Music City Drum Corps has awarded its annual Finis Sparkman Scholarship to Katie Mangrum of Nashville, Tenn. Mangrum is currently a senior at Hillwood High School and a member of Music City’s color guard.
“I started color guard as a sophomore and I keep coming back to it every year because of how simultaneously fun and challenging it is,” Mangrum said. “I love performing and getting to do it with some of my best friends is probably my favorite part of it all. Knowing I’m doing something bigger than myself is hugely rewarding.”
Mangrum said she chose to audition for Music City after watching the corps’ 2017 and 2018 shows and deciding it stood out as an opportunity to continue in an activity she enjoys after high school.
As a member of the music program at Hillwood High School, Mangrum has demonstrated extraordinary levels of commitment and dedication, according to the band’s director Ben Zolkower,
“Katie models leadership and integrity to the members of our music program and our school community on a daily basis,” Zolkower said. “She consistently demonstrates reliability and enthusiasm, along with the unique ability to genuinely empathize with our younger members who look to her as a role model.”
Music City created the Sparkman Scholarship in 2018 to honor Finis Sparkman, a snare line member from Antioch, Tenn. who died during his rookie season with Music City in 2017. The scholarship honors his love of music, his passion for the activity, the value he placed in education, and the enduring impact he made within the DCI community.
“Receiving this scholarship will help me immensely because it’s one less thing I’ll have to worry about going into the season,” Mangrum said. “Knowing my family won’t have to worry about how to pay my tour fees for this summer will allow me to better focus on what’s being asked of me throughout the summer.”
Following graduation this spring, Mangrum said she plans to attend Nashville State Community College for two years, then transfer to Belmont University.
The Finis Sparkman Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually and funded entirely by private donations. To contribute to the scholarship fund, please visit www.musiccitydrumcorps.org/memorial-scholarship/.