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All-National Flutist Leah Stevens

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Leah Stevens, a senior at East Islip High School, has been selected as principal flute of the 2013 NAfME All-National Honor Symphony Orchestra, sponsored by the National Association for Music Education. She will join more than 670 of the most musically talented high school student-musicians in the United States to perform on Oct. 30 at a gala concert in the Presidential Ballroom of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.

Organized by members of the National Association for Music Education, the NAfME All-National Honors Ensembles consist of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed chorus and jazz ensemble. These exceptional students will perform extremely challenging music under the direction of four of the nation’s most prominent conductors: Dr. Peter Boonshaft, Miriam Burns, Rollo Dilworth and Rodney Whitaker. The symphony orchestra that Stevens will perform with is comprised of approximately 150 selected instrumentalists, all of whom had previously qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program. Stevens had performed last December as principal flute in New York’s All-State Symphonic Band and in April at NAfME’s Eastern Division Conference.

“I am so honored to be selected,” says Stevens, a member of the school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society. “It’s the best way to summarize the achievements this year that I have worked so hard for.” Added Stephen Guarino, East Islip’s director of art and music, “Leah is our first principal flutist to make All-National, and we are very proud of her accomplishments.”

Stevens, ranked fourth in her senior Class of 2014, was recently named one of 20 award winners of the Long Island Arts Alliance Scholar-Artist program, a prestigious award given annually to top Long Island seniors who have demonstrated a successful school career both academically and artistically. As one of five winners in the “What the Arts Mean to Me” contest, selected from hundreds of applicants worldwide, her “Imagine Life Without Music” video will be showcased at national arts schools and conservatories including the Juilliard School, Rice University and the National Young Arts Foundation.
 
Although much of her development was gained from her work during summers, weekends and evenings, studying at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege and Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, and private lessons with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra principal flute Stefan Hoskuldsson, Stevens takes great pride in East Islip’s music department. “No school day would be complete without the support and guidance I receive from my teachers and peers in the music wing,” she said. “It's a part of this school that continues to thrive and provide a platform of success for so many students, including myself.”
Tuesday, September 17, 2019