Milwaukee Public Schools
Press Release

MPS student wins ‘Rising Star’ award from state music industry

Jonah Roth of Milwaukee High School of the Arts

By - Apr 26th, 2016 04:01 am
MHSA student Jonah Roth, who won the "Rising Star" award from the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI)

MHSA student Jonah Roth, who won the “Rising Star” award from the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI)

MILWAUKEE (April 26, 2016) – A 9th-grade student at Milwaukee Public SchoolsMilwaukee High School of the Arts won the “Rising Star” award from the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) this month.

Jonah Roth, 15, bested seven other nominees from around the state.

The singer-songwriter, guitar player and harmonica player and his bands have played festivals and venues large and small in Milwaukee, from Summerfest‘s Youth Showcase to coffee shops to Chill on the Hill in the Bay View neighborhood.

He also plays with the Milwaukee High School of the Arts (MHSA) Jazz Combo.

“Jonah truly is one of the most promising ‘Rising Stars’ I have worked with in 17 years with the WAMI organization,” said Barbara Wagner, an MPS teacher who is also a member of the WAMI Advisory Board. “He is more than deserving of this recognition.”

MHSA jazz studies director and arts department chair Douglas Syme called Jonah “the latest in a long, distinguished line of award-winning MHSA musicians. He represents the total package: an excellent musician, student and a fine young man. I am confident that this is the first of many honors for Mr. Roth, both musical and academic.

“All of this coupled with a deep humility and a warm and pleasant demeanor make him a student-musician who will lead the way both in my department and at MHSA until his graduation. I could not be more proud,” Syme said.

Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver joins the MHSA family in congratulating Jonah, his family and all of the educators and support staff who have made this accomplishment possible.

MPS is committed to arts education and has added more than 100 art, music and physical education teachers to schools in recent years.

More than 2,500 MPS student musicians will come together May 4-5 as MPS’ 46th biennial music festival “Making Music, Changing Lives,” takes the stage at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each day.

About Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
  • The MPS Class of 2015 earned $39 million in scholarships; and
  • MPS is home to 7 of the state’s top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.

Learn more about MPS by visiting our website. More news is available at

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