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About Music for All

Music for All’s mission is to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all. Our vision is to be a catalyst to ensure every child in America has access and opportunity to active music-making in his or her scholastic environment.

Music for All combines programming at a national level with arts education advocacy. Bands of America (BOA) and Orchestra America are programs of Music for All, founded in 1975, recognized as the pinnacle of educational programming for high school instrumental music programs nationwide. Music for All reaches a vast number of people; each year, more than 300,000 people attend our events, more than 85,000 teens participate, and 100,000 people subscribe to online services.

Music for All is committed to expanding the role of music and the arts in education, to heightening the public’s appreciation of the value of music and arts education, and to creating a positive environment for the arts through societal change. Working with leading national authorities and other non-profit organizations, Music for All invests resources and personnel in projects that expand access to public school music and arts programs through advocacy and public awareness efforts to support music and arts education.

Music for All is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization.

Applications and all supporting materials are due to Music for All office no later than June 5, 2022. The final deadline for Chamber ensembles is September 15, 2022.

Below are the application requirements for the 2023 National Festival - Friday, March 31 - Sunday, April 2, 2023.

1. ELIGIBLE ENSEMBLES:

1.1 – BANDS AND ORCHESTRAS: Please submit an unedited audio recording of 12-20 minutes of music, made during the 2021-2022 school year.
1.2 – PERCUSSION ENSEMBLES AND CHAMBER ENSEMBLES: Please submit an unedited audio recording of two or three selections/movements not to exceed 15 minutes of applicant, made during the 2021-2022 school year.
1.3 – If your scholastic environment precludes you from having an audition recording made during the 2021-2022 school year, please call us about possible options at 800.848.2263.


2. AUDITION RECORDINGS AND REPERTOIRE REQUIREMENTS:

2.1– Audio recordings should not only display the ensemble’s technical proficiency but also demonstrate their musical expression and artistry. You are strongly encouraged to submit a high-quality, high-fidelity recording. Remember, your ensemble’s audition performance is only as good as the quality of the recording.
2.2 – There is no required music list, but it is recommended that the music be selected from Grade IV or higher for high school ensembles and Grade III or higher for middle school ensembles.
2.3 – Recordings can be of festival performances, live concerts, or recorded performance for purpose of audition.
2.4 – Submissions that exceed the time requirements may not be evaluated beyond the maximum length (20 minutes for bands and  orchestras; 15 minutes for percussion ensembles and chamber ensembles).

2.5 - AUDIO FILE NAME FORMAT: Please save the file name for your entry, using the following format, with no spaces aside from three dashes:
The beginning of every file should contain 23 and the abbreviation for which festival you’re applying to.  
    National Concert Band Festival = NCBF
    Middle School National Festival = MS
    Orchestra America National Festival = OA
    Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival = P
The middle of every file should contain the number representing the order of each song, 01 through 06. For example, the second song submission would be labeled 02.
The end of every file should be the composer or arranger of the piece.

An example of an actual file name would be: 23NCBF-03-Sousa (.mp3 | .wav)


3. RECORDING FORMAT:

3.1 – All recordings should be in stereo. Any deviation from this standard may result in a loss of sound quality.
3.2 – Do not use any type of enhancement technique or audio editing to change the quality of the live performance.
3.3 – Prepare a digital audio file as 128k mp3. Access the online application and instructions to upload your digital audio recording at festival.musicforall.org/apply.
3.4 – Suggested recording criteria for audition recording:  1) Directional microphone, not omni microphone;  2) Dynamic microphone, not condenser;  3) Set meters to peak at max +3;  4) Microphones should be 9’ to 10’ behind conductor/ensemble, and at least 10’ above the ensemble.
3.5 – All announcements and verbal identification of the ensemble on the submission must be omitted.


4. APPLICATION AND ACCEPTANCE PROTOCOLS:

4.1 – Multiple ensembles of varying types from a school may apply. Each ensemble will be evaluated on its own merit.
4.2 – In 2023, Music for All is presenting a stage at the Music for All National Festival specifically for ensembles from schools with enrollment of 1,400 or less in grades 9-12. Applying ensembles may select consideration for this Small School Stage or select to be considered for the Featured Ensemble stage with schools of all sizes.

4.3 –Invitations may be issued to more than one ensemble from a given school based on the merit of the audition recording(s). Music for All reserves the right to schedule all Festival performances.
4.4 – Ensembles are required to be present from the Opening Session starting at 1:00 p.m. Friday afternoon. Ensembles assigned Friday performances are advised to arrive on Thursday.


