DENVER, CO – The Keith Nygaard Memorial Scholarship was established in the fall of 2016 to honor the legacy of late Keith Nygaard, “an incredible musician who brought so much joy to this world by inspiring hundreds of young marching musicians to follow their dreams.
Keith was from Colorado Springs, Colorado, a member of the Doherty High School marching band where he led young new musicians in the art of marching music. He continued his passion as a performer for the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble, a world class performing arts ensemble, in 2012 and aged-out in 2015. Keith was a student at the Colorado School of Mines where he majored in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science.
His legacy was carried on by two percussion ensemble members Malia Oderik and Emily Soder through the funds raised last season.
Malia Oderik marched with the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble Front Ensemble and is a Percussion Performance major at Colorado State University. Malia has loved music since she was four years old, where she began playing piano, and began her career as a percussionist at eleven. Malia started her time with the Rocky Mountain Percussion Association and Winter Guard International as a freshmen in high school and has continued ever since.
“I love being a part of the percussion ensemble because we have the chance to take everything we learn and do an immense amount with it,” said Malia. “I know that being a part of indoor percussion, from the beginning of my career, has vastly changed my life for the better and I hope to help bring the same effect to the lives of others. Blue Knights is helping shape my ability to do that every day, as I not only learn constantly while I’m there, but I also learn how to better teach while I’m there with the incredible staff we have.”
Emily Soder in marched in the tenor section with the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble last year. Emily has loved music since she was little, and has performed as part of jazz, concert, and blue grass ensembles. Emily knows a wide variety of instruments, from the clarinet to the mandolin, and started playing quads in eighth grade at the Centaraus High School drum line, and hasn’t stopped since.
“Being a Blue Knight to me means a constant pursuit of greatness, and encouraging those around you so they can do the same,” said Emily. “It means having a family to both support and push you, then doing the same for them.”
Donations to the Keith Nygaard Memorial Scholarship are 100% tax-deductible and will benefit future members of the Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble. Please support Keith’s legacy with a donation to the Scholarship Fund by clicking the button below.