Music Tops Charts For Rider

ST. MARYS — For senior Roughrider Mitchell Slemmons, the focus of Christmas vacation was band, band and more band.

Slemmons was a part of the group of students who went to Florida with the St. Marys All Brass Band.

“That was a lot of fun,” Slemmons said. “Both the performances went really well, even though it ended up raining at the Citrus Bowl Parade.”

The rain did not put a hitch in the band’s experience, Slemmons said.

“We had to make sure we got uniforms hung up and dried before the next one,” he said.

Slemmons said his favorite part of the trip was the band’s performance at Disney World, where they played a medley of Disney tunes including “Whistle While You Work,” “It’s a Small World,” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

“That was a good experience,” Slemmons said. “It was fun being able to go around and just present our band.”

Slemmons plays tenor for SMABB and percussion for the school Concert Choir, and has been a band member since fifth grade.

His interest with music stems from his three older siblings, Andy, Amy and Abby, who were all in band as well.

“I like just hearing the music once we’re done with it — hearing the improvement from when we start to when we end,” Slemmons said.

“And I’ve made a lot of friends through the band program as well — a lot of people that I’ll keep in touch with after high school. It’s taught me a lot. It’s definitely helped with getting along with other people well, setting goals and achieving goals for things like getting a show ready in two weeks.”

While the recent band trip is likely to remain one of the highlights of Slemmons’ high school experience, his favorite class has nothing to do with band.

“I really enjoyed European History last year with Mr. Doll,” he said.

“We had a lot of fun while still getting our learning in ... We talked a lot — not really side conversations, we just went really in depth with the subjects ... and have good discussions about them.”

College is in Slemmons’ future plans. He said he hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps and major in computer science.

“That’s an area that I enjoy and that I think would be a good job for me,” Slemmons said.

“I took web design last year and I took computer lit. this year.”

Slemmons’ father is in computer networking, and after observing what that job entails for so many years, Slemmons said he knew it was the career path for him.

Slemmons’ interests and activities are all over the extracurricular spectrum. In addition to band and computers, he is also active in National Honors Society.

“We do volunteering,” Slemmons said.

“We all volunteered for Goodfellows, we do tutoring within the school, we do fundraising. We usually take a trip every year.”

Although the location of this year’s strip is not set in stone, the NHS has started selling tickets for the Chicken Wing Ding event it is holding on Feb. 15 to raise funds.

“We’re selling chicken dinners that people can come and pick up and eat before the basketball game or go ahead and take home,” Slemmons said.

Being a member of the club has, above all else, instilled strong interpersonal skills in him.

“It definitely helps with communication and other people,” Slemmons said.

“The groups have to work together to make sure it’s all working out.”

He also served as a band aide, assisting the band directors during his freshman and junior years, and he is active in the Zion Lutheran Church Group

As involved as he has been at Memorial High School and in the St. Marys community, Slemmons said he is looking forward to the new experiences and independence college has to offer — especially “being away from home and being in a dorm with other people,” he said.

However, he tentatively plans to return to the area after college.

“That’s where a lot of my family still is,” Slemmons said. “At least, in Ohio.”