MUHS musicians to perform at All-Eastern Honors Ensembles

CALEB BENZ, LEFT, Theo Wells-Spackman, Marina Herren-Lage and Romy Munkres have been selected to perform as part of the National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Honors Ensembles in Pittsburgh, Pa., on April 7. Photo courtesy MUHS

MIDDLEBURY — Four Middlebury Union High School students will join more than 780 of the most musically talented high school students in the Eastern region of the United States to perform in the 2019 National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Honors Ensembles in Pittsburgh, Pa., on April 7.
Caleb Benz, a junior, will play his alto saxophone as part of the Jazz Ensemble. Benz is the son of Eric and Hannah Benz of Middlebury. Joining the Concert Band on flute is Romy Munkres, also a junior, and the daughter of Kristin Bolton and Andrew Munkres of Cornwall. Senior Marina Herren-Lage, daughter of David Herren and Ana Martinez-Lage from Shoreham, will sing as an Alto in the Treble Choir. Rounding out the group is Theo Wells-Spackman, a junior and the son of Marion Wells and John Spackman of Weybridge. Wells will sing Tenor in the Mixed Choir.
With assistance from their music educators, Elizabeth LeBeau and Anne Severy, these students will prepare remarkably challenging music that they will perform under the leadership of prominent conductors in this biennial event. Students will spend three days rehearsing with one of five conductors during the Eastern Division Conference of in preparation for performances on April 7.
The NAFME All-Eastern Honors Ensembles, consisting of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed chorus, treble chorus, and jazz ensemble, are organized by members of NAFME. The concert band and symphony orchestra will each have approximately one hundred fifty instrumentalists, the jazz ensemble will have eighteen instrumentalists, the treble chorus will have 120 vocalists, and the mixed chorus will have approximately 320 twenty vocalists. Student participation from each state is determined by a percentage of the total NAFME Eastern Division membership.
Each of the state music educators’ associations in the Eastern Division oversee the selection process in their state during the fall of the year before the event and compile ranked lists of recommended juniors and seniors for consideration. The method used to compile the lists varies from state to state, although all recommended students must have been selected to participate in their home all-state festivals.
The committee builds the ensembles from the state presidents’ ranked lists, trying to mimic the state population percentages in each group.
The 2019 NAFME All-Eastern Honors Ensembles — except for Jazz, which will perform on Saturday evening, April 6 — will perform for an audience of thousands on Sunday, April 7, in the Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

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