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2013 Festival of the Arts



Missouri Military Academy once again hosted its spring Festival of the Arts on April 20 and 21, recognizing and showcasing cadets’ talents and achievements in visual and performing arts. On Saturday night, the Academy celebrated the performing arts during a 2 1/2 hour extravaganza that included the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Chorus and Dramateers.

See photos from the Festival of the Arts.

The Festival of the Arts program opened with the Middle School Band, directed by CPT Josh Yancey, MMA’s Bandmaster. After performances of “Bandroom Boogie,” “Rock n’ Roll Part 2,” and “Latin Fire.” CPT Yancey then recognized the recipients of the middle school band ribbon:

Middle School Band Ribbon: Eugenio Barrera, Chandler Bolinger, Samer Doumit, Juan Hernandez, Antonio Montes, Miguel Quijano, Carlos Ramos, Santiago Sada, Ricardo Salido, Mason Scott, Francisco Siller

Next up was the MMA Chorus, directed by music teacher and Fine Arts department chair MAJ Mike Shoemaker. The chorus performed the reverent “In Flanders Field,” “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky,” and “Brother Will, Brother John,” a solo by senior Richard Massey-Scott. The group then dedicated the song “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” to the Corps of Cadets and finished up with the Huey Lewis pop song, “It’s All Right,” with a special shoutout to LTC Giuseffi’s trademark phrase.

Before the chorus left the stage, MAJ Shoemaker recognized some of his singers’ talent with some awards:

Phillip Russel Award to the Best First-Year Member – Jesus Herrera

Outstanding Contributor to Cadet ChorusRichard Massey-Scott


MMA Jazz Band. Photo Credit: Dillion Brown Dawson

Fine Arts Ribbon – Vocal Music: Kotaro Kasamatsu, Dallas Lopez, Richard Massey-Scott, Jacob Phillips

MMA junior Chad Cardott  performed a trombone solo, “Hasse Suite,” before the MMA Jazz Band, which was developed at MMA by CPT Yancey in recent years, took the stage to finish up the first half of the show. The band performed “Mister Cool,” “Ballad for a Blue Horn,” featuring an alto saxophone solo by Daniel Diaz and rounded up the performance with “All Blues.”

A brief intermission was held before two solo performances took place. Senior John O’Leary performed Chopin’s “Nocturne in C# Minor” on the piano, followed by Daniel Diaz played “Nocturne,” on the clarinet.

The Dramateers then stormed the stage with three short skits: Jabberwocky, Random #42 and X7. The first was adapted and the latter two were penned by Dramateers advisor CPT Jon Griffin. After the performances, CPT Griffin presented drama awards to the following students:

Stribling Dramateer of the Year Award – Ben Mertens

Most Versatile DramateerBlake Bibles

Drama Ribbons

First Year (Ribbon only) – Kane Anderson, Jacob Conyers, Michael Courte, Daniel Diaz, Sebastian Diaz, Alberto Elizondo, J.D. Gonzalez, Blake Gorman, Hugh Harris, Gavin Hendee, Leo Lozano, Kurtis Mennemeier, Kyle Mertens, Chase Osborne, Ricardo Padilla, Jacob Priester, Santiago Prieto, Nick Vanatta

Second Year (Ribbon + Bronze Star) – Tajae Blue, Oliver Fitzgerald, Emeterio Gomez, Jonathan Kirkland, Nicholas Mabbs, Eoghan Matthews, Jacob Phillips, Christian Thomas, Gilberto Villarreal

Third Year (Ribbon + Silver Star) – Blake Bibles, Parker Bridge, Chad Cardott, Richard Massey-Scott

Fourth Year (Ribbon + Gold Star) – John Dillon, Benjamin Mertens

epple memorial art show

Photo Credit: Coetta Brashear

The performances wrapped up with the High School Concert Band’s show – “Miss Liberty’s March,” “Ascend,” “Largo,” and a medley of selections from the Broadway musical Chicago.  CPT Yancey then presented awards to outstanding high school band students:

Crain-Jorischie Jazz Musician Award – Daniel Diaz

John Phillips Sousa Band Award – Jacob Myers

Band Ribbons

First Year (Ribbon only) – Tajae Blue, Jordan Butz, Jacob Conyers, Connor Cunningham, Raul Escarcega, Sean Fitzgerald, David Gu, Gavin Hendee, YunIl Jeon, Joshua John, Maverick Jones, Jonathan Kirkland, Mason Kussman, David Lazcano, Robert Moore, Brennan Morand, Julien Mugabo, Miles O’Keefe, Jason Russell, Jon Snyder, Pedro Tinoco, Hang Zhang

