An Audition Opportunity for Your High School Music Students
The All-National Honor Ensembles will perform during the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) 2016 National In-Service Conference in Grapevine, Texas. The conference dates are November 10-13. The application deadline is midnight Pacific Time on May 11, 2016.
Teachers who have had students participate in the All-National Honor Ensembles reflected on that experience, which they agree was beneficial for themselves as well as for their students.
Sarah Fawn McLamb, director of choral programs at Corinth Holders High School in Wendell, North Carolina, shares her thoughts on the 2015 All-National Honor Ensembles (ANHE) experience.
“I learned so much watching the clinicians rehearse the choirs,” said Sarah. “It was also awesome to [attend In-Service sessions]. I came home and purchased several of the warm-up books that were highlighted in one of the sessions and implemented several of the rehearsal techniques from another session.”
“I also made connections with other choral and band directors all over the country,” Sarah continued. “We have stayed in contact; we consult each other, give each other encouragement; and we have hopes to work together on joint projects in the future. I truly made life-long friends with the colleagues I met at ANHE.”
Asked if she would recommend an All-State student to apply to the program, Sarah responded, “Absolutely! I have several students who are very excited to audition for ANHE 2016 based on the feedback their peers have given on 2014 and 2015. The entire ensemble benefited from my few students who were able to go because they came back on fire for choral music.”
“The entire ensemble benefited from my few students who were able to go because they came back on fire for choral music.”
“They shared their experiences, they shared their hope that their fellow choir members would work toward the same drive and dedication that they found at ANHE,” Sarah replied. “Having students participate has also created a goal for my other students to work toward going themselves next year. Whether I am fortunate enough to have someone go again, they are all working a little harder for the opportunity.”
Sarah noted that the highlight of the event was “the look on my students’ faces after each rehearsal. They would be linked arm in arm and almost bounce to each meal telling me about everything they loved from rehearsal. I really enjoyed the performances of the professional groups and the discussions that we had about their performances with my kids when we got back.”
“I believe music students feel validated when they have the opportunity to participate in an All-National Honor Ensemble. They get to interact with a variety of students from various types of schools and music programs.”
“I believe music students feel validated when they have the opportunity to participate in an All-National Honor Ensemble. This is especially true for students from smaller schools,” said Mark Wlodarczyk, who teaches band and choral music at Lyons (Colorado) Middle/High School. “Students from small schools often struggle to find more than one or two students who share their passion and dedication for music. At ANHE, they get to interact with a variety of students from various types of schools and music programs. In addition, they get to be a part of making some of the greatest music they have ever performed.”
Mark’s student “thoroughly enjoyed her experience at ANHE. The guest performers were excellent, and a valuable activity for the students.
Jeff Melsha is director of bands in Kirkwood, Missouri. He is the past-president of the Missouri Association for Jazz Education, and the President-Elect of the Missouri Music Educators Association.
His student Jacob was chosen for both the 2014 and 2015 Jazz Honor Ensemble. Jacob “enjoyed the experience with the All-National Jazz Ensemble, meeting other musicians from different parts of the country, and performing great literature with superior quality musicians.”
“Having the ANHE program to aim toward gives our most talented musicians across the country an opportunity that cannot be found in any one school.”
Timothy Bakland, head of the Music School and Performing Arts Chair at the Waring School, Beverly, MA, says, “The ANHE program provides a way for young musicians to aim for excellence in their musical pursuits and to perform with equally talented peers from across the country. Even schools with especially strong music programs (increasingly rare) cannot match the quality of the ANHE ensembles; what’s more, small schools with smaller pools of musicians as well as schools with limited funding/opportunities for music lack venues for their top musicians.
“Having the ANHE program to aim toward gives our most talented musicians across the country an opportunity that cannot be found in any one school. For many, it is really the only place to find such a community of peers.”
The All-National Honor Ensembles represent the top-performing high school musicians in the United States and are a comprehensive, musical and educational experience. The ensembles will meet at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas, under the baton of four top-flight conductors.