Everyone has that one thing they’re good at, and for Grayson McGowen, that thing is band. Having participated in band for a total of six years, McGowen’s life revolves around the schedule of the Pride of Paoli and other aspects of the band.
McGowen plays in the marching band, pep band, jazz band and concert band. She first joined after admiring the work that her older sister, Maggie McGowen, had previously done in the band, and now they are currently in the band together.
The McGowen family’s life has been greatly affected by the girls’ involvement in the band at PHS. From practice to competitions, both daughters are very busy, as are the McGowen parents. Jodi and Scott McGowen feed band kids, make props, help with uniforms and do many other band-related activities on a daily basis. Overall, McGowen’s life is hugely affected by this program.
“Band has affected me in many ways. It has helped me make more friends, helped me open up more to others and find myself easier,” said McGowen.
McGowen’s biggest achievement in the band is placing third at State last year, which reminded her of her favorite memory of being in band: standing in the awards block at State. While doing this, band directors come around and shake band member’s hands and give them a sense of pride, which McGowen holds dear to her heart.
“Band changed my high school career for the better, and I’m lucky to be a part of such a successful program.” said McGowen.
Being in band has been a big part of McGowen’s life for six years now, but music has always been a huge aspect of her daily life.
“I knew music was going to be a big part of my life one day when I was at church. A man that I went to church with gave me his trumpet, and it inspired me to start playing,” said McGowen.
McGowen plans on pursuing music as her future career once she graduates high school. She also plans to continue using what she has learned from band and her other skills. Having the talent of playing the trumpet, flugelhorn, piano, ukulele and the guitar, she already has much musical talent to build off of. She is looking into IU’s music program but is unsure of her future plans. McGowen dreams of playing and living in New York City.
Story by Kennedy Embry