By: Wayne Allen
March 20, 2013
The 71st Annual Scioto County Honors Music Festival took place Tuesday evening, March 5, at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. High school students auditioned to become part of the choir or 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 high school band and Emily Harner, choir director at Wheelersburg High School, was the chairperson for the choir. Choir and band directors worked together to make the performance a great success.
Guest conductors for the Honors Band and Choir were Steven Barnett and Dr. Greg Detweiler, respectively. Both of these distinguished conductors are highly-esteemed in their fields. Mr. Barnett is the Director of Bands and Professor of Music at Marshall University. Dr. Detweiler is the Director of Choral Activities at Morehead State University, where he conducts the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir.
For the fifth year, there was also a performance by the Jr. High Honor Band just prior to the High School concert. The Jr. High Band rehearsed with and was directed by Mr. David Bare. The chairperson for the Jr. High Band was Mr. Travis Pierce of New Boston High School.
Students and teachers from Clay, East, Green, Minford, New Boston, Northwest, Notre Dame, 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 The Scioto Foundation, General Electric Peebles Test Operation, Portsmouth Rotary Club, Richard D. Marting Foundation, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Portsmouth Area Arts Council, Portsmouth Kiwanis Club and Shawnee Animal Clinic.
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 Brittany Keys of Sciotoville Community School, who won the Vocal Music Scholarship and Mitchell Richardson of South Webster High School, who won the Instrumental Music Scholarship.