Jeff Huffman Posts

2018 Music For All National Festival

Music for All National Festival
March 15-17, 2018
Indianapolis, IN

There’s a fantastic opportunity to hear some great concert bands and percussion ensembles from all over the country next week, but we find many people don’t even know its happening right here in our backyard!  It’s the Music for All National Festival, featuring high school percussion ensembles, concert bands and orchestras from across the US.  The festival also includes a middle school concert band festival, along with Honor Ensembles for concert band, jazz band, and orchestra.  This is a non-competitive festival, meaning its all about just creating and listening to great music, created by some of the best high school and middle school music programs in the nation.

Here’s a general schedule for the event:

2018 Indoor Percussion Season Preview

Welcome back to the Chops blog.  Indoor Percussion season is already underway, and we’re proud to once again be the presenting sponsor for the Indiana Percussion Association!  Indoor Percussion continues to grow in popularity within the state and across around the world.  We’re lucky to have one of the best and largest indoor percussion circuits in the country, and we’re proud to support the efforts of IPA and all of the participating groups.
Along with local IPA contests, there’s also a national WGI regional, hosted by Franklin Central, where you can see performances by ensembles from all over the Midwest.

Here’s a schedule of remaining contests to help you find a show near you!

February 24   IPA Invitational at Knox HS
February 24   IPA Invitational at Owen Valley HS

March 3          IPA Invitational at New Palestine HS
March 3          IPA Invitational at Carroll HS

March 10        IPA Invitational at Ben Davis HS
March 10        IPA Invitational at Zionsville HS
March 10-11  WGI Indianapolis Regional at Franklin Central HS

March 17        IPA Invitational at Plainfield HS
March 17        IPA Invitational & PSB Divisional Prelims at Greenfield-Central HS

March 24        IPA State Prelims & PSB Divisional Finals at Avon HS
March 24        IPA State Prelims at Decatur Central HS

April 7            IPA State Finals at Hulman Center, Indiana State University

April 14          WGI Preview Show at Center Grove HS (for groups going to WGI World Championships)

Come visit us at IPA State Prelims and State Finals!
We’ll be running a booth at state prelims (Avon site) and state finals, so if you’re attending either of these, make sure to stop by and say hi!  We’ll have sticks, practice pads, mallets, stick bags, t-shirts, and many other items to choose from.  It would be a great time to try out all the different sticks and pads and take something home!

If you go to any shows, let us know what you think on our Facebook page! If you wear a Chops Percussion shirt, make sure to post a pic to our Facebook or Twitter page!

For more information on events, schedules, venues, ticket sales and more, visit the following:
Indiana Percussion Association (IPA)
Winter Guard International (WGI)

February 2018 News at Chops

Demo Gear Updates

Demo List Updates - February 2018

The demo list has some fresh updates for the month of February. Follow the link below to see what’s been added since last month.

Visit this page to view the list!

Advice For New IPA Directors Regarding Schedules

IPA Advice for New Directors

Here is some great advice that came from an Indiana Percussion Association email last week that we thought was worth passing along to everyone. If you’re taking a group to an IPA event this season, this is a must read.

Read more on the blog!

Remembering Ndugu

Remembering Ndugu Chancler

In light of Ndugu Chancler’s passing last week, we offer you this great interview with him by Dom Famularo for The Sessions. It’s a great history lesson. Thank goodness he didn’t play the trombone.

Watch now on YouTube!

Advice For New IPA Directors Regarding Schedules

Below is some great advice that came from an Indiana Percussion Association email earlier this week that we thought was worth passing along to everyone:

IPA Contest Schedules

The first 4 weeks of IPA contest schedules are now available on the IPA website for your viewing.

Please remember that schedules are subject to change through the MONDAY prior to the event for minor adjustments.

Advice for new directors regarding schedules:

  • When building your itinerary for the day, start with your warm up time and work backward
  • Allow at least 1 hour between arrival at contest site and transit to warm up. This will allow your kids plenty of time to unload/assemble, dress, and feel relaxed going into warm up.
  • Identify travel time to the site and add at least 20 minutes for the slower bus travel times. Look at traffic maps for any delays you might encounter.
  • Give plenty of time post rehearsal for Pack/load at home.
  • Have a plan for your students/chaperones if you are staying for critique. Many directors have communication with their chaperones that allow them to send kids home while directors stay for critique. If not, be prepared that your kids could be waiting at least an hour for you after awards to finish up critique. Not fun…
  • Have a plan for when the chaperones let everyone know to call home because buses are close to home. This will hopefully save you from waiting around too long for someone to get picked up. Inform parents that simply because the buses are back, does not mean students are free to leave. Unpacking and clean-up may still need to occur before the child can go (this might encourage parents to come help so it is done faster!)
  • Be sure that students know that post performance, your hallway spot may be given to another school and that all personal items might need to be carried or stored back on the bus. Be sure to ask the unit check in volunteers if you can stay in that location all day.

Once again, please contact Brooke Basso at if there is a concern with the schedule.

Pearl MalletStation Demo at NAMM 2018

Derek and I had a great trip out to NAMM last week.  We were able to capture a demo of the new Pearl MalletStation due out this spring.  The EM1 is a USB powered midi mallet keyboard controller and once you hook this up to a laptop, tablet or even a phone, the possibilities are endless.  Take a few minutes to watch the demo and let us know what you think!