NELSONVILLE – The first recipients were recently announced of a new scholarship established in the memory of two respected longtime area music teachers, according to a news release from the First United Methodist Church Nelsonville.
Mary Jane McKinley and Katie McCoy began their trailblazing careers in southeast Ohio in the 1950s teaching music, directing bands, leading choirs and serving communities.
McKinley, born in 1927 in Portsmouth, graduated from Valley Local High School in Lucasville and Ohio University in Music Education.
McCoy, born in 1923, graduated from Peebles High School, Capital University School of Music, and Ohio University with a master’s degree in music education. Although Nelsonville became home, in addition to Nelsonville area schools, their careers include a combined list of teaching positions in Man, W.Va., Williamsport, Union Furnace, East Hocking, Berne Union and Chauncey-Dover.
McKinley was the first woman band director in Ohio inducted into Phi Beta Mu, a national band directors’ society. McCoy’s Chauncey band was known to be one of the first to incorporate dance steps while on the march. The duo was a dynamic team with McCoy teaching junior high students who went on to excel in McKinley’s award- winning Nelsonville High School and Nelsonville-York High School bands. McKinley created a community band which McCoy developed and managed for years. They spelled each other as directors for their church choir and organized ecumenical choirs. They were instrumental in the reopening of Stuart’s Opera House as a performance venue and the creation of Berean Community Theater. Their involvement in music and community service continued for more than 60 years until the passing of McKinley in 2013 and McCoy in 2019.
First United Methodist Church Nelsonville has teamed with members of the McCoy and McKinley families to establish a permanent memorial to these women through the creation of the endowed Katie McCoy and Mary Jane McKinley Music Scholars Fund. The fund will provide scholarships and grants to encourage and reward youth involvement in music.
The first recipients of the Katie McCoy and Mary Jane McKinley Music Scholars Awards were announced at Nelsonville-York awards night. Graduating senior Zander Clark is the winner of a $1,000 scholarship. He has participated in band and choir since the fifth grade; was a tuba player who served as marching band field captain; was a helper and role model for younger band members; and is also the recipient of Nelsonville-York’s 2021 John Philip Sousa Outstanding Band Student Award. A well-rounded student, he found time for sports such as archery and football along with his music, and as president of the National Honor Society, led a number of successful community service projects. Clark is headed to The Ohio State University to study mechanical engineering.
In addition to Clark, winning $500 scholarships each are Kailey Cook and Krista Goosman.
Cook, daughter of Jana McDonald of Logan, and choir member at Nelsonville-York High School and Carbon Hill Christian Church, will study pediatric nursing at Ohio University.
Goosman, who participated in both Nelsonville-York band and choir, will study emerging media, specifically film and video production, at Capital University. As part of the award, the students are encouraged to be involved in music on campus and in the community.
The Music Scholars Fund is invested with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO), headquartered at 35 Public Square, Nelsonville, OH 45764, serving 32 Appalachian Ohio counties. FAO’s mission is to create opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. Anyone donating to the Music Scholars Fund in honor of McKinley and McCoy will have their gift matched at 50 percent by FAO through June 30, while funds last. To give online, visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/foundationforappalachianohio Select McCoy and McKinley Music Scholars Fund.
First United Methodist Church Pastor David Roach and his wife Linda are Logan residents.