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Youth talent shines at music guild event

GUILD HIGHLIGHTS — The Ohio Valley Music Guild’s annual dinner meeting held Nov. 20 at the Steubenville Country Club included a performance by area youth who have performed as part of the Ohio Valley Youth Network’s Valley’s Got Talent competitions organized by Bobbyjon Bauman, OVYN president. With Bauman, left, are vocalists, from left, Amelia Collopy, Alexandra Kaine and Olivia Huval; Emmanuel Gessler, who provided piano dinner music; and vocalist Glory Dami. -- Janice Kiaski

The Ohio Valley Music Guild’s annual dinner meeting held Nov. 20 at the Steubenville Country Club was “goosebumps” proof positive that the valley does indeed have talent.

Five area youth with a connection to the Valley’s Got Talent competitions organized through the Ohio Valley Youth Network led by President Bobbyjon Bauman were the performers for the guild’s event, beginning with piano music to dine by courtesy of Emmanuel Gessler, a student at the Franciscan University of Steubenville who was runner-up in the instrumentalist category in the VGT 2017 competition.

The vocalists were introduced by Bauman, director of programming at the Sycamore Youth Center at 301 N. Fourth St., Steubenville. Bauman gave an update on the center and its growth in offering a variety of free after-school programming.

The singers each performed several selections that demonstrated their talent and stage presence, beginning with:

– Olivia Huval of Burgettstown, 2018 VGT soloist winner and an eighth-grader at the Lincoln School for the Performing Arts. I especially liked her performance of “Dream A Little Dream of Me.”

– Amelia Collopy, a seventh-grader at Edison Junior High School and VGT soloist runner-up in 2018, had more than 17,000 Facebook views a year ago, Bauman said, when she performed the classic hymn “How Great Thou Art,” which she performed so beautifully that evening.

– Alexandra Kaine, a Steubenville High School sophomore and VGT soloist winner, younger division 2017, really wowed the crowd with “Gimme Gimme” from “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

– Glory Dami, a junior at West Liberty University studying music education with choral/vocal emphasis and VGT soloist winner 2017, demonstrated versatility — from “Ave Maria” to Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

Marie Wilson, guild president, extended the welcome, thanking the audience for its ongoing partnership in bringing the arts to the community. The guild has hosted three events this year, raising money to support the Grand Theater Restoration Project and to award a scholarship to local music majors.

The evening brought the presentation of the latter as Josephine Irvine-Groves, scholarship chair, presented a grateful Glory Dami with a $1,000 scholarship.

The event was chaired by Toni Dondzila and a committee that included Wilson, Judi Gaynor, Carlotta Jordan, Liz Morelli, Barbara Jean Losey and Matthew Gallabrese.

The guild welcomes new members with annual membership beginning at $20. For information, contact Lil Ferguson, membership drive chairperson, at (740) 264-2232.

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