By Katy Mena
Community News Writer
Jayna Yates just happens to be one of those girls, the kind with the good grades, pretty hair, kind smile, and staggering talent. Beta Club member, Homecoming Attendant, and consistent academic, the recent Soddy-Daisy High School graduate will take a glowing reputation with her to Tennessee Tech this fall, a reputation that will only be enhanced by her most recent award, the Music Educators National Conference’s All USA Musician Award.
Nominated by band director Rick Yates, Jayna, who has been playing the tuba for over six years now, was one of 100 students throughout the United States to be awarded for musical excellence. Having played with the Soddy-Daisy High School marching, symphonic, and concert bands, Jayna has made quite a name for herself as a musician and band leader, but her most recent victory honors her accomplishments as a student, person, and friend, as well.
Though the award nomination was the work of Mr. Yates, it was up to Jayna to take the nomination honor to a winning level. Filling out applications to send to the the National Association for Music Education (MENC), Jayna highlighted her community service efforts, involvement with non-musical clubs, and high school awards, all of which were huge selling points to the committee, which based its selections on musicianship, academics, community involvement, and student leadership.
Along with the MENC national recognition, Jayna will also be awarded a college scholarship, a perk she didn’t realize was involved in the honor until recently. Having already earned scholarships to put toward her experience at Tennessee Tech, the additional money will be much-welcomed as she studies to become a high school music teacher. Of her expectations about her upcoming college career and where it will take her musically, Jayna maintains only the highest of hopes and personal aspirations.
“I hope to be the best musician I can be,” she said. “I don’t want to be better than everybody. I just want to be the best I can be.”
E-mail Katy Mena at firstname.lastname@example.org