Success through the years


Kayla Eaton

Junior Kameron Mayhue was awarded the honor of being picked to attend State Band in Hershey, PA on March 30. He accomplished this goal through the dedication of Freedom’s Band Directors Mr. Keith Kovalic and Mr. Robert James.

Mayhue, after his performance at regional band, traveled to Hershey, PA with Kovalic for his audition for State Band. This audition was held at Hershey High School, and resulted in Mayhue receiving fifth place out of ten in the trumpets for the wind ensemble.

The actual concert was held in the afternoon on April 2.The concert was held on the afternoon of April 2. The band played pieces these songs included: “Vulcan,” “Sound the Bell,” “Sunrise at Angel’s Gates” and “George Washington Bridge.” While the ensemble worked hard individually to get there, there were other factors involved in getting them to that level. One of these factors are the band directors Kovalic and James.

“It was a great weekend. The music was the best band music I’ve ever played. Although the rehearsal days were long and tiring, the concert was very exciting,” Mayhue said.
Although the students who make it to district, state, honors or any band or chorus put in a lot of time, effort and practice, the band directors make a huge impact on their performance.

“Both Mr. James and KK [Kovalic] were a huge help in my road to States. I couldn’t have done it without their expertise,” Mayhue said.

In the past five years, Kovalic estimates that three students have made it to State band. However, over his whole career here at FHS, he has had a larger number of students make it to regional or state band.

Kovalic mentions that in order to be successful and make it to an honors band or chorus, a lot of individual time is needed. Since there’s not a lot of time for one-on-one time with every student, private lessons outside of school help the student achieve this kind of success they need to be selected. Kovalic, in the past, has always mentioned that he is willing to help these students who are interested in band or chorus outside of school by helping them in the morning, during lunch or after school.

Not only is State Band a good opportunity for the students, but for the directors as well. During his time at Hershey, Kovalic was able to attend clinics, classes and a large exhibit area. This area had fundraising ideas and marching band uniform companies. While Mayhue was in rehearsals, Kovalic was able to talk to other band directors to discuss their programs and get different perspectives and ideas from other schools. Kovalic described State band as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

In order to achieve success, Kovalic mentions that you have to love what you do. His willingness to teach has made an impact on his success and his students’ success as well.

“It doesn’t matter [what it is], whether it’s music, band, football, soccer or whatever you choose to do, there’s a level of time and effort that has to be put into it to be successful. Whatever it is, hopefully it’s a passion and something you love because then it’s not work anymore, it’s something you love doing,” Kovalic said.
For future years, Kovalic sees an increase of students that have the potential to make it to a high-level band or chorus ensemble. He just advises to put the time and effort into it and work towards your goals.