• Nov. 18, 2020

    Flutist selected to All-National Concert Band

    Phoebe Chen An Upper St. Clair High School junior was selected to the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) All-National Concert Band. Phoebe Chen, a flutist, earned this national achievement after successfully auditioning through the 2020 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) All-State Concert Band.

    Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NAfME canceled the in-person All-National Honor Ensembles, originally scheduled to take place Nov. 4-8 in Orlando, Fla. A virtual 2020 All-National Honor Ensembles program will take place on Thursday, Jan. 7 – Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021.

    The All-National Concert Band will be directed by Rodney Dorsey, professor of music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Learn more about Mr. Dorsey.

    “I´m looking forward to all the new musical experiences that the band can offer,” Phoebe said. “The conductor of the concert band this year is Rodney Dorsey, so I'm excited to learn as much as I can about music. I'm also hoping to meet some other musicians from around the country!”

    According to the association’s website, the NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles represent the top performing high school musicians in the United States. Ensembles include concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed choir, jazz ensemble, guitar ensemble and modern band.

    Phoebe believes that music is important for all students because it promotes creativity and discipline.

    “During coronavirus, I'm sure that the arts have become an escape for many people,” she said. “Additionally, opportunities like this one not only push students to strive for excellence, but they also teach students about collaboration and prepare them for bigger responsibilities.”

    In addition to Phoebe’s success within the PMEA and NAfME honor bands, she was named the first-place winner of the Central Ohio Flute Association (COFA) Competition, Junior Division in the spring of 2019. She is also a member of the high school’s Biology and Art clubs.

    “Although clubs have been a little different this year because of the coronavirus, it's also been encouraging to see how hard the staff, teachers and upperclassmen are working to make the most of the situation,” Phoebe said.