Student finds purpose in music
Whether people have heard her play “Taps” at a veterans event or witnessed her commanding the Andrews High School Marching Band as a drum major, senior Hannah McCaw’s presence resonates throughout town.
McCaw’s accomplishments in music were nationally recognized when she received the Berea College Pinnacle Scholar Award of Excellence.
“I got the acceptance letter by mail right as school was starting back,” McCaw said. “By that time I had forgotten completely about the nomination, and was totally shocked and confused. I texted my director, and she was so excited.”
The program recognizes outstanding high school seniors for their work in the fields of science, music or service. Forty students are chosen for each category out of hundreds of nominees across nine different states. AHS band director Joslyn Parker nominated McCaw for the award.
McCaw, who holds the roles of trumpet player and drum major in the marching band, said her musical inspiration dates back to the fifth grade.
During that time McCaw said she remembers her teacher allowing the students to pick an ornament at random. Little did McCaw know, her ornament would catalyze the beginning of her musical journey.
“It was a plain, fuzzy bear ornament with a tiny plastic trumpet in its hand,” she said. “When it became time to sign up for middle school classes, I remembered that ornament and band became my first ever elective. It was the class that I soon couldn’t live without. That ornament hangs on my tree today and reminds me of where I started.”
For the longest time McCaw said she pondered multiple career paths, until junior year an idea dawned on her that had been right in front of her face the entire time – music.
“Music is the best thing I can do, and it makes me so happy,” she said. “Band is the class I look forward to everyday, and I couldn’t think of anything that could make me happier. More specifically, I want to major in music education, so I can share the beauty of music with others for the rest of my life.”