CONTINENTAL—Talented students from
all nine school districts displayed works of breathtaking visual art,
and the county choir and the county band performed musical selections
that were simply amazing at the fourth annual Putnam County Arts
Festival. As one patron noted, “This is the Super Bowl of the
Putnam County art world!”
The event was held Sunday, March 12, at
Continental High School. The Putnam County Educational Service Center
sponsored the festival, which was funded through the Ohio Arts
Council. Gary Herman and Melissa Basinger, Curriculum Coordinators at
the ESC, co-coordinated the event.
Elementary students’ artwork lined
the hallways leading to the Irene Casteel Auditorium, where the high
school students’ objets d'art were located. Philip Sugden, the
Gallery Director of the Grace Albrecht Gallery at Bluffton
University, and an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Bluffton
University, was the guest judge for the high school entries. He had
commented to Ms. Basinger about the excellent quality and
craftsmanship of the pieces; he believed they were comparable to
college-level work. Sugden selected 15 works that were awarded “Best
of Show” rosettes, created by: Breanne Eickholt, Destinee Keefer,
Hannah Troyer (two awards), and Parker Wildermuth (Continental);
Lindsey Sellman and Devyn Wiechart (Fort Jennings); Racheal Basinger
(Kalida); Maranda Barger, Kylie Niese, Makenna Ricker, and Tiffany
Welty (Miller City-New Cleveland); Megan Burgei (Ottoville); and Keri
Burkhart and Logan Scoles (Pandora-Gilboa).
Each of the nine Putnam County School
Districts’ respective directors selected high school students to
participate in the band and choir. The groups met on just three
occasions to rehearse prior to their performances on Sunday; two
practices were held at Bluffton University.
The choir’s guest conductor was Dr.
Mark J. Suderman, Professor of Music and Director of Choral
Activities at Bluffton University. The vocalists performed five
songs, including “Blackbird,” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Carolyn McDaniel accompanied the choir. Sixteen students received
their four-year participation plaques: Noah Oglesbee, Alyssa
Ridinger, and Gracyn Stechschulte (Columbus Grove); Danica Basinger
(Kalida); Rebekah Flores (Leipsic); Brooke Beach, Alex Heebsh, Alex
Hoehn, Gage Hoehne, Lilly Joseph, Jeffrey Kaufman, Amanda Sahloff,
Jake Schriner, Abby Stechschulte, and Nicole Teffenhardt
(Ottawa-Glandorf); and Maizee Brinkman (Ottoville).
Dr. Roy Couch, Director of Bands and
Recruiting Coordinator for the Department of Music at Bluffton
University, served as the band’s guest conductor. Their five
musical selections included an intricate piece, “Undertow.”
Thirteen students received their four-year participation plaques:
Noah Ebling, Madeline Flores, Josh McCauley, and Leah Myerholtz
(Columbus Grove); Devyn Wiechart (Fort Jennings); Hannah Kahle
(Kalida); Griffin Brinkman, Griffin Burwell, Corrine Halker, and Brad
Schmitz (Ottawa-Glandorf); Rebecca Violet (Ottoville); and Wade
McCullough and Kyle Verhoff (Pandora-Gilboa).
The musical show concluded with a
combined choir and band performance of “Salute to America’s
Finest,” a selection that had been arranged especially for the arts
festival. Four Continental veterans presented the colors as all
branches of the United States Armed Forces were honored.