NEWS RELEASE: Nation’s Top High School Musicians to Perform on Historic Grand Ole Opry House Stage at NAfME’s All-National Honor Ensembles Concert

670 Students from 2.5 Million Hopefuls to Showcase Talents in Nashville on October 29

RESTON, VA. (September 17, 2014) – 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 29, during the 2014 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 on the world-famous Grand Ole Opry House stage, known for creating one-of-a-kind entertainment that’s been referred to as the “home of American music”.

The All-National Honor Ensembles Concert is one of the many highlights planned for the four-day conference taking place October 26 – 29, 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 New National Core Music Standards recently released by The National Coalition for CORE ARTS STANDARDS, 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:  Mark Camphouse, Gerard Schwarz, Edith Copley, and Robert Baca. All conductors have received top honors in their field and will spend several days rehearsing with students before the concert.

Specifically, Mark Camphouse, will conduct the concert band, a previous regional finalist in the prestigious White House Fellowship Competition and current Professor of Music, Conductor, Wind Symphony, George Mason University. Gerard Schwarz, Music Director, All-Star Orchestra, Music Director, Eastern Music Festival Conductor Laureate, Seattle Symphony, has received hundreds of honors and accolades including Emmy Awards, GRAMMY nominations, ASCAP Awards and the Ditson Conductor’s Award, will serve as the Symphony Orchestra conductor. Choir Director Edith Copley conducts the highly acclaimed Shrine of the Ages Choir and is the current Regents’ Professor, Director of Choral Studies, Northern Arizona University. Jazz Director Robert Baca Professor of Music, Director of Jazz Studies, University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire has toured with Frank Sinatra, Buddy Rich, Tony Bennett and Mel Tormé.

For additional program information, please visit Media credentials are available upon request by contacting Roz Fehr at or Chris Freeman 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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