Cody Sanchez, who played drums with a talent far beyond his 13 years, wanted to devote his life to music. In 2009, he was hit by a car and killed while riding his bike, but his dream lives on through the Cody Sanchez Memorial Foundation, which gives out annual scholarships to a local student or students pursuing a career in music.
The 2012 recipient of the award was recent Absegami graduate Henry Moore, who was awarded $2,500 at a presentation at the Galloway Summer Pops concert Aug. 8. Moore will attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston this fall.
"I feel extremely honored to receive this," the 18-year-old Galloway Township resident said. "I've been keeping in touch with the Sanchezes for these past few years, being supportive, going to certain events. They're great people, and I'm glad they decided to give this to me."
This was the third year a scholarship has been given out by the foundation, which was established by Cody's parents in the wake of his death to encourage students like Cody to pursue their goals in music. Past recipients are Egg Harbor Township High School grad Maria Cannone and Absegami grads Krystal Brostek, Nick Medora and Lauren Deissler.
Cody, who picked up the drums at a young age and could sight read complicated beats by the time he reached double digits, hoped to pursue drumming as a career and teach kids the instrument.
"We didn't want anybody to forget about him or his dream - his dream was always to teach people music, for people to love music," said Cody's father, Robert. "That's all he would ever talk about was music, and he never got a chance to do that."
In addition to rocking out on his eight-piece Tama Stage Star kit, Cody dabbled in guitar, bass guitar and keyboard. He was active in school, playing in both concert band and jazz band, and was looking forward to playing in the marching band when he got to Absegami, his father said.
Moore, who met Cody while in middle school, is the first of the five scholarship recipients to have actually played with him. Herb Moore, Henry's father, said that although he didn't know Cody personally, his reputation preceded him.
"I knew him, I knew of him, just like I knew of a lot of the kids involved in the Summer Pops program," Herb said. "He had such prodigious talent that everyone knew who he was."
Henry has excelled musically while at Absegami, and was Pit Section leader with the Absegami Braves marching band and was named one of two Galloway Schools' Humanitarians of the Year for his $6,000 donation to local nonprofits. He raised these funds through a Christmas CD he and fellow student Morgan Kirner recorded and sold last winter. Kirner was named the other Humanitarian of the Year at the April dinner.
Moore's primary instrument is piano, but he has become an accomplished percussionist and drummer since joining the school band. He also plays guitar and bass guitar.
Moore, who has yet to declare a major but is interested in the Contemporary Writing and Production track, said he is proud to continue Cody's legacy by accepting the scholarship.
"It's the best way possible (to honor Cody's memory)," Moore said. "A lot of young kids can be into music, but sometimes they need a little more encouragement to really pursue it in their future, and I think this is a great opportunity to give aspiring students a lift to push further with their musical careers."
For more information on the Cody Sanchez Memorial Foundation, codysanchez.com.
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