2019 Music for Kids Award

Emma Vakiener

Emma Vakiener,
2019 Music for Kids Award Winner

Made possible by contributions from Drums Along the Mohawk, John Winter Family Fund, and from the Friends of Drums Along the Mohawk

Emma's letter to Drums Along The Mohawk:

Hearing the un-mistakable “voice” of DCI World Championships Brandt Crocker, “Now taking the field from New London, Connecticut, 7th Regiment”. I peeked from beneath my shako as my heart was pounding with anticipation. Feet? TOGETHER. Stomach? IN. Chin? UP. “Performing their 2018 program, “In a Different Light”, Drum Corps International is proud to present, 7th Regiment!” And ... PERFORM! This past summer I had the privilege of playing trumpet on the DCI world – stage ... I didn’t get a contract during my first audition; but in January camp ... My DCI adventure was becoming a reality. Our first night together as a corps we gathered to reflect on the history of 7th and the traditions we would uphold in our 2018 production ... and receive the corps necklace. I began to understand that this journey was not mine alone, but would be shared by each member of the corps to build our success together ... when our individual lights seemed to dim, the corps’ light grew immensely. As tradition before each competition…we sing our corps song ... with the phrase..”FOR WE SHALL RISE AS ONE, MY CORPS, MY REGIMENT.” As I look back at this experience not only did I push beyond my own personal limits but, as a corps, our lights would always RISE AS ONE.

Recommendation: Kevin Lowery, Executive Director, 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps

I have had the opportunity of knowing and working with Emma through my work with 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. As the corps director, I have firsthand knowledge of Emma’s character as a student and musician over the past year. She is someone who is self motivated and can always be relied on to know her music, her visual responsibilities and is generally well prepared for all aspects of rehearsals ... She has a quiet dignity about her ... At the same time she is extremely outgoing and her good nature is infectious. She makes other individuals want to be better people.

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