Two deserving students, Joel Caniff of Minford High School and McKenna Howard of Wheelersburg High School, each received a $1,000 scholarship to attend the university of their choice where they will be studying music.
The scholarships are awarded annually as part of the Scioto County Honors Music Festival, and while the festival did not take place this year due to pandemic restrictions, the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center was still able to award music scholarships.
“We are fortunate to have such amazingly talented students and while it was disappointing to have to cancel the music festival this year, we plan to be back next year with three great guest conductors and a wonderful concert for our community,” said South Central Ohio ESC Gifted Services Coordinator Sharee Price.
McKenna Howard has been accepted to Cleveland State University where she plans to study music education. She hopes to become a high school music teacher. McKenna auditioned for and was selected to be part of the Scioto County Honors Music Festival Choir for the past three years. McKenna has been active in the Wheelersburg High School music department, participating in five high school musicals and as a four-year member of Select Choir. She has been a teacher for the Dorothy Knost Music Workshop for three years, sings in her church choir, is a member of Key Club at Wheelersburg High School, and has been part of the Portsmouth Area Children’s Theater group for eight years. She also volunteered to work for the Portsmouth Area Arts Council during the summer of 2019. She hopes to impact future generations with the power of music by becoming a high school music teacher.
McKenna’s choir director at Wheelersburg High School is Emily Harner.
“McKenna has been an asset to our top performing group for the past four years,” Harner said. “I’m so very proud of her and will certainly miss her when she graduates, but I know she will go on to have great success as a future music educator.”
Joel Caniff has been accepted to The Ohio State University where he intends to pursue an undergraduate degree in Music Education and then continue into a Master’s program. He hopes to eventually teach music at the collegiate level and tour as a music clinician. Joel’s primary instrument is saxophone and he has been a member of the Scioto County Honors Music Festival for the past five years. He has been active in the Minford High School music department, holding the position of section leader for the saxophones and as Field Commander for their marching band, as well as being a member of the choir. Joel is a member of the National Honor Society, the Ohio University Community Band, the Greater Huntington Symphonic Band/Jazz Band, and the Huntington Blues Society.
Joel’s band director at Minford High School is Adam Porter.
"I can't begin to tell you how excited and proud I am of Joel for receiving the Honors Music Festival Scholarship,” Porter said. “Joel continually amazes me with his musical ability and incredible work ethic. I can't wait to see what he is able to accomplish in the coming years."
Sponsors for the Music Festival included The Scioto Foundation, GE Aviation/ Peebles Test Operation, Portsmouth Rotary Club, Richard D. Marting Foundation, Southern Ohio Medical Center, William and Barbara Burke, DESCO Federal Credit Union, IPA Source LLC, Mrs. Rosalee Greene, Dr. Michael and Mrs. Mary Martin, and Dr. Wayne and Mrs. Saundra Wheeler.
For more information about the South Central Ohio ESC, find them online at www.scoesc.org
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