GEHS student to perform at Opry House

During the 2014-15 school year, talented music students across the United States and overseas in military base schools practiced with dedication to gain a chair or part in their local, district, and state music honor ensembles. And of those most elite high school musicians who were accepted to their district or All-State music ensembles, 673 of them – the “best of the best” – were selected for the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) 2015 All-National Honor Ensembles.

Of them, only two were selected from the state of West Virginia; one of them was percussionist Jules Kessler from Greenbrier East High School.

On Oct. 28, during the 2015 NAfME National In-Service Conference, these exceptional young musicians will gather in Nashville, TN, to showcase their expert musicianship and perform a gala concert starting at 9 a.m. 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 Oct. 25-28. This year’s theme focuses on how music teachers “Empower Creativity” – in the classroom, and the lives of their students. These Honor Ensembles members represent that creativity in its highest musical form. Teachers and school administrators who attend will gain insight on implementing the National Core Music Standards in the classroom to empower students to be creative, collaborative, think critically, and better understand themselves and fellow students, and the world around them. Music teachers will learn how they can give students the inspiration they need to learn and create in different ways.

The All-National Honor Ensembles consist of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed choir, and jazz ensemble. Students were chosen through an audition process. 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 five of the most prominent conductors in the United States: Ann Howard Jones (Mixed Choir); Jung-Ho Pak (Symphony Orchestra); Eugene Migliaro Corporon (Concert Band); and Sherman Irby and Todd Stoll (Jazz Ensemble). All conductors have received top honors in their field and will spend several days rehearsing with students before the concert.

Additionally, High School Nation will kick off the week’s events with the All-National Honor Ensemble students with an unforgettable interactive celebration on Sunday, Oct. 25.

Find out the names, schools and states, as well as music directors of the 673 2015 All-National Honor Ensemble students:

The 2014 NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles Choir performs at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

The 2014 NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles Choir performs at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
The 2014 NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles Choir performs at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

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