Bands of America and the Music for All Foundation have announced a 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.
Recognized leaders in their fields, Bands of America (BOA) and its Orchestra America division have a 31-year heritage in providing 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 organizations, 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 boards 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 — 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 research and public affairs initiatives.
“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,” adds Morrison. “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 groups 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.”
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 October 7.
“We have worked closely with both organizations in the past,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM, “and we fully support the merger and leadership of Scott McCormick and Bob Morrison.”
Music for All, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, will be headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, while the Public Affairs and Research offices will be in Warren, NJ.
“The merger is a highly significant development for music education in America,” notes Sir Ken Robinson, well-known author and one of the world’s foremost authorities on creativity. “I know, through my own work and collaboration with Music for All, just what a powerful force it has become for music in schools. Under the driving leadership of Bob Morrison, it has combined vision and passion with a hard-headed approach to effective research and informed advocacy. Bands of America has a distinguished record in supporting and promoting music practice throughout the U.S. Merging these two proven agencies into a single force is very good news for students, educators and musicians.”
For more information, visit www.musicforall.org.