KHS Band members reflect on Turkey Day

Snow is not usually present in the KHS football atmosphere, but it was the vehicle for a particular memory for members of the Pep Band on Thanksgiving Day two years ago during at WGHS.

“It was pouring down rain, then snow, and we were all huddled together and soaking wet,” Devin Callahan, senior band member, said. “At first people were complaining, but we said, ‘We’re with friends and we’re having a good time. This isn’t that bad.’”

Ryann Bank, senior drum major, said band’s social aspect is important to its overall atmosphere.

“It was really cool to see all the dedication we had, especially with how many seniors we had there that day,” Bank said. “I always love to see a lot of seniors at away games, because they, more than anyone else, have the choice to sit with their friends outside of band, but they’re dedicated enough to stay with us.”

Callahan and Bank have both had long roads to their current senior leadership status.

“I almost dropped band after my freshman year because I was last chair. I was the worst trumpet player. But I decided I would take some responsibility and handle myself before I handle others, and I’m proud of myself for that. I’m really glad I didn’t quit,” Callahan said.

Bank’s role as drum major has helped her come full circle in the band program.

“I’ve been in band since fourth grade, and as a freshman and sophomore I waited my turn and thought about how fun it would be [to be a drum major],” Bank said. “It feels great to be of service to the directors who have been with me for so long.”

Jason Rekittke, band director, said the band is the best it has been since he took his position 21 years ago. He credits this to student leadership, like that of Callahan and Bank.

“Everything [in band] revolves around how our student leadership and our five directors work together on the same page,” Rekittke said. “Our student leaders can often communicate whatever we need them to communicate to the students better than we can, especially when students see the older students taking pride in what they’re doing.

Callahan values his contribution to shaping the pride of younger band members, and said he will miss them after he graduates.

“I’m bummed I won’t be able to see them grow, and see the people who you wouldn’t think would mature turn into really fantastic individuals,” Callahan said. “I know I won’t be able to play my instrument as part of the band group, and I won’t have the camaraderie and friends I’ve gained through band anymore.”

Despite the looming reality of leaving band, Bank is still looking ahead to this year’s Turkey Day game.

“The band just brings so much life to the game. We start the game off and keep everyone’s spirits high, especially with the cheers and dancing to drumline, and at Turkey Day it’s twice that,” Bank said. “It’s not even Turkey Day unless the band is there.”