Kahm seeks a future in music education


Kahm is a member of Jazz Band and the Spectrum choir at SHS. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Kahm)

   Daniel Kahm is one of the many embodiments of drive and willpower at Sheridan High School. Kahm participates in many extracurricular activities especially involving the arts. He is involved in the marching band, choir, musical and drama at SHS. 

   Kahm also got into All Northwest for choir this year. All Northwest is a performance where students are judged and graded on different aspects of choir and band. It encompasses the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. This year, Sheridan is getting to take more students than ever before and Kahm was one of them to go to Portland, Oregon, on Feb. 17-18.

   Kahm was born in Billings, Montana, and then moved to Cody, Wyoming when he was five. His family then moved here to Sheridan, Wyoming to find their forever home while Kahm was halfway through third grade. Since moving here, Kahm has found a sense of purpose and a place where he can call home.

   He comes from a creative family with his mom, Jennifer Kahm, a professional photographer, and his sister, Joey Kahm, a dancer at Donna’s Dance Academy. He has always been a creative person, drawing and doing art since he was very little. Eventually, in middle school, Kahm had his musical awakening. “I didn’t always have a draw towards music, but I think it came when I found ‘Hamilton,’ the musical,” said Kahm. “It just flipped a switch in my brain.” Ever since this change, his affinity and passion for the music the world has to offer have only gotten stronger. Besides video games and hanging out with his close friends, he is highly focused and eager about music. “I am very passionate about music, all of it,” said Kahm. “Singing, dancing, instruments, all of it. I love it.”

   He has been playing saxophone for the school band for five years and in the choir for two years. This year, Kahm is participating in the Honor Choir, Spectrum, the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band. Kahm has found a lot of inspiration and encouragement from his former and current teachers and instructors, Chad Rose, Dianne Knutson and Erin Schanzenbach. Each teacher pushed him further than he believed he could and made him a better musician and overall a better, more versatile person. 

   Chad Rose is Kahms’s instructor for the Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble. Wind Ensemble is a more advanced band class with fewer students and college level material which entails for students to have more responsibility. The Jazz Band plays jazz and contemporary music from the 20 and 21 centuries. Rose has been teaching Kahm for about three years now. Rose has really gotten to know him well over this time. “Daniel started into the band later than most students,” said Rose. “So, he is eager to catch up. He is super interested in a whole bunch of different aspects of music and production.” Rose sees Kahm as having a very successful future in music of some kind. 

   With a workload like the one he has taken on, it can be very hard to balance life and still maintain healthy goals. However, because of his soft spot and enjoyment for music and the encouragement from his friends, family and teachers, he finds a way to make sure he is ready for anything life may throw at him. He always looks forward to being challenged when encountering obstacles and will power through, so he can come out on top by doing the best he can. 

   Kahm’s dream is to see his name in big lights and be the best musician possible. After Kahm graduates, he plans to go to college to pursue further education. “I think he would be great. He is sensitive to other people’s feelings which is a very important part of being an educator.” said Rose. “He is like a sponge. He is going to take in any information presented to him and try to grasp it as deeply as he can.” Kahm has currently been accepted to Sheridan College and the University of Wyoming but does not know which one he will choose. He wants to go for music education to be a band director, so he can show kids the light music brought to him and be there to inspire their growth as his teachers did for him. Kahm is a dedicated student here at SHS and shows the people around him how to be even better in each of their own lives. 

   Kahm is the son of Jennifer Kahm and Lee Kahm.