Riverfront Blues Festival program awards four area students

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  • Riley Boltz of Libby receives a baritone euphonium from emcee Suze Sims, right, as Boltz’s music teacher Brenda Nagode looks on Aug. 11. (John Blodgett photos/The Western News)

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    Festival emcee Suze Sims, right, gives a new clarinet to Troy student Shayann Cecelio as her music teacher Sherri Hand watches Aug. 11.

  • Riley Boltz of Libby receives a baritone euphonium from emcee Suze Sims, right, as Boltz’s music teacher Brenda Nagode looks on Aug. 11. (John Blodgett photos/The Western News)

  • 1

    Festival emcee Suze Sims, right, gives a new clarinet to Troy student Shayann Cecelio as her music teacher Sherri Hand watches Aug. 11.

Four Lincoln County students were beneficiaries this year of “Connecting Kids with Music,” a Riverfront Blues Festival program that annually awards musical instruments or scholarships to area youths.

Festival emcee Suze Sims presented two of the students with instruments during a break in festival performances on Saturday, Aug. 11, the second day of the two-day event.

Riley Boltz of Libby received a baritone euphonium while flanked by her music teacher, Brenda Nagode, while Troy music teacher Sherri Hand watched her student Shayann Cecelio be handed a clarinet.

Festival director Johnette Watkins said two more students will soon be awarded: Josephine “Josie” Brown of Eureka will get a flute, while Judith Coblentz of the Eagle Valley Amish community will receive a scholarship for a year of violin lessons.

Expanding the program is a goal, Watkins said. Increasingly, festival sponsors ask that their donations be applied directly to it, she said.

“There are kids that have incredible talent out there and they need help fostering that,” she said.

The program description states that research shows that children who study music do better in school and in life, and are motivated to stay in school.

“The skills gained through music, voice and dance instruction, including self-discipline and the ability to analyze, solve problems, communicate and work cooperatively, are vital for success in life,” states the description.

To learn more about the program, email Watkins at watkinsjg1@gmail.com.

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