yellow and blue NAfME shield All-National Honor Ensembles logo

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristen Rencher at NAfME or (571) 323-5898

552 Students from 50 States and Territories
to Perform in National Online Concert
during Music In Our Schools Month®

RESTON, VA (December 9, 2020)—During the 2019–20 school year, talented music students across the United States and overseas in military base schools practiced diligently to gain a chair or part in their local, district, and state music honor ensembles. And of those elite high school musicians who were accepted to their district or All-State music ensembles, 552 of them—the “best of the best”—were selected for the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) 2020 All-National Honor Ensembles.

These “best of the best” high school music students will take part in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) 2020 All-National Honor Ensembles (ANHE) Virtual Event, January 7–8, 2021. The first ever All-National Honor Ensembles virtual event will include several rehearsals with the 2020 ANHE Conductors and workshops with renowned clinicians. Each ensemble will create a final, recorded performance that will be premiered online during the 36th NAfME Music In Our Schools Month® in March 2021.

Ensembles include the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Mixed Choir, Guitar Ensemble, and—back for the second year—Modern Band. All are welcome to tune in to these incredible performances.

Modern Band

The 2019 NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles inaugural Modern Band performed under
the direction of Scott Burstein of Little Kids Rock in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Bob O’Lary.

The ANHE performers represent collaboration and creativity in its highest musical form. The ensembles consist of a jazz ensemble, mixed choir, guitar ensemble (in its third year), modern band (in its second year), symphony orchestra, and concert band. Students were chosen through an audition process. The jazz ensemble will have 20 instrumentalists, the mixed choir 241 vocalists, the guitar ensemble 45 guitarists, the symphony orchestra and the concert band 120 instrumentalists each, and the modern band will have 13 musicians. Many ANHE members are also Tri-M® Music Honor Society members. Eligible students have qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program (not applicable to guitar or modern band students) and competed against top students for a spot in these national honor ensembles.

Selected students will be rehearsing a challenging repertoire in preparation for performing under the direction of six of the most prominent conductors in the United States: Frances Fonza (Mixed Choir); Nobuyoshi Yasuda (Symphony Orchestra); Rodney Dorsey (Concert Band); Todd Stoll with Terell Stafford (Jazz Ensemble); Chuck Hulihan (Guitar Ensemble); and Tony Sauza (Modern Band). All conductors have received top honors in their field and will spend several days rehearsing with students before the concert.

Names, schools and states, as well as music directors, of the 552 2020 All-National Honor Ensemble students are available on the ANHE website: Learn about past ensembles.


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 has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 60,000 members teaching millions of students nationwide, the organization is the national voice of music education in the United States.

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For additional information, contact Catherina Hurlburt at or 571-323-3395.

April 2024 Teaching Music

Published Date

December 9, 2020


  • Ensembles


December 9, 2020. © National Association for Music Education (

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