Thursday, June 14th, 2012
By Shelley Grieshop
St. Henry student a singing success
  ST. HENRY - Garrett Koesters is used to going solo.
Not only has he sung solo performances in public, he often was the lone male voice in the school choir.
"I was the only guy in the choir for two years," the 2012 St. Henry High School graduate said.
Koesters, 19, is one of 14 Ohio students chosen to perform in an honor ensemble June 24 at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
"Garrett has been preparing for an opportunity like this for a long time," said Karen Meiring of Fort Recovery, his vocal instructor the last six years. "He really deserves this experience."
The students chosen for the honor by the National Association for Music Education are considered the top high school musicians in the nation. Koesters and four of the 14 Ohio students will sing with the 144-member mixed choir. Orchestra, concert band and jazz band performances also are scheduled.
Koesters admitted he's a little nervous.
"Before you get there, you have to have every piece memorized," he said. "We only get two days together to practice."
He was a four-year member of the high school choir and drama club, and his talent and outgoing personality landed him leading roles in four high school productions. He was chosen three times for the Ohio Music Education Association District III Honors Choir and twice for the All-State Choir.
Koesters recently starred in the lead role of the local Crescent Players' production of "Honk!" in New Bremen and was cast in the "We the People" dinner theater, an activity planned for St. Henry's 175th birthday celebration in July.
The young man will attend Capital University in the fall and major in vocal performance.
His high school choir director couldn't be prouder of his accomplishments.
"Garrett has worked so hard throughout his high school career and being chosen for this prestigious honor is the culmination of years of hard work," Candy Hemmelgarn said. "We are all so proud of him and his accomplishments."
Koesters, the son of Eric and Vicki Koesters, said he developed his musical interest in junior high.
"I guess that's when I discovered I actually could sing a little bit," he said. "I learned a lot from my music teacher."
He sings baritone but is technically referred to as a bass 1 vocalist. The deep sound produced from such a small-framed young man often surprises people, he said.
"I'm a skinny person. People don't expect the voice," he said.
He considers the trip to the Capitol a privilege. And, just like his school days, he finds himself going solo.
"The other four Ohio kids in the choir are all girls," he said with a laugh.
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