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Music Advocacy


Marshall Music provides material support to dozens of school music programs in Michigan each year, and its investment in personnel and time significantly impact the success of music education in communities across the state.


Marshall Music has worked with the state Department of Education to ensure language supporting music and music educators is included in Michigan's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We have also worked with the MMEA to support a senate bill which gives all elementary students access to music programs, taught by certified instructors.


Representatives from Marshall Music have begun to meet annually with lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to make sure they understand the importance of music education and also ask that they provide funding to support our local programs.

Marshall Music is dedicated to promoting music education on the local, state, and national level.

We are your partners in music education.

Music Advocacy Updates

News & Articles

A Child’s Brain Develops Faster With Exposure To Music Education

Source: University of Southern California

Michigan Takes Another Step Forward to Begin Implementing Federal ESSA Plan

Source: Michigan Department of Education

Beat Synchronization in Preschoolers Aids Learning and Reading Skills

Source: Dyslexia United

Its never too early to start! A study from Northwestern University suggests preschoolers can benefit from learning beat synchronization.

Benefits of Music for People with Parkinson's Disease

Source: Iowa State University

2017 NAMM Music Education Advocacy Fly-In (Press Release)

Source: NAMM Foundation

"Last month, Pete Birchler of Marshall Music joined nearly 100 music industry leaders, notable artists, and arts education activists to advocate for all school-aged children to have access to quality, comprehensive school music education programs." (NAMM Foundation Press Release)

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Music Matters

Music Matters PSA (9-20-18)Mary Land

Dr. Mary Land

Assistant Professor of Music and Music Education

Western Michigan University

Mary Land is assistant professor of Music and Music Education at Western Michigan University. Prior to this appointment, she was director of bands and Instrumental Music Education at Young Harris College in Young Harris, Georgia. Before those positions, Dr. Land was a public-school band director in Georgia.  She received her educational Doctorate from the University of Georgia. Dr. Land received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Georgia and her Master of Music Education degree from Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. She has served the Georgia Music Educators Association in various state and local offices. Dr. Land is currently the immediate past president of the Georgia Music Educators Association and the former CNAfME state chair. Dr. Land serves on the Board of Directors for the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic and is a member of the Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. She continues to make numerous appearances as adjudicator, conductor, and clinician throughout the United States and has recently joined the Conn-Selmer Division of educational clinicians. Her professional affiliations include: MSBOA, NAfME, IAJE, CBDNA, and Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Professional Teacher Association.  Dr. Land is a member of the National Band Association and has served as a national representative on the NBA executive board of directors. Mary Land is also on the faculty of the prestigious Interlochen Arts Camp as the conductor of the Intermediate Division Wind Symphony and conductor of the Interlochen Faculty Brass Ensemble.

Many professional awards and recognitions have been awarded Dr. Land during her career. She has recently been presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Vandercook College of Music. Dr. Land has been featured in many issues of The Instrumentalist magazine discussing her teaching techniques, her band program in the public schools, and her band program at Young Harris College. She has been presented the National Band Association Citation of Excellence on 12 separate occasions and has been presented the Women Band Directors International Scroll of Excellence five times. Dr. Land was awarded the GMEA Music Educator of the Year Award for 2012 and was presented with the John Philip Sousa Foundation Legion of Honor Award at the 2012 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic for her contributions to music education. Mary Land was selected by the national publication School Band and Orchestra in their December 2013 issue as one of “50 Directors Who make a Difference.” Mary Land’s band program was the recipient of the Georgia Senate Resolution 212 commending the success of the Pickens County School Band Program. Mary Land and the Pickens County Middle School Band were the recipient of the Magna Cum Laude Award, a prestigious International Award for Middle School Bands.

Dr. Land is published in the journals for the National Band Association, The Instrumentalist, Teaching Music (NAfME), School Band and Orchestra Journal, and the GIA series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Commissioning projects include works by Sam Hazo, Bill Locklear, Barry Kopetz, and Christopher Tucker.

