Taking recognition to ‘Next Level’


By Mindy Kearns - Special to OVP



The Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason presented members of the Next Level band with the “Community Service Award” recently. The award was given in recognition of the efforts made by the band during the COVID-19 pandemic, including free outdoor concerts and a Halloween event for children. Pictured in back is V.F.W. Post Commander Ray Varian. Band members, from left, include Rich Rogers, Jill Nelson, B.J. Kreseen, Sound Technician Greg Smith, and Band Leader Barry Taylor. (Courtesy photo)

The Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason presented members of the Next Level band with the “Community Service Award” recently. The award was given in recognition of the efforts made by the band during the COVID-19 pandemic, including free outdoor concerts and a Halloween event for children. Pictured in back is V.F.W. Post Commander Ray Varian. Band members, from left, include Rich Rogers, Jill Nelson, B.J. Kreseen, Sound Technician Greg Smith, and Band Leader Barry Taylor. (Courtesy photo)


OHIO VALLEY — A local band has been presented the “Community Service Award” by the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason, in recognition of efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Post Commander Ray Varian made the presentation in recognition of the free events the band has hosted during the past several months, including concerts at the Mason park.

“These friends hosted several community events, including monthly nights of outdoor music on the river, where they and several other local artists could perform for fans while adhering to social distancing guidelines,” Varian said.

In addition, Varian said the band hosted a Halloween Trunk-or-Treat that gave children an opportunity to get candy and dress up in a safe environment. Held at the park, the event provided a place where businesses and organizations could set up booths to distribute treats to the kids. The V.F.W. post helped provide a free lunch to those attending.

In accepting the award, Band Leader Barry Taylor said, “We believe that music is essential during this time in our world. We love bringing our community together with different kinds of music and friendship.”

Other band members include B.J. Kreseen, Rich Rogers and Jill Nelson. Greg Smith serves as the band’s sound technician.

The band members plan to start their monthly outdoor shows again in March. They can be followed on their Facebook page at “Next Level.”

© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

The Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason presented members of the Next Level band with the “Community Service Award” recently. The award was given in recognition of the efforts made by the band during the COVID-19 pandemic, including free outdoor concerts and a Halloween event for children. Pictured in back is V.F.W. Post Commander Ray Varian. Band members, from left, include Rich Rogers, Jill Nelson, B.J. Kreseen, Sound Technician Greg Smith, and Band Leader Barry Taylor. (Courtesy photo)
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2021/02/web1_2.3-VFW.jpgThe Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 of Mason presented members of the Next Level band with the “Community Service Award” recently. The award was given in recognition of the efforts made by the band during the COVID-19 pandemic, including free outdoor concerts and a Halloween event for children. Pictured in back is V.F.W. Post Commander Ray Varian. Band members, from left, include Rich Rogers, Jill Nelson, B.J. Kreseen, Sound Technician Greg Smith, and Band Leader Barry Taylor. (Courtesy photo)

By Mindy Kearns

Special to OVP

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at mindykearns1@hotmail.com.

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at mindykearns1@hotmail.com.