National Honors Orchestra

National High School Honors Orchestra

What is the National High School Honors Orchestra?
The National High School Honors Orchestra (NHSHO) is a performing group of 120 competitively selected high school musicians who assemble biennially to perform at the ASTA National Conference.

How are the students selected for membership in the NHSHO?
Junior and senior students apply for the orchestra through the state chapters of ASTA.  They submit an audition tape/CD of required literature and three minutes form literature of their own choosing.  The state coordinator (selected by the state ASTA president) and an audition committee select up to thirty tapes/CDs to forward to the national level.  Separate audition committees for strings, winds, and percussion select the 120 students for the orchestra.  The students are required to be members of their school orchestra.  Students must follow the application process as stated above to be considered by the national committee.

When was the NHSHO established?
In 1986, the first orchestra convened in Anaheim CA, under the direction of James DePriest.  Subsequent performances took place in Indianapolis; Washington DC; New Orleans; Cincinnati; Kansas City; and Phoenix.  On two occasions the orchestra reassembled to tour and perform in conjunction with international conferences in Helsinki, Finland and Tampa, Florida.

Who conducts the NHSHO?
Such internationally recognized, eminent conductors as Elje Oue, David Gilbert, James DePriest, Jose Serebrier and Jung Ho Pak are invited to conduct the NHSHO.  They work with the orchestra for three days of intense rehearsals in preparation for the final performance.

For more specifc information at the National level please contact Libby.