During the 2019–20 school year, Downingtown East High School students Jackson McGovern and Peter Stauffer, along with other accomplished music students across the U.S. and overseas in military base schools, practiced with dedication to gain a part in their local, district, and state music honor ensembles.
McGovern and Stauffer then joined the “best of the best” for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) 2020 All-National Honor Ensembles (ANHE) virtual event last month. The first-ever ANHE virtual event included several rehearsals with the 2020 ANHE Conductors and workshops with renowned clinicians. Each ensemble created a final, recorded performance that will be premiered online during the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) Music in Our Schools Month in March.
The ANHE performers represent collaboration and creativity in its highest musical form. The All-National Honor Ensembles consist of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed choir, jazz ensemble, guitar ensemble, and modern band (now in its second year). Students were chosen through an audition process. The concert band and symphony orchestra will each have 120 instrumentalists, the jazz ensemble 13 instrumentalists, the mixed choir 241 vocalists, the guitar ensemble 45 instrumentalists, and the modern band 13 performers.
The selected students have rehearsed a challenging repertoire in preparation for performing under the direction of six of the most prominent conductors in the country:
- Frances Fonza (Mixed Choir)
- Nobuyoshi Yasuda (Symphony Orchestra)
- Rodney Dorsey (Concert Band)
- Todd Stoll with Terell Stafford (Jazz Ensemble)
- Chuck Hulihan (Guitar Ensemble)
- Tony Sauza (Modern Band)
Names, schools, and states, as well as music directors, of the 2020 ANHE students are available here.