Musician of the Week: Porschia Kemery


Porschia Kemery poses for a picture before a home football game in Aug. 2019. photo provided by Kemery

Dana Ibarra, photographer

New snare member, Porschia Kemery, is one of the many amazing musician at EMHS. She shares her story in her music journey .

GENESIS: What inspired you to be a musician? What led you up to snare? 

PORSCHIA KEMERY: Every time I went to a restaurant with my family, my dad would always tap and drum on the table. We did it together all the time and it was our thing. My grandfather played the drum set and I loved watching him. I got into dance before drumming and I decided to try it because I had a good rhythm and could keep a beat. It was just in my bones. I couldn’t help myself but to drum on the desk, my lap, constantly moving my hands it became natural. When I joined the marching band, I played vibe my eighth grade year. Then freshman year I played Marimba, which is like a vibe but bigger, and I was section leader. I always loved battery (drumline) every time I heard them play. I loved that back beat and when I first heard it at the band festival, I got so excited.  I was scared to join, but I did and I played bass for two years and I loved it and still do. I guess I went to snare just to try it because I thought it was cool too. So I decided to give it a try and that way I won’t have any questions or regrets about not trying it. 

G: What does your family think of you being involved with music?

PK: They think it is really good for me. I’m doing something I love, which they love. They also think it’s good to be a part of activities in high school. Being involved in music keeps me busy, out of trouble, helps me keep being a leader, and also showing dedication. Those things they love and support. 

G: I know that you were taking lessons for snare before Covid-19, what are you doing now to prepare yourself for the new marching band season?

PK: Well, I’m doing different things. I’m involved with so much, but especially music. It’s an all year round thing with marching band, concert band, winter percussion, pep band, parades, etc. One thing I do is recharge myself! Marching band or just band can feel like a full time job with everything we do. When I have time to take a break I do, so that way I don’t run out of…what you call it? Juice. Taking a break is good for the mind, otherwise I will start to get annoyed with it. But I also practice music, technique, and just keeping my hands warm, which means not going too long without playing or I will get out of practice. But not too much where I feel overwhelmed, because it’s not often I get a timeout. Everything is back-to-back. 

G: Tell me which one you like more, marching band or winter percussion? And why?

PK: I like them both for different reasons. Marching band comes with so much; like football games, parades, send offs, and more. I get to spend time with everyone and it’s fun. Winter percussion is fun as well. I would say I like winter percussion a little more just because it’s more of a tight group. In marching band there are so many people and in winter percussion there aren’t. You get to just focus on drumming and have long bus rides, but they are bonding opportunities. 

Porschia Kemery rehearses in the parking lot at Elkhart Memorial High School with The EMHS Crimson Charger Command for their 2019 show titled “The Heist”. (Sherri Greenfield-Ludwig)

G: What do you miss the most about band? What was your favorite part?

PK: I miss being able to see all my friends and the memories we made. Being a part of a band has its perks. Getting to go to the games, bus rides, going to get food. It’s all fun. Band camp is also fun even though it can be long hours. My favorite part about band is when we start to develop the show and there are some fun features. 

G: Now that the merge is quickly approaching, you will be a part of the first marching band to have both Elkhart’s east and west band’s together, how do you feel about that?

PK: I’m not sure how to feel about it. It’s a big change. We’ve always been competing against each other. It’s going to be hard to combine. I think the opportunity is amazing though and I hope that when we combine the band does really well. And there is progress and we make good history. 

G: Next year will be your first season playing snare. Tell me what you’re most excited about.

PK: I have more nerves than I do excitement. But I am excited to try something new and I decided to play snare because I was scared to. I wanted to conquer that fear and just give it a try. So I’m excited to see what the season brings and no matter what, at least I gave it a try and I’m no longer scared to try that new thing. Of course I’m nervous because I want to do well and have a good experience, but I’m also thankful for the opportunity.

G: What are your plans after high school?

PK: I have been very interested in being a paramedic. I want to do something in the medical field and I’m not exactly sure what, but I’m leaning towards being a paramedic. I like watching “Live PD” and firefighter work, and “Night Watch”. It all interests me, so I plan on going to college so that I can accomplish my goals.