News Post

Northwest Catholic Students Named to All-National Honors Ensembles
Northwest Catholic Students Named to All-National Honors Ensembles

672 students from 49 states to showcase musical talents in Grapevine, Texas November 13. Northwest Catholic students among the selected.

During the 2015-16 school year, along with other talented music students across the United States and overseas in military base schools, Katharine (clarinet) and Sarah Jessen (trumpet) from Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford, CT practiced with dedication to gain a chair in their local, district, and state music honor ensembles. 

And now Kate and Sarah will join the “best of the best” for the National Association for Music Education’s (NAFME) 2016 All-National Honor Ensembles on November 13, during the 2016 NAfME National In-Service Conference in Grapevine, Texas. The gala concert starts at 9am in the Texan Ballroom at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center and is free and open to the public.

Kate and Sarah, twin sisters and seniors at Northwest Catholic High School, are looking forward to the opportunity to join other talented musicians from across the United States.  “They earned this,” said Dan Luddy, Director of Instrumental Music at Northwest Catholic.  “Sarah and Kate hold themselves to very high standards and gracefully take on each new musical challenge.  They are representing Northwest Catholic in a very big way!”

The All-National Honor Ensembles consist of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed choir, and jazz ensemble and represent collaboration and creativity in its highest musical form.  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.  Both Kate and Sarah have been selected as principal players in the symphony orchestra, as they had the top auditions of all applicants on their respective instruments.

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: Dr. Anton Armstrong (Mixed Choir); Dr. William LaRue Jones (Symphony Orchestra); Dr. Paula Crider (Concert Band); and Chris Crenshaw 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.

Find out the names, schools and states, as well as music directors of the 672 2016 All-National Honor Ensemble students:

National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. With more than 60,000 members, the organization is the national voice of music education in the United States.

Twin sisters Kate (left) and Sarah Jessen of Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford will perform in All-National Honor Ensembles in Grapevine, Texas November 13, 2016. Both have been selected as principal players, as they had the top auditions of all applicants on their respective instruments, clarinet and trumpet.