By Sophia Jaquez
As a band student, the question I have been asked the most this year is “So how is the new band teacher?” Mr. Wilhelm is not very well know to the county, so most people actually want to know “Who is Mr. Wilhelm?”
Before Mr. Wilhelm started teaching here, he taught 13 years as the assistant director and 24 years as the head band director at Grove high school in Grove, Oklahoma. The high school band program at Grove has about 100 students, and about 350 students total in the middle school, junior high, and high school programs. Mr. Wilhelm was very involved in all the of the different types of band programs at Grove, from the 5th grade level to 12th grade level, including marching band, concert band, and jazz band. To help you understand Mr. Wilhelm more, I asked some students for questions that they would like to ask Mr. Wilhelm and below are his answers.
What was your favorite class in high school, besides band?
Mr. Wilhelm – “Besides band, it probably would have been choir. Our choir and our band were both really really good, and I really liked the directors. So, those were definitely my favorite classes. Plus, I made it into the State Choir, and that was really fun.”
If you had to eat at one fast food restaurant for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
“Gosh, it would have to be Chick-fil-a.”
If you weren’t a band director, what would other job would you want to do?
“Well, music is my life, so that’s kind of a hard question… Nobody really knows this, but during the summer of 1981 and 1982, I was the girl’s softball coach at Grove. That was a really fun job, and I think I would be a really good coach.”
What is your best high school memory?
(It took Mr. Wilhelm a little longer to answer this question because he said he really enjoyed his high school experience. After much deliberation, he decided on two things.)
“One of my best memories was when I got the lead role in the school musical. We performed George M Cohan, and I was the kid that got to sing “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. The other great memory I have from high school is when my friends and I formed a rock band. And by rock, I mean like music from Chicago. Our group was called ‘Tank N’ Company’, Tank was the name of our tuba player. I played trombone in our band, and we performed and won the Sapulpa, Oklahoma talent show! I remember we took the trophy, and we mounted it on the wall of the band room for our band director. That was a lot of fun.”
And the final most important question was:
Does pineapple go on pizza?
Now you know who Mr. Wilhelm is, and as for how the band students like him, I asked a couple students their opinions on the new director.
“You can tell he’s a hard working dude,” said Samantha Brace, a junior in color guard. “I admire him for how well he’s adjusting to a new school.”
Aiden Chamberlain, a junior in percussion, also has high praise for Mr. Wilhelm.
“I think he’s done a really great job being patient with the band members as we’ve been getting acclimated to each other,” Chamberlain said. “As a band, we’ve been through a lot, and he’s come in gracefully without disrupting our family. He’s here to help us become better musicians, and we’re well on that track.”
Mr. Wilhelm is new to this school district, but when you see the band in the stands and performing their half-time show on Friday nights, it is very obvious that he is already a proud Mustang!