COLUMBUS - Several local youths offered their musical talents as members of All-Ohio State Fair Band and All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir. The groups are based at Ohio State Fair, which started July 25 and ended Sunday.
David Beleny, a senior at Hopewell-Loudon High School, and his brother, Alex Beleny, a sophomore at Hopewell-Loudon, were members of the band.
It was David's second year in the ensemble. He said he was nervous at the beginning of the experience because he didn't know people, but after the first couple of days, everybody made at least one friend.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Alex Beleny (second from right), a sophomore at Hopewell-Loudon High School, participates in All-Ohio State Fair Band during the Ohio State Fair last month.
"Last year was fun," he said.
David said he feels he has become a better trumpet player. He said he opted to return to the band this year because of the fun he had last year and because it is a great experience.
"I've already made more friends," he said July 26.
Off to the fair
Area members of All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir were Christina Arnold and Zoleka Lali, St. Wendelin Catholic School; Isaiah Galvan, Bekah Gippert, Hannah Gippert and Miranda McIntyre, Old Fort High School; Ethan Lynch, Seneca East High School; Ian Roberts, Arcadia High School; and Gunnar Lentz and Lauren Raymond, Lakota High School.
Area members of All-Ohio State Fair Band were Gabrielle Brandt, David Beleny and Alex Beleny, Hopewell-Loudon High School; Gates McGough and Brett Welly, Lakota High School; Matthew Kelbley and Robert Root, Old Fort High School; and Cassi Traunero, Columbian High School. Welly was the winner of the 15th annual All-Ohio State Fair Band Alumni Association Scholarship.
Alex, a tuba player, participated in the band for the first time and said he decided to participate because of all the fun his brother had talked about having.
Also, he decided to join this year so he would have two years with David instead of one.
"We'll tell each other the report times," he said.
Alex said he met a lot of people and made a lot of new friends and called the experience "awesome."
"You do so much, but then you have so much free time. ... It's really enjoyable for everyone," he said.
Cassi Traunero, a junior at Columbian High School, was accepted as a member of the band and choir. She chose to participate in the band.
"I feel like I'm better at playing the flute. ... You're not allowed to do both," she said.
Traunero said the experience was indescribable.
"I made so many new friends, and there was just a lot of things that I got accomplished that I would never get to do here," she said.
Traunero, who wants to be a music therapist, said she plans to reapply next year to participate in the band.
She said her favorite part of the experience was playing all the time.
"It's what I love to do," she said.
Miranda McIntyre, a junior at Old Fort High School, participated in the choir for the second time. She said she joined last year after a friend told her about it and a teacher spoke highly of it.
She said it seemed like an amazing organization, and she wanted to be part of it after she saw a couple of concerts.
McIntyre said participating in the choir is an experience that pulls a participant back, and she is going to go back for her last two years.
"We learn so much music in so little time," she said.
McIntyre said this year was even better than last year, and she got to help new people. She said she made a lot of friends this year.
"You learn a lot musically," she said.