Live taps volunteer wins award

November 29, 2016 by  

Del City’s Katie Prior earned the Oklahoma Standard Award from the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.

The 16-year-old honors veterans through her love of music. At every funeral for a veteran, she plays taps on her trumpet to give them the most respectable military departure. According to Prior, the song is easy to learn, but since the occasion is the burial of someone who has served their country, performing the minute-long song can be difficult. She knows how much it means to the families and friends of the veteran.

Prior’s great-grandfather was an army veteran during World War II, and she wanted to play taps at his funeral but did not learn the notes in time. However, she used the experience to motivate her to play taps live for veteran funerals, as many use a recording of the song. She says she feels like she is playing for her great-grandfather when she plays for another veteran.

Prior launched Youth Trumpet and Taps Corps, where more than 120 musicians have played taps at 250 funerals and events. She hopes to have volunteers in every state, and to influence other teens to get involved.

A business card printing company could help Prior in advertising her services. She could post them on community boards and encourage other volunteers to get cards as well.