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High School Wind Ensemble Selected for National Honor
Student Playing ClarinetNorth Hills High School’s Wind Ensemble once again has received a national honor from the National Association for Music Education. The ensemble was chosen from among music ensembles from throughout the United States’ east coast to perform at the 2019 National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Convention in Pittsburgh in April.

North Hills musicians will serve as a model ensemble for educators, professors, presenters and exhibitors from across the nation who attend the bi-annual conference.

They will perform in front of a national audience in their hometown at 10 a.m. on April 4 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center with Chad Winkler and Jim Nova of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as guest soloists. 

Their selection, which is equivalent to a national championship in music, marks their fourth selection in eight years for the conference which is held every other year. Ensembles from the 13 states submitted audition packets that included recordings from their previous year’s performances to their state board. The state boards sent their recommendations to the national selection committee, which selected the ensembles who would perform. 

“This invitation is one the highest recognitions a concert band can attain in the country. We are excited to see the highest level of achievement continue in the North Hills band program for our students, school and community. We are grateful to all our band directors, teachers, administrators, boosters and community members for their support of our students,” Len Lavelle, North Hills High School music teacher and band director.

Their performance will include “The Liberty Bell March” by John Philip Sousa, “Bells Across the Atlantic” by Adam Gorb, “Sleep” by Eric Whitacre, “The Earth” by Jun Nagao, “Fandango” by Joseph Turrin and “Joyce’s 71st N.Y. Regiment March” by Thornton Barnes Boyer.

The high school’s wind ensemble consists of 48 musicians in grades 9 to 12 and is under the direction of Len Lavelle and Lucas Beaver. All ensemble members are selected through an audition process. This latest accolade adds to the list of achievements already acquired by North Hills’ talented musicians. In the last nine years, bands from North Hills have performed four times at each the PMEA State Convention and NAfME All-East Convention, all in different years.

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