Surrey resident Evan MacNamara, 20, received a Standing Tall Award from Coast Capital Savings last year. (YouTube photo)

Surrey resident Evan MacNamara, 20, received a Standing Tall Award from Coast Capital Savings last year. (YouTube photo)

VIDEO: Emotional ‘Standing Tall’ award moment for Surrey student musician

Prior to death, Evan MacNamara’s father wrote Coast Capital Savings with a request to help his son

It’s Youth Week in B.C. from May 1-7, a fine time to celebrate the accomplishments of young adults like Surrey’s Evan MacNamara.

The 20-year-old is pursuing a career in music at Douglas College with the help of a $5,000 Standing Tall education award he earned from Coast Capitals Savings last fall.

A percussionist since Grade 7, MacNamara wants to eventually become a music teacher, “but I’m not sure how that looks just yet,” he admitted.

In giving him the education award, Coast Capital calls the Sullivan-area resident an extraordinary young man who has overcome so much throughout his life. He is the epitome of why the awards were launched, to help youth who have been through monumental challenges pursue their dreams.

MacNamara was born with arthrogryposis, which prevents muscles and tendons from keeping up with the rate bones are growing.

The condition hasn’t stopped him from playing jazz music or basketball, two of MacNamara’s passions.

MacNamara’s story is told in a five-minute video posted to PixelMotionFilm’s YouTube channel. In the clip, Maureen Young, Coast Capital’s director of community leadership, reads him a letter written to her in 2011 by MacNamara’s father, Kelly, who died later that year.

MacNamara’s father appealed to the institution to consider him for an education award, which materialized nine years later.

“I’ve never forgotten that letter,” Young says in the video, which captures an emotional moment for both her and award recipient.

“It was really cool to have people be so supportive in every way,” MacNamara said of the award, “and just the way it was presented, with the letter my dad wrote.”

In his first year at Douglas, MacNamara’s music classes are a mix of online and in-person studies.

“We livestream concerts on Zoom, and we have a theatre at Douglas where we can be on stage and spread out there, safely,” he explained.

“This is my first year in the program, which is two years and then we can transfer to different school, for our bachelors (degree),” he added. “I’m not sure what school I want to go to yet, maybe UVic. This is just a start.”

In 2018, while MacNamara was at Sullivan Heights Secondary, he was among 20 student musicians given the inaugural Werner and Helga Höing Award during a Vancouver Symphony Orchestra concert at Bell Performing Arts Centre.

One student from each secondary school in the city was nominated by their music teacher for excellence in music, leadership and community involvement, according to a VSO news release at the time.

For details about B.C.’s Youth Week, visit bcyouthweek.com.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

MusicScholarships

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Police watchdog investigating serious collision in Surrey

Incident happend May 6 at King George Boulevard and 128th Street

Surrey Fire Service firefighters quickly contained a fire on 75A Avenue. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Surrey firefighters extinguish second house fire in Newton

Second fire incident reported in Newton Sunday morning

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 9

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver Giants celebrated a Justin Sourdif goal Saturday night in Kamloops. Giants dropped a 3-1 decision to Kamloops, a game that clinched the 2020-21 B.C. Division banner for the Blazers. (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants drop 3-1 decision to Kamloops

Third-period rally should have come sooner, said coach of Langley-based team

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country’s crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
IHIT investigating after man killed in Burnaby shooting

Police looking for more information on fatal shooting

After Bobby Henderson apologized online for his comments to a Toronto reporter, the Langley Rivermen announced that he was no longer team coach and general manager and in fact, had ‘parted ways’ with the franchise in March. (file/Twitter)
Former Langley Rivermen coach and GM apologizes for comments to Toronto reporter

Bobby Henderson blames stress due to the pandemic for his ‘disparaging’ remarks

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Most Read