After earning a place to play in regional and state honor programs over the last few years, Nate Hagan ’22 recently claimed a spot on the national stage. He is the first Gibbons student-musician to be named the principal cellist in the All-National Honor Ensemble Symphony Orchestra.
Hagan joined other talented high school musicians in the country for the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) 2020 All-National Honor Ensembles. The event, held virtually for the first time this year, took place January 7 and 9 and included rehearsals, workshops, and the opportunity to play under an accomplished conductor.
The event will culminate in a final recorded performance that will premier online in March during the association's Music In Our Schools event. Watch for details about that performance in the coming weeks.
"Having a student-musician named principal and perform in the All-National Honor Ensembles puts Gibbons on the map when it comes to producing musicians who can share their talents on a national stage,” Gibbons Orchestra Director Andy Hawks said. It also is an opportunity for Hagan “to see what it is like behind the curtain on a national level.”
Asked to describe his reaction to being named principal cellist, Hagan said he felt, “excited, lucky, and honored.” He also said he was grateful to Gibbons Strings and Hawks for their support.
“I know that I would never have achieved this milestone without their continuous encouragement and dedication,” noted Hagan.
Hawks said that in music classes at Gibbons, Hagan is a leader and does everything he can to help, teach, and encourage other students in their musical journey.
The All-National Honor Ensembles performers represent collaboration and creativity in its highest musical form, according to information on the NAfME website. The 552 student-musicians participating in this year’s ensembles were chosen through an audition process.