■ The nation's top young opera singers vied for prizes at the 2010 Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition held last month at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts. Nine winners from the competition may soon lend their voices to UK Opera Theatre. Graduate students vied for two top awards, the Alltech Graduate prizes, which include full UK tuition/graduate assistantships, with the first-place winner earning an additional $10,000 cash award and the second place winner receiving an additional $7,500 cash award. The first place graduate winner is Michael Preacely, a baritone from Mount Laurel, N.J., and the second place graduate winner is Mark Elliot Golson II, a bass-baritone who graduated from the UK School of Music and will now pursue his doctorate. The Kentucky Opera prize, which guarantees its winning vocalist a future main stage role with the Kentucky Opera, was also awarded to Preacely.
The undergraduates vied for two top awards presented by Alltech and Bryant's Rent-All. These awards included full UK undergraduate scholarships for tuition, with first place receiving an additional $5,000 cash award and second place receiving an additional $2,500 cash award. The undergraduate first place winner is baritone Jacob Waid, a senior at Paducah Tilghman High School, and the second place winner is tenor Jermaine Brown, a senior at duPont Manual High School/Youth Performing Arts School from Louisville.
Other special awards presented as part of the competition went to: Tenor Francisco Bedoy, a student at the University of Guadalajara from Ayutla, Jalisco, Mexico, awarded the Bio-Cat Inc. "Outstanding Transfer Student" award, a cash prize of $1,000 plus full tuition to UK; soprano Gabrielle Barker, a student at Lafayette High School/SCAPA, awarded the Mr. William L. Rouse III "Barbara Rouse Kentucky Prize" (for a student born or educated in Kentucky), a cash prize of $5,000; soprano Juliana Moura, a student at the University of Louisville from Rio de Janiero, Brazil, awarded the Stoll, Keenon, Ogden PLLC "Gail Robinson Musicianship Award," a cash stipend of $1,500; mezzo-soprano Dawn Elizabeth Coon, a graduate of UK from Versailles, awarded the Dippin' Dots "Audience Favorite" award, a cash prize of $500; and baritone Seongcho Choi, a student at Campbellsville University, was awarded the Barlow Truckline "Encouragement Award," a cash prize of $500.
■ Eastern Kentucky University's Company R-1 of the National Society of Pershing Rifles captured the national championship in competition at Florida State University on March 20. In earning the "Varsity Rifles" title and distinction as the Honor Company of the Society, the EKU team upset the six-time defending national champs to earn the overall title. Nineteen EKU students and faculty adviser Anthony Franke participated. Individual award winners were: Platoon Drill, Robby Rees, first; Platoon Exhibition, Sam Ratliff, second; Squad Drill, Stacy Lonas, third; Squad Exhibition, Adam Renn, second; Color Guard, Rees; Lonas; Laura Amschler and Cory Chatigny, first; Team Exhibition, Rees, Lonas, Renn, Ratliff, first; Dual Exhibition, Renn, Ratliff, first; Kiker Moses, Stephen Tyler, second; Individual Exhibition, Renn, first; Ratliff, second; Individual Drill, Lonas, second; Moses, third.
Other members of the EKU team were: Cody Ashcraft, Kelsey Brewer, Chris Brooks, Dallas Critchfield, Christopher DeLeon, Robert Gray, Steven Jackman, Ryan Kenley, Casey Sprague, Chris Judy and Nick Ulery.
■ Julia Griesbaum, the daughter of Horst and Karen Dodge Griesbaum of Lexington, and Kristine Hilton Bui of Jackson, Miss., received a Silver Medal at the 34th Annual Military School Band Festival held at Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, Va., Feb. 26-28. Griesbaum is a sophomore at Randolph-Macon and plays the flute in the school's 91st Virginia Air Force JROTC Band. The silver medal was awarded in recognition of Griesbaum's selection as the first chair for the flute section. She competed against students from nine different military high schools and colleges to win this honor.
■ The AARP Grandparent Contest winner from Fayette County is Kelsey Hutchison, a fifth-grade student from SCAPA, who was honored on March 10 at a Blue Grass Retired Teacher's luncheon at Clay's Steak House in Paris. Kelsey shared the spotlight with Gage Robinson, a fifth-grade student from Central Elementary in Bourbon County. Fifth graders in both counties are eligible to enter the contest by writing an essay telling why they believe their grandparent is the best grandparent ever.
■ SCAPA Bluegrass was runner-up and Lafayette High School placed sixth in their respective divisions in the Kentucky High School Speech League's state championships. Western Kentucky University hosted the senior speech and debate contests March 11-13 and the junior speech competition March 19-20. SCAPA and Lafayette both compete in the AAA or large-school division. Top results from Fayette County Public Schools follow.
From Beaumont Middle School: Adeline Agtarap, prose, fourth. From Morton Middle School: Harper Toney, declamation, fifth. From SCAPA Bluegrass: Amir Abou-Jaoude, declamation, second; Callie Babcock, storytelling, fifth; Kurtis Brown, broadcast announcing, first, and storytelling, third; Jarod Frank, poetry, sixth; Joel Nelson, broadcast announcing, third; Dylan Rowe, declamation, first, and poetry, second; Katie Swim, solo acting, fifth; Connor VanMeter, extemporaneous speaking, third; Ashley Whaley, extemporaneous speaking, fifth; Alex Francke and Isaac Hines-Williams, improvisational duo acting, second. From Henry Clay High School: Athie Livas, Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate, first. From Lafayette High School: Miles Conger, broadcast announcing, second; Arjay Donaldson, declamation, third; Madeline Carey and Miles Conger, improvisational duo acting, third. From Paul Laurence Dunbar High School: Nicole Schladt, broadcast announcing, third; Maria Wu, declamation, fifth.
■ The Technology Student Association's state conference featured Inventions and Innovations, Graphic Design, Architecture with Animation and more in a wide range of displays and competition.
Southern Middle School set the pace as runner-up in the chapter category, and Lauren Shields of Tates Creek High School was voted in as Kentucky's 2010-11 vice president. Students from Lafayette and Paul Laurence Dunbar high schools also excelled in the state contests March 18-20 in Louisville.
■ The 8th annual Bryan Station Defender Classic 5K Run/Walk is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. April 10 at Bryan Station High School. The race entry fee is $20 and proceeds from the race will benefit several Bryan Station High School student organizations. A pancake breakfast fund-raiser ($5) will follow the race in the school cafeteria. Visit the race Web site at http://defenderclassic5k.home.insightbb.com or contact Skip Rafferty, (859) 489-2211 for more information.
■ Kentucky teachers for grades K-12 are invited to apply for a free training program to help improve their skills in teaching civic education. The program on the U.S Constitution, Bill of Rights and We the People—The Citizen and the Constitution program will take place July 17-24 at Indiana University in Bloomington. The application deadline is April 15. Thirty-three teachers from Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio will be selected to participate in the program. To apply for the institute, visit the Administrative Office of the Courts Web site at www.courts.ky.gov and scroll down to News of Interest.