Kenosha’s ‘Band-O-Rama’ nurtures young musicians’ confidence, discipline and sense of family


Kenosha News: Camaraderie. Discipline. Confidence. Family.

These were some of the words local student musicians used to describe their experiences over the years as performers in one the largest student band events in southeastern Wisconsin.

Many of the 1,800 students performing in the Kenosha Unified School District’s Band-O-Rama started as fifth-graders — typically their first year playing an instrument. And it’s not unusual for them to have parents and even grandparents who performed in the event when they were younger, too.

Some Tremper and Indian Trail High School and Academy students shared their thoughts on Band-O-Rama.

Indian Trail senior Kadie Kraabel, who plans to study music education and plays the tuba, recalled how in fifth grade music teacher Kristie Kruse stacked three gigantic music textbooks for her to sit on so she could reach the mouthpiece.

Eight years later, performing has become ingrained in everything she does, from school to social life.

“It has changed everything. I can’t imagine what group I’d be a part of if I wasn’t in band,” said Kraabel. “It’s been a family that’s grown ever since I was in fifth grade.”

Read more about Kenosha’s ‘Band-o-Rama.’

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