Music teaches Williamsport senior the importance of hard work – Herald-Mail Media




Garrett Wiseley developed a love for music at a young age, picking up his first a trumpet in fourth grade.

Despite a long list of musical merits since then, including his third straight performance with the all-county band earlier this month, the Williamsport High School senior said he’s never really considered himself a gifted musician.

“I’m not talented at many things, but I knew that if I worked hard, I could surpass others,” the 17-year-old said. “I worked and I practiced. I even went on to get private lessons. And I became what I am now.”

Thanks to a work ethic instilled by his parents, Holly and Ken Wiseley, school officials who have worked with Garrett said he has developed into a leader among his peers at Williamsport High, serving in the past as trumpet section leader and junior drum major, and this year as the band’s senior drum major.

“I’ve grown so much because of it, and I’ve realized that without hard work, you’re kind of just letting yourself down and letting the people around you down,” he said.

Garrett’s achievements in music have grown each year he’s attended Williamsport schools, including performing in the Wildcats marching band all four years of high school. He’s played in the school’s concert band, jazz band, wind and chamber ensembles, as well as the Williamsport Community Band for several seasons.

Noel Kunkle, interim director of the town band, has worked with Garrett as his private instructor for a number of years. He said he’s a great kid who’s “super dedicated,” not just to his trumpet, “but to life and generally helping kids.”

“The kind of leadership he presents over there is amazing,” Kunkle said. “He sees things before they happen, as far as his ability to perceive good and bad, and sometimes just knock off the bad before it even happens. That’s rare anymore that you can get that kind of leadership.”

Williamsport High Band Director Lauren Bond echoed Kunkle’s remarks, describing Garrett as a bright young man whose leadership extends beyond the band room to the classroom and athletics.

“Garrett is a very smart and energetic young man who really wants everyone to do well,” Bond said. “I see him a lot working with other students, working with younger students.”

As graduation nears, Garrett said he wants to continue playing at the collegiate level, although he doesn’t plan to make it the focus of his post-secondary education.

His top choice right now is the University of Delaware, where he said he’s gotten to know the band director and became a fan of the 300-member Fightin’ Blue Hens Marching Band. But he’s also considering other schools.

Along with Garrett’s musical accomplishments, Bond said his selfless attitude and commitment to the collective good of the band have made an impact on the school community.

As drum major, a job he pursued after encouragement from his peers, Garrett said he realized that his contributions to the band are important, but even more so is what he does for others.

“I was hoping that I was doing something good … for those around me,” he said. “To be recognized for it and to have others realize that I am capable of doing things like that, it means a lot. It really does.”



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