Students Take Center Stage at Picquet Music Festival
Students from each of Moore County’s high schools will compete in this year's Picquet Music Festival organized by the Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills.
The Festival will be held Wednesday at National Golf Club in Southern Pines, beginning at noon.
“This is the 30th year of the Picquet Festival and the first for some time that music teachers at each of the four high schools have nominated students to participate,” says Paul Gibson, chair of the Sandhills Kiwanis Picquet Committee. “We're delighted by this support for our club's long-held belief of the important role music can play in education.”
In 1946, Charles Picquet, a charter member of the Kiwanis club and a Sandhills area theater owner, decided to promote a choral songfest at the club's weekly luncheon meetings.
By the early 1950s, the songfest had become a glee-club competition for the area’s high schools with trophies awarded to the most impressive group.
In 1982, the club altered the format so individual student vocalists and instrumentalists nominated by their school music teachers could compete on stage with their peers.
Each year, independent professional musicians serve as judges with the three best students receiving scholarships from the Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills.
The winners also receive trophies.
This year's judges are Homer Ferguson, Deanne Renshaw and Valerie Stancik.
Homer Ferguson is the organist and choirmaster at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Southern Pines.
Previously he taught at Arizona State University and Illinois College and played with the Tempe, Jacksonville and Scottsdale orchestras.
Deanne Renshaw is the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra's principal oboist and teaches at Methodist University and UNC Pembroke.
Valerie Stancik performs, teaches and adjudicates in dance, theater and vocal music.
An accomplished harpist, she won Ireland's O'Carolan Harp Festival in 2009 and appears as a vocal soloist with the North Carolina and Winston-Salem Symphonies.
This year's 11 student nominees are Danielle Cormier, Jacob Daniel, Caleb Garner, Cain Hall, Cynthia Hohman, Sarah Maccio, Eli Ring, Kaitlyn Wagner, Meagan Watkins, Jeremiah Wofford and Jentry Womack.
Danielle Cormier is a freshman at The O'Neal School and has studied music for 10 years. She plays the guitar and sings alto.
Her teacher is Baxter Clement. Her mother is Tracy Cormier.
Her awards include The O'Neal School Fine Arts Award as well as the Kiwanis Award in Language Arts and the Presidential Award, while at West Pine Middle School.
Her musical selection is “Con Te Partirò” by Francesco Sartori and Lucio Quarantotto.
Jacob Daniel, a senior at Union Pines High School, plays the tuba and has studied music for seven years.
His parents are Spencer and Andre Daniel.
Taught by Rob Hill and Davis Clark, Daniel has been the first chair in the All- County, District and State bands, as well as a member of the UNCP Jazz Honors Band.
Daniel will play the first movement of Bruce Broughton's Sonata (concerto) for tuba and piano.
Caleb Garner is a sophomore at North Moore High School, who plays the violin and has studied music for seven years.
Wendy Steslicke is his teacher. His parents are Shane and Angela Garner.
For the past four years Garner has participated in the All-County Orchestra.
His music selection is the first movement of Concerto No. 5 in D major, Op. 22 composed by Friedrich Seitz.
Cain Hall is a junior at North Moore.
Having studied music for two years, he is a bass singer and his teacher is Anne Dorsey.
Angela Hall and Cathy Johnson are his parents.
Hall is a member of the North Moore Community Band and the Moore County Community Band, as well as the Moore County Choral Society and the Community Congregational Church Choir.
Recently Hall was accepted at Governor’s School of North Carolina.
He will sing, “When I Have Sung My Songs,” composed by Ernest Charles.
Cynthia Hohman, a junior at Union Pines, has studied music for eight years and plays the violin.
Michael Jones is her teacher. Her parents are Steven and Mary Hohman.
Besides participating in the school orchestra, Hohman plays with the Moore County Philharmonic and the Carolina Philharmonic Orchestras and also provides music at church services.
For five years she has played with the All-County Orchestra.
Hohman will play the second movement of Sonata No. 4 by George Frideric Handel.
Sarah Maccio is a senior at Pinecrest High School.
She plays the French horn and has studied music for nine years.
Her teacher is James Muccio. Her parents are Patricia and Mark Maccio.
A member of the All- County and District bands, Maccio is a first chair with the UNC Greensboro Honor Band, and for three years, she has played with the UNC Pembroke Honor Band.
She performs with the Community Band, the Moore Philharmonic and attended the Cannon Music Camp at Appalachian State University.
Maccio will perform “Villanelle,” composed by Paul Dukas.
Eli Ring, a senior at Union Pines, is a tenor and has studied voice for six years and classical guitar for eight years.
He studies music with Cathy McCanless, and his parents are Frankie and Marci Ring.
For three years Ring has participated in the All-County Chorus as well as participating in choral workshops at the Methodist University in Fayetteville and at UNC Greensboro.
He will sing, “My Lord What a Morning,” arranged by Mark Hayes.
Kaitlyn Wagner is a junior at Pinecrest.
She has studied music for 12 years and plays the violin.
The daughter of Karen and Richard Wagner, she is taught by Meagan Kinney and Nicole Peragine.
Recently, Wagner attended the Eastern Regionals String Orchestra auditions and is an aspiring composer.
She will play Gabriel Faure's Andante Opus 75.
Meagan Watkins is a junior at O 'Neal, where she is taught by Aaron Vandermeer.
She plays the violin and has studied music for eight years.
She is the daughter of Bill and Tammie Watkins.
A recipient of a Moore Philharmonic Scholarship, she is a member of the Moore Philharmonic's Orchestra and String Ensemble and has participated in the Junior Eastern Regional All-State Orchestra auditions.
Watkins will play Billy Strayhorn's “Take the 'A' Train.”
Jeremiah Wofford, a senior at North Moore, plays the alto saxophone.
A music student for seven years, his teacher is Michael Callicutt.
His mother is Sonya Williams.
Wofford is a member of the UNC Pembroke Band and is first chair with the All-County Band.
He will play Andante Et Allegro composed by André Chailleux.
Jentry Womack, a junior at Pinecrest, is a soprano, who has studied music for eight years and is taught by Erin Plisco.
Her parents are Paula and Fred Womack.
A member of the Pinecrest choral program for three years, she currently serves as the student director for her school's chamber ensemble and sings with the N.C. Honors Chorus.
Last year's winner of the Weymouth Young Musicians Festival, Womack will sing Aaron Copland's “Laurie's Song.”
For more information, visit www.sandhillskiwanis.org.
More like this story