Katie Prior- “Exceptional”

yttc-logo-banner-260x300When deciding how to introduce this gifted young lady, I struggled even with the heading. Many adjectives came to mind such as “gifted”, “talented”, “motivated”, “mature”, etc., but the only word I could find which describes this person would be “exceptional”.

Many times adults refer to the younger generation as irresponsible, self-indulging, self-centered and lazy. News broadcasts show less than adult behavior of students rioting and vandalizing property and blatantly disregarding the law and because of these actions, younger people are sometimes regarded as lawless individuals and many times we overlook the positive influences made by the majority of youth who are actually contributing to society. One such individual is my friend Katie Prior and in this post I will try to share with you some of the major changes and positive influences she has made not only in her school, city, state, and country but possibly (in time) throughout the world.

Katie is the founder of “Youth Trumpet & Taps Corps” which promotes the recognition of our veterans through musical services. These services range from the performance of Taps at various occasions to trumpet ensemble concerts for military programs. The breadth of services is remarkable and the amount of work in forming, rehearsing and presenting these offerings is monumental. If it sounds as if I am extremely impressed with the organizational skills and dedication to the veterans that this young lady illustrates, it is only because I am so moved.

To give you a small portion of Katie’s accomplishments, I will list some of them for you now.

Last year Katie held training workshops in Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin. She filmed the sessions and created on line training for students anywhere in the country, and now students in Illinois, Colorado and Nebraska have utilized her training videos.

In September she was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” for a young woman empowering her community.

In Oklahoma, she created a partnership with Crossroads Hospice and her volunteers are performing at Veteran Recognition Ceremonies in nursing homes and hospice centers when a veteran comes into care there.

In the next two weeks her volunteers in Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin will be busy performing at Veterans Day events.

She and her volunteers are working with “Wreaths Across America” coordinators in six states and will be performing at those events on December 12th.

Katie is now planning to do another workshop in West Virginia in the Spring. The states of West Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin allow high school students to miss class for performing Taps at veterans’ funerals.

The Veterans Administration in Oklahoma created a special volunteer position for Katie entitled “Ceremonial Trumpet Player”. Her duties include performing at VA ceremonies as well as pinning ceremonies for veterans in palliative care.

When I was Katie’s age, I could hardly find my lunch money!

To further understand the drive this person has, please read more about her and her movement at the following site……


Now, let me introduce to you the person I will be voting for in the near future as the “Youngest President of the United States”, miss Katie Prior.


Many times we are asked to contribute to this cause or that movement and we most often ignore the request. This this case, give careful thought to what is being accomplished and if you feel that Katie’s work is worth a gift of support, please contribute for our Veterans will be truly grateful.
Go Katie Go!

Bruce was a member of the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa, School of Music in Cedar Falls from 1969 until his retirement in 1999. He has performed with many well-known entertainers such as Bob Hope, Jim Nabors, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Anita Bryant, Carman Cavalara, Victor Borgie, the Four Freshman, Blackstone the Magician, Bobby Vinton and John Davidson.

2 thoughts on “Katie Prior- “Exceptional”

  1. Cathy Jacobson

    My father in law served in the Navy during WW II. I, being a music person, wanted to know who would play taps at his funeral. I was amazed to find out that there was no one in this area who played taps at veterans funerals, and that this part of the service was taped. Imagine how many of the families and vets would have loved to tape their service in during the wars….perhaps they would still be here. I applaud Katie for her loyalty to the vets and to their families. Thank you so very much. I am going to share your story and mission with our funeral directors and those responsible for funerals in our area, in hope that they will make sure that out of the two HS; municipal band, colleges we can find trumpeters who would be willing to learn from you. God bless you Katie.

    • Bruce Chidester

      I have past your comments on to Katie and we thank you for your kind words.

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