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Kelsey Heck Wood: The Power of Lions Band

Kelsey Heck Wood, a 2022 candidate for State Senate in Jackson, Michigan, reflects on her experience in the Lions of Michigan All-State Band and the lasting impact it had on her life. From her time in the band, she learned the importance of service, the power that music can have throughout the world, and the value of life-long relationships this extraordinary musical group can cultivate.

During Kelsey's interview, she brought up several significant moments that had a profound impact on her life. We're delighted to share her interview with you and hope that her experiences will inspire you to join us on our next Lions Band adventure.

You can see her full Lions Band Spotlight interview here:

The Power of Music

In 2008, Kelsey joined the Lions Band and embarked on a journey that would shape her life forever. One of the band's first performance stops in Thailand was at an orphanage. Nothing could've prepared her for the incredible moment that was about to take place.

"By far the coolest experience was we went to visit an orphanage. We got to go up to the kids who played same or similar instruments and we were trading instruments and teaching each other different fingerings and [instrument] positions. And it was one of the most profound experiences of my life."

Through the power of music, two different cultures were able to communicate and bond through their common love and appreciation for musical performance. Not only that, this inspirational moment truly encompassed the Lions' mission to serve the world through music.

"There was so much keeping us apart, but being able to to be in this remote village in Thailand playing music with kids was was just a really, really important experience for me."

If you'd like to experience the entire 2008 Lions Band tour to Thailand for yourself, you can do so by checking out our official highlight film.

But that wasn't the only musical experience that had an impact on Kelsey's life. In 2010, the band visited the Sydney Children's Hospital in Sydney, Australia. It was here that the band held a special performance for young children with life-threatening illnesses.

"We were playing something really poppy and really fun, and the kids absolutely loved it."

She recalls being affected by the joyous expressions and reactions of the kids and remembers feeling the overwhelming impact of spreading unfiltered happiness to everyone in attendance.

The Power of Friendship

During her interview, Kelsey notes that the friendships she made in the band were the most lasting part of the experience.

"It's just kids who love to play music. You're together 24/7 for two weeks out of the year. Outside of the service and the travel, the relationships are the thing that last."

These life-long friendships were conjured out of a mutual appreciation for music and the amount of skill necessary to create a Lions Band performance.

"But there is a real commitment to good music, to playing well, to excellence. And I learned so much that I wouldn't have learned just from my home band."

By joining the Lions of Michigan All-State Band, Kelsey was able to expand her skills as a musician by playing and learning alongside her peers; passionate high school musicians from all across the state of Michigan. Every practice, rehearsal, and performance equated to musical growth and personal growth.

Why should you join Lions Band?

Kelsey Heck Wood's experience in the Lions of Michigan All-State Band was life-changing. From her time in the band, she learned the importance of service, the power music can have throughout the world, and the value of relationships. She encourages others to experience the same opportunity, as it provides a chance to grow musically and personally.

"You should try it. It is such a fun experience. There's so much opportunity that comes out of it that you might not realize."

If you're interested in joining the Lions of Michigan All-State Band on our next musical adventure, please click here to learn more and help us serve the world through music.

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