Kingston High School students score scholarships for band skills - - No One Gets You Closer

Kingston High School students score scholarships for band skills


KINGSTON -- Today is college signing day for several high school students in Texoma.

But these students don't play quarterback, center field or point guard.

This group of students are part of a different type of team, but they're still scoring scholarships with their skills.

High school football, baseball and basketball players are typically behind the table on college signing days.

But at Kingston High School, the beat of the drum is a little different.

Athletes share the spotlight with band members, three of which signed a scholarship Thursday to play for East Central University in Ada.

"Everytime I put on the uniform I feel like I have something to prove to everybody," percussionist Brenden Edison said.

Kassidy White, Laura Wilson and Brenden Edison will all receive full scholarships for their ability to play the clarinet, trumpet and percussion, respectively.

"It was the most exciting thing, most exciting feeling I've  had in a long time. I was like, 'thank you, thank you, thank you,'" White said.

"I got the letter in the mail and I freaked out," Wilson said. "I was so excited."

Their parents say paying for college this way -- instead of out of pocket -- is music to their ears.

"Overwhelmed with joy that he was actually getting a scholarship and he gets to go to the school he wants to," parent Patricia Edison said.

Lindsay Pfaff is the band director. Jon Dohrer is the assistant band director.

"The term band geek, we take that with pride," Dohrer said. "We have shirts that say that."

He says students who sign up for band at Kingston High feel they're becoming part of its legacy.

One of the more notable alumni is Greg Upchurch, the drummer for the band 3 Doors Down.

"Our community, it think, is so supportive because so many of them were in band themselves," Dohrer said. He says becoming a band member is also a commitment.

Band students show up to practice hours before classes even begin. They stay after school to practice and when other kids are vacation for spring break or during the summer, they're at school working on their skills.

It's obvious the practice is paying off.

Trophies cover almost every surface inside the band room.

They'll have to find place to put a table full of new trophies from their most recent competition where, once again, they took home top prize. It's another high note for a band that now has three new reasons to brag.

The students begin in the fall. Band directors say they expect more students to receive scholarships by the end of the year.