Press Release – America's Best Student Musicians to Take the Field as "2008 All-American Marching Band"

America’s Best Student Musicians to Take the Field as “2008 All-American Marching Band” at U.S. Army All-American Bowl

MENC: The National Association for Music Education Announces New Program to Identify the 90 Best Student Marching Musicians and Spotlight Music Education

RESTON, VA (January 8, 2007) — MENC: The National Association for Music Education announced an exciting new program for American student marching musicians — the 2008 All-American Marching Band. MENC and SportsLink, producer of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, will offer this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to 90 of America’s most accomplished student marching musicians. The finest applicants will be nationally recognized through awards, media, and performance as “All-Americans,” just like their athletic counterparts.

The 90 student musicians selected as All-Americans will receive airfare, lodging, and meals along with the privilege of performing together in January 2008 at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas (nationally televised on NBC). In the fall before that event, their All-American selection will be formally announced at a special school or community ceremony and will be included in media coverage leading up to the Bowl game.

“We are very pleased to offer this program to marching music students,” said Lynn Brinckmeyer, president of MENC. “Spotlighting these fine student musicians individually in their home communities leading up to the All-American Bowl, and then as an ensemble during this nationally-televised event, is a wonderful opportunity to focus attention on the benefits music offers our young people. And I know that for these 90 musicians, being charter members of this elite group will be an experience they’ll never forget!”

MENC has called upon several partners to play important roles in the All-American Marching Band. Longtime MENC member Bob Buckner of Western Carolina University will be the official director of the ensemble, with the assistance of a 10-member all-star music staff. Drum Corps International (DCI) will assist with audition adjudication and color guard volunteers. The American Musical Salute will host an off-site marching band festival whose participants will be considered for inclusion in the half time pageantry of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

“We are honored to be involved in a program providing an outstanding opportunity for the recognition of high-achieving students from throughout the United States,” said Dan Acheson, executive director and CEO of DCI. “Membership in this ensemble will be a prestigious honor, spotlighting the talent and dedication of high school band students and the commitment to excellence they share.”

Musicians who will be high school seniors in January 2008 may apply by the deadline on April 6, 2007. Visit the MENC Web site for more information, application, and audition materials.

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. More than 130,000 members represent all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education.