Midland Trumpeter’s Taps Performances in Tune with Goals
Eight years ago, learning to play 24 notes on the trumpet was just the beginning of a musical journey for Makayla DaMoude.
DaMoude, a freshman from Imperial, Neb., first picked up a trumpet in the fifth grade, and her love of this instrument has continued to this day. “I am continuing to pursue the trumpet in college because it is my dream to be a band director when I grow up,” DaMoude said.
DaMoude’s family has been a big part of her inspiration to play the trumpet. During her fifth grade year at Chase County School, DaMoude’s great uncle passed away. He was an Army and Korean War veteran and eligible for full Military Honors at his funeral. DaMoude’s grandmother asked her to play Taps at the funeral. “My mom talked to my band director to see if he would be willing to teach me Taps and he said that he would. I was able to learn Taps in a matter of three short days in time for the funeral.” Shortly after that, she became a member of Bugles Across America (BAA), a national nonprofit organization that provides live buglers for military funerals, Memorial Day and Veterans Day services, as well as other events. BAA has over 4,000 bugler volunteers located in all 50 states and a growing number overseas. She is also a new member of Taps for Veterans, which provides buglers similar to the BAA.
DaMoude’s involvement in BAA has led to several performance opportunities. During the past eight years, she has been asked to play for 26 funerals, 19 Memorial Day services, 12 Veterans Day services, and several other events. She has played Taps in Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado.
In 2012, she traveled to Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Neb. to play at an honor service organized by the North Platte Community for two veterans who had been buried there with military honors because they had no family. In that same year, DaMoude raised enough money to take a trip with her parents and brother to Virginia for the Taps 150 event at Berkeley Plantation where Taps was first played by bugler Oliver W. Norton in 1862. “While I was at the Taps 150 event, I met a lot of amazingly talented and dedicated trumpet players and buglers from all over the United States and one from Australia.”
Sounding Taps for a Congressional Medal of Honor decoration ceremony and playing for the traveling Vietnam Wall are just a few of the special events DaMoude has had the opportunity to be a part of over the years. “Getting to look back at all I have done, all the people I have met, and all the new connections I honestly wouldn’t trade any of those days for anything in the world,” DaMoude said. She feels the most rewarding part of playing Taps is having the honor to help bring our heroes home and provide closure for families and veterans. “Our veterans and current servicemen and women have done so much for us and I feel that this is one way I can always give back to those men and women who have given so much of their time and their lives for my freedoms that I am currently enjoying today.”