The Seahawks and the Otters


Alexis Hopper

Soaring Sound members play stand tunes for Oakstead Elementary students.

Alexis Hopper, Editor

For Red Ribbon Week, half of the Sunlake Soaring Sound pep band visited Oakstead Elementary School students to teach them about making healthy choices and showing them musical instruments up close. The band played tunes, played each instrument one by one, to showcase the unique sound, then went into the crowd of elementary schoolers to let them press keys or valves or beat the drums.

Soaring Sound percussion members display quads, snares, bases, and cymbals while OES students watch. (Alexis Hopper)

Senior Kylie Hazelton, a tuba player, says she “really enjoyed the trip, it was one of my [sic] favorite band trips” and mentioned how she would absolutely go back, saying how “I remember wishing I could do it again.” She loved “performing for the kids and seeing everyone’s excitement when the band started playing and the instruments were brought around to try.” Kylie recalls “how hyped the kids were when I [sic] asked some of them to come up and dance with me during drum cadences.” She believes that the performance was “a wonderful experience for the kids and a wonderful introduction to the music program” and that it shows “what band is: dancing and having fun while playing an instrument you love and are passionate about.” She mentions a time about a week later when the band was in the stands at the next football game with a kid sitting nearby. “He came up to me and told me he saw me at his school. I asked him if he enjoyed the band and he said he loved it and wanted to be in band too… he told me he wanted to play tuba, just like me, and as a senior who has the exact same experience as him when I was in his shoes; it really touched me.” She says “I did that, like who knows who else I inspired to play tuba or even join band.”

Senior Kylie Hazelton shows Oakstead students her sousaphone. Faces blurred for privacy. (Alexis Hopper)

Senior Dyanne Palin, a mellophone player in the Soaring Sound, also enjoyed the trip. Her favorite part was “seeing how excited the kids were to see the band,” and loved how the OES students “all wanted to play the instruments.” She believes the experience will “inspire others to join band as they will see how fun it is to play instruments and create a family with other people.” She also states that “honestly there was no bad part of the experience” and that she would “love to do it again if I could.”