2023 Music For All National Festival


Alexa McClain, Journalist

Mountain Ridge High School’s Wind Ensemble will be traveling to Indianapolis for the “Music for All National Festival” March 31- April 2, 2023.


This is the 2nd time the MRHS Wind Ensemble has been selected to perform, with their first performance in the Spring of 2019. Of the several hundred auditions for this event… the top 54 were selected to participate, and our school’s Wind Ensemble managed to make it into the top 16!


“We are one of the top groups in the whole country and also at this particular event,” says Mr. Vogel, MRHS Band Director. “The Ridge Band will be performing on the ‘Featured Stage’ Clowes Hall on the campus of Butler University. The formal events at the festival will be at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.” 


The Mountain Ridge instrumental music program includes over 200 students, and the top 50 students at our school are placed into the Wind Ensemble. These students have worked incredibly hard not only to be selected for their placement in the Wind Ensemble, but also for their role in the Band at this Festival. Students  are practicing their music daily in class and also at home. Furthermore, the students will be participating in a few “Wind Ensemble Camps” which bring in nationally recognized music educators to work with the MRHS Wind Ensemble during the school year. 


To prepare for the Featured Band performance at the National Festival, the Wind Ensemble will perform a preview concert in March, as well as a winter and October concert. They are really looking forward to the October concert since the Ridge band will get to play and perform with ASU band students, side by side.


“The students work really hard”, says Mr. Vogel. “…they rehearse like professionals, are disciplined, they practice outside of class. Many even take lessons on their instruments.” 


The festival will provide many opportunities for the band students participating. There, they will be a featured band as well as getting to attend master classes. These classes are essentially live lessons, given by professional musicians in the Chicago Symphony and or the Philadelphia Orchestra. In addition, the Wind Ensemble will have the chance to get into many social events with the other national bands as well. The festival hosts a dance/dinner which imitates a prom. There will also be an ice cream event in which the students will get to socialize with other high school students from across the country. Set up at the end of the trip is an awards ceremony for the accomplished band students. 


This trip is a memorable occasion and sustains great value for the band students. They prepared for this audition incredibly hard and were able to reach that goal. 


Like Mr. Vogel Said, “I didn’t think that they were going to be able to get back to that national level after covid,” as Mr. Vogel has been to this festival with his band three other times, “…but this time the announcement of our selection felt the most extraordinary as it represents all of the hard work done throughout the pandemic to keep the band afloat.” 


Congratulations to the Mountain Ridge Wind Ensemble for working hard to be one of the best at the 2023 Music For All National Festival.