Rockwell uses musical talents to lead marching band


Courtesy Bridger Mortensen

As the drum major, Rockwell conducts the marching band for preformances, which helped them earn a superior score at Wyoming State Marching Band Festival.

   Of the many students at Sheridan High School, few are like Kyle Rockwell. As an intelligent and talented student, he excels in his high school career. While his career path is geared towards computer programming, Rockwell’s affinity for music has placed him as head drum major for the new marching band. 

   Every marching band needs a drum major, which is a student who does not have to be a percussionist who conducts all or a portion of the band. For a new marching band, this requires much work to learn and get accustomed to. Between conducting, learning music, doing various tasks for band director Chad Rose and helping fellow students problem solve, there is no shortage of work. Regardless, Rockwell takes on the responsibilities easily and with a positive mindset. “It’s going really well, and I love being up there in front of everyone conducting,” said Rockwell. “It is so satisfying, and seeing it all come together over the past couple of months has been absolutely incredible.”

   Currently, many students are preparing for auditions to the Wyoming All-State Band and All-State Orchestra, and Rockwell is no different. While the selection process for these is difficult, he has already been selected for each of the musical ensembles before. Last year, he was placed as first chair clarinet (which is the best and most skilled musician in an instrument section) in the orchestra, second chair clarinet the year before and made alternate at All-Nationals this year. “His skill level is light years ahead of his peers, not locally but throughout the state,” said Rose.

   An important part of being a musician is practice, and Rockwell does a lot of it. He practices every day to better himself and prepare for auditions. “I’ll practice something, even if it’s not the audition materials, as long as I’m playing something it helps everything,” said Rockwell. “The past few weeks I’ve been trying to get at least an hour in every day, but sometimes I’ll do two or three.” While his main instrument is the clarinet, Rockwell is a member of the high school jazz band on saxophone.

   As a lover of jazz music, it is no surprise to find that one of the most influential moments in music for his life is when the music group Boston Brass came to play for the high school band. “That was an amazing experience, and watching them was when I realized ‘Music is awesome, I need to do this more,’” said Rockwell. After that, he began getting involved in music outside of the high school music program. Rockwell participates in music at the college, playing in both the symphony band and symphony orchestra while looking into joining the college jazz band as well. 

   Rockwell excels outside of music too. “He seeks out information on his own, asks questions when needed but not very often because he pretty much tries to soak up as much as he can,” said Rose. While being an exceptional student all around, Rockwell’s main focus is on computer science. He has taken multiple AP programming classes over the years, as well as a college programming class this year. He plans to go into the programming career field after graduation. “I like programming,” said Rockwell. “I find it fun, and it’s something that I’m naturally good at, so I feel like it would work well for me.” 

   As for colleges, he is applying for many, including Ivy Leagues, but would like to go to college at Michigan State or the University of Michigan. Along with the computer science major, he plans on pursuing music ensembles and classes at the college he will attend.

   All around, Kyle Rockwell has shown his intellect and talents throughout high school and the state with his achievements in music. He will be an asset to any band or college that he belongs to.

   Rockwell is the son of Dale and Lisa Rockwell.