EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville High School trumpet player Brendan Korak has earned world-class status being a member of the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps.
Recently, Korak found out once again, he will be part of the Blue Stars, an internationally known group over the upcoming summer. The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps consistently makes the World Class Finals year in, year out. The group is sponsored by Blue Stars, Performing Arts for Youth, Inc.
Brendan is the older brother of Abby Korak, known for her cross country and soccer talents at EHS.
Dr. John Korak, his father, teaches at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He said he is extremely proud of his son and his accomplishments.
“Jennifer and I are proud of his hard work,” he said. “He left us after final exams were over last year and was back a day or two before school started. He worked every single day through the summer, with only a few days off.
“I think playing with the Blue Stars has made him not only a better trumpet player but better disciplined as well. He carries himself more as an adult now. It has been a very positive experience. It has been my experience with students at SIUE that those who have marched in the drum corps almost without exception see positive growth as young men and women and as musicians.”
Brendan plans on focusing on something music related in college for a major.
He said his father teaching trumpet and being a band teacher have both influenced his decision to attend the school.
“I live in a very musical family,” he said. “My mom also plays a trumpet. Abby used to play the flute, but now she is more of an athlete.”
Being a member of the Blue Stars is “very physical,” John said. As far as the hot temperatures marching in the summer, he said, “It is just one of those things. You just accept that it is hot and you move on.”
“You definitely become a different person and are a much better player and performer playing in a summer drum and marching corps,” he said. “It teaches you a lot about your self that you didn’t know. You push yourself a lot harder than you thought you could. It helps you become a different individual and a better person.”
Brendan said his father, John, has been a big influence on him and his passion for music.
“I was sort of born into it,” Brendan said of his ability to become a top-notch musician. “It seemed natural to play. Without my parents pushing me I wouldn’t be in band. I definitely remember not enjoying marching band as much my freshman year, but I stayed with it.”
Marvin Battle and Carmen Knight lead the EHS Marching Band and Brendan said he loves working with both and believes the high school band is one of the best in not only the region, but state.
Brendan plans to march in college and continue with music.
“I just love performing,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of other things that interest me, but playing my interest is one of the things I enjoy the most. I practice an hour or two hours a day, which is a lot more than previous years.”