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VAN WERT - On Sunday, Jan. 20, the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) presented a concert featuring area high school musicians in the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. The Van Wert High School Music Department hosted the OMEA District 3 High School Honors Festival. More than 200 high school musicians were selected for a Jazz Ensemble, Concert Choir and Concert Band from 500 applicants from Paulding, Van Wert, Mercer, Auglaize, Allen, Putnam, Hardin and Hancock counties.

The students were accepted to this honor in November after completing an audition process. The students rehearse on three Saturdays to prepare for the concert.

The Jazz Ensemble was under the direction of John Stetler (Elida High School) and Dave Sycks (Bluffton High School). The guest conductor for the choir was Frank Bianchi of Baldwin Wallace University, while the guest conductor for the band was Dr. Richard Miles of Morehead State University.

Members of the Van Wert High School Music Department who participated in the Honors Choir included: James Defore, Jacob Hoverman, Morella Mills, Hunter Munroe, Jakob Schaufelberger and Mckenna Stittsworth.

Jacob Hoverman was honored separately as the recipient of the BoydLoughridge scholarship. One scholarship is given to one member of each ensemble to encourage the student to make music a lifelong endeavor.