Mya Hanson and Nick Brey named 2021 St. James Area AAA Award winners

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

At Thursday's band concert, St. James seniors Mya Hanson and Nick Brey were named the 2021 St. James AAA Award recipients for excellence in arts, athletics, and academics.

"It's always been an award that I've looked to—the people that get this award I always look up to," said Brey. "I think it's pretty important to be involved because it builds your character and who you are as a person. When you graduate high school your slate kind of starts new in college—you're surrounded by new people and new teachers and nobody really knows who you are so you have to be involved and have this background so you can put yourself on the map."

Brey and Hanson are each involved in band, choir, school plays, and have been a part of the St. James tennis program.

"It's just a bonus to being active in school and it's really great that our school honors people in this way," said Hanson. "I think it's good to be involved in a variety of things because it helps you discover what your talents are, what you enjoy the most, which will help you in the future and you get to meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories."

Both Brey and Hanson's favorite memory of high school is the Colorado band trip in 2019. The band was supposed to go to Tennessee in 2020, but got canceled.

Brey and Hanson highlighted the feeling of singing old songs in front of a group of senior citizens, and seeing their audience start to dance and tap their feet to the music. 

"I started to tear up, because this is what I want to do, I want to uplift people's spirits so it was fun to do that," said Brey.

"I love the feeling of seeing how happy our music makes the audience and the reactions we get from them," said Hanson. Hanson also recognized the opportunity to be able to sing in front of family and friends again this year, after having last year's spring and winter concerts be canceled due to COVID-19.

After high school, Brey plans to attend St. John's University and major in music education with a minor in English and hopes to one day be a choral director.

Hanson is attending Gustavus Adolphus College, and is leaning towards an English major.