Renowned Conductors to Lead the 2015 NAfME All-National Honor Ensemble Program

Mike Lawson • ChoralNews • March 25, 2015

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The National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) premier national honor ensembles will be led by four award-winning conductors. The nation’s most elite high school musicians will vie for the opportunity to rehearse and perform in a one-of-a-kind national honor program. The students must first compete at their local, district, and state level to become eligible for this honor.

On October 28, during the 2015 NAfME National In-Service Conference, these exceptional young musicians will gather in Nashville, Tennessee, to showcase their expert musicianship and perform a gala concert at the Grand Ole Opry House celebrating music education and the arts.

The All-National Honor Ensembles consist of a concert band, orchestra, mixed chorus, and jazz ensemble; participating students are chosen by auditions. The concert band and symphony orchestra will each have approximately 150 instrumentalists, the jazz ensemble 20 instrumentalists, and the mixed chorus approximately 350 vocalists. Eligible students have qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program and competed against top students for a spot in these national honor ensembles.

Ensemble members will perform under the baton of four of the most prominent conductors in the United States. Jung-Ho Pak will lead the Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Pak is presently the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Cape Symphony (second largest in Massachusetts to the Boston Symphony Orchestra). From 2003-2013, he was the Director of Orchestras and Music Director of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Eugene Corporon will lead the Concert Band. Mr. Corporon is the conductor of the Wind Symphony and Regents Professor of Music at the University of North Texas. Mr. Corporon has held positions at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Michigan State University, the University of Northern Colorado, the University of Wisconsin, and California State University, Fullerton.

The Mixed Choir will be led by Ann Howard-Jones. Dr. Jones is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Boston University. She conducts the Symphonic and Chamber Choruses, supervises conducting students in the Concert Chorus and the Women’s Chorale, teaches graduate choral conducting, and administers the MM and DMA programs in Choral Conducting. Dr. Jones is also the conductor of the BU Tanglewood Institute Young Artists’ Vocal Program Chorus.

The Jazz Band will be led by Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Sherman Irby and Todd Stoll. Mr. Irby is a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Sherman, along with most members of the orchestra, has arranged much of the vast library of music that they have performed over the last eight years. He has also been commissioned to compose new works, including Twilight Sounds, and his Dante-inspired balled, Inferno. He has served as Artist-in-Residence for Jazz Camp West, and instructor for the Monterey Jazz Festival Band Camp. He is also a former board member for CubaNOLA Collective. Mr. Stoll has more than 25 years of experience as an advocate, performer, educator, and promoter of great jazz music. His performance experiences are wide-ranging from clubs to international concert venues, big bands to symphony orchestras. He serves as Vice President of Education for JALC overseeing programs that touch millions of people from infants to the elderly. Jazz at Lincoln Center is the sponsor of the 2015 All-National Honor Jazz Band.

National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 70,000 members, the organization is the voice of music education in the United States

Jazz at Lincoln Center The mission of Jazz at Lincoln Center is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for Jazz through performance, education and advocacy. We believe Jazz is a metaphor for Democracy. Because jazz is improvisational, it celebrates personal freedom and encourages individual expression. Because jazz is swinging, it dedicates that freedom to finding and maintaining common ground with others. Because jazz is rooted in the blues, it inspires us to face adversity with persistent optimism.


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