Renowned Conductors to Lead the 2019 NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles

Mike Lawson • News • February 11, 2019

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This year, six award-winning conductors will lead the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) premier All-National Honor Ensembles (ANHE) in Orlando, Florida. NAfME has announced the addition of a Modern Band ensemble to the ANHE program, and the Guitar Ensemble returns for its second year.

The nation’s most elite high school musicians will vie for the opportunity to rehearse and perform in a one-of-a-kind national music honors program. The students must first compete at their local, district, and state level to become eligible for this distinguished honor. On November 7 to 10, these exceptional musicians will gather at Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, to showcase their expert musicianship and perform a gala concert celebrating music education and the arts.

The All-National Honor Ensembles consist of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed choir, jazz ensemble, guitar ensemble, and modern band ensemble, the newest ensemble for ANHE 2019. The concert band and symphony orchestra will each have approximately 120 instrumentalists, the jazz ensemble 20 instrumentalists, the mixed choir approximately 240 vocalists, the guitar ensemble 60 guitarists, and the modern band ensemble 20 musicians. Eligible students have qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program and competed against top students for a spot in these national honor ensembles. As many states do not have an All-State Guitar Ensemble, students who participate in their school’s guitar ensemble program are permitted to apply for the All-National Guitar Ensemble. Similarly, as many schools do not have modern band ensembles, students are permitted to apply for All-National Modern Band if they are sponsored by a NAfME member. The audition deadline is May 3, 2019, at 11:59 PM Eastern daylight time.

Ensemble members will perform under the baton of six of the most prominent conductors in the United States. Emily Threinen, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the University of Minnesota School of Music in Minneapolis, will lead the 2019 All-National Concert Band. Director of Orchestral Activities at The Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music Soo Han will lead the 2019 All-National Symphony Orchestra. Tesfa Wondemagegnehu serves as the conductor of the Viking Chorus and the Chapel Choir at St. Olaf College and will lead the 2019 All-National Mixed Choir. Todd Stoll will lead the 2019 All-National Jazz Ensemble. Bill Swick will lead the 2019 All-National Guitar Ensemble. Scott Burstein, Director of Teaching and Learning at Little Kids Rock, will lead the inaugural All-National Modern Band this November 2019. 

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