- Unified School District 232
Two DHS students attend NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles
On Thursday, November 3, De Soto High School seniors Nic Weaver and Aidan Hamer traveled to Washington, D.C. to perform with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-National Honor Ensembles (ANHE). Weaver was selected as the second trumpet in the All-National Jazz Band and Hamer was selected as the third trombone in the All-National Symphony Orchestra. The ANHE program represents the top performing high school musicians in the United States and is the highest honor an instrumentalist can receive during high school.
Earning a spot in the ANHE requires a rigorous, multi-step audition process. Students must first audition for a spot in the District Band or Jazz Band, competing with all high school students in Johnson, Miami, Franklin, and Osage counties. Students who are selected for the District Band then audition for a spot in the All-State ensembles, competing with the All-District students from across Kansas. Students who are selected to an All-State group then complete a third audition for the ANHE, competing with All-State students across the country. Only six trombones nationwide were selected for the Symphony Orchestra, and only four trumpets earned spots in the Jazz Band.
Weaver has completed the audition process three times, earning a spot in the NAfME All-National Symphony Orchestra as a sophomore and in the NAfME All-National Jazz Band in his junior and senior year. Due to COVID-19, this is the first year that the ensembles have met in person. Hamer represented De Soto for the first time this year.
Students who are selected for the ANHE spend four days rehearsing with nationally recognized clinicians and top students from around the country. The All-National Jazz Band featured students from 10 states and All-National Symphony Orchestra were represented from 38 states. The weekend culminates in a public performance at the NAfME National Convention to an audience of several thousand people.
Both Weaver and Hamer received funding from the USD 232 Education Foundation, the De Soto High School Booster Club, and an anonymous donor to help allow them to participate in this national event.
Learn more about this national program here > NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles