Press release from Red Bank Regional High School
Two vocal majors at Red Bank Regional High School‘s Visual and Performing Arts academy have received the esteemed distinction of acceptance to the very prestigious All-National Honors Ensembles sponsored by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).
Shannon O’Donnell and Brooke McDermott, both of Little Silver, will perform at the historic Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN during the NAfME National Conference in October, 2014, along with the other top teenage vocalists in the country selected to the National Choir. Both will be performing in the mixed chorus.
Shannon, a soprano, is a sophomore and was given RBR’s “Most Promising Vocal Major” award last June in honor of her talent, dedication, discipline and successes in her first year as a vocal major. The now 15-year old made the All-Shore, All-State and National Honors Choirs all in her freshman year. Shannon has been studying piano and guitar for many years and followed a natural progression to join the renowned RBR Visual and Performing Arts program. Last June she had the honor of performing in Carnegie Hall with her fellow choir members.
Regarding her vocal accolades Shannon commented, “I’m in a really good vocal program and the kids in the program have been so helpful to me. You should hear some of them sing. I’m always listening very carefully to them and trying to sing as well as they do.” She adds, “And the teachers in the VPA program have helped me so much to learn and improve.”
Brooke McDermott, a 17 year old senior, transferred to RBR this fall from the New Mexico Military Institute, which she attended on a choral scholarship. As a member of the school’s choral ensemble program, she toured military bases, sporting events and entertainment venues throughout the country. A highlight of her high school singing career occurred when she sang for New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez at the New Mexico Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. She also made that state’s All-State Mixed Choir in Albuquerque New Mexico prior to auditioning for the National Honors Choir.
Brooke is growing more comfortable every day at RBR and stated about her upcoming event, “I am very busy learning the music we will be performing at the concert and I am very excited to be traveling to that part of the country.”
RBR VPA Voice teacher Kris Zook comments, “We are so proud to have both these accomplished young ladies as part of our Visual & Performing Arts Program. I know they will further distinguish themselves in their musical careers for years to come.”
Millions of students from around the country auditioned for this great honor. NAfME is the successor of the oldest music education association in the country, originally founded in 1907 as the Music Educators National Conference. Its mission, according to its website is to “advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all.” NAfME counts itself among the largest arts education organizations in the world with over 130,000 active and retired music teachers and 60,000 honor students and supporters. For more information on NAfMe, visit their website.