Marching Tigers, Liesl Schoenberger add musical polish

Southeast Missouri has many musical ambassadors ranging from Sheryl Crow of Kennett, Mo., to Neal E. Boyd of Sikeston, Mo.

Cape Girardeau musicians are giving the region a positive boost as well:

* The Marching Tigers at Central High School, which has won every marching band competition it entered this year.

* Liesl Schoenberger, an extraordinarily talented violinist who is the winner of the "America's Hot Musician" contest.

The Marching Tigers are perennial tough competitors in band events, and last week the Central band took top honors in the Greater St. Louis Marching Band at the Edward Jones Dome.

The 93-member band owes its success to the dedication of the students, matched by the support of parents and the guidance of director Neil Casey and assistant directors Josh LaMar and Billy Keys.

Schoenberger, who received a master's degree in music last May from Indiana University and is continuing her studies at Yale University, won the "America's Hot Musician" reality talent competition.

The competition, aired on the Internet and a TV special, features instrumental solo musicians vying for a one-year recording contract. This was the competition's first season.

The program was created by Gregory Charles Royal, artistic director of the American Youth Symphony in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to the Marching Tigers and to Liesl Schoenberger.

You make us proud.