Some of the world’s best all-age drum and bugle corps will head to Rochester, New York, over Labor Day weekend for the 50th anniversary edition of the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) World Championships.

After two years away in Annapolis, Maryland, DCA makes its return to its familiar home at Sahlen’s Stadium, as more than 20 corps from across the country get set to square off in several events scheduled Aug. 29-31.

Read more: DCI Celebrates 50th Anniversary

James P. Stephens joins Music for All as director of Advocacy and Educational Resources

Music for All has added a new professional, James P. Stephens, to its Indianapolis staff, as director of Advocacy and Educational Resources. Stephens joins Music for All having most recently served as a music educator for one of the nation’s most respected scholastic music programs, at Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma.

Music for All combines regional and national music-event programming with awareness and advocacy efforts aimed at expanding access to music in schools and communities, including Indianapolis.

The director of Advocacy and Educational Resources is a new position created to meet key organizational objectives and initiatives.

Read more: Music for All Adds Staff

This August, the California Music Educators Association issued a statement on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education.

“As a result of Governor Brown’s new Local Control Funding Formula, California now has the opportunity to provide all students with a sequential, standards-based education in music and the arts,” said CMEA president Michael Stone,


Here’s the statement in full:

As Californians, we task our children to be career-ready innovators capable of creating a future that will sustain the largest and most innovative economy in the Nation. Our educational system also values educating our young people so that they become lifelong learners and citizens who actively participate in our democracy. Training in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM subjects) are key to producing the next generation of problem solvers in California.

Read more: CMEA Offers Statement on STEAM

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) heads back to Music City for its 2nd Annual NAfME National In-Service Conference. The weekend-long conference includes over 100 sessions for music educators in a variety of areas of interest. Collegiate member attendees will also have the chance to engage in professional development programs.

Read more: Nashville NAfME In-Service Conference Set for October 26-29


This installment of concert band repertoire reviews features music in a range of difficulty levels by John Kinyon, Larry Daehn, Steve Rouse, Aaron Copland, and Dana Wilson. “Frank Ticheli’s List” is a compilation of core repertoire for concert band selected by composer Frank Ticheli of USC. These pieces have been reviewed by Gregory Rudgers and John Darling.

Read more: Repertoire Review: August, 2014

Directors nationwide share fundraising strategies that work

Fundraising is one of those peripheral activities that can add a tremendous amount of strain to a director’s already full workload. On the other hand, it also serves to enable fantastic opportunities and resources for individual students and the ensemble as a whole. In an ideal world, the fundraising activity is one that students enjoy participating in, doesn’t take too heavy a toll on either the director or the students in terms of planning and execution, and, of course, brings in enough profit to make it worthwhile. As an added bonus, the right campaign can also be a great bonding experience, as well as a chance to build community awareness about your band.

SBO recently reached out to music educators around the country, asking directors to describe the campaigns that work best for their programs, how to keep students engaged, and any tips they might have for maximizing the profit-to-effort ratio.

Read more: Peer to Peer: Fundraising

Once again, a high-profile marching band is in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Last fall, millions of people across the country were transfixed by The Ohio State University’s Marching Band. The Best Damn Band in the Land, as they call themselves, had a fantastic season, assembling outstanding show after outstanding show. YouTube videos of the group’s performances received tens of millions of hits, and the university band earned countless kudos and accolades for their creative, precise, and wildly entertaining halftime routines. On the heels of this eye-catching season, it came as quite a surprise to many when incoming president of the university, Dr. Michael Drake, announced on July 24 that he was firing Jonathan Waters, director of The Ohio State University Marching Band.

Read more: Perspective: A Haven for All

"Spreading the Love and Rocking Out"

While the term “college marching band” instantly conjures up the image of a uniformed, synchronized unit moving with military-like precision, the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band defies that convention. Driven by a fun-loving, hard-working rock and roll ethos, the famous “scatter band” may don their school’s cardinal red and white colors (along with some black), but their attire can also vary from sport coats and pants to pajamas to casual beach attire. Their mixture of new and classic popular music, spiritedly performed whether they are at a stadium game or part of a street corner flash mob, is enhanced by members scrambling into formation and dancing or hopping to the beat. And the beat rolls ever on – they play approximately 200 rallies per year.

The roots of the Stanford Band’s irreverence, which has included controversially humorous performance stunts over the years, can be traced back to the mid-’60s when beloved director

Read more: UpClose: Stanford University Marching Band


What technicians want you to know about caring for brass instruments

For student musicians, an underperforming instrument can be the difference in whether they decide to continue with band or quit the program. With experienced players, subpar instrument condition can impact audition and job success. Repair technicians can and should be a partner with the director, parent, student, and professional in ensuring success: they are there to serve you, and most are passionate about music and its positive impact on people’s lives. Consulting on instrument care and maintenance and creating a repair schedule with a trusted technician helps prevent catastrophic events and unplanned bills. In our case, Yamaha generously donates complete instruments and parts to help us teach repair to the next generation of technicians, and they suggested that we help spread the word about proper instrument maintenance.

With that, here are some things to keep in mind.

Read more: Repair: Brass Instruments

Six ear training programs for classroom and at-home use

"Garbage in, garbage out” is a guiding mantra for building computers and apps. It’s also true for our students’ brains. We are in the business of empowering young minds with healthy, useful information. Thanks to significant new developments, music educators can effectively combine music theory and aural training to empower students with ownership of their music creating experiences.

Ear training can cover a broad spectrum of useful music tools. These include pitch recognition, intonation, rhythmic drills, harmonic understanding of how music fits together vertically, better understanding of triads, complex chords, intervals, scale recognition, and how chord progressions are linked together.

Read more: Technology: Ear Training

On the Road

Do you have a story to tell about taking your school music groups on the road? SBO wants to hear about it!

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Directors who make a Difference

Do you know a fantastic K-12 instrumental music educator who is deserving of recognition in SBO?

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and tell us why he or she should be featured in SBO’s annual "Directors Who Make a Difference" report.

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