“This brings me so much joy, and this is my passion,” senior Annie Cernech said. Many students at West participate in numerous different activities that they are passionate about. For Cernech, that activity is band.
Cernech has been involved in band since she was in 5th grade. She got a later start than most students because she was unable to attend school for a period of time, but she caught up quickly.
Cernech was inspired to join band because of her family. Her dad was involved in band until 8th grade, and her mom plays the flute.
Cernech said, “My mom went pretty far with it. She got a scholarship in college, and she plays a little bit sometimes.”
Cernech got to try many instruments when she started, however, her love for band began when she started playing the flute, much like her mother.
“When I first started, I just kind of found out that this is what I love to do. It just sparked,” Cernech said.
Her love for band has shined throughout her band career, and it grabbed the attention of her teachers. Band Director Clifton Thurmond said, “Annie is an amazing musician, leader, and asset to the band program, but an even better person. She has a contagious smile and personality and makes me want to be a better teacher.”
Cernech is involved in multiple bands at West. This school year, she was a drum major for the marching band, and she participated as a flute player in the pit orchestra for the Into the Woods musical.
“My greatest accomplishment is getting to be a drum major, so I got to be the person that was waving my hands around. I loved it the whole time, even when it was hard,” Cernech added.
“I think that it’s really awesome how Annie has done so much in the band. I was really proud of her becoming a drum major, even though I never doubted that she would for a second,” senior Ellie Curp, a close friend of Cernech’s said.
Moreover, Cernech enjoys attending band competitions. She has attended the state competition for the solo and ensemble contest and has finished with a top score for three years.
Cernech’s accomplishments in band are not going to be forgotten by others. Many of her peers are going to remember her legacy within the band at West.
“Annie has always been a strong musician and has flourished over the last eight years and progressed into being one of the best in the program’s history. Her legacy will stay and be passed along to the next person to carry her passions through,” Thurmond added.
After high school, Cernech plans to attend college at Missouri State University and major in elementary education.
“I’m going to incorporate music and all things like band and definitely encourage my students to join band,” Cernech said. She will be a part of the marching band throughout college.
Furthermore, Cernech’s love for playing the flute will continue after college. She mentioned, “I feel like maybe finding a community theater where I could do something would just be so fun.”
Cernech’s passion for band is unconditional and she hopes to excel further after her time at West.