From left, Rotarian Klytia Dutton; Margaret Canseco, first place winner in the music competition; Sophia Ward, first-place winner in the speech contest; and Rotarian Kirk Lambert strike a pose after the local competition. The winners will move on to the area level competition March 28. Photo submitted by Kirk Lambert

Two talented students win in speech and music

The Rotary Club of Portola held its annual Rotary Speech and Music Contest for high school students March 3.

This year’s theme for the Rotary District 5190 contest was “Making Connections as We Create Lasting Change,” according to Matt Cruse, president of Rotary Club of Portola.

The music contest required students to play their choice of music with songs between 3 and 8 minutes long.

Portola High School students gave an excellent performance during this first step in competition, with three students competing in each category.

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Each contest had three judges from the Rotary Club, and the students did their best to dazzle.

Sophia Ward placed first in the speech competition, speaking compellingly about Oscar Schindler during her time in front of the judges, with Sophia Dutton placing second and Micaela Coronado placing third with her speech about Sara Sheridan, Portola Junior/Senior High School principal.

In the music competition, Margaret Canseco, playing trumpet, placed first. Emma Jones of Long Valley Charter placed second on the piano, and Jordyn Crews placed third on the alto sax. Each musician showcased great skill, giving an audible treat to all.

First-place winners in each category took home $100, second place $75 and third place $50.

As first-place winners in their categories, Ward and Canseco will continue on to the area competition where they will compete with students from Quincy, Loyalton and Greenville on March 28 at the Portola Station Church at 10 a.m.

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If the local winners go on to win at the area level, they will be competing with students from all over Northern California and Nevada at the district level at the Nugget Casino in Reno on April 25 for a $1,000 prize.