Bands under Mary Land’s direction have received invitations to perform at many music conferences and clinics.

Music Matters PSA (9-14-18)Stephen West

Stephen West


In a long and distinguished career, bass-baritone Stephen West has appeared with many of the finest opera companies in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera and Teatro alla Scala, the Bayreuth, Salzburg and Santa Fe Festivals, Opéra National de Paris, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, and in the United States with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, the San Francisco, Seattle, Washington and Dallas operas, among many others. He has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston, Atlanta, and Montreal symphonies, and the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, and the Hollywood Bowl. He has also collaborated with many world-famous conductors, including Riccardo Muti, Sir Andrew Davis, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Sir Charles MacKerras, Julius Rudel, Michael Gielen, James Levine, and Richard Bonynge.

Stephen West is currently professor of music in voice and formerly chair of the Department of Voice at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. His students are successful in both opera and musical theater, having appeared in opera houses in the United States, Canada and Europe, in major music festivals, and currently appearing on Broadway and in National Tours. They have been awarded scholarships to young artist programs and conservatories and have won major national and international vocal competitions.

Since his arrival in Ann Arbor, Prof. West has become a special friend of the Ann Arbor Symphony, having appeared as soloist with Mo. Lipsky in opera and concert, as narrator for concert versions of operas, and as the guest auctioneer at Hearts for the Arts, the Symphony fundraiser for school outreach programs.

A true "singing actor," Prof. West triumphs in roles such as Boito's Mefistofele and Gounod's Méphistophélès, and as the heroes of Verdi. He is an exponent of contemporary music and excels in the repertoire of Wagner. His Seattle Opera portrayal of Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger inspired Bryan Magee of London's Daily Telegraph to write, "He covered himself with glory. At the end the entire audience rose spontaneously in a standing ovation. I suspect it was one of those special nights of which I shall find myself saying on future occasions: 'I was there.'"

Prof. West has starred in over forty musicals, including such roles as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof and Javert in Les Misérables (Encore Musical Theatre Co.), Miguel de Cervantes in Man of La Mancha and Billy Bigelow in Carousel. He appeared as Emile de Becque with the Denver Center Theater Company, and his portrayal of Charlie Anderson in Shenandoah at San Diego Civic Light Opera earned the Critics Award for “best actor in a musical” from Drama-Logue magazine.

Music Matters PSA (9-6-18)Gary Sullivan

Dr. Gary Thomas Sullivan

Composer, Conductor, and Clinician-Educator

Dr. Sullivan held faculty positions at Ohio Northern University, Adrian College, and North Branch High School; a graduate teaching assistant position at Miami University; 27 years as director of bands in Charlotte, Michigan; and artistic director and conductor of the Lansing Concert Band, affiliated with Lansing Community College 2010–2018. Bands under his direction have received many awards, placed first in numerous national concert festivals, and have appeared at several association conventions and university wind conferences.

He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University, a Master of Music degree in theory and composition from Miami University, a Bachelor of Music degree in instrumental music and theory from Michigan State University, and has completed additional graduate work in conducting and low brass performance at the University of Michigan. He received the state, regional, and national American School Band Directors Association Stanbury Award, was named Michigan Band Teacher of the Year, and elected to the John Philip Sousa Foundation Legion of Honor, receiving the Diploma of the Sudler Order of Merit. He was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, the Kappa Kappa Psi National Band Fraternity, and entered into the U.S. Congressional Record.

Combining a lifelong passion for composition, conducting, and performing, Dr. Sullivan continues to compose, publish, teach, and adjudicate, while sharing his insights and experience through educational clinics and publications.


2016 NAMM Music Advocacy Fly-In
2016 NAMM Music Advocacy Fly-In
Michigan Music Conference
Michigan Music Conference
Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy
Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy
Instrument Petting Zoo in Grandville
String Instrument Petting Zoo
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