Space Agency's Arts Program Connects Elementary Music Students and Astronauts

Expedition 39 commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, currently aboard the International Space Station, made space-to-Earth musical connections with students in Texas this week to share and explore the relationship between the arts and space exploration.

Students from Pearl Hall Elementary in Pasadena, Texas, performed songs with NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, Houston Symphony violinist Sergei Galperin, and violinist Kenji Williams at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. From the space station, Wakata performed a piece of the ancient Gagaku music with a Japanese reed instrument called a sho.

Read more: NASA Broadcasts Live Musical Exploration

Hundreds of groups flocked to Dayton, Ohio for color guard and percussion competitions

After two weeks of intense competition featuring 325 color guards, 217 percussion ensembles, and 982 performances, the 2014 WGI World Championships wrapped up on Saturday, April 12. Fourteen groups have now solidified their names in WGI history as “Champion.” Congratulations to all participants!

 

Dartmouth (Mass.) High School came away with the highest score in the finals of the Scholastic percussion competition, edging out groups from Chino Hills High School and Ayala High School. See the Dartmouth drumline in action here:

Read more: 2014 WGI World Championships

Funds Will Provide Support for Archiving and Preservation Programs and Research Efforts

The Grammy Foundation Grant Program has announced that more than $200,000 in grants will be awarded to 15 recipients in the United States to help facilitate a range of research on a variety of subjects, as well as support a number of archiving and preservation programs. Research projects include a study on memory retention through music in patients with Alzheimer's disease; and the benefits of music training in strengthening the ear to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. Preservation and archiving initiatives include a project to preserve more than 650 rare interviews with country music performers and professionals spanning 1959–2000; and the preservation of more than 250 original transcription disks of the historic radio series, "The Goldbergs." The deadline each year for submitting letters of inquiry is Oct. 1. Guidelines and the letter of inquiry form for the 2015 cycle will be available beginning May 1 at www.grammyfoundation.org/grants.

Read more: Grammy Foundation Awards $200K for Music Research

EKU Marching Band to Employ Cutting Edge Technology

According to The Eastern Progress, the student-run newspaper at Eastern Kentucky University, the school’s marching band, The Marching Colonels, will soon be incorporating Google Glass into their rehearsals and field show. Google Glass are experimental glasses that have a built-in video camera and monitor:

Read more: Marching Colonels to Use Google Glass

Travel experiences from school band and orchestra directors

Have you taken your school music groups on the road in the past year or two? How did it go? What did you and/or your students learn from the experience? What was the best part? The good, the bad, the funny, the life-affirming, and the death-defying, SBO wants to hear about it! Share your travel experience in 250 words or less for the chance to be included in an exciting new feature that will be debuting in an upcoming issue of SBO magazine.

Read more: New SBO Feature: On the Road

NAfME’s ‘Broader Minded’ Advocacy Group Visits Capitol Hill Briefing

The music advocacy initiative Broader Minded™ from the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) was a featured part of a Congressional briefing on April 3, marking the first time NAfME has participated in such a hearing.

Read more: NAfME Visits Capitol Hill

Online music lesson provider ArtistWorks is sponsoring the 2014 ArtistWorks Classical Campus Video Exchange™ Scholarship Competition, with a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship. Designed to help aspiring musicians further their education through a cash award and through use of the ArtistWorks Online Classical Campus schools in preparation for their competition submission, the event is open to trumpet, flute, clarinet, and violin players. There is a application fee of $60, and applications are due April 30th. Submissions are due by May 30th.

Read more: ArtistWorks Classical Campus Scholarship Competition

In honor of April Fools Day, here's a video of a fellow from a drum shop covering "Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles on a tuba.

Read more: Eleanor Rigby, Tuba style

NAMM Foundation program celebrates districts’ and schools’ exemplary dedication to music programs

 

The NAMM Foundation has announced the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) for 2014. This year, the NAMM Foundation has designated 376 districts as Best Communities for Music Education and 96 individual schools as SupportMusic Merit Award winners. These districts and schools set the bar in offering students access to comprehensive music education.

The BCME program applauds the efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders working to assure that music education is part of the core curriculum. More than 2000 schools and school districts participated in this year’s survey, resulting in a 21-percent increase in designations.

“These schools and districts make a strong commitment to music education in the core curriculum supporting its essential value to a well-rounded education for every child,” said Mary Luehrsen, NAMM Foundation executive director. “Strong, engaging programs that offer students access to music cannot thrive in a vacuum. The Best Communities designation and the SupportMusic Merit Award bring hard-won visibility to music classes, programs and departments that are keeping music education alive in our schools.”

Read more: The 2014 Best Communities for Music Education

Arts Education Partnership debuts new tool to shed light on state arts policies

The Arts Education Partnership has just debuted ArtScan, a searchable database of the latest state policies supporting education in and through the arts from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

This resource not only includes policy language excerpted directly from each state’s education policies, but also information on state-level surveys of arts education and a set of descriptive education indicators (from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics’ Digest of Education Statistics: 2012).

Read more: AEP's ArtScan

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

Sign up for the SBO newsletter

SBO App

Get the SBO App!

Get the latest issues on your mobile device!

 

 

College Search & Career Guide

The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!