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October 3, 2013

Rockport teen to sing with national chorus

A 17-year-old Rockport High School junior will head to Nashville later this month to join nearly 700 other students from around the country for a special musical performance.

Nelson Pike has been selected as a member of the 2013 All-National Honor Chorus sponsored by the National Association for Music Education.

In that role, Pike will join more than 670 talented U.S. high school students to perform at a gala concert on Oct. 30 at the Presidential Ballroom of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

“We are proud to have Nelson representing Rockport at the national music festival,” said Nathan Cohen, the RHS orchestra director and a music teacher. “Though we have had a small handful of students perform at the All-Eastern Music Festival in years past, he is the first Rockport student to perform at the All-National Music Festival.”

In addition to his vocal studies, the Rockport teen also plays violin, viola, piano and organ.

“Nelson is a kind, hardworking young man,” said Cohen. “We are excited that he has the opportunity to participate in what will, no doubt, be an incredible performance.”

A prepared statement from the national music education association stated that “these exceptional students will prepare remarkably challenging music.”

The students will perform under the baton of four of the most prominent conductors in the U.S. — Dr. Peter Boonshaft, Miriam Burns, Rollo Dilworth and Rodney Whitaker.

The All-National Honors Ensembles, composed of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed chorus and jazz ensemble, are organized by members of the National Association for Music Education. The concert band and symphony orchestra will each have approximately 150 instrumentalists, the jazz ensemble will have 20 instrumentalists, and the mixed chorus will have approximately 350 vocalists.

Pike said he is honored to have been selected to attend this festival.

“I’ve never before sung in a chorus of 350,” he said. “I am excited to be a chorister under Dr. Rollo Dilworth — and, also, I look forward to sampling authentic Southern cooking.”

Eligible students have qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program and competed against top students for a spot in these national honor ensembles. For further program and ticket information, visit

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3445, or at

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