Bands striving above and beyond


Sage Baranski, BHS Journalism

Band is a class many students take. This year’s band had an eventful time.

“Both bands, high school, and Middle, have had a lot of events this year,” Band Director Stuart O’Neil said. “Middle school has had most of their events already this year but April is the busiest month for high school band.”

Band is a place of improvement every year.

“Each year the band just improve a ton,” O’Neil said. “I’m not saying the band wasn’t good last year but the leadership of the older students this year is phenomenal.”

Festivals and performing is a huge part of band every year.

“We have done many performances this year,” O’Neil said. “We had the Maple Leaf Festival in October, The Mardi Gras in the high school, we have also had various concerts for both bands throughout this year.”

High school has a ton of upcoming events in the next month.

“April is the month of events for the high school band,” O’Neil said. “All of the KSHSAA (Kansas State High School Activities Association) events are happening, April 15 is the solos and small ensembles festival, April 19 is the KSHSAA large room festival which is full bands, full choirs, and full orchestras.”

Baldwin hosts that upcoming event, with 20 schools will be visiting. 

“The middle school events are mostly wrapped up,” O’Neil said. “The last event we have is our May concert and the song we will play at the 8th grade graduation.”

Senior Kate Welch is the drum major for the high school band. This will be her last year in our band because Welch is graduating at the end of this year.

“This year has been amazing,” Welch said. “I feel like I really grew as a person and stepped out of my comfort zone, I really enjoyed my time in band.”

Will Cooper was the band director before O’Neil. This is O’Neil’s second year teaching at BHS.

“Mr. Cooper was an amazing teacher and Mr. O’Neil has been a wonderful new fit for the band. Baldwin is so lucky to have had two great teachers back to back,” Welch said. “O’Neil is a great conductor and I think he was a great choice for this school. He’s an awesome teacher.”

“Band is a very in depth class where you get to know a lot of people and have fun,” Welch said. “This year has been wonderful and I’m going to really miss band.”