By Dawn Hatfield
WEST MILTON — On Saturday, Jan. 29, music students from across District 11 gathered at Milton-Union School High in West Milton for the 2022 OMEA Solo and Ensemble event.
The Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) is the third largest of the 52 federated state affiliates of NAfME, The National Association for Music Education. OMEA members are involved at all levels of music education, serving more than 1.8 million public school students in over 600 public school districts and 50 colleges and universities in Ohio. District 11 consists of Champaign, Darke, Logan, Miami, and Shelby counties.
Three students, hailing from Greenville High School, were among the performers. Under the private tutelage of Dennis Wein and high school band instruction of Carl Phlipot, all three students earned superior (I) ratings on their solo performances.
Carson Henry, a sophomore at GHS, has been playing music for a long time. Beginning piano in third grade and alto sax in fifth, he practices in the school jazz band and by taking private lessons. This year marked Henry’s first OMEA event. Although nervous, he said he felt confident regarding his sax performance but was more unsure of his piano playing. To his delight, Henry received a superior (I) rating on each of his solo performances.
Senior, Luke Hocker, has also been playing alto sax since grade five. Hocker is an old pro at OMEA events stating this year was his fifth time attending. When asked if he still gets nervous he said, “Mr. Phlipot made us play in front of our class, and that was way worse than performing at the event.”
Fellow jazz band player and OMEA performer, Mollie McClear added that it is much more nerve-racking to play in front of people you know than to a room full of strangers. “Friends,” she said, “you really care what they think of your playing.”
Hocker and McClear both agreed Mr. Phlipot’s tactic was a great success in helping them rid themselves of any jitters during the actual event.
Hocker, who first debuted at OMEA in seventh grade, also received a superior (I) rating on his alto sax solo performance.
McClear, a GHS senior, has played piano since seventh grade, taking private lessons and playing in the school’s jazz band as well. This was her fourth OMEA event. She said she had been working on her performance piece since July of last year and felt confident in her skills. She, too, received a superior (I) rating at the OMEA event.
All three students share music instructors Dennis Wein of Greenville and Carl Phlipot of Greenville High School. They expressed thanks to their teachers for helping them achieve such great success.
Dawn Hatfield covers education stories for The Daily Advocate. Have a school-related event to share? Reach out by email at [email protected] or by phone at 937-569-0066.