky for me, the moment I was introduced to Mindi Abair, I felt at ease and like I was chatting with an old friend.
It was great talking with Mindi about the Summer Symposium and what happens throughout the week. She was genuinely interested in the Music for All's mission and talked at length about how important music education was to her own life. Mindi recognizes that because of how important music was to her life, she is a strong advocate for music education.
Watch Mindi’s Interview (as well as some highlights from the concert) here:
After leaving the interview with Mindi, I couldn’t stop talking about how awesome the concert was going to be (it was a really fun sound check!) and how great of a person she was. I definitely thought I knew how great the concert would be.
But I was wrong. It was better! The moment I walked into the auditorium I could feel the energy not only coming from Mindi and her band, but from the students who were up off their feet and simply enjoying the concert. It's almost impossible for me to explain the feeling that I had while watching our campers, watch the performance. It was amazing to see them so engaged and just LOVING what was happening on stage in front of them. Here's a photo that gives you an idea of what I'm talking about.
The best thing about Mindi Abair: she's not only talented, she's just plain fun. You could see on her face, and on the faces of the members of her band, that they were having a BLAST performing for this incredible audience. At the end of the encore Mindi even invited students on stage with her (she couldn’t have known what she was getting into there, right!?) It was a pretty incredible sight, and I’m sure many students are not going to forget the night that they got to come up on stage while Mindi Abair finished out her show!
This evening concert was defintly one of my favorites I have seen in my past three camp experiences. I hope that the students enjoyed it as much as I did!
Check out the photos from Summer Symposium Day 1! (Day 3 for our awesome Leadership students!)