Two students achieve awards in fine arts

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The Aquarius Club recognizes high school students who excel in the fine arts with the Arion Award given to a senior who has performed with distinction in vocal music and the Sousa Award for instrumental music.

2014 winners were Grace Millage for the Arion Award and Leo Villarreal for the Sousa Award, both have shown their musical abilities for several years in West Liberty.

Grace Millage is passionate about music. An outstanding vocalist, she has been involved in musical ensembles, high school musicals, the All-State audition process, as well as serving as the pianist for show choirs and show band.

She has also composed music for the West Liberty choir, as well as performed those pieces during various shows.

Leo Villarreal has exhibited dedication to musicianship and serving the band program at West Liberty High School. Leo is a four-year member of concert band and jazz band and has performed on clarinet, tenor saxophone and baritone saxophone.

He has performed in the River Valley Conference Honor Band for four consecutive years, and earned Division I ratings at the 2014 IHSMA solo-ensemble contests. Leo is a student who is constantly striving to improve both his own ability as a musician as well as the musicianship of those around him.

The Arion is the oldest and most prestigious national award for outstanding achievement by high school musicians.

It was established in 1948 to give national recognition to senior class members chosen by their schools. West Liberty High School has given it to a student who excels vocally since 1959.

The Sousa Award is the pinnacle of achievement in a high school band. Introduced in 1955 to honor the top student in the high school band, the John Philip Sousa Band Award recognizes superior musicianship and outstanding dedication.

Aquarius Club has been sponsoring this recognition since 1972.
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