New trophy case highlights musical success at NCCS

CHAMPLAIN - When entering Northeastern Clinton Central High School, the public will now see proof of the musical talent of its students.

Eight years ago, an alumni of the school's chorus visited choral director Kathy Kokes' classroom. It was a moment Kokes considers the catalyst for a brand new trophy case in the school's lobby.

"I used to have the [New York State School Music Association] plaques up here," Kokes explained. "They came in and they were staring at their award."

From there, Kokes worked with her students to have their trophies and awards set out for all to see.

"They asked about having a trophy case in the lobby where the public could see it and people came for concerts," she said.

However, it was in the last two years that chorus president and a senior at the school, Matthew Faubert, worked to make the trophy case a reality.

"Ms. Kokes told me other groups had tried to get a trophy case up and had been unsuccessful with it," Faubert said. "That's when I told her that I would get one up before I graduated."

Now, just months before graduation, Faubert's promise has come true.

"Right now I'm overwhelmed with excitement about it being up," he said. "Just because everyone can see the achievements that the chorus and the band have achieved over the years."

Several months ago, Kokes approached her friend, Scott Bleau, a 1987 graduate of the school, about creating the trophy case.

"I came in and talked to some of the students and got an idea of what they were looking for," Bleau recalled. "We did a drawing and went from there."

Bleau, who currently works at Pfizer Inc., has been doing woodworking for 10 years - a hobby he hopes to make into a business when he gets laid off in the spring.

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