Hamden Hall Country Day School

Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

Choral Students Selected for All-National Honor Ensemble

Three Upper School students were selected to perform in the prestigious All-National Honor Ensembles hosted by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Hamden Hall is well-represented in the 2020 choir as no other school in the country earned more than three spots. 

Seniors Isabel Dunlap and Andrew Neubauer along with sophomore Justdinian Ding are among 552 "elite high school musicians" who will take part in NAfME's 2020 All-National Honor Ensembles Virtual Event on January 7–8, 2021.

According to NAfME's website, "During the 2019–20 school year, talented music students across the United States and overseas in military base schools practiced diligently to gain a chair or part in their local, district, and state music honor ensembles. And of those elite high school musicians who were accepted to their district or All-State music ensembles, 552 of them — the 'best of the best' — were selected for the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) 2020 All-National Honor Ensembles." 

Isabel is the first soprano in school history to earn a spot at Nationals while Justdinian is the first freshman to be selected. Hamden Hall has sent two students over the past decade to Nationals.

To be considered for the prestigious program, students had to be ranked amongst the top scorers in the Connecticut All-State Choir and then successfully submit virtual materials for further deliberation. The 2020 ensembles were scheduled to meet in November in Orlando under the leadership of top conductors in the field of music education, but COVID-19 restrictions mandated that a virtual event take place instead.

NAfME reported that "the first-ever All-National Honor Ensembles virtual event will include several rehearsals with the 2020 ANHE Conductors and workshops with renowned clinicians. Each ensemble will create a final, recorded performance that will be premiered online during the 36th NAfME Music In Our Schools Month® in March 2021."

The Nationals program is considered “much more than a musical showcase” and is known for its “comprehensive and educational experience.”

Hamden Hall’s choral program is under the directorship of Matthew Harrison, who is President-Elect of the American Choral Directors Association of CT. The program completed yet another record-setting year in 2019-2020 with 33 students selected to perform in the Regional Choir, 17 selected to All-State, and three in Nationals.
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Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.