MHS students earn music awards

Music awards were presented to Mendota High School students during the recent Graduation Concert. Left to right, are Jacob Stohr, Arion Award; Mia Artman, Sousa Award; and Derek Nanez, Becker Award. (Reporter photo by Jennifer Sommer)

MENDOTA – The John Philip Sousa Award is the highest honor given in instrumental music at Mendota High School. The recipient of this year’s award was chosen by her peers. Senior band student Mia Artman was recognized for outstanding achievement and interest in instrumental music, for loyalty and cooperation, and for generally displaying the high qualities of conduct that school instrumental music strives to impart.

This is the 63rd year the Sousa Award has been given at MHS. This year’s winner will receive a desk piece and will have her name inscribed on a wall plaque, which is displayed in the band room.

Artman will be pursuing music education with an emphasis on instrumental music at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where she will be part of the UWW Marching Band. She is the daughter of Jason and Tori Artman.

The Arion Award for choral was presented to Jacob Stohr. Choir students vote for this award and the following characteristics are set forth by the Arion Foundation: cooperation over and above normal duties; musicianship and performance; attendance; ambition; diligence; inspiration to others; personal habits; qualified to carry on the best traditions of our school; the candidate has at least a 3.0 cumulative average in school.

Stohr will be attending Illinois State University in the fall to pursue degrees in vocal performance and music education. He is the son of Jeff and Lillian Stohr and the late Georgia Stohr.

Also, Artman and Stohr both received the Elias-Setchell Music Scholarship in the amount of $500 each. First consideration of the scholarship is to a music major.

MHS sophomore Derek Nanez was named as the recipient of the John Becker Memorial Award. Nanez was included on a list of candidates chosen by the band faculty and then band officers made the final selection through a confidential ballot. As the 38th recipient of this award, he will receive a personal plaque and will have his name inscribed on a wall plaque, which is displayed in the band room. He is the son of Amador Nanez and the late Rosalva Nanez.

John Becker was a sophomore trombone player in the Mendota High School Concert Band. He was devoted to the study of trombone and the MHS band program. He was a serious student in school, an honor roll student, and held very high expectations for himself and the band. He was well liked and respected by both students and faculty. John passed away suddenly in November of 1981, at which time this memorial award was established. The award goes to a sophomore boy or girl who most exemplifies those qualities possessed by John.

The music awards were announced during the recent MHS Graduation Concert.

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