By Karl Weisel (USAG Wiesbaden)May 8, 2012
WIESBADEN, Germany - Three young music makers won an all-expenses-paid trip to San Diego, Calif., thanks to the originality and creativity of a music video they entered in the Boys and Girls Clubs of America 2012 Talent Search competition.
The members of the band Volition -- drummer Shin Cousens, violinist Natalia Lynch and guitarist Daniel Aslakson -- who produced, performed in and arranged the music for the award-winning video competed against thousands of other entries from Boys and Girls Clubs of America worldwide.
"It's a phenomenal opportunity," said Peter Witmer, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden's school liaison officer, about the Wiesbaden youths having won the chance to get professional coaching before performing in front of thousands at the Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Convention. "They'll have the opportunity of a lifetime and it'll be a tremendous learning experience.
"These kids are great and this video really presents them in the best possible light," Witmer said, praising their efforts in its performance and production.
The win is one in a long line of recognition from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for Wiesbaden's Child, Youth and School Services programs. In 2009 the vocal group, 1LUV, went to Atlanta, Ga., after winning and Wiesbaden's Teen Center was also judged the best in a past competition.
The video combines images of service members and military Families with an intimate performance by the group members performing an original arrangement of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters."
"The song in itself is a very emotional song," said Lynch, who in addition to continuing to take lessons on her instrument also has been teaching violin since 2009. "We were all very happy with the video and the way it turned out. It was pretty emotional -- having never recorded a video before."
Lynch thanked the staff at the Teen Center for encouraging them to compete and helping in the recording process. "Personally I'd like to thank everyone at the youth center who supported us -- helped us with the filming and recording. It really made a very big difference."
"Winning was very unexpected," said Cousens. "I just thought it would be a good experience just to record. It was a very good, shocking moment to win out of all those contestants."
The self-taught drummer, pianist and guitar player said he was looking forward to the trip to San Diego. "Many of us have dreams of becoming professional musicians," he said, adding that the Boy and Girls Clubs of America performance will be one more valuable experience on the way to achieving that dream.
"I'm also really thankful for all the support we got from the people at Youth Services, and I hope we make Wiesbaden proud," Cousens said.
Lynch said in addition to playing their cover of "Nothing Else Matters," the band members were asked to learn "The Star Spangled Banner" and might perform other songs. She added that she was really looking forward to training with professionals in the business. (Editor's note: To view the award-winning video visit http://youtu.be/CHoDTBo9an4.)