Passing the Baton: The John Patrick Hughes Parent/Booster Award Recognizes Parent Engagement

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Talking Up Music Education is a podcast from The NAMM Foundation about music education. Recorded live from 2018 Bands of America Grand Nationals, episode 66 features guest host Claire Kreger-Boaz, Senior Project Manager at NAMM.

Kreger-Boaz talks with Randy Barnett, recipient of the 2018 John Patrick Hughes Parent/Booster award. He is one of many parents who have gone above and beyond to support music programs that played a key role in their children’s lives. Special guests include the award’s namesake, John Patrick Hughes and his son, Patrick Henry Hughes.

“The volunteers all around the country who keep music alive for kids. They’re beating their heads against a wall, so to speak,” said John Patrick Hughes. “They're already up against budget cuts and everything else, but [people]… come in and step up…it's a labor of love.”

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“To have an award named for me is truly surreal. I was just a dad who could work a night shift and be in marching band with his son, who, if you don't know my son's story, he's a wheelchair user and blind, so I was able to push him through the formations. Over the years…the stories of these volunteers and all they do…year after year, I read them and I cry. It blows me away. All I did was push my son in the marching band. And I read what these people do and it just, it really humbles me, year in and year out.” - John Patrick Hughes

“It was a lot of hard work for Dad, not only doing the marching band but then coming home and trying to figure out a better way for my chair to maneuver around the field. I’m really grateful that he did all that, not only during the prescheduled marching band events, like I said, but then afterward, at least for the first season or so, trying to figure out a way for my wheelchair to move around the field better.” - Patrick Henry Hughes

“At Music For All, our mission is to create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences. On the other side of this wall there's these fantastic band performances that are going on. Every single one of these performances are being able to happen because of a strong parent-,booster-, and community-support mechanism.”- James Stephens

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Talking Up Music Education is a podcast produced by The NAMM Foundation about music education. Host Mary Luehrsen chats with teachers, parents, students and community leaders who share stories about what they are doing to create music learning opportunities. Please download, share and subscribe to keep up with the stories that make a difference in music education advocacy.

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