Press Release – The 2008 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Receives ASAE’s 2008 Associations Advance America Award of Excellence

Program Spotlighting Outstanding Student Musicians Wins Recognition for MENC: The National Association for Music Education
RESTON, VA (June 20, 2008) — MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the organization whose mission is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all, is one of only 11 organizations nationally to receive an Award of Excellence in the third round of the 2008 Associations Advance America (AAA) Awards program, a national competition sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) & The Center for Association Leadership, Washington, DC.

MENC received the award for its 2008 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, a program that recognizes the nation’s finest student marching musicians with “All-American” status. 2008 was the program’s inaugural year.

The U.S. Army All-American Marching Band performed together at the NBC-televised U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January 2008 in San Antonio, TX. Presented by MENC in cooperation with SportsLink, the producer of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the program aimed to give student musicians the same recognition and status as student athletes and, further, to spotlight the importance of school music programs. Nominations for the 91 band positions were sought from MENC’s membership of 75,000 teachers and beyond. The project including partnering with SportsLink, the U.S. Army, Drum Corps International, a number of other sponsors which provided instruments, uniforms, and travel expenses, and MENC volunteers who designed drills and worked with the band for several days before the performance.

The immense public relations value of this program came from the media tour sponsored by SportsLink in fall 2007, during which every member of the band was recognized in their hometown with a media event just as All-American student athletes are, and from the publicity surrounding the appearance at the All-American Bowl, during which the benefits of music education and the accomplishments of the students were publicized to an atypical audience – football fans. Students and teachers reported overwhelming reaction from community members to their accomplishments, raising the profile of the local music programs.

“We are very proud to receive this recognition from ASAE,” said John J. Mahlmann, executive director of MENC. “Through the All-American Marching Band, MENC and our partners were able to reach members of the public who might not have recognized the value of school music programs. By spotlighting the accomplishments of student musicians in the same way as are those of student athletes, we believe this program advances America.”

The All-American Marching Band program is now in the running to receive a Summit Award, ASAE & The Center’s top recognition for association programs, to be presented in ceremonies at ASAE’s 9th Annual Summit Awards Dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington DC on September 23, 2008.

Now in its 18th year, the prestigious Associations Advance America (AAA) Awards recognize associations that “propel America forward” — with innovative projects in education, skills training, standard-setting, business and social innovation, knowledge creation, citizenship, and community service. Although association activities have a powerful impact on everyday life, they often go unnoticed by the general public. “MENC’s program truly embodies the spirit of the AAA campaign,” said 2007-2008 AAA Committee Chair Matthew D’Uva, CAE, president of SOCAP International.

For more information on the MENC’s U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, visit The program expands in 2009 to include 97 student musicians.

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, marked its centennial in 2007 as 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.