Last updated: July 24. 2013 12:58PM - 115 Views
Ryan Scott Ottney

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Two local students were awarded scholarships last week, during the 70th Annual Scioto County Honors Music Festival at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.

Each year, music teachers select two deserving students from the High School vocal group and the High School instrumental group to receive $500 scholarships toward their college study of music. Recipients this year were Drew Cunningham of Portsmouth West High School, who won the Vocal Music Scholarship and Jodi Bapst of Northwest High School, who won the Instrumental Music Scholarship.

High school students auditioned to become part of the 88- member choir or 62-member band, spending extra hours outside the school day rehearsing for their performances. Lee Auer, band director at Valley High School, and Matt Smith, band director at Wheelersburg High School, were the co-chairpersons for the band directors and Emily Harner, choir director at Wheelersburg High School, was the chairperson for the choir directors. Choir and band directors worked together to make this well-attended performance a great success.

Guest conductors for the Honors Band and Choir were Dr. Milton Allen and Mr. Charles Snyder, respectively. Both of these distinguished conductors are highly-esteemed in their fields. Dr. Allen is the Associate Director of Bands and Visiting Associate Professor of Music at The Ohio State University, where his duties include conducting the OSU Symphonic Band and teaching courses in undergraduate instrumental conducting. Mr. Snyder is the director of music at The Presbyterian Church in Coshocton, Ohio and a member of the voice faculty at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. He has also been the conductor of the 200-voice All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir since 1992.

For the fourth year, there was also a performance by the Jr. High Honors Band just prior to the High School concert. The 55-member Jr. High Band rehearsed with and were directed by Mr. Brent Hunt of Russell, Kentucky. The co-chairpersons for the Jr. High Band were Ms. Christy Stephan and Ms. Callie Hunt of Northwest High School.

Students and teachers from Clay, East, Green, Minford, New Boston, Northwest, Notre Dame, Oak Hill, Portsmouth, South Webster, Valley, West, and Wheelersburg participated in this year’s Music Festival. The event, which was coordinated by Sharee Price of the South Central Ohio ESC, was sponsored by the Richard D. Marting Foundation, Scioto Foundation, Southern Ohio Medical Center, General Electric Peebles Test Operation, Portsmouth Rotary Club, Portsmouth Area Arts Council, and the Portsmouth Kiwanis Club.

Source: South Central Ohio Educational Service Center

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