Sweet Music


Emily Debnar is an amazing young lady with a “can do” attitude. Her love for music has propelled her to try a number of instruments, and the teen is making admirable progress on each.

This boundless optimism is all the more remarkable, given the iRony we are about to learn.

In addition to being a soldier of the Weirton (West Virginia) Corps, she loves attending divisional events—including Girl Guard Camp and Music Conservatory at the Maryland-West Virginia Division’s Camp Tomahawk.

The annual conservatory lasts several weeks, and it provides fertile ground for Emily to hone her musical skills. She also signs up for as many camp activities as she could, appearing to have as much fun as anyone. There doesn’t seem to be anything Emily won’t at least try.

Bernie Dake was a guest instructor at MWV Music Conservatory last summer (2016), and he was blessed by Emily’s inspiring desire to learn.

“I sat just a few seats away from her during chorus time. As you can imagine, in a choir setting the object of the group is to sing together and tunefully. When I first heard her I was overcome with emotion. She was singing her best for the Lord and I believe that the sound I heard was one of the most beautiful utterances in all my of years of music making,” recalls Dake, who works as the assistant territorial music secretary and director of publications and production for the USA Southern Territory.

As for her future, Emily has set her sets pretty high. After high school, she wants to go to college to become a forensic scientist.

Anyone who knows Emily Debnar cannot help but believe that her “can do” attitude will propel her to be successful. Despite the fact that Emily is deaf!

That’s right—Emily was born deaf, due to a lack of hairs in her inner ear. She received her first set of hearing aides when she was just two years-old. The hearing aides have helped, but she still needs someone to use sign language in order to communicate with others.

At the age of four, she was diagnosed with autism, verbal apraxia, and ADHD. Then at the age of seven, she was also diagnosed with OCD and ODD.

Even with these impediments, Emily is very thankful to God for giving her a special gift—the desire and will to never give up doing what she loves to do.

See the December issue of Young Salvationist for more of Emily’s story 


Major Frank Duracher, Assistant Editor