Kaelen Wilber

Dear future Eagle Pride Marching Band Members,

First off, I’d like to acknowledge what an honor it has been. What an honor it has been to work, sweat, grow, perform, and strive under this truly incredible organization. These past four years have seemed to fly by in a matter of seconds because of the amount of fun I’ve had in band here at O’Connor.

Now, you might be just like I was as an incoming member to the band. On the fence, worried, not truly motivated and “into” the whole marching band scheme. You’re not sure whether or not you want to give up those Friday and Saturday nights for a good few months. Well let me tell you, I was in the same boat as you are, trust me. But, something inside of me told me that I needed to at least try. And wow, that was the best decision I have made during my high school career.

Just in one year, I changed and grew into a completely different person as a Freshman. Band will make you sore in the mornings after practices, it will mess up your sleeping schedule and change the way you set your alarms, it will make you squeeze every last ounce of energy you have onto that field. But it makes you this new, better person than you were before. It changes the way you manage time, the way you perceive and apply hard work and effort to everything, and gives you a new perspective on high school. You will make more friends than you ever have before upon joining band who you will begin to call your “family” in a simple matter of weeks. And I mean family when I say it, we all love each other here unconditionally no matter what.  I’m positive no other program in this school could give you the experience and tools to accomplish the impossible like band does.

Band, to me, is so much more than just a daily warm-up routine and performance every week. We will work the hardest we’ve ever worked, hours upon hours of practices, for that 10 minute slot between the halves of a football game and at competitions. We get those 10 minutes to show our peers and family what music can do emotionally, how it can tell stories and explain simple concepts in a complex way. And for that reason, to me, band is so much more than it looks on paper. It cannot be explained; the split seconds of silence before our performances when people edge on their seats to see what O’Connor is going to do next. Getting to experience this unexplainable feeling is what makes band and all that it encompasses worth it.

For lack of a better term, band to me has been extraordinary. And I know it will be for you too. Give it that chance, and I promise with all my heart it will be so worth it in the end. Best of luck to you in all of your endeavors, and remember, we will always be here with open arms eager to meet you.


Kaelen Garek Wilber