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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Band Opens Doors for Bryd at Charleston


In 5th grade, someone suggested to Krystal that she would be good in band. That suggestion made a major impact on her life. Since 6th grade, she has been playing the flute and piccolo. She has auditioned for All-Region and performed at the Arkansas State Band Convention as a member of a Honor Band. And this year she has been name the Drum Major for the 2020 Charleston High School Marching Band. In her life, nothing has stopped her, not even her disability.

When you meet Krystal Byrd, you will notice that she is extremely kind and confident. You may notice that she is in a wheelchair. She was born with spina bifida, which is where the nerves in her back did not form properly and she is unable to walk. Her handicap has not stopped her from working hard and being devoted to what she loves, and that is band.

I first saw Krystal perform with the Charleston Band two years ago at our 2018 Week 4 Friday Night Features. She marched in the halftime show with the assistance of her Band Director, Jessica Holt. This spoke volumes about Krystal and the Band Program at Charleston. Krystal did not let her disability stop her from marching or becoming Drum Major.

During her time at Charleston, Krystal became interested in being Drum Major. As she saw upper class men conducting and leading the band, she decided that is something she wanted to also do. During her Junior year, she auditioned for Durm Major but was not selected. Did that stop her? No! She took her success and faults and learned from them and prepared for next years audition.

This is what Ms Holt had to say about Byrd, “Krystal tried out for drum major last year against some really tough competitors. She took our feedback to heart and she’s been methodically preparing for this year’s audition for over a year now. She made unbelievable progress over the summer and during our drum major training last week! I’m excited for the community to see her in action and I know that she will inspire so many other band students in our program and across Arkansas this marching season.”

Now a Senior in band and Drum Major, Krystal looks forward to the most about this upcoming marching season is the football games, where she will be conducting and leading the band in the stands and on the field. She is upset that the band is unable to travel to away games to to the pandemic but she is grateful for the time she has with her band family and new leadership role. In her spare time, Krystal enjoyed the outdoor, spending time with friends, and painting. After High School, she plans to attend Arkansas Tech at Ozark and major in Nursing with a minor in music.

During our interview, Krystal had the honor of being the first student to participate in our “ARVBands’ Quick 5”.

What is your favorite High School Marching Show?
Spiro High School 2019 Show “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

What is the best meal that you have ever had?
Her mom’s Spaghetti

What annoys you the most in band?
Ms Holt’s amplifier

If you could do anything, what would be your dream career?
A Band Director

What is your best memory in your band career?
Traveling to away football games with the band

Ms Holt had this to add about Krystal,
“Krystal has shown such grit and determination throughout her entire six-year band career. She chooses to face every day with a positive attitude and that’s not always easy for a teenager to do! She is, and always has been, an excellent ambassador for our band program and I’m proud for her to be the face of the high school band this year.”

I wish Krystal the best of luck with this upcoming marching season and her senior year. Charleston has an extremely hardworking an methodical Drum Major leading their band. And that is what every band hopes for in this time of uncertainty .

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