The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

Humans of WEGO: From kazoo to college auditions, Kyler Campbell’s crescendo of musical pursuits

Aspiring music educator Kyler Campbell is known for his sense of humor, but he knows when to get serious.
Senior+Kyler+Campbell+practices+on+the+tenor+saxophone+before+the+orchestra+concert+in+December+2023.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Kyler+Campbell%29
Senior Kyler Campbell practices on the tenor saxophone before the orchestra concert in December 2023. (Photo courtesy of Kyler Campbell)

Most people only buy one singing gram for their significant other on Valentine’s Day, but Kyler Campbell took romance to the next level by purchasing not one, not two, but five singing grams for his beloved “pookie-wookie”. 

Campbell, a current senior at West Chicago Community High School, always makes sure he has the last laugh when it comes to embarrassing his friends – in a wholesome way, of course. Other than his tendency toward jokes, Campbell would describe himself as a very relaxed person.

“I think I’m chill because I’m just chill like that. You know? I feel like I’m a pretty laid-back person. Except for when I’m with Brandon Heath,” Campbell said. 

“I have known Kyler since 8th grade at Benjamin, but got closer my freshman year through band. My favorite memory with him was messing around with him at Disney and the post-concert antics we would do,” Senior Brandon Heath said.

Campbell and his friend Brandon Heath, also a senior, pose for a picture in the band section at a basketball game. (Photo courtesy of Kyler Campbell)

Campbell plans on going into music education after high school: this career is not something he fully planned to do, but now, Campbell has decided music is what fascinates him and therefore wants to pursue a career in the field. 

“To be honest, I did not know what I wanted to go into until sometime over the summer, this past year. I decided ‘Oh I love music.’ Yeah, I want to go into music education,” Campbell said. 

Campbell was not alone in deciding where he wanted to go with his passions when he was older. 

“I’d say I’m inspired by my middle school band director, Mr. Turek. I’d say he’s also a big influence on why I want to go into music education,” Campbell said. 

Recently, Campbell was selected for the Future Music Educators Seminar (FMES) at the Illinois Music Educators Conference (IMEC), which is an all-state event for those who wish to pursue music education. The goal of this event is to get music lovers exposed to various aspects of the profession. 

“I’m proud of myself for that. It was just a really good opportunity to expose myself to the music education world,” Campbell said.

The event lasted three days and consisted of seminars, with a maximum selection of 55 students accepted to attend them. These seminars had many experienced music educators guide the students throughout the conference by sharing their own experiences as to how to be a great music educator. There were a number of great performances during the conference as well. 

“The first day, there were some performances I went to listen to, including the music teachers. Ms. Janiszewski and Ms. Austin both performed in a Chicagoland orchestra, and that was really cool. Then there were just other performances from schools in the area, like the Bradley University band performed, and the Midwest Air Force band performed, and then obviously, the all-state and all-honors students performed in their ensembles,” Campbell said. 

“I would describe Kyler as an overall awesome student. He’s a great role model for the younger musicians in our band program. Not only is he an accomplished musician but he is also an athlete and excels academically. Over the past few years, I’ve watched him work hard and hone his skills as a musician and as a leader,” WCCHS’s band director Marissa Janiszewski said.

Music has always been a part of Campbell’s life. He first started playing the kazoo at the age of four, then graduated to playing the recorder throughout third and fourth grades. Once middle school started, he picked up the alto saxophone, which he played throughout fifth grade, and bumped up to the tenor saxophone during his sixth-grade year. Campbell tries to practice his instrument every chance he gets. 

“I have stayed tenor sax the whole time, although, for college auditions, I do need to do a lot of stuff on alto. So I’ve been playing alto a lot more recently. I do practice my instrument on the weekends. At least five days a week,” Campbell said. 

Other than growing his music career, Campbell really enjoys playing baseball in his free time; he has been involved in the sport from a very young age. Currently he plays for our school’s Varsity team, but also plays for a program called Knight’s Baseball Chicago in the summer. 

“My dad likes baseball and my older brother played baseball. So I kind of got not forced into it,” Campbell said.

Kyler posing with a baseball award. (Photo Courtesy of Kyler Cambell)

Campbell will not usually be found out in the real world unless the excursion is something related to music or baseball. Other than those two interests, Campbell loves playing video games with his siblings, especially on the older consoles. 

“We’re always on the Wii. ‘Mario Kart’ currently on the GameCube is where it’s at. ‘Mario Kart Double Dash’. We grew up on the GameCube because that’s what my grandma had, so a lot of GameCube games. We also have a PlayStation four. So we play on that a fair bit. My younger brother really likes ‘Madden’, so we play that a little bit,” Campbell said.

The GameCube occasionally takes Campbell away from music, although he often regrets not practicing his instrument enough (even though he does practice more than the average band student). He also wishes that he participated in more of the many clubs WEGO has to offer. 

“Anything I could change, I’d say practice more but doesn’t have to be crazy. You don’t want to burn out. I’d say maybe be a little bit more diverse in the clubs I joined because I’ve always just done baseball and not really done any clubs. I probably would have joined some art clubs if I could do it again. During the first semester, I went to Allegria a lot, which is a Latin dancing club and that was a blast, but with college auditioning and practicing, I can’t really go anymore,” Campbell said. 

Campbell is passionate about sticking to music as a career option. 

“Plan B is Plan A. It’s just hard, especially with a music degree. A lot of your classes are music so you’re not really getting any Gen Ed’s out of the way your freshman, or sophomore year.  Part of the reason I thought about going into music ed and planning on it is because I can’t really see myself doing something else. So if music doesn’t work out, I might be kind of screwed,” Campbell said.

 

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Adam Mackovic
Adam Mackovic, Reporter
Adam Mackovic is a future engineer who enjoys a good horror game. He likes a good bike ride in the warm weather, and when indoors, he enjoys cooking a good meal. This Renaissance Man also owns a 50 lb. labrador mix. It is Adam's last year of his high school career, and he hopes to go to COD to start his engineering career; then, Adam wants to continue his studies at a four year college of his choice.
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