Before I was in River City Drum Corp, (RCDC) I can say I wasn’t really focused and I thought everything was a joke. You feel like you’re doing school work for nothing, and my grades don’t even really matter.
But when I joined Drum Corps, my mama said to me, “Tamya, if you want to stay in Drum Corps your GPA has to be 2.5 or higher.” And I was like, “why do they even care about my grades?”
Report cards came out and I had a 2.3. I thought they weren’t going to let me play, but Mr. Albert [Executive Director, RCDC) said he’d give me one more chance. After that I took my grades serious because I love Drum Corps—not just because it’s fun, because this is where home is, and this is family.
I realized they care about your grades because they want to see you succeed, just like your parents do.
This school year I ended up having a 3.6 GPA.
I am Mr. Albert’s first recruit. He is the one who taught me how to play drums and taught me basically everything I know. Something I will never forget that Mr. Albert taught me is how to be a better leader, and work harder for what I want.
He would always tell me to stay focused. When my family would go through a lot, Mr. Albert was always the one by my side, asking if I’m are okay and if I need anything, just come to him. That has really meant a lot to me and my family.
My very first Da ‘Ville Classic [Drumline Showcase] ever was last year. I was so scared and nervous that I’d mess up or forget my part. All these thoughts go through my head like “What if I do this, what if I do that” But when we started to play and go I was having fun and forgot I was even nervous. And now I look forward to doing them every year.
I feel confident when I perform and happy that we get to make the people that we perform for happy.
A student involved in the arts is 4x more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, and 2x more likely to graduate college. River City Drum Corps’ intensive youth arts training provides students like Tamya (age 13, Nativity Academy) an opportunity to grow as students, as artists, and as people. Thanks to UPS, YUM! and Old National for making Youth Training Scholarships possible!