Each year WGI Sport of the Arts presents scholarships to talented guard and percussion performers who attend the World Championships competition. In honor of the organization’s 30th anniversary last year, WGI presented an impressive 30 scholarships. We caught up with Kenny Nygaard, snare drummer for the 2007 Independent World Class bronze medalist Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble of Denver, Colo.
Nygaard grew up in Colorado Springs in the shadow of majestic Pike’s Peak. As the Blue Knights’ current battery section leader, Nygaard says he has “gained an inexplicable amount of responsibility and leadership.”
He leads snare line sectionals, manages rehearsal logistics and acts as a mentor.
According to Sean McElroy, Blue Knights visual coordinator, “Kenny embodies everything that the Blue Knights strive for. His work ethic and character set the standard for what it is to be a Blue Knight.
He leads the ensemble on and off the floor and excels at every aspect of his life.”
A junior majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in computer science at the Colorado School of Mines, Nygaard maintains a 3.96 GPA despite a busy schedule. When asked how he balances the time and keeps his grades up, Nygaard responds, “The simple answer is: I don’t have much free time. Mostly I just try to get everything done before it’s due since procrastination on assignments is what makes it hard to keep up.”
Nygaard’s advice for other young performers: “Never give up on anything you’ve set your heart on.”
Photo courtesy of WGI Sport of the Arts.