The College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), Music for All (MFA), and National Band Association (NBA) are dedicated to the attainment of a high level of excellence for bands and band music at all levels of instruction. The Dr. William P. Foster Music Education Alliance “Award of Excellence” recognizes quality programs serving historically disadvantaged student populations. This exciting initiative honors select educators, and their band programs, which are challenging students and reaching a high level of excellence.
Schools receiving the Dr. William P. Foster Music Education Alliance “Award of Excellence” will be visited by national committee members and presented with a commemorative plaque. In addition, the school will receive the following during the committee visit:
- At least one full school day of rehearsals, meetings and master classes will be provided during the regular school day on the school’s home campus. The visit agenda will be negotiated with the host band director. Area band directors will be invited to participate and benefit from this visit.
- Other agenda options might include specific needs of the program; review of music library, instrument and equipment inventories; review of instruction facilities, rehearsal/class schedule, etc. to help define future program needs and goals.
- The host band director will assist in the selection of the visiting clinicians. These clinicians will be of national stature and will be selected from CBDNA, MFA, and/or NBA membership or educational resources. The Music Education Alliance will pay and be responsible for all costs related to the provision of visiting clinicians. A concert is encouraged as a venue for the award presentation and a culminating event to the visit.
- Schools can opt to extend the stay of visitors at their own expense.
- Part of the visit must include an informal meeting and discussion with the school principal, head guidance counselor, and other administrators.
- The dates for the event will be held during the following calendar year after the Midwest Clinic, as determined by the recognized school(s).
This award will recognize high school programs on even-number years (spring of the school year), and on odd-number years (spring of the school year), junior high schools and middle schools will be recognized. For example, High School program award presentations will be delivered in the spring of even-numbered years. High school programs will apply on or before June 15, 2017, and winners will be announced in the fall of 2017. The program award presentation will occur in the spring of 2018. The Middle and Junior High School program awards will be presented on odd years. Middle and Jr. High School programs will apply on or before June 15, 2018, and winners will be announced in the fall of 2018. The program award presentation will occur in the spring of 2019.
Schools and band directors are eligible to apply for this award regardless of membership in NBA or CBDNA. However, all applicants are strongly encouraged to join their national professional organization.
Band directors need to be in their position for at least four years before they are eligible to apply.
The intent of the award is to serve underserved and historically disadvantaged students and schools. 50% of the school must be on free or reduced lunch to be considered for the award. Schools with less than 50% free or reduced lunch may still apply, but must include a rationalization for consideration of the award consistent with the intent of serving disadvantaged students and schools.
The following information is required:
- Letters of endorsement from the following people testifying to the impact and quality of the band program:
a. An educator or administrator within their building
b. An established community member or a respected music educator in the area
- A high resolution digital photograph of the band director (within the guidelines of the school district). This photo should be the best available, but it does not have to be a professional photo.
- A high resolution digital photograph of the band (within the guidelines of the school district). This photo should be the best available, but it does not have to be a professional photo.
- Biographical information of the band director(s), including education, teaching positions, professional activities and memberships.
- A summary of the school’s demographics that has been verified by a school administrator. This should include verification that over 50% of the school is on free or reduced lunch as established by Federal standards. Schools with less than 50% free or reduced lunch may still apply, but must include a rationalization for consideration of the award consistent with the intent of serving disadvantaged students and schools.
- A summary of following:
a. The band’s history
b. School involvement
c. Community involvement
d. Notable alumni of the program
a. Up to 30 minutes of unedited, recorded music from a live concert or public concert band performance, if a concert band exists in the school. If concert band is not available, a recording of what the director deems as the primary ensemble in their school can be submitted.
b. Directors have the option of also including additional ensembles from the program that display notable performance strengths.
c. Submissions must include musical material from at least two different school years and they must be recorded within three years of the date of application.
d. There should be NO voice identification on the recording of the performing ensemble.
e. Recordings should be submitted as mp3 files only. Use of the best recording equipment available is acceptable. If assistance is required, contact the Program Administrator Contact information can be found at the end of this document.
- A video, no more than 15 minutes in length, of a rehearsal or performance from any ensemble. The video must include music that is recorded as described above (within the guidelines of the school district).
- Completed application signed by the principal and band director indicating that the submitted recordings have not been edited and are live recordings from a concert.
- Applications should be completed through our online system (see link on this page). Documents (PDF files only) and recordings (MP3 files only) should be uploaded through the online application. An account is created to access the online application. Applications may be updated/re-visited but must be fully completed and submitted by the June 15 deadline.
PLEASE NOTE: The application must include an accompanying statement of explanation for any absent required items. Missing items will strongly impact the viability of the application. Missing items not explained in the application will disqualify the entire application from consideration.
Applications are due by June 15. There is no application fee for this program.
Recognition Timeline & Process
An Evaluation Committee will be formed in the summer prior to the beginning of the school year, comprised of members and/or designees of CBDNA, MFA, and NBA, including successful and experienced band directors from disadvantaged communities. This committee will evaluate all applications and administer this process.
- Submitted applications and supporting materials will be organized and forwarded to the Evaluation Committee by November 1.
- Materials will be reviewed by the Evaluation Committee and five finalists will be selected by December 1.
- An Evaluation Committee will meet in person at the Midwest Clinic to select the final award winner(s). The committee will meet on either Tuesday or Wednesday during the Midwest
- The finalists and national award winner(s) will be announced at the NBA Annual Membership Meeting at the Midwest Clinic, the CBDNA Forum, and the Music for All booth.
- All funding will be administered by the National Band Association, including stipends, travel, hotel and meals for all clinicians.