Juilliard String Quartet appThe new Juilliard String Quartet App has been released by The Juilliard School. The app offers an exclusive look at the quartet's performance of "Death and the Maiden" Quartet by Franz Shubert.

Read more: Juilliard String Quartet App Released by The Juilliard School


(c) Sterling OrtizThis past week I’ve spent a lot of time meeting with the top brass of the performing arts programs put on at Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. as well as spending time in the two respective parks, meeting cast members in all areas of their hospitality, entertainment, educational, and management operations. A common theme among them was how many ended up working in their current capacity because of a band trip taken to perform in the parks. At Disney, in particular, it was almost a running gag after a while for me to ask what year a park cast member (as their employees are called) visited the park with their high school marching band.

Read more: Perspective: Often Overlooked Student Benefits of Band Travel


Music leaders gather for breakfast to celebrate the release of the National Standards for Arts Education and the adding the arts as a core subject held at the National Press Club March 11, 1994. Pictured from left to right are: Michael Greene, president and CEO – National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS); Secretary of Education Richard Riley; John Mahlmann – executive director, MENC; Bob Morrison – executive director, American Music Conference and director of Market Development, NAMM; Larry Linkin, president and CEO, NAMMOver the course of my time of more than 25 years as a music and arts education advocate, I have seen how our field has been shaped by a series of defining moments – those actions, whether isolated events or sustained efforts that – when looked back on through the lenses of history – have changed the trajectory of our field.

Read more: In the Trenches: A Defining Moment


Justin BarrTwo years ago in Fairview, TN, a small town suburb 35 miles west of Nashville, the Fairview High School band program was in flux, its enrollments and participation down greatly from years before when student interest and parental support made it a very competitive program in Williamson County. Over the past few years of its decline, with changes in band directors and an ever-changing student demographic, the summer band camp program saw as few as two dozen students participate, which included a mix of middle school students participating with the high school students from the next campus over. Enter Justin Barr, recent graduate from one of Tennessee’s best universities for music studies, Middle Tennessee State University, whose passion for teaching – specifically teaching band – has helped turn around Fairview High School’s floundering band program enrollments, essentially doubling each year. SBO sat down and talked with Barr about his passion, his goals, and his plans for Fairview High School’s school band program.

Read more: UpClose: Justin Barr Is Getting the Band Back Together


Harpa Concert HallIceland is a relatively young island, only 15-18 million years old, making its geological activity one-of-a-kind. But more than geology, it is also young in hosting performance tours for U.S. visitors. Sure, it’s becoming more popular, but relatively speaking it hasn’t really branched out as a top-of-the mind performance tour destination — yet. Though, you might be surprised to find that it actually has one of the best concert halls in the world and offers many other excellent venues for traveling bands. Here’s the inside scoop:

Read more: The Insider’s Guide to Iceland’s Band and Orchestra Performance Venues


Breezin' Thru ComposingAccountability is the new watchword in education.  Music educators are on the front lines of this movement because our work with students is regularly on display for public scrutiny.  But things are changing and we can’t sit on our laurels.  This new era requires more justifications and qualifications for academic accreditation and excellence. Mike Blakeslee, deputy executive director of NAfME stated:  “With the increasing emphasis on core standards as drivers for our education system in areas, ranging from curriculum development to teacher assessment, we need music standards that match current and future policy needs. 

Read more: Seamless Classroom Integration of National Standards & Cutting-Edge Music Technology


Speech of Hon. Joaquin Castro of TX to the House of RepresentativesWith this article, I happily share one example of the results of advocacy efforts for our Best Communities for Music Education program. I hope it inspires all of us to do more to assure that the music education programs we are close to and care about get the recognition and support they deserve.

Read more: We Must All Rise to Honor Schools for Their Exceptional Music Education Programs

Best Tools for Schools

JamHub will award appropriate applicants a complete studio setup including a JamHub BedRoom unit, mobile tablet connection kit and headphones

Qualifying U.S. schools will be able to apply for grants through June 19, 2015, as well as September 14th through October 16th, 2015.

Read more: JamHub to Award Grants to Qualifying Schools in 2015


Mike Lawson (c) Sterling OrtizI recently returned from another annual trip to Frankfurt, Germany where I again attend the Musikmesse/ProLight + Sound tradeshow. Some of our American readers will have never heard of this event. While attendended is similar in size at both the NAMM and Musikmesse/ProLight + Sound show, the amount of exhibit space used and the meeting facilities employed in Frankfurt are enormously different.

Read more: School Band und Orchester in Europa auf der Musikmesse


Shutterstock Music Student playing PianoStudents continue to participate in our music programs because they cannot imagine school without the meaningful engagement that our courses provide. For one reason or another however, we continue to lose some students along the way.

One Iowa school district came to the realization that they could do something about it. Below is their story and some initial steps they are taking to work toward the vision of retaining 100 percent of their students.

Read more: MAC Corner: 100% Retention Rate? Go Team!


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

Directors who make a Difference

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

Click here to nominate a director 

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

SBO Web Poll

How do you record your rehearsals?

Analog Tape Recorder - 2.8%
Computer with Microphones/Software - 11.1%
Handheld Recording Device - 50%
Smartphone App - 19.4%
I don't record rehearsals - 16.7%

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