5. FEES:

5.1 – The application fee is $250 for each applicant ensemble.
5.2 – The first 25% deposit (see payment schedule on “Festival Packages” webpage) is due by October 15, 2022.


6. ELIGIBILITY AND AUTHORIZATION:

6.1 – All participating students must be registered at the same school or percussion studio, or a feeder school. All performers who contribute to the performance MUST be students. Special guest soloists who are not students are allowed but may not perform on pieces for which they are not the guest soloist(s).
6.2 – The ensemble director and a school official must authorize with their signatures approval of this application, in accordance with Music for All policies. Unless the “Input Only” option is selected, by signing the application, the director and school official acknowledge that if invited to the event, the applying ensemble will participate and perform a concert as specified in the application FAQs. The signatures of the ensemble director and school official acknowledge acceptances of one of the event packages for the estimated number of students.
6.3 – Directors and booster representatives from invited ensembles are required to participate in two virtual familiarization sessions during which Music for All staff and Festival coordinators will convey critical Festival participation information and answer questions. These required sessions will be scheduled to occur in August and December.


7. APPLICATION DEADLINE:

7.1 – The completed application (online application, audition recordings, application fee and administrator signatures) must be submitted by the June 5, 2022 deadline for concert bands, orchestras, choirs, and percussion ensembles; September 15, 2022 for chamber ensembles.

7.2 - Three (3) original copies of each score must be mailed to the Music for All Office, mailing address below, postmarked on/before June 5, 2022. Photocopies will not be accepted unless the proper documentation from the copyright holder or publisher is submitted with the score. It is best to send via certified mail and track your package.
Music for All, Inc: 39 W. Jackson Place, Suite 150, Indianapolis, IN 46225

7.3 - Once all components of your application have been received (online application with recordings and fee, administrator form, and scores), you will receive a Complete Application notification email.


8. OTHER CONDITIONS OF ACCEPTANCE:

8.1 – If accepted, the ensemble’s signed application grants Music for All the right to use in any media the ensemble’s name, likeness, photographs, and reproduction of the performance, and the ensemble’s members for any purpose including promotion, advertising, or otherwise. For purposes of use of these rights, the signed application (on behalf of the ensemble and its members) releases and indemnifies Music for All and its agents from all claims, liabilities, and damages which may arise from such use.
8.2 – Music for All secures the permissions to perform all published works and arrangements of copyrighted music that is performed. However, if a custom arrangement is created, or a new work or arrangement is commissioned, the participating ensemble must supply to Music for All written permission from the copyright owner to arrange and perform such works at our Festival. Copyright information and program selection form(s), (if applicable), must be provided to Music for All by January 15, 2023.
8.3 – If an ensemble, after acceptance, plans to utilize a travel agent, that agent must work through Music for All on specifics regarding the ensemble’s itinerary. The invited ensemble agrees to utilize the Music for All Festival Package hotel and meal accommodations from Thursday night through Sunday night while the ensemble is in Indianapolis.
8.4 – Bands, orchestras, and percussion ensembles accepted for the 2023 Music for All National Festival will be notified no later than September 1, 2022. Chamber ensembles will be be notified by October 15, 2022.

Audition Video Recommendations:

  • Since this is the only chance for the student to be heard, the quality of the recording should be of utmost consideration. The quality of your recording will affect the evaluators’ ability to review and comment. A high quality audio and video recording is expected.
  • Your audition should be prepared like any professional audition.
  • Dress for performance. An evening gown and tux are not necessary, but ripped jeans, ball caps and tank-tops are not professional.
  • Consider lighting, framing, and camera placement. Film in a well-lit space, and be sure that there is more lighting in front of you (rather than from behind).
  • Stay away from clutter, use a simple back ground. No food, laundry, music, instrument cases, or other distractions should be in the shot.
  • We recommend using a tripod, stand, or place camera on a flat surface while shooting.
  • Place the camera so that you, your instrument, and your full range of motion are in the frame at all times. When using music, be sure the music stand does not block your face, hands, or instrument.
  • Choose a medium distance that shows as much detail as possible, while still allowing the image to be framed as described above. Do not use the zoom function as this makes the image grainy or fuzzy.
  • Try to avoid using “selfie” mode on your devices as it does not allow for a wide enough camera angle.
  • Be aware of the acoustic environment in which you record. Background noise (television noise, other people practicing, dancing, cooking, etc.) and poor sound quality make your recording difficult to evaluate. If you are recording from your phone or tablet, it should be set horizontally. Be sure to set it in Airplane mode or Do Not Disturb mode to avoid interruptions.
  • Review your recording(s) before you submit and check the sound level to ensure the best audio quality.
  • Only unedited recordings can be accepted, and should be in high fidelity stereo. Other than stopping and starting the camera between segments, no editing of the audio or video is permitted. Applicants whose videos show evidence of any cuts, splicing, manipulation of pitch, or other alteration within a performance segment will be subject to disqualification.
  • It is encouraged to state your name, age, high school and state at the beginning of your audition recording.


