Press Release: MENC National Honor Ensembles to Debut in June 2010

Nation’s Finest Student Musicians to Perform in Washington DC in June 2010 as “MENC National Honor Ensembles”

February 1, 2010 is Deadline for Applications

RESTON, VA (September 23, 2009) – MENC: The National Association for Music Education will present a National Honor Concert Band, Mixed Choir, Orchestra, and Jazz Band in 2010, spotlighting the accomplishments of superior student musicians from around the nation. These “MENC National Honor Ensembles” will take place during MENC’s Music Education Week in Washington, DC June 23-29, 2010. Audition information is posted at

MENC established its National Honor Ensembles in answer to member requests for recognition of music student performance beyond state and divisional levels. “It is very exciting to know that MENC will select our country’s finest high school concert musicians each year to perform together and receive the national recognition they deserve for their musical accomplishments,” said Barbara L. Geer, MENC president.

Conductors for the 2010 National Honor Ensembles are Anthony Maiello, Director of Instrumental Studies at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA (concert band); Andre Thomas, Director of Choral Activities at Florida State University (mixed choir); Colonel (Ret.) Dennis M. Layendecker, former Commander and Music Director, US Air Force Band (orchestra); and composer/conductor Maria Schneider (jazz band). The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will host the 2010 National Honor Concert Band, Mixed Choir, and Orchestra performance; the National Honor Jazz Band will perform as part of the MENC Jazz Academy during Music Education Week in Washington DC.

To be considered, high school sophomores and juniors must have an active MENC member submit their audition materials. A $20 administration fee will be required for each application submitted. (Students who are seniors during the 2009-2010 school year are not eligible to apply — most high school graduations take place before the event dates of June 23-29, 2010 and only students associated with a high school may participate.)

The process for choosing the members of the 2010 Honor Ensemble is:

  • National Honor Ensemble applications are due February 1, 2010.
  • A National Honor Ensemble Task Force appointed by MENC’s National Executive Board and made up of MENC members will oversee the ranking of all applications and the pre-selection of each National Honor Ensemble.
  • Notification is sent to students of their Honor Ensemble selection by March 1, 2010.
  • Students return acceptance letters; final ensembles are announced.

The cost for a student to perform in one of the National Honor Ensembles is $699 (does not include transportation to Washington, DC). Complete information, audition materials list, and application is online at Application deadline: February 1, 2010.

For Honor Ensemble information and inquiries, contact Chris Meeker at MENC Events ( or 800-479-8247). For information about MENC, contact Elizabeth Lasko ( or 800-336-3768).
MENC: The National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. Through membership of more than 75,000 active, retired, and pre-service music teachers, and with 60,000 honor students and supporters, MENC serves millions of students nationwide through activities at all teaching levels, from preschool to graduate school. MENC’s mission is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education. MENC is located at the National Center for Music Education in Reston, VA.