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Elmont Select Chorale Performs at NANM National Convention

A group of Elmont Memorial student-musicians shared their musical prowess with music educators, connoisseurs and students from around the country at The National Association of Negro Musicians Inc.’s Centennial Convention held in Chicago from July 14-19.

The group of Select Chorale students, led by recently retired music department chairperson Anne-Marie Hudley Simmons, performed in the only Major Chorus Master Class offered during the event. They delivered an outstanding program of choral music from the classics to jazz.

“From singing, to laughing, to filling up our stomachs with Chicago’s finest delicacies, I believe I speak strongly for the chorale group when I say, thank you, Chicago,” senior Akinwale Agesin said. “Thank you, Chicago, for giving us these precious memories, and bringing us together as if we were an actual family. And thank you, Ms. Hudley Simmons, for going the extra mile to make sure that we enjoyed ourselves, while still teaching us as if we were back in the classroom. Words just can’t explain how we were mesmerized by our experiences from the trip. It was truly a blessing.”

“This trip opened my eyes to how music can be transformed and translated to different themes depending on the conductor’s interpretation of the music,” recent graduate Mikelley Baptiste said.

“I loved the vocal master class and had so much fun with our teachers’ version of ‘Dies Irae,’” Class of 2019 valedictorian Lauren Munn said. “Thank you so much, Ms. Hudley Simmons, for this opportunity, and I’m so glad we were able to do this through your hard work!”

During the trip, Ms. Hudley Simmons was elected president of NANM Inc., which is the country’s oldest organization dedicated to the preservation, encouragement and advocacy of all genres of African American music, according to its website. Congratulations to Ms. Hudley Simmons on her election and her retirement.