KALIDA — Attending his older sister’s band performances and watching Kalida High School musicians that came before him inspired Pat Millott to not only play, but also to be a leader.
“Hopefully by practicing and being an exceptional trumpeter I can inspire a couple kids in the elementary school and they will want to join the band in high school,” said Pat, a junior.
His work with the marching band recently got Pat into the Lunch Bunch, a program at school that recognizes students going above and beyond. He was among eight recognized this quarter.
“It was a surprise, but nice to have people recognize it,” he said.
The recognition isn’t why he helps young band members and does whatever else might be needed in the band room. He does that to keep the program going and getting better.
“It has been really cool to see how it started out and then evolved into something really amazing,” he said. “The Kalida band has become a really good band.”
Pat plays the trumpet in the marching, pep and concert bands. He started playing in the fourth grade, after his mom told him to find something he could be passionate about, and after hearing a recording of trumpeter Louis Armstrong. He often practices during study hall at school and tries to get in at least two hours in the evenings.
“My parents have to stay up and put up with my playing,” he said. “But I think they love listening to me.”
The Lunch Bunch recognition also came for Pat’s volunteer work for a recent American Red Cross Blood Mobile at school. Students did odd jobs for Red Cross officials. Pat described it as a busy day. Pat also helps his mom maintain the Prayer Garden at St. Michael’s Catholic Church.
Pat is also a member of the school’s Book Club, but it is music that keeps him most busy in and outside of school. He is a member of the Lima Youth Symphony Orchestra. He previously played in the Bluffton Community Concert Band and hopes to do it again.
A highlight in his music career was a trip last summer to Washington, D.C., to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The National Association for Music Educators selected Pat to participate.
Pat has competed and done well in district and county Ohio Music Educators Association contests and performances, but has yet to get into the state choir. A cold last year made his audition a little rough, but Pat is ready for it next spring.
“It frustrated me. It was not my best performance,” he said. “It is a goal of mine.”
Pat, who works at the Kalida Market, maintains a 3.8 GPA and tutors a sixth-grader in math twice a week. It is one of his stronger subjects. He is looking at several schools, include the University of Washington, Case Western Reserve University and Northwestern University.
He is considering studying either computers or chemistry. He wants to continue to play the trumpet, possibly in the school marching band and community bands.
“I’ll do trumpet as a hobby, a side gig,” he said. “It is something I don’t want to lose.”