Everyone has that one dream to go to Walt Disney World in Orlando. For lucky junior Aneesha Sampath and seniors Arjun Guthal and Ashley Hsu, that dream will come true this November.
All three were accepted into the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) premier national honors ensembles. Sampath earned her spot on the 2017 All-National Honor Ensembles Symphony Orchestra Roster as a violin player while Guthal and Hsu received spots on the 2017 All-National Honor Ensembles Concert Band Roster as trumpet and clarinet players.
The NAfME is a top-tier organization where the nation’s most elite high school musicians will vie for the opportunity to rehearse and perform in a one-of-a-kind national honor program. In order to do so, students must first compete at their local, district and state level to become eligible for this honor. Out of almost 50,000 students, Sampath, Guthal and Hsu were deemed three of the best musicians in the country. “This is so important because it is a national honor. Few people ever even dream of this opportunity,” senior Arjun Guthal said.
The All-National Honor Ensembles consist of a concert band, orchestra, mixed chorus and jazz ensemble with participating students chosen by auditions. These students represent collaboration and creativity in its highest musical form. The concert band and symphony orchestra consists of 155 and 152 students respectively and the jazz ensemble will feature just 20 instrumentalists. “This is a huge honor. To be able to go to Disney World and play with some of the best in the country is truly amazing,” senior Ashley Hsu said.
In November at the four-day NAfME National In-Service Conference in Orlando, these 673 elite music students across the United States will showcase their expert musicianship at the internationally recognized Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort known for making people’s dreams come true.
Ensemble members will perform under the baton of four of the most prominent conductors in the United States. Dr. Margery Deutsch will lead the Symphony Orchestra. Professor Emeritus Deutsch served as Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1984-2012. Under her direction, the orchestra performed at the Chicago Symphony Center, in Madison at the Wisconsin Music Educators Association State Conference, for the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Wisconsin Alliance for Composers, and throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. In March 2012 they performed at Carnegie Hall as part of the 2012 New York International Music Festival.
With more than 60,000 members, the NAfME is the voice of music education in the U.S.. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators for more than a century. “It is truly an honor. I am really excited to go,” Guthal said.