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CCS Musicians awarded music lessons

Congratulations to Alexandra Pineda, winner of the 2022 Jack Halkides Tribute Fund Award! Alexandra, a Early College Middle School student, was nominated by her teacher Sheri Davidson who recognized Alexandra’s talent and love of music. 

Alexandra will now have the opportunity to sharpen her skills with the help of professional music instructor Julie Sarver, a highly regarded flutist who plays with the Canton Symphony Orchestra. Through the JHTF award, Julie will provide 20 half-hour music lessons during the 2022-2023 school year.

This award was created through the Stark Community Foundation 2017 by a group of musicians, friends, and family of the late Jack Halkides, a local musician, band leader, and music educator. Jack passed away in 2015 at the age of 85, but not before he expressed his wishes that the fund established in his honor be used to support young players of the saxophone, clarinet, or flute – three of his favorite instruments.

Jack was well known in the area for his jazz and band music. He graduated from Canton City Schools, was in the United States Air Force, and was the Chief Deputy for the Stark County Treasurer’s Office for 25 years. During all of that time he played in big bands and small bands, taught music lessons in several Stark County schools, and gave private lessons.

Jack’s wish was that his legacy be a testament to young musicians; he urged them to “Practice, practice, practice.” The Jack Halkides Tribute Fund will assist promising musicians to do just that – with a little help from a local professional musicians.

Alexandra was selected by the JHTF Committee to become the sixth recipient of this honored award. The JHTF Award for 2021-2022 was Savannah Davis. Savannah was in 8th grade when she was nominated, also by music teacher Sheri Davidson. Savannah’s alto saxophone lessons during the 2021-2022 school year were taught by Jackson Local Schools’ instrumental music teacher Joseph Carlson.

JHTF Award nominations are accepted from school music teachers each spring through the Stark County Educational Service Center. JHTF committee members are Kevin DiSimone, Bob Esterle, Rachel Hagemeier, Mike Halkides, Dave Marchione, Tom Piccari and Chair Gail Martino. The district thanks everyone for their support of our musicians.


Gail Martino with Savannah Davis and Alexandra Pineda.