Missouri Military Academy honored outstanding cadets in fine arts (choir, pipers, band, private music lessons, visual arts, and theater arts) on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. in Memorial Chapel on campus.
Fine Arts Department chair and art teacher Cheryl Morris welcomed cadets to the assembly, congratulated them on their achievements, and reminded them of the importance of arts in their middle school and high school education.
“Whether it is music, art, theater - you have an opportunity to create, express and be a part of something bigger than yourself. You should take great pride in your accomplishments,” Morris said. “Take what you have learned and apply it to whatever you choose to strive for. Being creative and thinking outside the box helps in all areas of your life. The arts are essential … deeply connected to almost every other aspect of our lives and to other subjects that we study in school.”
She also noted that that schools that integrate arts into their curriculum show improved student performance in math, English, critical thinking, and verbal skills.
In closing remarks, MMA President Brigadier General Richard V. Geraci, USA (Ret) encouraged cadets to become as creative as they can.
“The more creative you are, the better critical thinker you will become,” he said. He reminded cadets that through honing critical thinking skills, MMA aims to teach cadets how to think, not what to think. “(Fine arts and creativity) can help you learn to make good decisions, work through problems, and learn how communicate more effectively,” he said, also pointing to how the arts can build confidence as cadets expand their comfort zones.
He noted that Cadet Anthony Melick arrived late to the assembly, having also played in a baseball game the same evening. “We encourage you to explore multiple talents,” said Geraci. “Get involved in as many things as you can here. We will help you manage your time.”
“I want you to know how very proud of you we are and that the time you spend in the fine arts department is time well-spent,” he added.
Watch video of the 2022 Fine Arts Awards Assembly.
2022 Stribling Dramateer Award: Cadet Gage Blanton from Newburg, Missouri, selected for his constant great attitude, willingness to work, and never showing signs of idleness. The Stribling Dramateer award is given in honor of Charles Stribling III, English faculty member, past president of MMA, and Board of Trustees chairperson.
Philip Russell Outstanding Contribution to Chorus Award: Cadet Lucas Sydlewski from Houston, Wisconsin. This award is given in honor of MMA alumnus Philip Russell ’68.
State Music Gold Award: Cadet Lucas Sydlewski from Houlton, Wisconsin
Crain-Jorishie Jazz Musician Award: Cadet Evan Schreyer from Dallas, Texas. This award is given in honor of two Jeff’s from MMA past: band commander Jeffrey Crain ’76 and Jeffrey Jorishie ’76. This award is for the most outstanding member of the jazz band.
Streep Brothers Band awards are given in recognition of active participation in music performances, studies, loyalty, punctuality, and qualities for a good band member. The award is given in honor of Byron Streep ’29, Foster Streep ’30, and Dale E Streep ’41.
- Streep Brothers Band Award for 12th grade: Cadet Aaron Huynh from Prestonsburg, Kentucky
- Streep Brothers Band Award for 11th grade: Cadet Anthony Melick from Overland Park, Kansas
- Streep Brothers Band Award for 10th grade: Cadet Landon Meyer from Moberly, Missouri
John Philip Sousa Award: Cadet Peter Didicher from Hinsdale, Illinois. The John Philip Sousa Award for Outstanding Contribution to Band is a national award, awarded to the cadet who has given outstanding contribution to the band.
Col. Paul F. Cherches Memorial Award: Cadet John Carlos Ahuja from Fayetteville, Arkansas, given to the most valuable member of the band. It is dedicated to the gift of music and open to all cadets in the music program. Col. Cherches was the MMA director of music from 1950 to 1989.
The Pipe Major’s Bagpipe Awards
- Best Beginner: Cadet Gabriel Hood from Sullivan, Texas
- Best Intermediate: Cadet Mason Brooks from Henrietta, Texas
- Best Advanced: Cadet Nathaniel Espinoza from Miami Beach, Florida
Jack Meyers Cup: Cadet Isaac Krentz from Berlin, Wisconsin, awarded for the most creative cadet in fine arts whose talent is shown in many different areas, such as art/choir or band/drama. Given in honor of John F. (Jack) Meyers, alumnus from ’39, who was also a music producer for ABC.
Congressional Art Contest Award: Cadet Roy Kioko from St. Louis, Missouri
Larry Anthony Art Helper Award: Cadet DeKoven Martin from Crowley, Texas. Given in memory of Larry Anthony, a true friend of MMA arts. “Helping a person will not necessarily change the world but it will change the world for that one person.”
Middle School Art Achievement Award: Cadet Easton Nance from Derby, Kansas
High School Art Achievement Award: Cadet Alejandro Mercado from El Paso, Texas
Creative Art Award: Cadet Skyler Hineman from Raymore, Missouri, given to the cadet who has shown the most creativity in art classes.
Senior Portfolio Award: Cadet Battuguldur Battur from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, awarded to an individual who has built over time a portfolio that would be respectable to show as a strong example of their talents.
Alumni Association Award for Most Outstanding in Art: Cadet Jose Lopez Rodriguez from Xalapa, México, given in honor of Javier Campuzano ’82. This award is given to the cadet who has shown outstanding capabilities in all art mediums. Campuzano designed the bronze hands sculpture, natatorium bronze plaque, and bronze Stribling sculpture on display on MMA’s campus.
See more photos on MMA's Flickr account.