Kurt Wokoek, a junior at Vandegrift, got his first big break in December. He’s been writing EDM, electronic dance music, for several years but during Christmas break, Wokoek received the email he’d been anxiously waiting for, AWAL was going to represent him.
AWAL is a British distribution company and record label with its headquarters in London. They handle distribution, data analytics, artist marketing, playlist and radio, and funding of the artists they represent.
AWAL handles some big names like Don Diablo, deadmau5, R3HAB, and Madison Beer, to name a few.
Wokoek is 1st chair trombone at VHS. He volunteers his time playing in the church orchestra on Sundays, and wants to continue to play through college and beyond in whatever capacity life allows him.
“I think what draws me to the trombone is how human it is,” he said. “They say it’s the closest instrument to the voice, and I absolutely love how expressive I can be with it. Playing this instrument has allowed me to express myself in ways I never could using just words.”
Wokoek’s first release is an extended play or EP titled IV with four pieces he wrote for each member of his family as a Christmas gift.
Being 1st chair trombone in the VHS wind ensemble, he wrote his first piece featuring himself during the intro. That one entitled “Horizon” is for his mom, who was a music major so he knew she would appreciate it. His next one is “Drift”entitled “Horizon” for his dad, written with the style of some of dad’s favorite music by a group called Above & Beyond. “Static” is written for his younger sister, Emily, because she is full of energy. “Analog” is for his older sister, Katie, with more of an early electronic flavor and bouncy personality.
Wokoek earned a spot in the VHS wind ensemble as a freshman and has loved every minute of it, according to his mom, Michele. The ensemble performed earlier this year to an audience of almost 3,000 at the TMEA Convention in San Antonio after being named the TMEA 6A Honor Band of 2019.