Cape High seniors Megan Erbe and Liam Wiedmann are among more than 700 elite musicians selected for a regional ensemble comprising students from 11 states and Washington, D.C.
Band teacher Chris Burkhart said the National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Honors Ensembles are the highest performing group for which musicians can audition through the All-State system. This is the first time in at least 13 years that a Cape student has been selected, Burkhart said.
To qualify, students must be seated as top chair at All-State as a sophomore or junior, and can apply as seniors.
“Delaware is only allotted 2 percent of the ensemble seats, so the odds are long even if you are in one of those chairs,” Burkhart said.
After playing regularly for only four years, Meg is the only Delawarean to be selected for the baritone sax seat in All-Eastern Division Jazz Ensemble. In 2020, she earned first chair All-State honors for concert and jazz bands, and was also named to the All-State choir.
Liam was one of six Delaware students selected for the All-Eastern Division Band; he was eligible for selection in two instruments because he was 2020 first chair tuba in All-State orchestra and concert band, and first chair guitar in the All-State jazz band.
Both students plan to pursue musical degrees in college; Burkhart said he regularly fields phone calls from college recruiters hoping to enroll the two musicians.
In all, NAfME selected 719 high school musicians from 1,150 All-State applicants from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
Ensembles will meet for rehearsal in early March, and will individually record their performances from home led virtually by their conductor. Recordings will be edited together to produce a virtual concert, set to premiere at the 57th NAfME Eastern Division Virtual In-Service Conference on Friday, April 23.
Terrell Stafford from Temple University will conduct the jazz ensemble, for which Meg will play two pieces, “Lowdown” and “Avenue C.” Liam will play “Shimmering Sunshine” for band, which will be conducted by University of Georgia’s Dr. Cynthia Johnson Turner.