Second Year (Ribbon + Bronze Star) – Blake Bibles, Oliver Fitzgerald, Kotaro Kasamatsu, Jacob Myers, D’Cherion Owens, Detallion Owens, Reed Vaughan

Third Year (Ribbon + Silver Star) – Chadwick Cardott, Austin Teague

Fourth Year (Ribbon + Silver Star) – Daniel Diaz, John Dillon, Cody Olson

Fine Arts Ribbon – Instrumental MusicChad Cardott, Emilio Cueto, Daniel Diaz, John Dillon, Nischal Khanal, John O’Leary, Jon Snyder, Eduardo Valenzo

The weekend events also included the Epple Memorial Art Show in the Charlie Company rec room. Art instructor LT Chris Bain displayed a variety of cadet works of art, including photos, paintings, pencil and other media. Several pieces of art were for sale, with proceeds benefiting the individual cadet artist and the MMA visual art program. During Saturday night’s Festival of the Arts performance, LT Bain recognized several cadets for their exemplary work via the following awards:

Art Achievement Award –Paolo Rosado

Middle School Award – Juan Gonzalez Luna Escoto

Creative Art Award – Jose Estrada,  Omar Sanchez Ibarra 

Fine Arts Ribbon, Visual Art – Kane Anderson, Fernando Blanco, Vincent Burke, Hunter Bush, Francisco Del Rio, Jose Estrada, Jose Refugio Garcia, Nicolas Mabbs, Benjamin Mertens, Francisco Morales, Felix Paz, Paolo Rosado, Khas-Ochir Sod-Erdene, Rodrigo Vilches, Hang Zhang

art show

Epple Memorial Art Show. Photo credit: Coetta Brashear

 Art Ribbon – Juan Aguirre, Byron Amidon, Kane Anderson, Bruno Avataneo, Edmond Biruta, Fernando Blanco, Jose Bours, Vincent Burke, Hunter Bush, Jose Carrillo, Michael Courte, Francisco Del Rio, Sebastian Diaz, Clayton Ebert, Emilio Elias, Jose Estrada, Hayden Fairbanks, Orlando Farias, Juan Ramon Flores, Jose Refugio Garcia, Jose Garcia, Victor Gomez, Roger Gonzalez, Juan Gonzalez, Hector Granillo, Oscar Gutierrez, Blake Gorman, Quentin Heasler, Xinshuai Hu, Sanchez Ibarra, Benjamin Jennison, Jonathan Kirkland, John Kohm, Qi Li, Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj, Nicolas Mabbs, Benjamin Mertens, Francisco Morales, Emilio Nanni, Charles Norman, Pedro Onieva, Ricardo Padilla, Rodrigo Padilla, Felix Paz, Ning Yong Qin, Jonathan Richardson, Paolo Rosado, Sergio Salas, Ivan Salinas, Adam Schmitz, Khas-Ochir Sod-Erdene, Dasheng Sun, Pedro Tinoco, Rodrigo Vilches, Chen Wang, Hang Gao Wei, Oliver Worthington, Jiahao Wu, Andres Zamora, Hang Zhang

The weekend also provided an opportunity to recognize MMA’s student journalists. The following received awards on Saturday night:

Lyle C. Wilson Journalism ScrollDillion Brown Dawson

Pearl Green Whitney Memorial AwardBlake Gorman


Spring Family Weekend Honored Mothers and Grandmothers

IMG_2071  Missouri Military Academy celebrated traditions old and new during the annual Spring Family Weekend April 20-21, 2013. In addition to the Festival of the Arts and the Middle School Science Fair, the weekend took time to honor cadets’ mothers and grandmothers.

Saturday morning’s Mother’s Tea, a tradition that began five years ago and has grown each year, allowed mothers and grandmothers to congregate and make new friends with moms from around the world. The Parents’ Committee also recognized the hard work of parent volunteers who spent time and resources to enhance MMA cadets’ experience at MMA. Parent Committee Chair Cindy Dillon of Colorado Springs, Colo., was recognized by the Committee and thanked for her dedication to the Corps. Her son, Battalion Commander John Dillon, will graduate from MMA in May after five years as a cadet.

On Sunday mothers, grandmothers and the staff and faculty “moms” who were present participated in the Flower Ceremony, a decades-old MMA tradition of pinning a red Spring Family Weekendcarnation on a cadet’s lapel as they stand in formation. The Corps also held a moment of silence as President Tony McGeorge, his wife Joy and representatives of the Parents’ Committee pinned white flowers on the boys whose mothers have passed away.

The ceremony was followed by a Battalion Review. MAJ Dennis Diederich was the reviewing official, along with WO2 Richard Thornton, the Director of Cadet Life and President McGeorge.

On Sunday evening Cindy Dillon was the guest speaker at the Vespers ceremony, during which she shared some of her personal feelings about sending her son to MMA.