Students and directors from across the country traveled far and wide to Muncie, Indiana and the campus of Ball State University for the 2016 Music for All Summer Symposium. Luggage was dropped off in rooms, notebooks picked up, and all campers registered filed into Emens Auditorium for the Opening Session.

With more than 1,700 people slowly entering Emens for the official kick-off of the weeklong portion of camp, our fantastic leadership campers started to pump everyone up with chants and cheers. A handful of our leadership campers stood in front of the full house making sure every single person inside was standing on their feet having a good time.

Time inched closer and closer to 1:00pm and with five minutes until we began the auditorium slowly started chanting “M-F- A, M-F- A, M!-F!- A!” The roar of the crowd lasted until our talented color guard faculty took the stage.

For the last several years, our opening session has kicked off with a performance by our color guard faculty. This year they’ve outdone them selves with a stunning and percussive performance as they included a wide range of percussion equipment from tambourines, bongos, cowbells, and more. Their performance was magnificent as it started off on flag with beautiful faded golden/yellow silks. The inner color guard director in me loved the flag feature with its choreography. All that was going through my head was, “Yes, you better get it!”

After the marvelous performance the students erupted and jumped to their feet. The color faculty took a bow and exited stage right. This set the tone for the entire week of camp. The high level of intensity, the attention to detail, but most important of all…the fun with the people around you. By the end of the week these 1700+ people will be a part of something more than spinning equipment, hitting your dot while learning drill, or practicing a new lick on your instrument, but truly having an amazing life-changing experience from people all across the country. You are now a part of the Music for All Summer Symposium family!

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Author: Matt Mackowiak

Matt Mackowiak is the Marketing Assistant at Music for All. Matt has been involved in the performing arts since a young age as a percussionist, and throughout his life has performed on the field as a snare drummer, at the podium as a drum major and in the gym as a winter guard member. He graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations. Before Music for All, Matt worked as a staff member for several marching band and color guard programs across Indiana.

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