Logan County Music Festival tonight at Lincoln Junior High School
starting at 6:30 p.m.
Junior High School gymnasium
only $1 (free for preschool and senior citizens)
and choir, comprising 249 students from seven schools:
Chester-East Lincoln, Hartsburg-Emden, Lincoln Junior
High School, Mount Pulaski, New Holland-Middletown, West
Lincoln-Broadwell and Zion Lutheran
Guest directors: band -- Tom Philbrick,
director of bands in New Berlin; choir -- Michael Fitch,
director of music ministries at First Christian Church
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[March 29, 2012]
The Logan County Music Festival is
hosted every other year at LJHS, alternating with Hartem Junior
High. The festival is open to all musicians who are considered part
of the participating junior high school band or choir.
With the help of their own
school band and choir directors, the young musicians rehearse
rigorously for this event, starting in early January.
On the day of the festival, they come together and rehearse as a
large group the entire afternoon. As in years past, dozens of
volunteers -- mainly students' parents -- are working tirelessly at
LJHS to ensure that the festival is a big success.
This year the band comprises 161 students, while the choir has 88
Recently I interviewed the Lincoln Junior High school band
director, Mrs. Peggy Larson, to find out about her work and how well
her students do in academics and extracurricular activities.
With great joy she said: "I know that I have the best kids to
teach! They make my job enjoyable and easy. I am truly blessed."
Beaming with pride, she informed me that her students are model
citizens who not only do well in band but also in academics and
extracurricular activities. "For example, of the 20 eighth-graders
in band this year, five are currently honorable mention students,
four are honors students, and seven are high honors students," she
Interestingly, two of these high honors students play drums and
are key players in several of their school sports teams.
Specifically, Garrett Maupin plays in eighth-grade basketball,
football, baseball and track. Kena Bere plays in eighth-grade
basketball, volleyball and softball, and in 2011 she made it to
state in track.
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Reinforcing the high association between music and academic
excellence, Becky Kunken, the band director at Mount Pulaski, said:
"Of our 14 eighth-graders, nine are on the honor roll, and last year
one of them (Elizabeth Siebert) made it to state in track."
In a similar vein, the New Holland-Middletown band director,
Kirsten Larson -- not related to Peggy Larson, the director at LJHS
-- said that this year she has only one eighth-grader. That student,
Kirsten Shelby, who plays the trumpet and is in choir, is a member
of Beta Club, which is akin to honor roll in their school district.
Similarly, the WLB band director said she has two eighth-graders
in her band, and both are in the high honor roll.
The above academic and extracurricular achievements are an
excellent reflection of the caliber of students who will be playing
and singing at the Logan County Music Festival on Thursday. The
students' families, teachers and music directors proudly welcome all
to come, listen and applaud these budding musicians.
[By NJERI MWEDE BERE]
Dr. Bere, associate professor of
social sciences at Lincoln Christian University, is proud parent of
an LJHS band student, Kena Bere.