OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego High School Music Department has recognized three students as “Musicians of the Month” for January.
Recognized for their outstanding talent and contributions were Jacqueline Hondro, Emilie Benigno and Thomas James Jr.
Senior Hondro, daughter of Tina and Mark Hondro, currently plays first flute and piccolo in the Wind Ensemble and in her spare time has learned Alto Saxophone which she plays in the Concert Band.
She has earned positions, through competitive auditions, in the 2010 Oswego County Music Educators All-County Band and she has earned a position in the 2010 NYSSMA Area All-State Band.
She was the Drum Major this past year for the Marching Buccaneers and has been a member of the Marching Buccaneers for four years.
One of the more prestigious honors she has earned is being accepted into the 2010 Army All-American Marching Band where she performed in the half time show at the All-American Bowl Game.
She continues to make significant contributions as a musician and leader in all of the ensembles here at the high school.
Hondro has a multitude of interests including being a member of the Girl Scouts for 12 years where she earned a Girl Scout Gold Award.
She has been taking dance classes and performing for more than 11 years. She has also been a member of the Winter Guard here at the high school for the past four years. As a student here at OHS, she has maintained a high grade point average and has been in the “Top 25” throughout school.
She is currently in the “Top 10” academically in the senior class.
She is also a member of the National Honor Society and has also been accepted into the New Vision Allied Health Program.
She is planning to attend medical school to become a pediatric oncologist and if she has time minor in music.
Junior Benigno, daughter of Gisele and Anthony Benigno, is currently the assistant concertmistress in the OHS Symphonic Orchestra, the principal clarinetist in the OHS Wind Ensemble and a member of the Marching Buccaneers.
In addition to performing with the Oswego High School ensembles, she is a member of the violin section of the Syracuse Symphony Youth Orchestra, Oswego County Youth Orchestra and the Lafayette String Quartet.
Her scores of a perfect All-State level 6 – 100 on violin and 99 on clarinet at the NYSSMA solo festival last spring gave her the opportunity to be selected for both the All-State Symphonic Orchestra and All-State Symphonic Band.
To be selected for one All-State ensemble is an honor but it is quite the musician that is selected for two ensembles on two different instruments.
This is a testament to the work ethic and dedication that she displays in all her endeavors.
This fall, she was the clarinet section leader for the Zone 4 Area All-State Band in Rome and this spring she will perform on violin in the Zone 3 Area All-State orchestra at Ithaca College.
She has been a yearly member of the Oswego County All-County orchestras and bands.
In addition to her many musical honors, she maintains a high academic average and has been on the highest honor roll in all of her years at OHS.
She has been awarded high academic achievement awards in both math and French and is a member of the OHS National Honor Society.
Her interests outside of school include reading and drawing.
She plans on majoring in music education and possibly composition, but is still exploring which college she will select to pursue her passion.
Senior James, son of Thomas and Mary Jane James, is currently the principal percussionist in the Wind Ensemble and has been a member of the Marching Buccaneers for the past four years.
He has also performed with the Symphonic Orchestra, the Pep Band, and has playing in the Pit Band for the High School Musical. He has also earned positions, through competitive audition, in the All County Band each of the last three years, as well as being accepted into the Zone 4 Area All State Band each of the past three years.
He was also accepted to the 2010 Area All State Orchestra that will take place in March.
In addition to performing with the Oswego High School ensembles, He has also performed with the Allegro Youth Wind Ensemble at Syracuse University, the CNY All Star Percussion ensemble, and has performed with the Syracuse Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps.
Recently, he performed in U.S. Army All-American Marching Band.
In addition to excelling in the music program, he excels in the classroom as well. He has been a member of the National Honor Society for the past three years. He received “High Honors and 10th grade and received “Highest Honors” in 9th, 11th, and 12th grade.
He has many interests and activities he participates in outside of school. He is an avid sports fan and regularly follows the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies, Syracuse Orange, Ohio State Football, and the Buffalo Sabres.
He also serves the community by keeping score at the St. Paul’s Leprechaun Basketball League and playing drums and hand bells at St. Paul’s Church and Newman Center.
He is still in the auditioning process for college but is planning on majoring in music or engineering.