Category Archives: fundraising

Scouts Honor Mac Smith

Mac Smith of the Scouts Honor documentary

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Scouts Honor: Inside a Marching Brotherhood

Scouts Honor Mac Smith

In this episode, Kathleen’s guest is Mac Smith, the founder of Gigantic Cranium, an independent film production outfit. Along with Tom Tollefsen, Garrick Gonzalez, John “JT” Torrijos and the other members of the team, they produced the documentary film about the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps—Scouts Honor: Inside a Marching Brotherhood.

Scouts Honor itunes

Mac’s family frequently brought him to movies and it was in 1977, when he watched Star Wars, that he decided that he wanted to make movies when he grew up. He experimented with video cameras and editing throughout his childhood. At 17, he attended the Summer Production Workshop at USC Film School. He studied film and also auditioned for the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps and marched for one year. He was the Music Director at the University of Iowa College radio station, KRUI, when he decided to start his career in sound editing for movies. He has worked on post production sound for over 75 films and was nominated for 10 Golden Reel Awards. Mac is grateful to his team, especially Tom Tollefsen, Director, Co-Producer for the success of their Scouts Honor movie.

  • Mac talks about his life in the Bay Area with his wife Ashley, his son Admiral, and daughter Maven.
  • Mac Smith’s experience in connecting with some people in Drum Corps Activity specifically Madison Scouts which starred in the movie Scouts Honor
  • Mac’s purpose for making the movie
  • Gigantic Cranium projects
  • His efforts at marketing their work via the social media
  • What Mac had learned in being independent in social media-based crowdfunding
  • Mac’s advice for new music and independent film producers
  • Criteria for selection of members of the Drum Corps
  • Other details about his work

Movie website: www.scoutshonormovie.com

Gigantic Cranium website: http://www.giganticcranium.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MadisonScoutsMovie/

 

 

About Mac Smith

Mac Smith (documentary filmmaker and sound designer) was born into a family of tuba players in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents and older siblings exposed him to films that were a bit mature for his age, and a wide variety of musical styles. Films that stand out from his early childhood are “Murder By Death”, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, and “The Blues Brothers”. It was on that fateful day when his parents took him to see “Star Wars” in the theater in 1977 that changed it all. After that viewing, Mac knew that he wanted to make movies when he grew up. Mac experimented with video cameras, and picture editing throughout his childhood. He went off to Los Angeles at age 17 to take the Summer Production Workshop at USC Film School, and then made his home in Iowa City at the University of Iowa. Mac marched in the sousaphone section of the Hawkeye Marching Band, and studied film at Iowa. During his time in Iowa City, Mac decided to audition for the Madison Scouts drum & bugle corps in Madison, Wisconsin. He marched as a contra player for only one year due to age eligibility in 1995.

The lightbulb really went off for Mac when he got his hands on early digital audio editing software while he was the Music Director at the University of Iowa college radio station, KRUI. This is where sound and picture came together in his mind. The decision was made to start his career in sound editing for movies. Within a year of moving to Northern California, he found his way into the movie industry. Mac has worked on post production sound for over 75 films (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “The Birth of a Nation,” “Toy Story 3,” “Tron Legacy,” “Rango”) and has been nominated for 10 Golden Reel awards (Motion Picture Sound Editing).

In 2011, Mac and Tom Tollefsen started developing the concept of a documentary film that focuses on the drum corps activity that they wanted to direct and produce. The film, “Scouts Honor: Inside a Marching Brotherhood” screened at four film festivals from 2014 to 2015 and took home 3 awards. Through the “Theatrical on Demand” company Gathr, “Scouts Honor” screened in nearly 30 theaters around the USA in 2015 and 2016. In June, the film was released on DVD and Bluray and now it’s coming out on iTunes on November 8th.

Mac enjoys living in the Bay Area with his wife Ashley, his son Admiral, and daughter Maven.

Jeff Grogan, 2017 MFA Honor Orchestra of America conductor

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Jeff Grogan

Photo credit Fred Stucker

Read the full article about Jeff Grogan I wrote for the Music for All Orchestra America Newsletter here. Learn more about the Orchestra America National Festival here, and how students can apply to work with Jeff Grogan as a member of the 2017 Honor Orchestra of America here.

Don’t forget: subscribe here on Google Playhere on iTunes, or here on Stitcher to get each episode as soon as it’s available!

Jeff Grogan serves as conductor and artistic director of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York as well as the Greater Newark Youth Orchestras and music director and conductor of the New Jersey Youth Symphony. He is in his sixth season as the education and community engagement conductor for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, where he leads the NJSO in a variety of concerts each season.

In addition, he spends a large portion of each season working with school music programs, festivals, and conducting All State Orchestras throughout the country. Prior to his appointment with the NJSO, Grogan was director of orchestras and associate professor at the Ithaca College School of Music. Grogan was previously on faculty at the University of Michigan and Baylor University. He taught public school in the Desoto (Texas) Independent School District. Grogan is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University and the University of Michigan.

 

Resources from my conversation with Jeff Grogan

InterSchool Orchestras of New York

Greater Newark Youth Orchestras

New Jersey Youth Symphony

Orchestra You at the New Jersey Symphony

NPR’s coverage of Orchestra You

Get Some Grit podcast with Bruce Faske:
Episode 16 – Spring Break? Or Spring Repair?

