Emily Gokey, a clarinet player in the Owen-Withee High School Band, received the John Philip Sousa award at the Band Pops Concert on May 13. The John Philip Sousa award is given annually to the Outstanding Senior in the band. It is the most prestigious award for high school band students nation-wide, given in recognition of superior musicianship, leadership, dependability, and loyalty, the high qualities of conduct that school instrumental music requires.
Emily has been very active in the band program throughout high school. She qualified for the State Solo and Ensemble festival on a clarinet solo each year of high school, and also went to state on several small ensembles, piano solos, and numerous large ensembles. She was a three-time Cloverbelt All-Conference Band selection, and was the pianist in the jazz ensemble. Emily is the daughter of Brad and Jean Gokey of Owen.
Another outstanding senior musician, trumpeter Jessica Hurlebaus, received the U. S. Marine Corps Semper Fidelis Band Award. This award recognizes diligence, dedication and musical excellence as a high school band musician and soloist.
In addition, a number of other band students received awards and recognition at the concert. Among these were Cody Funk, an eighth grade trumpet player, who received the “Most Improved” award for the Junior High Band, along with Kelly Renderman, a freshman percussionist, and Joanna Riihinen, a sophomore percussionist, who received the “Most Improved” awards for the Senior High Band. Eight graduating seniors were recognized for their contributions to the band throughout their high school careers. This year’s seniors are Samuel Maki (flute), Aleyna Goerlitz (bassoon), Emily Gokey (clarinet), Julia Schmelzer (clarinet), Kenadi Batchelor (alto saxophone), Jessica Hurlebaus (trumpet), Megan Kelsey (trumpet) and Kyle Henke (tuba).