Fresh Air Band spotlight

Fresh Air Band spotlight

Othelia Han, Staff Reporter

The Fresh Air Band has been playing music at the weekly chapel services since the 2018–2019 school year. The band is a group of five students and two teachers who are passionate about worshiping God through their musical talents. 

Kate Kingsmill, a sophomore spending her first semester in the Fresh Air Band, mentions that she “really loves being a part of the band.”

“I was a part of the middle school chapel team, [and the upper school] is a whole new story,” says Kingsmill. 

Not only is it important to successfully perform in front of the entire Upper School, but it is essential to have a team that is caring and works well as a team. 

“We have a lot of fun together, and there is never a dull moment,” said Kingsmill. “I think we all work really well together, and everyone is so supportive. There aren’t a lot of limits, and everyone is free to play around, trying new things all the time.”

“Most of the time, Josh [Fuentes] plays the drums, [and] Mr. Darnell plays one of the electric guitars, while Owen [Parker] plays the other,” said Kingsmill. “Samara [Samad] plays the acoustic guitar. Me and Mr. Swayze play the pianos.”

“I like to try and take any opportunity I have to perform,” said Kingsmill.

“There is nothing more rewarding than working on a song for months and finally performing it and doing it just how you imagined you would,” said Kingsmill. “Obviously, not every song goes like this, and I have messed up a fair share of times, but that makes the moments where everything goes right even better. It’s a pretty great feeling.”

Kingsmill says that she finds joy when she sings, especially when onstage with the Fresh Air team.

“I’ve loved singing forever,” said Kingsmill. “There are videos of me belting notes before I could really form a sentence. I started playing piano around the age of seven, which is probably where I found my love for music. I started singing lessons in 7th grade and took a lead role in a musical around the same time.”

As she began and continues her singing career, Kingsmill said that she follows God’s plan. 

“While, of course, I don’t think I’ll be some superstar someday, I would love to extend singing into as many areas of my life as possible,” stated the singer. “If I get the opportunity to sing as a career, I would take it in a heartbeat, but if that doesn’t happen, that’s okay too. Whatever God’s plan is works for me.”

Student Life coordinator and Fresh Air Band member David Darnell also enjoys playing his part in the band. 

“I’ve been playing guitar since middle school and piano since 10th grade in high school, but I grew up in a musical family singing and playing music often,” said Darnell. 

“I’ve [also] been leading bands in churches my whole life,” stated Darnell. “I started in middle school, led our chapel band in high school, and participated in college ministries while I was there.” 

He said that, “unlike sports and other extracurricular activities, you can play music the rest of your life. There are no ‘glory days’ or requirements for organized activities.” 

“You can sit down at a piano or grab a guitar or just sing a song every day for the rest of your life, and I think that’s really special,” said the band member. 

“I love [the Fresh Air Band]. It’s the best part of my day,” said Darnell. “I think playing music with friends is like having a conversation but in a different language. We can feel and hear how [we] are doing.”

The Fresh Air Band is a crucial part of Upper School chapel services as it showcases student talent and helps grow each individual’s faith.