Music For All & BOA Unite

Mike Lawson • Archives • November 7, 2006

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Usually this space is reserved for my commentary on the topic of the day. For this issue I want to share with you some exciting news that, I believe, will have a great impact supporting the work you as an educator do everyday:

Bands of America and the Music for All Foundation have announced the merger of the two groups to create Music for All, Inc., one of the largest and most influential national music education organizations in support of active music making. The merger became effective September 14, 2006.

Combined Forces

Recognized leaders in their fields, Bands of America (BOA) and its Orchestra America division have a 31-year heritage in providing spectacular educational experiences for instrumental music programs and students. The Music for All Foundation (MFA), one of the nation’s leading music and arts education research, public policy and advocacy organization, was created to address the growing concern that public policies have created barriers for many schools and communities to provide music and arts programs as a part of a basic education for all children.

Together they join forces to create, provide, and expand upon positively life-changing experiences through music at all levels, regardless of experience. The two organizations have merged Board of Directors to serve as the governing body of Music for All, Inc., with members of both organizations remaining active. Scott McCormick will serve as president and CEO, Robert Morrison becomes chairman emeritus and will serve as executive vice president, Public Affairs and Eric Martin will serve as executive vice president and COO. Previously, Scott McCormick was president of Bands of America, and Robert Morrison was the founder and chairman of the Music for All Foundation.

“The mission and vision of both Bands of America and the Music for All Foundation were very much in sync, and the programs of both organizations will only serve to complement each other,” states Scott McCormick. “Music for All’s ground-breaking advocacy efforts fit naturally with BOA’s position as the leading provider of musical events and educational activities.”

Music for All, Inc. is unique in that it combines programming at a national level with awareness campaigns, research and advocacy. Its programming will provide ready-made research and advocacy tools, as well as performance platforms to promote access to music and music education for all, and will provide the preeminent showcases for those results. The organization will reach a vast number of people; each year, more than 300,000 people attend their events, 100,000 teens participate, 100,000 people subscribe to online services, and one million are impacted by their research and public affairs initiative.

The recognized strengths of both BOA and MFA are combined to position the new organization in achieving greater success as a leader in ensuring that music truly becomes available to all. Bands of America has a track record of producing best-of-class events that are passionately supported by students, parents, teachers and communities.

“In spite of most people instinctively knowing the benefits of music, far too often music programs are the first to be cut when schools have budget problems,” notes Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, past chairman and current board member of the National Governor’s Association and the Education Commission of the States. “That’s why I am excited that Music for All and Bands of America have united under the label Music for All, Inc.

The merger of these two outstanding organizations will create one of the largest organizations in America engaged in making music,” adds Huckabee, a long time music and arts education champion. “Music for All, Inc. will provide a mechanism to connect those who develop policy with those who will implement that policy on a large scale. With the outreach capabilities of this new ‘policy meets practice’ organization, music programs should never again be on the chopping blocks in our schools.”

Moving Forward

All current Bands of America and Music for All activities will continue as planned, and move toward expanding to activities that reach beyond the classroom. The new organization has joined with NAMM, the International Music Products Association, to sponsor the New York premiere of the upcoming HBO documentary The Music in Me at Carnegie Hall on October 6, with the network debut on HBO October 7.

Music for All, Inc. has recently completed the New Jersey Visual and Performing Arts Education Survey, the first state level census of arts education at the school building level. This ground-breaking program is designed for use in other states and communities as a national model. The results will be released in the fall. And upcoming band activities include Regional Championships across the country, culminating in the Grand Nationals in Indianapolis this November.

Very active at a national, state and local level, Music for All, Inc. is a member of, and will work together to gather and share quantifiable research and resources for music and arts advocates across the country. “We have worked closely with both organizations in the past,” says Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM, the International Music Products Association, “and we fully support this merger and the strong leadership of Scott McCormick and Bob Morrison.”

Music for All, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, will be headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana while the Public Affairs and Research offices will be in Warren, New Jersey.

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