Senior Profile: Olivia Rekittke


Olivia Rekittke pops open her French horn case to reveal the coiled brass and flared bell. She warms up with five minutes of lip slurs before running through major scales, melodic minor scales and chromatic scales. After hours of homework and rehearsals, she finally relaxes with a pad of paper and GarageBand.

Olivia has been involved in the KSD music program for eight years. She grew up surrounded by musical influence. Her dad taught band in KSD for 20 years, her mom was an All-State clarinetist and both of her grandparents were musicians or directed.  When Olivia was young, her parents played music every night before bed and took her to the concerts at the symphony. Her father, Jason Rekittke, used to show her videos of women playing French horn in hopes of gravitating her interest toward the instrument.

“You have that day when you had to go try out all the instruments [in elementary school],” Olivia said. “When I went to try out all the instruments, I already knew which instrument I was going to pick.”

Eventually, Olivia taught herself chord progressions on the piano. She uses the loops on GarageBand and chords from pop songs to produce music with her original lyrics. She said singing and songwriting are a big part of her life, but not a lot of people know about it.

“I vividly remember when we would play the music from Wicked, the Broadway musical,” Jason said. “She listened to it so much that she memorized the songs, and she could sing all the songs on pitch. This was like when she was 6 or 7.”

Jason said Olivia’s music career took off when she began taking private French horn lessons. Since then, she has made All-National band, been in All-Suburban for four years, been in the All-State band and orchestra, played at Carnegie Hall, received two superior ratings at State Solo and Ensemble and played in the St. Louis Youth Symphony Orchestra.

She is always driving to improve and always improving, which is something I admire a lot about her”

— Tod Bowermaster

“She is always driving to improve and always improving, which is something I admire a lot about her,” Tod Bowermaster, Olivia’s private teacher and member of the St. Louis Symphony, said.

Olivia will be attending Truman State University with an undecided major. She does not plan to major in music, but is going to continue playing in the marching band. Olivia has thought about a career with music, but is not sure of her options yet.

“I feel passionate about music,” Olivia said. “If I didn’t have music, I really don’t know who I would be as a person. I just don’t know what my main focus in life would be. That’s why it’s hard for me going into college, because if it’s not music, then what is it? I’m just doing some soul searching right now trying to figure it out.”