AUBURN —  A quintet of Edward Little High School chorus students has been selected as among the best in the nation and invited to join the All-National Honor Ensembles at a performance in Nashville in October.

Soprano Ally LaVerdiere, 16, basses Patrick Buzza, 17, Connor Crawford, 17, and Jordan Douglas, 17, and tenor Matt Taylor, 17, will make the trek to perform at the National Association for Music Educators Conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort on Wednesday, Oct 30.

“These are five of my best students, and I’m enormously proud of them,” said Beth Labrie, Edward Little High School music teacher. “They have a lot of work to do between here and Nashville, but I’m sure they’re up to it, each and every one of them.”

The students are planning community fundraisers to help pay the $500-per-student tuition to attend the conference, as well as travel costs. They’ll kick it off with car wash from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at Pep Boys on Center Street.

The national association hosts the honor ensembles each year during its annual conference. It brings the best student musicians together in four ensembles —  jazz band, concert band, orchestra and mixed-choir. The students, coming from across the country, work with some of the best conductors and musical educators in the nation to prepare a singular performance.

The mixed choir will be conducted by Rollo Dilworth, associate professor of choral music education and chairman of the Music Education Department at Temple University’s Boyer School of Music and Dance in Philadelphia, Pa.

To qualify, all attendees must be U.S. students in grades 10, 11 or 12 and have been accepted into their state’s All-State Festival.

Students must submit a two-minute video audition, which is judged by the association’s nominating committee.

In all, 32 students from Maine have been invited to join the 2013 ensembles: one for the orchestra, one for the jazz band, six for the concert band and 24 for the mixed choir.

Only one Maine student was invited to join the All-National Ensembles in 2012: Soprano Adelaide Fuller of Dirigo High School.

This year, students are scheduled to arrive Oct. 27 for three days of rehearsals with the full ensembles. They will perform beginning at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 30 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort’s main stage.


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