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Matt Jones | The Daily Independent John Johnson gives notes as the conductor during practice at Boyd County High School on Tuesday for the Bluegrass Wind Ensemble concert to be held on July 1 at 7 p.m. Johnson is the director and the founder of the ensemble as well as the band director at the school.

ASHLAND The Daily Independent is receiving an honor from Boyd County Middle School's band director.

In the spirit of composer John Philip Sousa and The Washington Post, John Johnson is writing a march titled "The Daily Independent." 

"I wanted to write it as a thank you to The Independent for all it’s done for us," Johnson said.

In 1900, The Washington Post asked Sousa to write a march in conjunction with an essay contest the newspaper sponsored for students. It would be performed at the announcement of the winner.

"Sousa's march put him on the map and put the newspaper on the top," Johnson said.

The Daily Independent is sponsoring an essay contest for middle school students in Boyd County, the winner of which will be announced at the Boyd County Middle School band's Christmas concert on Dec. 7.

Students will receive information about the essay contest through their English teachers. Students are being asked to write about the role newspapers play in their lives and their families' lives.

A winner will be chosen from each middle school in Boyd County. From those five, one grand prize winner will be chosen to receive a gift card from The Daily Independent.

School invited to participate are Boyd County Middle School, Fairview Middle School, Ashland Middle School, Rose Hill Middle School and Holy Family Middle School.

Deadline to submit essays to The Daily Independent is Oct. 29.

Essays may be emailed to lward@dailyindependent.com with Essay Contest in the subject line.

Employees of The Daily Independent will choose the top five essays; the publisher will choose the grand prize winner.

The five finalists will be notified; the grand prize winner will be announced at the Dec. 7 concert by the Boyd County Middle School band at the Paramount Arts Center.

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