• 46°

Local high school student to represent Ohio abroad

PROCTORVILLE — Joseph Knagenhjelm, son of Dena and Robert Blevins of Proctorville, has been selected to represent his community and the state of Ohio in the nationally acclaimed Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus.

Joseph is a freshman at Fairland High School and has played the tuba in the band under the instruction of Keith Carper, Fairland’s band director, since sixth grade. He has been a member of the Fairland High School Marching Band since seventh grade playing the sousaphone.

Joseph’s most recent musical accomplishments as a ninth grader include achieving first chair tuba in both the All County and All District Bands. He also received an award for first place in the brass division of the Marshall University S.C.O.R.E.S. competition.

He was sixth chair in Marshall University’s John Marshall Honor Band. He auditioned and was selected to serve in the Fairland Varsity Vocal Choir for this upcoming school year.

He was inducted into MU Alpha Theta, a national high school mathematics honor society. He went to district with his science project and he achieved a 3.5 average for the year.

Joseph will join other select student musicians representing nearly every state that were carefully screened and chosen after a rigid character and musical evaluations.

The Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus will begin its 2013 European Concert Tour. It has received international acclaim for its exemplary success in achieving outstanding cultural relationships with European countries.

The program has also received letters of commendation from former United States Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush as well as former Under-Secretary-General to the United Nations Dick Thornburgh, former Governor of Pennsylvania and U.S. Director of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge and Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Joseph will experience the cultures of six countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and Luxembourg. He will perform with the band in some of Europe’s finest concert halls and major cathedrals during the 23-day concert tour.

Students who qualify for The Sound of America membership are responsible for all costs involved with this musical and educational opportunity.

Those who wish to sponsor Joseph can make donations payable to The Sound of Music with “donation” in the memo portion of a check for tax deduction eligibility. Otherwise the donation can be payable directly to Joseph Knagenhjelm.

Either donation type needs to be mailed to 33 Township Rd. 334, Proctorville, OH 45669. Arrangements can also be made to obtain the gift in person. For questions, call 304-633-7917 or The Sound of America (717)245-2826. The website is www.sounclotamerica.org

Joseph and his parents said they thanked God for answered prayer in allowing this experience. Also, they wanted to thank to Fairland High School band director Keith Carper, Assistant band director Mrs. Frasher, Asst. Principal Mr. Bradley, and Joseph’s grandparents Bill and Birdie Doersam as well as Sam Appleton, and Scott and Mark at Rt. 60 Music in Barboursville.