2012-06-07 / Front Page

O.B. Scout wins chance to rock the National Mall

High school junior’s original song takes top honors in YouTube contest
BYADAM JOSEPH DRICI
Staff Writer


Dana Marie Rogers Dana Marie Rogers OLD BRIDGE — Dana Marie Rogers will be in good company next week when she joins the likes of Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen on the list of New Jersey musicians who have played for crowds on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The 17-year-old singer-songwriter, an Ambassador Girl Scout in the townshipbased Troop 81893, recently won the Girl Scouts’ “I Want to Rock the National Mall” YouTube contest for her original song, “Girl Scout Cookie Rap.” Dana Marie will take the stage June 9 in front of an expected audience of 200,000 to perform her winning composition at the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary celebration in the capitol.

Amulti-instrumentalist, Dana Marie has been taking piano lessons since first grade and writing songs since she was 13.

“I write all the time,” she said. “Songwriting is a big part of my life.”

Performing is a big part, too.

Dana Marie, a junior, is a lead singer in the Old Bridge High School stage band Cloud 9, and she also sings with the school’s chamber choir and plays flute with the wind ensemble and concert band.

Between rehearsals at school and earning her Bronze and Silver awards in Scouts, she somehow found time to teach herself to play both guitar and ukulele.

This versatility with instruments and styles extends to Dana Marie’s songwriting abilities as well. Where “Girl Scout Cookie Rap” is a lighthearted tribute to the time-honored fundraiser, her other entry, the acoustic “On My Honor,” engages with the life lessons Scouting has offered the young musician.

“‘On My Honor’ is basically saying that Girl Scouts has taught me that I can be who I want to be no matter what someone else tries to tell me,” she said.

Her parents and fellow Scouts from Troop 81893 will all be in the crowd when Dana Marie performs the two songs this weekend.

“I’m a little nervous, but mostly I’m excited,” she said.

This summer, Dana Marie will continue her pursuits in both music and Scouting as she works on her Gold Award project, an anti-bullying campaign consisting of a series of coffeehouses throughout the summer.

“Music is of course a big part of my life,” she said, “and I wanted to choose a topic that affects girls my age.”

The first event in the series is scheduled for July 21 at the Old Bridge Public Library.

Dana Marie also plans to professionally record some of her original songs this summer, with her sights set on becoming a successful singer-songwriter like Taylor Swift, one of her major inspirations.

“I’m always going to be writing songs,” she said. “I’m always going to be trying to put myself out there.”

To see the video for “Girl Scout Cookie Rap,” visit the website at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1qDBXIRBKQ.

Contact Adam Joseph Drici at adrici@gmnews.com.

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