VIDEO: 15-year-old honours essential workers, those fallen with balcony trumpet concerts

Dylan Andrews performs from his home at the Shxw’ow’hamel First Nation

Dylan Andrews has been playing his trumpet for first responders, essential workers and casualties of COVID-19 from his balcony at Shxw’owhámél First Nation.

“I get really nervous when I play in front of people. I still felt like I was being watched even though I couldn’t see anybody,” Dylan said of the experience. “It’s pretty nerve wracking.” Despite his nerves, Andrews donned his uniform – he is a petty officer second class with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps #349 in Chilliwack – and played a rendition of The Last Post Sunday, April 5.

“I’ve been seeing these musicians play at seven o’clock at night and they’ve been playing for our frontline workers and our essential workers, so that we could be more safe,” said the 15-year-old, who has been playing trumpet for around four to five years since he joined cadets. “Me and my family really appreciate that. So it’s kind of like my way of saying thank you.”

The song he played has a special meaning in cadets – for Andrews, it symbolizes a moment of silence for veterans, for the fallen and for those on the frontline.

The trumpet is a big part of cadets and a big part of military duty. “If you’re on the front lines, when you’re out there at war, the trumpet is probably the most powerful instrument out there, other than the drumline,” he said.

Watching Dylan perform was a proud moment said mom Lorna Andrews. “I definitely felt the love and I have a friend who lost her aunt to COVID-19 so I was thinking of that person and it chokes me up some, because I can’t really imagine.”

Dylan’s second performance included an ode to those who have passed away as a result of the virus, for whom he played the bugle call Taps.

He ended his second performance with his rendition of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing. “Everyone should have hope,” he said, adding that he advised everyone keep social distancing, staying indoors and wash their hands constantly.

While she’s a proud mom, Lorna said she shared her son’s videos online to get people to appreciate the message he’s sending first and foremost. “To me the message is the most important and I’m proud of him for sending that message,” she said. “He wanted to share his skills and the message with the people out there.”

Lorna also has a mother who is elderly and she herself would be classified as a higher risk person due to her underlying health issues. So she and her entire family have been staying home, with only her husband Joe going out for grocery runs.

Andrews decided to ditch the nerves and play after a suggestion from Joe – “I think he really encouraged Dylan to get it going,” Lorna said. “He’s kind of like our essential service worker, he’s kind of done the work in the background but he’s not getting acknowledged. He too is very proud and really appreciates the messages that Dylan has given all the people.”

Despite his nerves, this wasn’t Dylan’s first time performing. At an Aboriginal Veterans Day event in Vancouver, Joe reminded Dylan that not only did he play the trumpet there, he did so with a CBC camera pointed right at him.

Despite the cabin fever setting in for the seven household members and the difficulties finding toilet paper and other necessities, they are doing well Lorna said. They’re having many conversations about frontline workers, but also those less-acknowledged essential food service workers, truck drivers, cleaners and others keeping society going amid the COVID-19 shutdown.

“It’s kind of keeping me inside and keeping me bored, it’s been pretty bad,” Dylan said of the situation. He’s been playing the drums and his trumpet daily, as well as getting out on his dirt bike.

Andrews said he’d like to get out on the balcony again and already knows what music he’ll be playing next, but he’s taking advice from his former band director. After a concert or playing in the public, a days rest is advised.

To watch Andrews’ perform, head to hopestandard.com or our Facebook page.

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