Laurel Student gets once in a lifetime opportunity


Contributed article

Abbie Bloom, daughter of Tim and Becky Bloom, from Laurel- Concord-Coleridge practiced with dedication, earning a spot to join the “best of the best” with the National Association for Music Education’s  2016 All National Honor Ensembles on Nov. 13, during the 2016 NAfME National In-Service Conference in Grapevine, Texas.

Abby began singing in kindergarten, and started taking voice lessons in third grade.

“I love the feeling I get when I sing a certain song,” Abbie said. 

The All-National Honor Ensembles Concert was one of the many highlights planned for the four-day conference, which took place Nov. 10-13. This year’s theme focused on how music educators and musicians are “Stronger Together.” The Honor Ensemble members represented that collaborative strength in its highest musical form.

The All-National Honor Ensembles consisted of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed choir and jazz ensemble. Students were chosen through an audition process.

The concert band and symphony orchestra were each approximately 150 instrumentalists, the jazz ensemble consisted of 20 instrumentalists and the mixed chorus approximately 350 vocalists.

Eligible students had qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program and competed against 1,500 top students from across the USA for a spot in these national honor ensembles. 673 students represented 49 States and Territories in the conference, showcasing their talents.  

Selected students rehearsed a challenging repertoire in preparation for performing under the baton of five of the most prominent conductors in the United States: Dr. Anton Armstrong (Mixed Choir); Dr. William LaRue Jones (Symphony Orchestra); Dr. Paula Crider (Concert Band); and Chris Crenshaw and Todd Stoll (Jazz Ensemble).

All conductors have received top honors in their field and spent several days rehearsing with students before the concert.  
Mrs. Claudia Dvorak, who has given Abbie voice lessons since third grade was “excited that Abbie got the opportunity -- it’s such a marvelous opportunity. She got to sing under the best of the best.”  

Mrs. Dvorak retired from teaching this past spring, and in the 35 years she has taught, Abbie is the first student that she had ever sent to the All National Honor Ensemble.  

Abbie said she was “still kind of in shock that I made it.” But with the list of accomplishments she has, there shouldn't have been any shock.

Abbie has been a member of the Conference Honor Choir for 3 years and was selected for the 2015 and 2016 Nebraska All State Choir. She was also selected for the 2016 All National Honor Choir.

Abbie has been a member of the LCC Show Choir for two years—and is also currently a member of the Show Choir for the 2016-2017 school year. She also is a member of the LCC Concert Choir this school year and was for two years prior. Abbie has been a member of the LCC Chamber Choir/Madrigal Singers for two years.

Abbie has taken a vocal solo to District Music Contest for the past 2 years and received Superior ratings both years. She has been involved in numerous small ensembles for District Music, all of which have received Superior ratings.

Along side her choral accomplishments, Abbie is also a member of the LCC Marching, Concert and Jazz Bands. She plays numerous instruments including the flute, guitar, bass guitar and piano.

Upon graduating in 2018, Abbie has plans to pursue a degree in Music Performance or Music Education.