Cake Gives Back To the Music Community With "The Federal Funding March" Competition

The successful indie band is offering high school and college marching bands a chance to appear in one of their upcoming music videos.

By , Columnist
When a successful band makes the effort to give back to the music community it is welcome news. Cake, a group that has been topping the Billboard charts since 1991, has done just that. Band members John McCrea, Vincent DiFiore, Xan McCurdy, Gabriel Nelson, and Paulo Baldi decided the best way to show their appreciation was to raise awareness about the importance of music education in the form of a contest called “The Federal Funding March.”

The competition is open to high school and college marching bands, and has over sixty-five schools already committed with over one hundred expected to participate. An impressive array of sponsors is already on board, including Music & Arts, Yamaha, Fender, and ProMark, who have pledged to donate over $100,000 in musical instruments in support of the campaign.
Launched in conjunction with the non-profit U.S. Scholastic Band Association (USSBA), the contest has been garnering interest with bands since the day it was announced.

Sean King, Director of Marketing for Youth Education in the Arts and the USSBA explains, “Our World Championship national touring ensemble has been spreading the message all summer and we're excited to see more bands register after a few high profile events in the coming weeks. The fact that leaders in the music industry are banding together with us to deliver the message of music in the schools while making this contest such a success is a credit to Cake, and the worthwhile promise of this promotion."

Entrants must submit a video of their marching band performing Cake’s “The Federal Funding March,” an adaptation of a track off the band’s Showroom of Compassion album. Full marching band arrangement and charts will be provided.

The contest will be judged by both the band and the public. The video submissions will be narrowed down to ten finalists, nine of which will be selected by the band, leaving one wild card slot to be selected by the public.

The winning school, chosen for the creativity and quality of their performance, will win anCAKE-federalfundingmarch.jpg opportunity to participate and perform in the official music video for “Federal Funding,” which will be filmed in early 2012 in the winning school’s hometown. The deadline for all submissions is October 31, 2011.
“The Federal Funding March” is based on Cake trumpet player Vincent DiFiore’s instrumental arrangement. DiFiore explains, “With all the brass, the album track for “Federal Funding” already sounded like it was a great arrangement for a marching band. It has strong syncopation and a bouncy bottom-end. For the “Federal Funding March,” the electric guitar, electric bass, and drum kit were omitted.

In their place are saxophones, low brass, flutes, and tenor drums. It is our hope that band directors everywhere will find this arrangement appealing for its rhythmic groove, melodic sensibility, and thematic timeliness.”

Cake’s recent album, Showroom of Compassion, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 upon its release earlier this year.  The band is currently in the midst of a world tour but is obviously not too busy to give a little back. For that these guys should be commended.

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Mindy Peterman is a freelance writer whose focus is on television, movies and pop culture. She has written over one hundred articles for the award winning website and has conducted interviews with producer Peter Asher, psychic-medium John Edward, Greg Grunberg and Bob Guiney from Band…

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