‘It has been such a blessing to grow up with such amazing mentors’: Cold Springs’ Kaylee Windsor reflects on years in Royal Blue Band

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Cold Springs’ Kaylee Windsor. (Courtesy of Kaylee Windsor)

BREMEN, Ala. — Cold Springs senior band member Kaylee Windsor made many great memories during her years playing in the Royal Blue Band and she felt lucky to be around so many great fellow band members to compete with.

“Some of my favorite band memories were traveling long distances to support our team at away games and our girls’ basketball team at the state semifinals,” Windsor said. “Throughout my seven years in the band, I have made so many friendships, both in my band, and in other bands across the country. When I was younger, I always looked up to the older band students. During my senior year and when I was the drum major, the younger kids looked up to me. It has been such a blessing to grow up with such amazing mentors and have the opportunity to mentor younger students.”

Kaylee added,

“I enjoy all marching competitions, and they definitely hold some of my fondest memories. It is so much fun getting to compete, watch other bands perform, and make new friends. However, the Mud Creek Marching Competition held by Hanceville High School will always hold a special place in my heart. It is a tradition that all the county bands compete in it every year, and I have met some of my closest friends through that competition. In fact, another drum major that I met there will actually be my roommate at The University of Alabama this fall.”

Kaylee learned as much as she could from both her band directors during her high school years.

“William Johnson was our band director for my first six years of band. He always pushed me to become a better musician and most importantly, a better leader. I was devastated to find out he was retiring right before my senior year. However, our band program was blessed with another great band director this year: Zach O’Bryant. Although I have only known him for a year, I believe he is going to do wonderful things for our band. He values our tradition and sense of family, while incorporating some new teaching methods that make students more well-rounded. As a percussionist himself, he helped our percussion win Best in Class at all three competitions we competed in. I look forward to seeing how he improves our band program over the upcoming years.”

She added,

“This year, we received All-Superior Rankings, and Best in Class Percussion at every competition. We also received Best in Class Color guard and Best in Class Band twice. Winning Best in Class Band was definitely my favorite award, because the entire group’s hard work was recognized altogether.

Kaylee will deeply miss being a part of the Royal Blue Band next year and she shared a couple of her favorite high school memories.

“I will never forget the leadership skills that I learned throughout this program. Leadership is something I can use throughout my life, and I have the Royal Blue Band to thank for that. I’ll miss all of my band members dearly, but I definitely plan to come back and visit them,” she said. “Some of my favorite high school memories were serving as Drum Major for two years and representing the school as Cold Springs’ Fair Queen. Both titles opened up so many opportunities for me to serve my community, better myself, and even earn some scholarships.”

She talked about what made Cold Springs a special place to go to school and talked about her role model in the band. She gave some advice to those people that want to be where she is now.

“My mother has taught at Cold Springs for many years, so I truly grew up there. Our deep association with the school made it so much more meaningful to hold titles like drum major and fair queen,” she said. “When I was a rookie, one of my biggest role models was Natalie Davis. She was an 11th grade saxophone player and the drum major. She led the band with strength and authority and showed me what it meant to be a powerful female role model. As a recent graduate of both Wallace State Community College and Cold Springs High School, my best advice for any younger students comes from one word: perseverance. On the road to achieve your dreams, you will experience some tough challenges. There’s no avoiding them, so just overcome them. You will learn from those challenges, and it will make you wiser in the end.”

Kaylee earned a couple of scholarships and feels blessed to have received them.

“I received a $44,500 full tuition academic scholarship to The University of Alabama, and a $1,000 scholarship for winning the talent portion of the Cullman County Fair Pageant. I also got accepted into the UA School of Music and the UA Capstone Music Therapy program, where I will study this fall. I feel so beyond blessed to have received those scholarships. I can’t wait to use them towards pursuing my dreams of becoming a Music Therapist,” she said. “I hope that I have left the Royal Blue Band with a legacy of leadership, hard work, and most importantly, kindness.”

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