Since the 1970s, the NEC Honors Ensemble program has offered a springboard for student groups to become a permanent, professional ensemble—with a showcase performance in NEC's Jordan Hall—one of the world's top concert halls. (Until 1983, Honors Ensembles were called "Scholarship Ensembles" to indicate the stipend they receive for their service to NEC.)
The bonds students form with their colleagues in an NEC Honors Ensemble has often led to staying together for the remainder of their studies at NEC—or to finding or confirming a life-long vocation through this program.
Information about past Honors Ensembles are archived to these pages. Find information about the current Honors Ensembles here.
The Sail Away Ladies, who fiddle, dance, and sing their way through the video clip on this page, started out as a 2009–2010 NEC Honors Ensemble enrolled in the Contemporary Improvisation program. Watch them perform Joanna Newsom’s “The Book of Right On,” topped off by the traditional tunes “Starry Crown” and “Johnny Court the Widow.” This performance was captured at their April 2010 Jordan Hall concert.