Thank you, Chuck Surack and Sweetwater, for your support of the film documentary project, Marching Beyond Halftime! We are one significant step closer to our goal because of you. Our hope is everyone who reads Chuck’s comments below will also make a gift of support today.



Sweetwater Donates $20,000 to Music Education Film

FORT WAYNE, IN, April , 2017 — Sweetwater, the No. 1 online retailer of musical instruments and audio gear in the U.S., has donated $20,000 to the National Association of Music Parents to support the completion of the feature documentary film, “Marching Beyond Halftime.”

The movie, produced and directed by Sara Flatow, is not about marching band, as such, but rather about the benefits that come from participating in music programs ‘beyond’ the time our young people are in school. It will showcase several band programs, but, more importantly, it will tell the stories of individuals who have become successful in life due to what they learned in school music.

In a time when schools are facing uncertainty regarding the funding of music education, this new feature documentary could not be any more appropriate, or better timed.

Sweetwater Founder and President Chuck Surack commented, “I have been committed to supporting music education for my entire adult life. Music is at the center of my life personally, at the center of Sweetwater as a music retailer, and is one of my top philanthropic priorities. I am personally very excited about the potential impact “Marching Beyond Halftime” could have on prevailing attitudes about the importance of music education. It’s every bit as important as academic subjects, and I believe this film will make that crystal clear.”

Scott McCormick, Founder and President of The National Association of Music Parents, said, “We are concerned like most music educators and music parents about the reduction or complete elimination of funding for public school music programs. Far too many of our children and grandchildren’s band, choir and orchestra experiences are being ravaged. Our children suffer as a result. Our schools and communities suffer. The future of our nation suffers from having a lack of individuals who are prepared to think critically and creatively and communicate effectively. It’s time the world understood the importance of music education.”

About The Film:

Marching Beyond Halftime is a documentary feature film being created to show the benefits of music education—in particular band programs—in our schools. It is the nation’s first wide release documentary on this subject. The goal is to showcase outstanding high school band programs in the United States and feature alumni from all walks of life that have benefitted from being in music.

Featured band alumni:

  • Captain Winston Scott, USN-Ret. is a former NASA astronaut. Scott was a mission specialist on two Space Shuttle missions and has served as the Executive Director of the Florida Space Authority. Capt. Scott currently serves as a Senior Vice President at the Florida Institute of Technology where he has also served as the Dean of the College of Aeronautics. Scott leads the Florida Institute of Technology Jazz Syndicate and holds his undergraduate degree in music from Florida State University.
  • Jennifer Morrison and Family – Jennifer is a star on the ABC television series Once Upon a Time, also known for her role as Dr. Allison Cameron on the FOX television series House M.D. Her father David Morrison is a retired band director at Prospect High School in suburban Chicago. His daughter Julie is a successful music therapist in Los Angeles, and his son Dan, is the band director at Ronald Reagan H.S. in San Antonio.


About Sweetwater Sound

Founded in 1979, Sweetwater is the No. 1 online retailer of music instruments and audio gear in the U. S. The company is respected as the nation’s leading retailer serving musicians, recording studios, broadcast, education, and houses of worship. Sweetwater’s customers can be found everywhere music is heard and audio is played, broadcast, or recorded, including recording, film, and broadcast studios in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami; in hundreds of thousands of home recording studios; and in schools and churches nationwide. Sweetwater’s founding and meteoric growth are built on a knowledgeable and experienced staff, outstanding selection and pricing, and, above all, an unwavering commitment to customer service excellence in every situation. For further information, visit