West Jeff High School music award winners announced

Benjamin Osborne

(Posted May 26, 2020)

The Jefferson Local Schools music department recently announced the Class of 2020 award winners.

The Louis Armstrong Jazz Award went to senior Benjamin Osborne. The award is given to the outstanding musician in the jazz band. Osborne is a saxophone player and has performed on soprano,  alto and baritone saxophones. He has been a member of the concert, jazz and marching bands

“Ben has earned this award because of his hard work in jazz band and his ability and interest in improvisation. We will miss his leadership next year,” said Elmer Broecker, director of bands for grades 6-12.

The John Phillip Sousa National Band Award went to seniors Celina Jeffers and Calista Wallace. The award is presented to outstanding musicians in the concert band for service above and beyond and the ability to solo in front of the band.

Jeffers has been a member of the concert, jazz, and marching bands. Her major instrument is clarinet, but she has also played piano and alto saxophone in the jazz band. Additionally, she has competed in Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) solo events.

“Celina has had a love of music since she started in middle school band. Her hard work and dedication have earned her a music scholarship at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She has been a leader in our program for many years,” Broecker said.

Calista Wallace

Wallace has been a member of the concert, jazz and marching bands. She has been a featured soloist with the marching band and jazz band and has played “Taps” and the “Star Spangled Banner” for a countless school and community events. She has worked very hard at her trumpet sound and has an interest in joining the military.

“Calista has had a maturity about her trumpet playing since early on in her career,” Broecker said. “We have counted on her to be the leader of the trumpets for many years. She is the youngest trumpet I ever trusted to do ‘Taps’ on her own and has taken a lot of pride in what it means to play that last tribute. We will miss her leadership and trumpet playing in all our bands next year!”

The 2020 National School Choral Award went to Jeffers. The award is the highest honor for high school choral performers. It recognizes the dedication, musical achievement and character of the top choral student.

Celina Jeffers

Jeffers has been a member of every choir at West Jefferson and has competed in OMEA vocal solo events many times. She served as a section leader multiple years in chamber choir. She also has been a member of the musical cast every year of high school.

“From Day 1 of choir her freshman year, Celina brought her voice, enthusiasm, spunk and all-in hard work to choir rehearsal,” said Rachel Armas, director of choral activities for grades 7-12 and general music for grade 6. “She went above and beyond to serve her fellow choir students, help foster community, and make the choirs the best they could be. She worked to master singing through participation in solos and ensembles, honor events, sharing her joy for music everywhere she went.”

Jeffers also earned the Outstanding Music Award for West Jefferson High School. This award is given to the truly outstanding individual who has been a member of the band and choir programs. Jeffers has played, sung and danced her heart out for the good of the West Jefferson community, say her instructors.

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