Music for All is proud to partner with concert band festivals across the country to present “Affiliate Regional Concert Band Festivals.”
This new initiative is part of our ongoing support of the essential “core” of every band program: the concert band. Music for All will provide one National Concert Band Festival evaluator to participate, as well as student and teacher scholarships to the Music for All Summer Symposium.
We spoke with Metropolitan Wind Band Invitational Festival Coordinator, Todd Nichols, about the event and what it means to partner with Music for All. Mr. Nichols is the Director of Bands at Roxbury H.S.
Why did you decide to host an Affiliate Regional Concert Band Festival?
Ever since our first interaction with Music for All, I have been sincerely impressed by the organization and it’s efforts to provide the very best in music education for all students. For a long time I have wanted to provide the same kind of opportunity and positive influence for school music programs in our area. The partnership with MFA, in my opinion, was a perfect fit!
How many groups are performing, are they all from around your area?
13 groups are performing this ear and all are from NJ. We got hit pretty hard with snow this winter and some additional groups were unable to attend due to make-up scheduling conflicts, etc. Our goal is to have this festival grow and include bands from all over the Northeast.
Have you presented something similar to this in the past? If so, how is hosting this festival different?
Since 2008, we have presented a similar non-competitive festival striving to provide the very best in evaluation possible. Having the endorsement from MFA helps to solidify our festival as one that is of quality and professionalism. What makes it different this year is being able to add the 45 minute clinic component.
If you had to do this over again, what would you do differently?
I would work even harder to reach out to ensembles outside of our state and encourage them to participate and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
How have your parents and students been engaged in helping plan and prepare for the festival?
For over a year, both our Band Parent Organization and student Band Council have been working tirelessly to make this festival a success for all who attend. Our goal is to provide top notch service for all who attend!!!
Who will be evaluators for your festival? What criteria did you use to select them?
James Keene, Richard Crain, Dr. Terry Austin, and Glen Adsit. All are EXPERT conductors, musicians, and clinicians. Our goal is to bring the incredible artists to tour festival and these gentlemen are just that. They are some of the absolute best in the business!!!
How much are tickets? Are there still tickets available?
Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students, and $3 for seniors. Seating is still available.
Any special performances planned?
Our goal is to annually have a spotlight ensemble perform at the end of the festival. This year it will be the Eastern Wind Symphony, a tremendous ensemble from Princeton, NJ. You can find out more about the ensemble at www.easternwindsymphony.org. In the years to come, we hope to highlight service bands, college and university ensembles, and professional ensembles. What a better way for students to become inspired than to hear great ensembles live!!
What has been your past involvement with Music for All / BOA?
Our wind ensemble performed at the 2008 and 2012 National Concert Band Festival. Our marching band has participated in MFA Regional Championships since 2006. Since 2012, I’ve provided input and guidance to MFA’s educational team on aspects of the National Concert Band Festival.
How many volunteers does it take to run a festival like this? How did you recruit them?
A tremendous amount. We are incredibly fortunate to have WONDERFUL parents led by FANTASTIC committee chairs. Our MWBI chairman, Mr. George Wendt, also chairs our home marching band show, and along with our incredible BPA president, Mr.. Paul Wasek, they help to make all of this a reality for the kids. Our band parents literally move mountains to make things happen! 🙂
How long have you been teaching at Roxbury H.S.?
10 years at RHS – 16 total years.
What is your favorite part of teaching?
Providing opportunities for all of my students.
Proudest moment as an educator?
Watching my students realize and accomplish a goal that they thought they couldn’t achieve.
Keys to a successful career in music education?
Determination each and every day.
Anything at all that you would like to add?
Our entire Roxbury organization is tremendously honored that MFA puts their trust in our festival and we are thrilled to host this event with MFA’s support.
The Metropolitan Wind Band Invitational will be held on Saturday, April 5 at Roxbury H.S. in Roxbury, NJ. For more information please visit http://roxburybands.org/metropolitan-wind-band-invitational.