Scioto County Honors Music Festival celebrates its 80th anniversary


SCIOTO COUNTY- This year the Scioto County Honors Music Festival will celebrate its 80th Anniversary with a performance by local High School Band, Jr. High Band, and High School Choir students at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, on Tuesday, February 28.

166 local music students in grades 7-12 from Clay, East, Green, Minford, New Boston, Northwest, Oak Hill, Portsmouth, South Webster, Valley, West and Wheelersburg will perform in the music festival this year. Students were required to audition to become members of the Honors Music Festival.

Students will be performing in one group concert. There are 46 members of the Scioto County Junior High Honors Band, 59 members of the Scioto County High School Honors Band, and 61 members of the Scioto County Honors Choir.

The Guest Conductor for the Jr. High Honors Band is Ms. Carol Dunevant, Director of Learning for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She has conducted throughout the United States as well as internationally, including two tours of Japan and as Festival Conductor of the Luhansk Philharmonic for the Luhansk International Music Festival. Her work with the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestras and Nouveau Program provides access to educators and students from 50 schools in a 120 radius.

The Guest Conductor for the High School Honors Band is Ohio musician, music educator, and composer, Dr. Nicole Piunno. Her music has been performed by the Principal Brass Quintet of the New York Philharmonic, Athena Brass Band, The United States Coast Guard Band, Wind Symphony of Clovis, the University of North Texas Wind Ensemble, and at many other universities and conservatories around the country. Her chamber music has also been performed at the Orvieto Musica TrumpetFest in Orvieto, Italy, the International Trombone Festival, and multiple International Trumpet Guild Conferences. In honor of the 80th Anniversary of the Scioto County Honors Music Festival, Dr. Piunno was commissioned to create an original arrangement to be performed by the High School Honors Band and Choir at this year’s concert.

The Guest Conductor for the High School Honors Choir is Mrs. Jeanne Wohlgamuth who currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Columbus Children’s Choir. She serves as President-Elect of the Ohio Choral Director’s Association and Vocal Affairs Chair for the Ohio Music Education Association. She has served as a guest clinician for numerous state and national honor choirs and in 2023 will lead her first choral residency at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Wohlgamuth is proud to have received the Professor Veneta Vicheva International Conductor’s Mastery Award, the Best Conductor award of the Rimini International Choral Competition. She was also awarded the 2020 National Teacher of the Year from the Organization of Kodaly Music Educators.

Music scholarship awards will be announced during the festival.

Sponsors for the Music Festival are: William & Barbara Burke, Mike and Teresa Canter, Marc & Jennifer Cottle, Dr. Paul & Mrs. Carolyn Crabtree, DESCO Federal Credit Union, Glockner Enterprises, Rosalee Greene, Lowell & Nikki Howard, Dr. Robert & Mrs. Chris Knox, Drs. Michael and Mary Martin, Arnold & Wanda McCoy, Debbie McGinnis, Ohio Arts Council, Portsmouth Area Arts Council, PALS, Portsmouth Rotary Club, Scioto Foundation, Shawnee State University, SOMC, and Southern Ohio Rheumatology.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. on February 28. Reserved seating tickets are $10.00 each and are on sale now at the McKinley Box Office, inside the Shawnee State University Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. The box office phone number is 740-351-3600, and its hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and one-hour prior to the concert.

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