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Two students receive scholarships during music festival
Two students receive scholarships during music festival

The Scioto County Junior High Honors Band, and High School Honors Band and Honors Choir, performed at the 74th Annual Scioto County Honors Music Festival on March 8, at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts in Portsmouth. During the show each year, two students are awarded music scholarships for the colleges of their choice.

The recipients this year were Dakota Holsinger, of Northwest High School, and Drew Williams, of Portsmouth High School. Both students are planning to study music education at Morehead State University, and each will receive a $1,000 scholarship toward their tuition costs.

Matt Swintek is Williams’ music teacher at Portsmouth High School, and he is the chair for the Junior High Honors Band. He said he is very proud of his student’s success.

“Drew actually just started in band his sophomore year, so he’s come a long way since starting three years ago. I’m really proud,” Swintek said. “My goal has never been to see a student go on to major in music, but when you see that it’s kind of the ultimate flattery. When people ask me why I chose music, for me it was because I wanted to pass on my love of music to my students. Now I know I have passed it on to him and he’s going to pass it on to his students. It makes me feel good."

Music teachers and students from Clay, East, Green, Minford, New Boston, Northwest, Oak Hill, Portsmouth, South Webster, Valley, West and Wheelersburg performed to a full house in this year’s music festival. Dr. Scott Woodard, of West Virginia State University, conducted the Honors Band with 66 members. Dr. Stanley Workman, of Shawnee State University, conducted the Honors Choir with 83 members. Guest Conductor Joshua Boyer led the Junior High Honors Band in their performance.

“I think the festival went great. Every year I think it gets better and better, and last night was, I think, the best that it’s been since I’ve been here. The music selection was great from all three of the conductors,” Swintek said.

The event was coordinated by Sharee Price of the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center and is sponsored by local businesses, organizations and individuals. For more information about the ESC, visit online at, or follow on Facebook and Twitter.