MANSFIELD — Madison Miller and Elizabetta Nies struck a familiar pose on Thursday night at the first preliminary round of the 2023 Miss Ohio competition.

Last year, the reigning Miss Ohio and Miller, a Coshocton native, each claimed talent awards for their respective piano solos at the talent competition.

Miller returned for her third time on the Miss Ohio stage with the same piece — Sonata in B Minor K27 from composer Domenico Scarlatti.

“I really debated switching, but when I was looking through pieces and listening to different songs, there’s nothing that resonated with me more than Sonata in B minor,” Miller said.

“It’s full of energy and joy and I’m able to really express my personality,” she said. “When I stand up from the stage, the joy that I feel is contagious.” 

The 23 year old has been playing piano since the age of 4 and was classically trained. She earned a $500 scholarship with the talent award.

Miller thanked her family and piano teachers, as well as the residents of Windsorwood Place assisted living community for listening to her rehearse the performance.

“To Windsorwood Place in Coshocton Ohio, I love you all so much and I cannot wait to call all of you and share this amazing award and honor,” she said.

“It is because of the love and support that I’ve constantly received from you all that has led to this moment.”

Miller is an alumna of Ohio Wesleyan University and social media specialist for Stanley Steemer. She is the founder of The Veteran Narrative, a nonprofit that supports veterans through sharing their stories.

Thursday night’s emcees were reigning Miss Ohio Elizabetta Nies and 2003 Miss Ohio Janelle Couts. The grey flight also performed a tribute to country music with Miss Ohio singers.

The “gold team” was presented the “Spirit of the Pines” award from the candidates’ retreat to Hopewood Pines.

Multiple candidates were also presented scholarships for essay writing and Emily Legenza won the “Spirit of the Pines” award for the second year in a row, which comes with a $250 scholarship.

Americanism essay award winners, earning $250 each, were Caroline Betty Trennepohl and Stephanie Finoti. Community service essay award winners, also earning $250 each, were Kalli Gregory and Ella Roberts.

The second Miss Ohio preliminary night will be Friday, featuring health and fitness and evening wear for the scarlet flight and talent and on-stage question for the grey flight. The 2023 Miss Ohio will be crowned on Saturday.

The Life section is supported by Brethren Care Village in Ashland.

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