story by Weston Kenney
Nick Beeny was a freshman at Paducah Tilghman High School when he came out of his shell. In front of 50,000 fans, Nick performed with the marching band during the halftime show at a college bowl game in Jacksonville, Florida.
“That was the first time I didn’t feel nervous,” Nick says. “I felt confident.”
Nick, 17, struggled with self-confidence during middle school, but he says he found his passion when he joined the marching band.
Though some seniors tend to coast through their final year of high school, Nick has continued to challenge himself. He is taking five advanced-placement classes and participating in four extracurricular activities: band, academic team, choir and the school musical.
“I don’t want to sit back and take a break,” Nick says. “I actually want to push myself and grow more.”
Nick says he has particularly challenged himself through his role as the marching band's drum major. “I have to put on kind of a persona when I’m up there,” he says.
After becoming more comfortable in his new leadership role, Nick is starting to realize that this is what he wants to do for a career.
“I’d love to be a band director,” Nick says. "If I can do good up there, I can inspire people to do good on the field show. If I learn and work hard now to be a good musician, I can someday be a role model to students."
Band Director James Gregory agrees.
"He's a very intelligent and talented young man," Gregory says. "He has all the tools to be an outstanding band director someday."