Band is beloved for Palos teen
BY CHERYL DANGEL BARTOLINI Correspondent July 6, 2012 2:24PM
Cameryn Wysocki, a junior-to-be at Stagg High School in Palos Hills, IL, began playing the saxophone in fifth grade. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 10, 2012 6:00AM
For Cameryn Wysocki, a junior-to-be at Stagg High School in Palos Hills, the sounds of summer are the sounds of the marching band.
“I really enjoy marching band because during the summer it is something for me to do. It would be weird if I didn’t have something to do in the summer,” Wysocki said.
Wysocki plays the alto saxophone in the marching band and jazz band. She also is a member of Stagg’s wind symphony, choir and drama club.
Wysocki, 16, started playing the saxophone in fifth grade. Last year, she was a drum major, she said.
“I really enjoy playing saxophone. I like the sax because it can be a jazz instrument or be played in a concert. It sounds different in each different setting,” she said.
As for different settings, she said marching band is a favorite activity of hers not just in the summer but during school.
“I really enjoy how close everyone becomes by the end of the season because we spend three months together and we all become like a big family and celebrate our accomplishments together,” Wysocki said.
Wysocki, who also carries a grade-point average of 3.9, also enjoys drama club and performing on stage and working behind the scenes.
“We’re always doing new shows,” she said, pointing to a calendar that presents seven to nine shows each school year. “I’m usually acting, but last year, I did costume crew. I really enjoy being able to portray yourself as someone completely different from who you are. You can take the audience to a different place.”
Wysocki, the daughter of Laureen and Kevin Wysocki, of Palos Heights, said Brandon Lewis, the head of the drama club at Stagg, is her mentor.
“He directs almost every show that is performed in the drama club and sometimes writes shows,” she said. “He puts his heart and soul into everything he does and spends countless hours teaching us so many new things.”
Likewise, she admires Bob Mecozzi, Stagg’s band director, and Christopher Betz, choir director.
“Mr. Mecozzi has taught me a lot about music. He has taught me how to appreciate music and the beauty in it and not just to read notes off a page,” she said. “He gave me the opportunity to be drum major and now I can help out new students and help others all stay as close as we are in marching band.
“Mr. Betz shows great enthusiasm in the choir program. He has created a bunch of new choirs and given so many opportunities to us students. He shares his knowledge and love of music with the rest of us.”
Wysocki isn’t sure what the future holds for her, but is intrigued by the idea of pursuing a career that lets her perform. She also is considering a career as a special education teacher, and will be a tutor with Stagg’s PEOPEL (Physical Education Opportunity Program for Exceptional Learners), a gym class for students with disabilities.
“I’m hoping that experience will let me see if special education is something that I want to continue pursuing,” she said.
What keeps her focused?
“My drive,” Wysocki said. “My parents always tell me I’m a perfectionist, and I hold myself to high standards. After band and drama activities, when I get home at 9 p.m. and I have to do homework, I think about how all this will benefit me and help me get into a good college.”