More than 780 high school students in the Eastern region of the U.S. were selected to perform in the 2019 NAFME All-Eastern Honors Ensembles — including Jessica Zhang from Saint Thomas More Academy, Magnolia.

With assistance from their music teacher Maureen Cannon, Zhang will prepare music that she 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 The National Association for Music Education to be held in Pittsburgh, in preparation for performances on April 7, 2019.

The NAFME All-Eastern Honors Ensembles, comprising a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed chorus, treble chorus and jazz ensemble, are organized by members of The National Association for Music Education. The concert band and symphony orchestra will each have about 150 instrumentalists, the jazz ensemble will have 18 instrumentalists, the treble chorus will have 120 vocalists, and the mixed chorus will have about 320 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 — all except for jazz, which will perform on April 6, 2019 — will perform for an audience of thousands on April 7, 2019, in the Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh.

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Saint Thomas More Academy is a co-ed Catholic college preparatory school in the Diocese of Wilmington, located in Magnolia. For more information about STMA, visit