PRESS RELEASE: Nation’s Top High School Musicians to Perform at NAfME’s All-National Honor Ensembles Concert at 2013 In-Service Conference

670 Students from 2.5 Million Hopefuls to Showcase Talents in Nashville on October 30

RESTON, VA. (October 9, 2013) – Before 670 of the nation’s most elite high school musicians applied to perform as part of the National Association for Music Education’s (NAFME) All-National Honor Ensembles, they were first named the ‘best of the best’ out of approximately 2.5 million students nationwide at local, district and state music festivals.  On October 30, during the 2013 NAfME National In-Service Conference, these exceptional young musicians will gather in Nashville, Tennessee to showcase their expert musicianship and perform a gala concert celebrating music education and the arts.  The performance will take place in the Presidential Ballroom at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Resort.

The All-National Honor Ensembles Concert is one of the many highlights planned for the four-day conference taking place October 27 – 30, where the main theme centers around ways in which “Music Education Orchestrates Success”— in school, in work, and in life.  Teachers and school administrators who attend will address the proposed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, gain new insights into how classroom teaching styles are being evaluated, attend targeted professional development workshops, and celebrate the achievements of some of the nation’s most distinguished student musicians.

The All-National Honor Ensembles consist of a concert band, orchestra, mixed chorus, and jazz ensemble, and students were 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.

Selected students are currently rehearsing a challenging repertoire in preparation for performing under the baton of four of the most prominent conductors in the United States:  Peter Boonshaft, Miriam Burns, Rollo Dilworth, and Rodney Whitaker. All conductors have received top honors in their field and will spend several days rehearsing with students before the concert.

Specifically, Peter Boonshaft, conductor of the concert band, is NAfME and Music For All’s first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education.” Rollo Dilworth, the Associate Professor of Choral Music Education and Chair of the Music Education Department at Temple University’s Boyer School of Music and Dance in Philadelphia, PA, will serve as the choral director. Orchestra conductor Miriam Burns was on staff with the New York Philharmonic as one of their Cover Conductors from 1999-2007, and internationally renowned bassist and Mack Avenue recording artist Rodney Whitaker will lead the jazz band.

For additional program information, please visit Media credentials are available upon request by contacting Nelson Duffle at or Amanda French at


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


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