What Band Means To Me


Thomas Kearney, Reporter

When I hear the word ‘band’, I think about how people come together from different places in life.

I started playing percussion in fifth or sixth grade, either because I chose it or because the teacher chose it for me. Since then, I’ve enjoyed every second of my band experience. 

My middle school band highlights consist of the percussion section rotating and playing different instruments and when I tripped and fell right before playing in a concert. I had to wipe my bloody hands multiple times while playing, and thinking about it still makes me laugh.

In high school band, especially in freshman year, I liked playing with and learning from upperclassmen. There were always inside jokes and it made me feel like I belonged. 

One of my most important jobs to date is playing the whip crack for Sleigh Ride, which started when the senior who was supposed to do it, wasn’t in class for a few days. After that, through sophomore, junior, and now senior year, it’s something I care about doing. I’m excited to teach an underclassman the ways of the whip crack. 

One of the best things the band has taught me is how to be a leader. I feel uncomfortable telling people what to do but stepping out of my comfort zone is what makes me keep doing it. Being virtual and leading was hard as a junior because the only time I was able to play was at the May band concert. Nonetheless, at that concert, I was able to lead how I would have wanted to if the year was ‘normal’. 

This year, my senior year, is hard to believe. I love being one of the upperclassmen in the percussion section and being back in person to play every day. The year is still young, so right now I’m looking forward to playing in pep band at the Homecoming game on October 15th. However, most of my excitement has to wait until December, when the band plays Sleigh Ride, and I, as a senior, get to wear a Santa hat. 

All in all, band is important to me because it has taught me a lot not only musically but also about myself. Mr. Carson and Mr. Gard are both great teachers. I owe them a lot for how my band career has turned out because they are encouraging and helpful to everyone. 

Due to the positive experience I’ve had, I hope to continue band even after graduating from Whitefish Bay High School and its band program. 

Finally, to those who are currently in band or are considering joining, I say get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Being in band, leading, and playing in public are all ways I took risks, and I don’t regret it one bit. Neither will you.