Shortly after Katie Prior began playing the trumpet, her great-grandfather, a war veteran was admitted into hospice care.
Katie’s family talked about how great it would be if she could play Taps, a musical piece usually played at U.S. Military funerals, at his funeral. Sadly, he passed before she had a chance to learn the notes.
But Katie continued to practice and soon became an excellent bugler.
Through her lessons, she learned that many veterans receive a recorded playing of Taps at their funerals instead of a live performance due to the shortage of military buglers and trumpet players. Moved to action by the belief that every service man and woman deserve a live performance, Katie founded The Youth Trumpet and Taps Corps.
The Youth Trumpet & Taps Corps gives high school and college trumpet players an opportunity to use their musical gifts to serve others. Their main project is volunteering to play Taps at military veterans' funerals and in addition to honoring our veterans, her organization also provides interesting service opportunities for teen musicians.
To date, Katie has engaged 15 high school trumpet players to volunteer to play Taps. In 2014, YTTC volunteers performed music at seven community events with audiences ranging from 25 to 500 people. Katie has raised more than $3,000 in donations to fund her program and training workshops.
Katie plans to host training workshops in Dallas, Texas, and Fort Smith, Arkansas. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin declared January 1, 2015 as "Trumpet and Taps Day" giving recognition to the Youth Trumpet & Taps Corps.
Additionally, Katie has worked with a bugler from the 145th Army Band and two funeral directors to produce a training handbook and training video to provide adequate training for her volunteers.
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