ASHLAND The Boyd County High School band presented the world premieres of two compositions, including one that honors The Daily Independent.

The student musicians took the stage of the Paramount Arts Center Tuesday night for a joint concert with the BCHS choir. The students performed “Safely Rest” by Dr. Nicole Piunno, who was in the audience. Piunno thanked the band as they played a part in making the composition, which combines Amazing Grace and Taps into a new emotional piece, possible.

The band also debuted a march entitled The Daily Independent. Director John Johnson composed the piece as a thank you to The Daily Independent.

“Just let me say I was blown away with the performance of the Boyd County Band and Choir,” said Publisher Lisa Callihan. “When it came time for them to perform ‘The Daily Independent March’ I was beyond excited, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Mr. Johnson did an excellent job writing the march and the band did a wonderful job performing it. We at The Daily Independent are more than grateful for having it. Thank you so much to each and every student and faculty member that performed — your performance was excellent.”

Johnson took inspiration from John Philip Sousa, who famously composed The Washington Post in 1889. The newspaper held an essay contest in conjunction with the new march.

“This march is dedicated to my friends at The Daily Independent for their continued commitment and service to our community,” the dedication reads.

“Those familiar with Sousa’s Washington Post may notice that Mr. Johnson has written a slight tip of the hat to the famous band leader and his newspaper march toward the end of the work,” said Dan Imes, the master of ceremonies for the evening.

The Daily Independent conducted an essay contest for middle school students in the districts located in Boyd County. Two Boyd County Middle School students won gift cards — eighth-grader Madelyn Gibbins and sixth-grader Shelly White. White was present to receive her gift card from Callihan.

Gibbins wrote about the variety of sections in The Daily Independent and how each one is important to the local community and how there is something for everyone.

"In the last 124 years, The Daily Independent has been a source of happiness and information,” Gibbins wrote. “In that time The Daily Independent has kept us up to date with local events and all the other little things communities do through the news section.”

Gibbins likes to work the puzzles and look at the comics. She said the thorough sports coverage leads to more school and community pride and support.

Shelly White shared in her essay about how her family uses The Daily Independent daily to get coupons, laugh at comics and keep up with their community. White herself saw an article about AARF and it inspired her to look into the organization more and attend the shelter’s fall festival.

“I think this is really amazing how reading the newspaper can lead you to find out about new things you might not have known about without it,” said White.

White later added, “Newspaper articles are so much clearer and more informative than Facebook posts.”

Callihan presented the gift cards and thanked Johnson and the band. Callihan was presented with a framed copy of the score which will hang inside The Daily Independent.

Video of the world premiere can be found at dailyindependent.com and on The Daily Independent social media.

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