Music & leadership the perfect combination for Welch


Many people join band in high school, but few are determined enough to be really good at it. Senior Kate Welch is the drum major at BHS.

Welch likes a lot of things about band, but mostly how she gets challenged and the community.

“I love that I get challenged, usually every day, and with certain pieces more so than others,” Welch said. “I like that the community is so funny, yet wholesome.”

Band is a hard subject to take because it takes someone who is determined and smart.

“She is really smart and she practices all the time,” BHS band teacher Stuart O’Neil said.

Most people quit band after the first couple years because it is hard to get into, but Welch wanted to keep making music.

“In fifth grade I wasn’t really that excited,” Welch said. “well I guess I was, but there wasn’t anything pushing me to do it, but upon starting band I fell in love with making melodies.”

To be a leader like Welch students peers and teachers have to like them, drum majors are nominated by the students and then selected by the teachers.

“Kate is our drum major,” O’Neil said. “she was in part elected by the student body last year, and in part chosen by me.”

Band has a lot of opportunities for festivals and competitions. At most of the competitions band members can win medals.

“It’s the people who are that good who practice the most,” O’Neil said. “But they do it behind the scenes and nobody sees it. she is in my room every day during third hour, she is working on a solo for some upcoming KESHA events, she’s working on a trio with two of her friends and she’s kind of a leader of that group.”

Welch is also a great student.

“She comes and sings with the jazz band, even though she’s not enrolled,” O’Neil said. “So she has to figure things out with her teachers and classes make sure she’s doing really well so she’s allowed to slip out.”

She plans on going to college at KU and majoring in Environmental Studies or Science.

“I’ll also possibly minor in music, and if not that then I’ll at least play in some ensembles, Welch said.

Welch has shown leadership in many ways at BHS. 

“She conducts at football and basketball games,” O’Neil said. “We had a Mardi Gras parade at the school, I was teaching here so she just took care of it, a lot of times she will also be in charge of pep rallies.”