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

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin stopping drivers on BC highways – checkpoint at Manning Park

Four checkpoints are set up Thursday, May 6 around the province

This year’s PNE Prize Home is to be built in-place, in South Surrey. (pneprizehome.ca)
PNE’s first-ever built-in-place grand prize home to be constructed in South Surrey

Pandemic-related touring options prompts break from tradition

South Surrey nurse Brittany Williams has been involved with the Burn Camp since 2013. (Contributed photo)
Burn camp ‘really puts things in perspective,’ says South Surrey nurse

Brittany Williams’ experiences hoped to boost Hometown Heroes Lottery fundraiser

(Delta Police Department photo)
Police remind residents to lock doors and windows after series of Ladner break-and-enters

Warning issued after trio of incidents on Ferry Road and Frigate in the early hours of May 6

Serena Deol, Jaspreet Deol, Madison Sweeney and Tanveer Pannu (pictured clockwise from top left) are Surrey United soccer players recruited to the University of Fraser Valley. (submitted photos)
Surrey United soccer quartet sign to play for UFV Cascades

Three of the university’s recruits are Panorama Ridge Secondary students

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read