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From left, front row: Brandon Byrd of West Hamlin, Chris Pesimer of Branchland and Emma Dial of Branchland signed to join the Marshall School of Music this fall on May 25.

HAMLIN — Three graduating seniors from Lincoln County High School signed with the Marshall University School of Music in a ceremony May 25.

Emma Dial of Branchland will be entering the vocal music program. Brandon Byrd of West Hamlin will enter the percussion program. Chris Pesimer of Branchland signed to be a clarinet major.

Representatives from Marshall were on hand to recognize the three, and parents were in attendance for the ceremony.

Kim Cook, band director at Lincoln County High School, said she has had all three of them in her program throughout their time at the school.

“We’ve been blessed to have them all four years here at the high school,” Cook said.

Cook said honoring the three of them together was a bittersweet moment for her and her husband David, who also helps direct the band program at LCHS.

“It’s super exciting,” Cook said. “It’s kind of bittersweet. It’s really sad for us because we get so close to them. The music program is truly a family, the band program is, and we’re so close to them. It’s so sad for us to see them leave, but we are just thrilled for them.”

She added, “They all three have earned scholarships. They are all three fabulous musicians, but they are wonderful. They are just wonderful people and they’ve been truly a blessing so we’re just thrilled to have had the opportunity to do this with them today.”

Carline Waugh, Assistant Professor in the Vocal area at Marshall, said the program has had a special relationship with LCHS through the years.

“We’ve maintained a special relationship with Lincoln County High School over the years,” Waugh said. “Kim and David Cook are doing extraordinary work in training the young musicians here, and we are delighted when these students join us at Marshall University. We at Marshall School of Music pride ourselves in fostering a nurturing environment where our students get individualized attention. In addition to the stellar work of our many large and small ensembles, students are also shaped as solo artists with one-on-one work with our highly accomplished faculty.”

Waugh said they are excited to have the three joining the school in the fall.

“Today, we celebrate these students, and we welcome them into the Herd,” Waugh said. “We are honored to join them on their musical journeys.”

Reporter Nancy Peyton can be reached at or 304-824-5101.

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