Tom Drake (BMEd '56, MMEd '60) awarding the Joliet American Legion Band Scholarship to
Trumpet Major Robbi Hicks

"My journey in music education… It’s been an interesting one! I started playing the trumpet in the fourth grade. Back then I thought percussionists were the coolest. I tapped what I thought was the right rhythm with utmost confidence! To my disappointment, the man said, “We’re gonna put you on trumpet.” Here we are a decade later, and the trumpet is definitely my soul mate instrument.

"My middle school director, Mrs. Megan Moscato-Hoff, taught me to be a strong woman and that it’s okay to be emotional about music! I owe so much to my high school band director, Mr. Don Stinson. He taught me the importance of timeliness, good leadership, sense of humor... I look up to him as an outstanding musician, educator, and person. He made me want to be a band director so that I could influence students’ lives for the better. I came to VanderCook College of Music solely based off of his recommendation, and I don’t regret it for one second.

"When I got here I only knew how to play the trumpet and some French horn. Now I can play 15 other instruments. I’ve gotten to meet world-class performers and composers such as David Maslanka, The Boston Brass, Doc Severinson. I’ve performed for Constitution Day downtown, Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Soldier Field and the Midwest Clinic. 

"I’ve received lots of financial support: from Joliet Legion Band Scholarship, Midwest Clinic and others. I am a part of something so wonderful. The scholarships I receive are the only reason I’m able to do what I want to with my future. VanderCook is a great place for your money to go. It may seem like you’d only be helping one student, but in all actuality, you’ll be helping the hundreds of students that that one will be able to teach." 


VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288