December 7, 2016, marked the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and representatives from Village
Christian School were on hand to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime ceremony
honoring the veterans of the infamous event.
VCS Middle School and High School students, along with Band Director Amy
Martens, performed with more than 1,600 other students from across that
country and Japan in a moving tribute at Pearl Harbor in the shadow of
the USS Missouri.
“It was nice to know we were part of history,” said eighth-grader
Added sixth-grader Theone Tutak: “It’s hard to wrap my mind
around that – the history.”
- Theone Tutak – Clarinet, 6th grade
- Riley Krieg – Percussion, 8th grade
- Danny Fonseca – Percussion, 8th grade
- Myles Ruiz - Alto Saxophone, 8th grade
- Johel Tutak – Trombone, 8th grade
- Alex Azarian – Percussion, 9th grade
- Cameron Alexander – Percussion, 9th grade
- Ajani Mustafa-Knowles – Tenor Saxophone, 9th grade
- Lily Newton – Trumpet, 10th grade
Village Christian received an invitation from Music Celebrations International,
with which the school has worked in the past, to participate in the event.
“I don’t know if I can [qualify the experience],” said
Martens, who also served as a section conductor during the performance.
“I was just really glad to be part of it. It’s good for a
school this size to be part of something that big.”
The group was in Hawaii from December 5-9 and visited the USS Arizona,
hiked Diamond Head, and saw other sites in addition to anniversary-related
activities, where they spoke with military veterans and met people from
across the country.
Those interactions had a profound impact, said Mustafa-Knowles.
“You have something to look up to,” he said. “You have
to try. You are trying to be more like them; to help out your country.”
There was only one corporate rehearsal in advance of the event, so the
students did most of their preparation before flying to Hawaii.
The performance was broadcast on local television as well as streamed on
numerous websites, including the Navy’s, Department of Justice,
and Pearl Harbor Anniversary’s official sites.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be there and hear the
stories from people and relive the moment,” Newton said.
Added Mustafa-Knowles: “You felt like you were part of something,
and you felt proud because everyone was there and it sounded so good.”