HONOR ORCHESTRA OF AMERICA STRINGS AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

  • Two (2) two-octave major scales of your choice
  • Two contrasting (in style and tempo) excerpts of your own choosing, each approximately two minutes in length.
  • Students are encouraged to perform an excerpt that showcases technique and range, as well as an excerpt that showcases expressive and lyrical qualities.


HONOR BAND AND ORCHESTRA: WINDS AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

  • Two (2) two-octave major scales of your choice
  • One two-octave chromatic scale – starting pitch of your choice
  • Two contrasting (in style and tempo) excerpts of your own choosing, each approximately two minutes in length.
  • Students are encouraged to perform an excerpt that showcases technique and range, as well as an excerpt that showcases expressive and lyrical qualities.


HONOR BAND AND ORCHESTRA: PERCUSSION AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

  • Percussion applicants must submit a representative solo on snare drum, marimba, and timpani. Please verbally list the titles of these solos at the beginning of your recording.
  • All applicants must submit the following excerpts IN ADDITION to their solo work above:
  • Tambourine excerpt from Dvorak’s Carnival Overture – begin at rehearsal letter Q and play through rehearsal letter S
  • Crash cymbal excerpt from Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet – Begin at rehearsal letter E and play until 6 measures before F
  • Link to the required audition music for tambourine and crash cymbal.
  • Total time of audition recording not to exceed 15 minutes. More than one solo example is permitted, if within the time limit.
  • When recording snare drum, please record in a “dry” non-resonant location. This will allow the details of your playing to be clearly heard. However, a resonant location is very good for recording marimba.
  • The recording should NOT use “Automatic Volume Control”. This will normalize the dynamic range of the recording and significantly impact the accuracy of the performer's dynamic range. Please check the levels/balance before you record and review the video submission before sending it.

Audition Video Recommendations:

  • Since this is the only chance for the student to be heard, the quality of the recording should be of utmost consideration. The quality of your recording will affect the evaluators’ ability to review and comment. A high quality audio and video recording is expected.
  • Your audition should be prepared like any professional audition.
  • Dress for performance. An evening gown and tux are not necessary, but ripped jeans, ball caps and tank-tops are not professional.
  • Consider lighting, framing, and camera placement. Film in a well-lit space, and be sure that there is more lighting in front of you (rather than from behind).
  • Stay away from clutter, use a simple back ground. No food, laundry, music, instrument cases, or other distractions should be in the shot.
  • We recommend using a tripod, stand, or place camera on a flat surface while shooting.
  • Place the camera so that you, your instrument, and your full range of motion are in the frame at all times. When using music, be sure the music stand does not block your face, hands, or instrument.
  • Choose a medium distance that shows as much detail as possible, while still allowing the image to be framed as described above. Do not use the zoom function as this makes the image grainy or fuzzy.
  • Try to avoid using “selfie” mode on your devices as it does not allow for a wide enough camera angle.
  • Be aware of the acoustic environment in which you record. Background noise (television noise, other people practicing, dancing, cooking, etc.) and poor sound quality make your recording difficult to evaluate. If you are recording from your phone or tablet, it should be set horizontally. Be sure to set it in Airplane mode or Do Not Disturb mode to avoid interruptions.
  • Review your recording(s) before you submit and check the sound level to ensure the best audio quality.
  • Only unedited recordings can be accepted, and should be in high fidelity stereo. Other than stopping and starting the camera between segments, no editing of the audio or video is permitted. Applicants whose videos show evidence of any cuts, splicing, manipulation of pitch, or other alteration within a performance segment will be subject to disqualification.
  • It is encouraged to state your name, age, high school and state at the beginning of your audition recording.


