Lakota East and Lakota West recently had a total of 13 students selected to be a part of the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) All-State Jazz Ensemble. Overall, only 20 musicians make up the ensemble. Four Lakota East students were also named alternates.
“It is exciting to see OMEA recognize seventeen of our musicians, including members and alternates, as some of the best high school jazz musicians in Ohio,” said Todd Hartman, jazz ensemble director at both Lakota West and Lakota East.
The students were selected through CD auditions.
Students selected from Lakota West include David Albanese (percussion), Charles Dong (trombone), Brian Ellerman (percussion), Max Greenberg (piano), Stephanie Klunk (bari saxophone), Eric Lechliter (trumpet) and Jason Threm (tenor saxophone).
Students selected from Lakota East include Marie Knueven (bass), Zach Schork (guitar), Megan Manley (trumpet), Alex Hanavan (trumpet), Travis Martin (trombone) and Michael Dudley (trumpet).
The alternates are Melissa Lower (trumpet), Chris Griffin (saxophone), Jeremy Bright (bass) and Erin McNally (piano).
“Being selected to perform with the OMEA All-State Jazz Ensemble is a tremendous accomplishment and honor for our students,” Hartman said.
“They will have a fantastic experience, and all of the students in our jazz program will benefit from their experience because they will return able to share positive elements from their rehearsals and performance.”
Extracurricular activities, such as music and athletic programs, could be cut from Lakota Local Schools if it does not pass its 10-year, non-continuing, 7.9-mill emergency levy on the November ballot.
“If the levy does not pass, the school district threatens to cut jazz band. There are many, many talented kids in the Lakota schools who participate in jazz band,” said Anna Lechliter, Lakota parent. “As a parent of one of them, I am so proud of all of these kids and in awe of their talent, and in great appreciation of their instructors.”