|Arts Festival rolls all-county band, choir and art show into one|
|Monday, March 10, 2014 8:00 PM|
By Anne Coburn-Griffis
The art show opened the day at 1 p.m. in the school’s auxiliary room. The exhibit featured artwork in various mediums and as many themes as Putnam County youth could imagine. Fifteen students were awarded blue rosette ribbons for their pieces which were judged best of show.
At 2 p.m., 104 students took to the floor of the school gymnasium for performances of the All-County Choir and 82 students in the All-County Band. According to the Putnam County Educational Service Center, this represents nearly 10 percent of all high school students in Putnam County.
The choir, each dressed in a robe constructed of their home school’s colors, was led by guest director Charles “Chas” Myers, Ottawa. Myers, who retired after 27 years as the Kalida High School band and choir director and now directs the Ottawa Presbyterian Church choir, led the students through five vocal performances. Dane Newlove, guest band conductor for the afternoon and current director of bands and the performing arts department for St. Marys City Schools, directed the band through four instrumental pieces.
The band and choir joined together in a grand finale, a patriotic selection entitled “Salute to Freedom”. Five military service organizations were honored, with representatives from the local VFW participating as well. Veterans in the audience were invited to stand as their branch of military service was announced during the performance.
“The importance of music education cannot be understated,” said Newlove, guest band conductor for the afternoon and current director of bands and the performing arts department for St. Marys City Schools. He congratulated all in attendance, including the audience that filled the gym bleachers. “You realize that Putnam County is very rare in this part of the state for still having a county honor band and a county honor choir. Music teaches so many things that other disciplines cannot. Adding the art show to it just brings so much value.”