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Ohio County teen shines through music | Features

Xanthe Hoover can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t involved in music in some way.

The Ohio County High School sophomore has been playing piano since she was seven. In middle school she began playing the oboe, and when she joined the marching band in high school, she added percussion to her musical repertoire.

She also plays guitar, and has performed with the Kentucky Youth Chorale based out of Owensboro. Other memberships include the Owensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Western Kentucky University Honors Band, and All State and All District bands. She is also a finalist for the Governor’s School for the Arts.

To top all of that off, she maintains a 4.0 GPA, and is in the top of her class. At this time she has aspirations to study chemistry and music in college.

“Music became something I fell in love with,” she said, adding that her family has been very supportive of her throughout all of her musical endeavors.

Music has also been a way for her to connect with her sister, Xaia, who also plays piano. The two enjoy performing duets together at their church, Island Baptist Church.

There are so many aspects of music and performance music, which is why she enjoys playing so much, Xanthe Hoover said.

Music also appeals to a lot of people, she said, and it has allowed her to gain a lot of life experience. Her musical performance has taken her to a lot of places, from performing at Canterbury Cathedral in England to Carnegie Hall in New York.

“It’s given me an opportunity to work toward something I’m very passionate about,” she said, adding that having something to work toward has taught her the importance of persistence. “It’s taught me what it’s like to really fall in love with what you do, and how rewarding it can be to push yourself and challenge yourself to be involved.”

Lincoln Rowe, Ohio County High School band director, started working with Xanthe Hoover when she was in seventh grade when she joined the middle school band. Even as a first-year oboe player in the middle school band, Rowe said it became quickly clear that she has a gift.

As she has become more involved with various organizations in the region throughout the years, it has been clear to Rowe that she has an instinct when it comes to musicality. Even with her talent and experience, nothing can substitute her drive and her passion for her craft, he said.

“It is awesome that she has been afforded the opportunity at our school to find her passion in music,” he said. “She is like the poster child for excelling in music.”

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