The Ultimate Winter Orchestra

While much of the U.S. slogs through a cold, snowy winter, a group of artistic-minded people from an area where harsh winter weather is the norm have adapted some unique creative outlets. In what might be the most extreme ensemble of its kind, a Scandinavian group has created an entire orchestra out of ice. Ice Music, based in Swedish Lapland, some of the northernmost inhabited territory on the planet, is a performing group that plays in a giant igloo on instruments built out of blocks of ice.

Read more: Ice Music

Coalition for Music Education Advocacy Continues to Grow

Music for All is continuing its efforts to expand the role of music and the arts in education by joining the Music Education Policy Roundtable (MEPR). MEPR works to ensure the presence and perseverance of school music programs, by advocating for Music Education policy among political and governmental agencies.

“Encouraging strong policymaking and public commitment to music and arts education are fundamental strategies of Music for All,” said Eric L. Martin, President and CEO. “Joining and being active in the Music Education Policy Roundtable is a logical way for us to advance our vision to be a catalyst to ensure that every child across America has access and opportunity to participate in active music making in his or her scholastic environment.”

Read more: Music for All Joins The Music Education Policy Roundtable

SBO is proud to present the winners of the 2014 SBO Essay Scholarship Contest

Two students each from Illinois and Virginia were among the 10 scholarship winners of this year’s SBO essay contest, with the other six from Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, and Wisconsin. Five winners from grades 4 to 8 and five students from grades 9 to 12 each received music scholarships of $1,000, with their respective school music programs awarded a matching prize of musical products from cosponsors NAMM, Alfred Music Publishing, the Woodwind & Brasswind, and Yamaha Corporation of America.

Read more: The 2014 Essay Contest Winners

The Country Music Association's Keep the Music Playing Campaign Funds Public School Music

The Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation has donated $1 million toward music education programs for Nashville public school students, part of CMA’s Keep the Music Playing campaign.

The donation stems from CMA’s 2013 Country Music Festival and raises the organization’s support of metro schools in Nashville to more than $7.5 million. The funds have been used for the purchase of musical instruments and supplies through a partnership with the Nashville Public Education Foundation.

Read more: CMA Donates $1m toward Music Ed in Nashville

The Board of Directors of the Joseph and Vera Zilber Family Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to the music program at Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Ronald Regan International Baccalaureate (IB) High School to continue helping students perform, compose and study music.

The grant will be distributed to the school’s Vera J. Zilber Music Department over the course of five years and will support its college-level curriculum as well as extracurricular activities, such as drum line, DJ club, solo and ensemble clubs, piano club, pit orchestra club, jazz band, and musical theater.

Read more: Foundation Provides $25K Grant for Music Ed

Music for All announces three industry leaders to be inducted to the 2014 Bands of America Hall of Fame

Music for All has announced the industry leaders who will be inducted into the 2014 Bands of America Hall of Fame: Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Fred and Marlene Miller and Camilla M. Stasa.

The Bands of America Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have had a positively life-changing impact on Music for All’s Bands of America programs and music education.  2014 inductees were announced in the evening of Saturday, November 16th, during the opening ceremonies of the Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Read more: Bands of America's 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees

Nicholas McCarthy is a professional pianist who graduated from the Royal College of Music in London in 2012. That might not be so remarkable, until you take into account that he was born with only one hand. He is the first one-handed pianist to graduate from the esteemed music school, and one of very few one-handed professional pianists in the world. Enjoy this beautiful rendition of Prelude and Nocturne OP9 by Alexander Scriabin.

In its inaugural year, The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation will present the Music Educator Award to Kent Knappenberger, a music teacher form Chautauqua County, N.Y. Knappenberger, who works at Westfield Academy and Central School, was one of 25 finalists selected from more than 30,000 nominated educators.

A former student of his, Laura Lee Anderson, posted this statement that she made in support of “Mr. K” on her blog, lauraleeanderson.wordpress.com:

Read more: Kent Knappenberger Wins Inaugural Music Ed Grammy Award

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has scheduled the final public review of its draft Pre-K-12 arts standards in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts to run February 14, 2014 through February 28. A draft reading copy of will be available on January 30 at nccas.wikispaces.com.

This review is part of the NCCAS’s process designed to allow time for each arts discipline time to incorporate changes suggested by those reviewing the drafts.  The project’s timeline was recently revised, with this February review coming as the first in a series of new benchmarks that will lead to the web-based release of the standards in June, 2014.

Read more: Final Public Review of Core Standards Set for February

The PBS Newhour recently produced a segment looking at the Harmony Project, a music education program based in Southern California. The Harmony Project seeks to fill the void in the arts left by school budget cuts, providing music education to improvished youths who would not otherwise have access to it. In addition to engaging many youngsters in music, the program has also enlisted neurobiologist Nina Kraus, of Northwestern University, to assist in identifying specifically how music education can enhance the development of children's cognitive abilities.

Check out the video here

Directors who make a Difference

For over 20 years, School Band & Orchestra Magazine has been honoring amazing music educators from all 50 states. That's more than 1000 educators recognized for their outstanding contributions to music education programs!

Do you know a fantastic K-12 instrumental music educator who is deserving of recognition in SBO? Tell us why he or she should be featured in SBO’s annual "Directors Who Make a Difference" report.

Click here to nominate a director 

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!

Click Here to Submit Your Story

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