Music for All’s Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, is set to take place at Indianapolis’s Lucas Oil Stadium. Thousands will converge on the stadium November 13-16 to witness some of the best high school marching bands in the country. Grand Nationals is an educational performance opportunity open to all high school bands, on a first-come, first-served basis. Grand Nationals is also billed as a “spectacular music and pageantry event,” for which marching fans from across the nation and around the world travel to for its performances.

Read more: Indianapolis to Host 2013 BOA Grand Nationals

During the halftime show of the OSU vs Iowa football game on October 19, OSU's TBDBITL (marching band) paid tribute to Michael Jackson with an incredible field show that, along with some of his classic tunes, also featured some of the King of Pop's most famous dance moves.

If you haven't already seen it, check it out below. While the whole show is fantastic, the dance moves really heat up shortly after the 4:00 mark.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if passersby on a busy New York City intersection were given the opportunity to conduct an orchestra? Improv Everywhere, a NYC-based collective, recently arranged just that, placing musicians from Carnegie Hall with their instruments out and ready to go in front of a sign on an empty podium that beckoned: "Conduct Us."

Video of the event here:

A recent opinion piece in the New York Times questions the impact of intensive musical training on a number of high achieving individuals in an array of industries.  Author Joanne Lipman writes:

Condoleezza Rice trained to be a concert pianist. Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, was a professional clarinet and saxophone player. The hedge fund billionaire Bruce Kovner is a pianist who took classes at Juilliard.

Multiple studies link music study to academic achievement. But what is it about serious music training that seems to correlate with outsize success in other fields?

The connection isn’t a coincidence. I know because I asked. I put the question to top-flight professionals in industries from tech to finance to media, all of whom had serious (if often little-known) past lives as musicians. Almost all made a connection between their music training and their professional achievements.

Read more: NY Times asks: Is Music Key to Success?

A total of 25 music teachers from 24 cities across 15 states have been announced as semifinalists for the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. In total, more than 30,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states. The 10 finalists will be announced in December.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.

Read more: Semifinalists Revealed For Inaugural GRAMMY Music Educator Award

Gift of $60m enables scholarship covering full tuition for select classical music students beginning September 2014

Joseph W. Polisi, President of The Juilliard School, recently announced the creation of the Kovner Fellowship Program at Juilliard that will be endowed with a gift of $60 million – the largest single one-time gift to the School – from Bruce and Suzie Kovner, long-time supporters of the School. Providing full tuition and living expenses, the Fellowships recognize the excellence of Juilliard’s classical music students and enhance the School’s 100+ year tradition of attracting and developing the most talented musicians in the world.

The scholarships cover the full cost of attendance – tuition, room and board, plus an annual stipend for enrichment and development activities – beginning with 25 students in the first year and increasing up to 52 undergraduate and graduate students annually in classical music programs by 2018.  It is the only scholarship program that covers all expenses for the entire course of study at Juilliard.

Read more: Juilliard Announces Creation Of Kovner Fellowship Program

Teacher evaluation systems today are more refined and useful for improving teachers’ skills and connecting teachers to student achievement than past models, a new national report that examines states’ teacher evaluation policies by the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) Center for Public Education (CPE) finds.

“Trends in Teacher Evaluation: How States are Measuring Teacher Performance,” offers an overview of changes in teacher evaluation systems by state. The report also describes states’ use of evaluation data for personnel decisions and continuous improvement.

Read more: National Policy Review Finds K-12 Teacher Evaluation is Broader than Test Scores

Set for Nashville, Oct. 27-30

Thousands of music teachers, administrators, and students come together in Nashville next month to attend the 2013 National In-Service Conference of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). The main theme for the four-day conference is “Music education orchestrates success” – in school, in work, and in life.  The event will run October 27-30 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

Teachers who attend will address the proposed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, gain new insights into how their classroom teaching styles are being evaluated, attend dozens of professional development workshops, and celebrate the achievements of some of the nation’s most distinguished student musicians.

Read more: NAfME National In-Service Conference

U.K. paper The Telegraph reported this week that a large, inflatable concert hall will be debuted in Matsushima, Japan and continue on a tour through areas of the country hit hard by floods resulting in the devastating by the 2011 tsunami. The structure, designed by British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, is about 10,000 square feet and uses wood from tsunami-damaged trees salvaged from Zuiganji Temple after the tsunami to create acoustic reflectors and seating.

The hall will host events such as classical music performances as well as modern Japanese music. The concept was a brainchild of the Lucerne Festival, which has dubbed it the “Ark Nova Project.”

Full story at The Telegraph.

Douglas Lowry, the dean of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, has resigned for health reasons. The Board of Trustees named him the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean Emeritus and awarded him an honorary Doctor of Music degree, which was presented to him September 23.

Lowry led the biggest architectural transformation in the Eastman School’s history, the renovation of Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and the construction of the east wing, with state-of-the-art performance, rehearsal and teaching spaces, including Hatch Recital Hall. As a composer, Lowry's works have been commissioned and premiered by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (his "Geo" opened Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre under the baton of Christopher Seaman in October of 2009), the Cincinnati Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Eastman School Symphony, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Thornton USC Symphony, and others.

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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