PATASKALA, Ohio (April 18, 2019) — Yamaha Corporation of America and Winter Guard International (WGI) recently named Hunter Mays winner of the 2019 Yamaha Music Education Scholarship.
Mays was awarded the annual scholarship during the finals of the WGI World Championship, a competitive indoor marching event held this past week in Dayton, Ohio. He was chosen based on his grades, letters of recommendation, future plans, extracurricular activities, financial need and answers to four essay questions.
Mays is currently a senior at Licking Heights High School in Pataskala, Ohio. This summer, following graduation, Mays will be performing with the Licking County 4H Band. Starting in the fall, he will commence his freshman year at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio where he will study music education with an emphasis on percussion.
Mays joined the Licking Heights music program as a percussionist in the fifth grade and later joined the Licking Heights High School Marching Band in the summer of 2012. It was then that his love for music truly began. Throughout his time with the band, the Ohio native has held several leadership positions, including squad leader and center marimba, and has helped them win numerous titles in state-wide competitions. Mays has also served as the section leader of the Licking Heights High School band and has been an active member of the Licking Heights Wind Ensemble.
Mays joined Cap City Percussion in November 2016 as a xylophone player. The 2019 WGI Competition weekend marked his third season competing with the ensemble. The high school senior says that having a role in Cap City has been an extremely humbling experience and has inspired his dream of becoming an educator. He hopes to someday pass on the opportunities and experiences that he's received through his percussion career to young students.
"Winning the Yamaha Music Education Scholarship was a complete surprise to me, and I am so humbled to be recognized with this honor," said Mays. "I never would have thought that I would be standing where I am today when I picked up my first pair of mallets nearly eight years ago. I am so thankful for the support of my parents, my directors Shane Matthews, Meg Beavers, Doug Perry and Meredith Smith, and the staff at Cap City Percussion. This scholarship means so much to me."
"Yamaha is committed to music education at all levels," said Troy C. Wollwage, marketing manager, Drum & Percussion department, Yamaha Corporation of America. "Providing encouragement and assistance to young people is extremely important to us, especially when we have a part in the flourishing of a young musician's career. This scholarship not only represents the commitment to music education from Yamaha, but it also stands as a testament to Hunter's success."
WGI supports the competitive indoor marching activities of percussion, winds and color guard. Known as the "Sport of the Arts," WGI combines music, movement and props into a theatrical production.
For more information about Yamaha marching instruments, please visit https://yamaha.io/2PcZJcm.