John Gallagher NYSSMA

Dr. John Gallagher of NYSSMA

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I first found Dr. John Gallagher and NYSSMA on Twitter a couple of years ago. They linked to something called a “Swiss cheese” press release. I clicked the link and found not only a treasure trove of templates for public relations—all tailored specifically for music education programs—but tumbled down a deep rabbit hole of online resources all designed to help you market music education right in your own community.

I’m so glad John was able to join me on the podcast! Here are a few of the topics we touch on in this episode:

  • What is a “Swiss Cheese” news release?
  • What’s the best way to advocate for your program?
  • The importance of engaging your community
  • How to get your music program covered by local news outlets
  • Lessons from failed attempts to organize a booster group
  • The legality of using students’ images to promote your music program
  • Great advice from a retired superintendent to battle burnout
  • A few “out-of-the-box” fundraiser ideas
  • The one thing that John says will improve your music program

 

John Gallagher NYSSMA perform

 

Resources from this episode

NYSSMA Swiss cheese news releases

NYSSMA on Twitter

Email Dr. Gallagher

Why Music? PSAs for Music in Our Schools Month from NAfME

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MME Richard Crain twitter

Richard Crain of the Midwest Clinic

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In this episode of the Marketing Music Education podcast, I talk with Richard Crain of the Midwest Clinic. He gives us an overview of the event, including who should attend and what to expect. We discuss the importance of professional development for music educators, especially as it relates to burnout and teacher turnover. We discuss his experience with volunteers, fundraising, and what he feels the most important discipline in the entire curriculum might be (hint: it’s music!)

This is the first of two episodes with Richard Crain; be sure to tune in next time for more! Continue reading

MME Eric Martin 2

Eric Martin, CEO of Music for All: Part 2

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This episode of the Marketing Music Education podcast is the second half of my conversation with Eric Martin of Music for All. Listen to part 1 here.

In the second installment, we discuss Music for All’s ticket pricing, and how Eric and his team strive to deliver a “‘Disney-like’ experience on a Mickey Mouse budget.” We cover how local music programs can implement ideas from Music for All and other sources, and how to tell if you’re stealing an idea, or just researching it. We discuss Eric’s leadership style and talk about who’s influenced him. We delve into funding for music education, including fundraising and sponsorship, and go deeper into the importance of music education advocacy at the local level. Finally, Eric shares the advice he’d give the parent of a potential incoming music student, the advice he’d give your music program, and the very best way he knows how to market music education. Continue reading

Eric Martin MFA MME

Eric Martin, CEO of Music for All: Part 1

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In this episode of the Marketing Music Education podcast, I sat down with Eric Martin of Music for All. He’s one of my favorite people to talk to, and we covered a lot: enough for two episodes! Listen to the second episode here.

In this first installment, we talk about his experience as an African-American band student in a recently desegregated school, his love of the marching arts, his background as an aviation lawyer and how he got into event production. We also discuss the importance of music education and the power of music—and live events—in our society, and why Sarah Palin is a role model of his. We also touch on burnout and its effects not just on music educators, but on nonprofit staffers like those at Music for All and like the parent volunteers that power music programs like yours. Continue reading

MME Joe Beard Twitter part 2

Joe Beard: The Marching Podcast (part 2)

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Joe Beard of The Marching Podcast joins me on this show, the second in a two-part series. His podcast (which you should go download!) focuses on the marching arts within the world of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In this episode, we talk about some of the things you learn in marching band that have nothing to do with music, circle BACK to the political brouhaha that was marriage equality in Indiana, where to find videos of awesome HBCU bands, how to get people excited about band, and why music education makes a difference even if you have no plans to continue professionally.
Be sure to listen in to part one of our conversation here!

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Laura Blake WEB

Laura Blake, Events Manager of Music for All

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MME Laura Blake sq

About Laura Blake

Laura Blake WEBLaura Blake has been around the marching arts and Indianapolis area school bands since she was 6.  A trumpet player (and cable in percussion), she still plays each week in a community band and occasionally for local community theatre. Between 1998 and 2005, Laura worked with over 10 different Indiana school band programs, joining Music for All in 2005. She attended Butler University, but due to financial constraints, she left school one semester short of her bachelors degree. She expects to earn that degree this spring, thanks to the encouragement of Music for All CEO Eric Martin, and will begin her pursuit of a masters in non-profit management. An alumna of Kappa Kappa Psi, she serves on their Alumni Association Board.

MME laura blake twitter

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Tim Hinton MME

Tim Hinton

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In this episode of Marketing Music Education, I speak with Tim Hinton. He is one of the hosts of the Marching Roundtable podcast, which I’ve listened to and enjoyed for years. Hi background as an educator is readily apparent, as he schools me about the benefits of hiring an arranger, the pitfalls of burnout, and the need to educate not just marching arts judges, but the entire marching arts community—and beyond!

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christopher bill photo credit scott streble

Christopher Bill

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In my travels to Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in December, I sat in on a session presented by Christopher Bill, a YouTube artist who recently hit it big with his cover of Pharrell WilliamsHappy. He agreed to talk with me about his background, how he approached his college education and why he wouldn’t recommend it, and working as a musician in the 21st century.

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