[Menvi-discuss] Fwd: Blind Diamond Bar band student to march in Rose Parade

Chela Robles cdrobles693 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 31 15:23:24 EST 2012

 > Blind Diamond Bar band student to march in Rose Parade > By Richard 
Irwin, Staff Writer > Marching Band member Miso Kwak will be striding 
down Pasadena Avenue in > the world famous Tournament of Roses Parade on 
January > 1, 2013. The 18 year-old senior was born blind and hasn't let 
it slow her > down for a minute. (Photo courtesy of Diamond Bar High 
School) > > DIAMOND BAR - The Brahmas marching band will have two 
musicians in the > Tournament of Roses Parade Tuesday. Mi So Kwak will 
play the flute for the > Bands > of America Honor Band, while Diamond 
Bar High School instructor Casey > Bindle marches alongside her. > > 
Kwak appreciates Bindle lending a guiding hand. It's tough enough for > 
anyone to march the entire 5.5-mile parade route. Especially for Kwak, 
who > is blind. > > > "Mi So is an amazing kid. She's incredibly 
independent, confident and very > talented. She has worked her way up 
through the band and is now a leader > in > the program," said Diamond 
Bar High School band and orchestra director > Steve Acciani. > > It was 
Acciani who encouraged the 18-year-old senior to apply for a spot > in 
the Bands of America Honor Band after Kwak learned about it via > 
Twitter. > > "I really wanted to perform in the New Year's Day parade, 
so I filled out > the paperwork. But I got stuck when the audition 
recordings had to be > submitted > through software that wasn't 
compatible with the programs I use," she > said. > > With the director's 
help, Kwak got a waiver to submit her audition via a > CD. It wasn't the 
first time she has had to fight to be included. > > The Korean native 
grew up in Seoul, where she attended the National School > for the 
Blind. She began to play the flute in the fourth grade. > > When her 
family moved to New York for her father's business, Kwak entered > the 
seventh grade at the Rome Free Academy. > > I wasn't comfortable with my 
English, so I dove into my music. Band was > the only class where I 
didn't have to use English to excel," she said. > > However, students at 
the academy who play wind or percussion instruments > are required to 
join the marching band. > > "The band director wasn't sure about putting 
a blind person in the > marching band, so he told me not to worry about 
it," she said. > > "But marching in the band was something I'd wanted to 
do since middle > school, so I thought that was unfair and told him I 
wanted to > participate," the young > woman said. > > With the help of 
her friends, Kwak began performing in field shows. At > first, they used 
a bungee cord to guide her. > > "When I transferred to Diamond Bar High 
in my freshman year, I asked Mr. > Acciani if I could march with the 
band and he was cool with it," she said. > > The Brahmas decided to 
assign a student to guide her as she marched in the > band. The student 
walked alongside her, applying light pressure to her > left > shoulder 
to guide her along the parade route. > > "I couldn't do it without the 
help of my guides. I trust them completely > to guide me safely," Kwak 
said. > > Along the way, the brave teen has garnered the admiration of 
staff and > students alike. > > "She's been doing all our marching band 
performances for all four years > and doing a fantastic job. And she 
learns hours of music by memorizing in > just > a few days," Acciani 
noted. > > Now, Kwak is learning four new songs for her march down 
Colorado > Boulevard. She began rehearsals with 300 other musicians in 
the honor band > from across > the country on Thursday. > > Recently, 
the Diamond Bar High band marched in the Arcadia Christmas > Parade. > > 
"I watched our band march in Arcadia and everyone became teary eyed when 
 > Mi So marched by," said Principal Catherine Real. "It left everyone 
along > the > parade route with an admiration for this fearless and 
talented young > lady." > > richard.irwin at sgvn.com > > 626-544-0847 >

More information about the Menvi-discuss mailing list