JAZZ BAND OF AMERICA: WINDS AUDITION REQUIREMENTS 
1) Prepared Selection: Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce”- medium tempo with standard or alternate chord changes. Accompaniment may be live (preferred) or recorded. We also encourage the use of an interactive computer accompaniment program if live accompaniment is not available. (3 choruses of improvisation optional)
2) Swing Selection (Jazz Standard): Play a jazz classic or standard song in any jazz style, including the melody. If you are auditioning for a Jazz Chair – include improvisation on this selection, minimum two choruses/ maximum of three on this particular piece.
3) Lead/Section Trumpet, Section/Bass Trombone, or Baritone Saxophone ONLY: Choose an ensemble excerpt or jazz etude designed for your instrument in addition to the swing selection melody excerpt above that demonstrates your proficiency (style, technique, range — high for trumpet; low for bass trombone and baritone saxophone).


JAZZ BAND OF AMERICA: DRUM SET AUDITION REQUIREMENTS 
1) Prepared Selection: Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce” blues choruses: 4 choruses of time, 2 choruses of trading 4s, 2 choruses of solo, repeat 2 choruses of time. Accompaniment may be live (strongly preferred) or recorded. 
2) Demonstrate Time: Latin, Ballad (brushes), Hip Hop/Funk and Up-Tempo Swing. Play on song forms 1 minute each style. Include 1 chorus of improvisation for each style. 
3) A 2 to 5-minute video segment playing time with a big band (not soloing). Live preferred but if not available, play-alongs accepted. Include materials authored by Steve Houghton and/or Gordon Goodwin.


JAZZ BAND OF AMERICA: BASS, GUITAR, PIANO AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

1) Prepared Selection: Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce.” Accompaniment may be live (preferred) or recorded, medium tempo with standard or alternate chord changes.

  • Piano/Guitar/Vibes: Melody, 3 choruses of comping, 3 choruses of improvisation.
  • Bass: Melody, 3 choruses of walking, 3 choruses of improvisation.

2) Swing Selection: Play a jazz classic or standard song in any jazz style.

  • Piano/Guitar/Vibes: Melody, 2 choruses of comping as appropriate to style, minimum 2 choruses/maximum of three of improvisation.
  • Bass: Melody, walk for 2 choruses, minimum 2 choruses/maximum of three of improvisation.

3) Straight Eighth Selection (Brazilian/Afro-Cuban/Funk) Selection of your choice.

  • Piano/Guitar/Vibes: Melody, two choruses of comping as appropriate to style, minimum 2 choruses/maximum of three of improvisation.
  • Bass: Melody, two choruses of an appropriate bass line in the chosen style, minimum 2 choruses/maximum of three of improvisation.

4) Ballad Selection:

  • Piano/Guitar/Vibes: Melody, comping as appropriate to style for two choruses, minimum 2 choruses/maximum of three of improvisation.
  • Bass: Bass line as appropriate to style for two choruses instead of comping, optional improvisation-minimum 2 choruses/ maximum of three.

The Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award acknowledges the support, involvement and contributions to the advancement and success of a scholastic music education program. Presented annually by Music for All, the award is named in honor of Mr. Patrick John Hughes, a music parent who has inspired millions. Learn more about the award and the inspiring story of Patrick John Hughes at education.musicforall.org/hughes.

Nominations must be completed by September 15, 2022. If you have any questions about the Parent/Booster Award, please contact: Emily Timmons, Education and Advocacy Coordinator, at 317-218-4922 or Emily.t@musicforall.org.

Qualifications

All current, active parents, boosters, or supporters of any scholastic music education program are eligible for nomination. The program does not have to be affiliated with Music for All or Bands of America. Former or inactive parents, boosters, and supporters of Music for All and/or Bands of America participating programs may also be nominated. 

Selection Criteria
Nominees will be evaluated based on the following selection criteria:

  1. Value of Service
  2. Level of involvement with the music program
  3. Strength of the letters of support
  4. Results achieved by nominee
  5. Power of story to motivate others
  6. Creativity of the nomination entry
  7. Audio/video supporting materials


The winner will be notified by September 15, 2022 and invited to participate in an awards ceremony at the Grand National Championships in Indianapolis on Friday evening, November 11, 2022. Music for All will provide hotel accommodations (one room, double occupancy) for three nights and VIP tickets to all Grand Nationals events for up to four family members. Round trip airfare will be provided for up to two people.  

If you have any questions about the Parent/Booster Award, please contact: Emily Timmons, Education and Advocacy Coordinator, at 317-218-4922 or emily.t@musicforall.org.

Thank you for honoring the outstanding Parent/Booster in your life!

Music for All, Inc.