Scott Kuhlman: It All Began With Piano Lessons
March 23, 2013
By Wendy Hayworth
Intern Reporter for the Tribune
Photo By Will Braune
Scott Kuhlman conducts in the Lincoln Center
On March 14th, 2013 nearly 340 young musicians from Lee’s Summit North and Lee’s Summit West high schools set out on an unforgettable trip. 10 planes would bring these students to iconic skyline of New York City.
These students saw the most iconic sites of the city: Times Square, the Met, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, and the National September 11 Memorial. However, this was only the beginning.
On March 17th Lee’s Summit North and Lee’s Summit West’s bands participated in a once in a life time event. That night, they performed in the famous Lincoln Center.
“The reason we were able to go to New York City was because we were musicians and performers,” Lee’s Summit North High School band director, Scott Kuhlman said.
Kuhlman began his music career with his first piano lessons in first grade. He had no way of knowing that he would one day conduct in the Lincoln Center.
“I always enjoyed it and I was always decent at it, but my mom was always the driving force. Over the years, I began to develop a real love for it,” Kuhlman said.
His music career took on a new passion when he joined his junior high school’s band and choir programs. He continued on through high school and college and began to consider a career in teaching music.
“My high school band teacher and my college band director were very key in shaping my thoughts of being a teacher some day. I didn’t know how much I’d love it,” Kuhlman said.
In 2011, Kuhlman was diagnosed with pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas, and was unable to continue teaching that year.
“I came back full time in January 2012 and haven’t been looking back ever since,” Kuhlman said.
Kuhlman took strength from his family and his faith during recovery.
“It’s just knowing that I have a lot to live for. My job as a teacher is not something I look at as a job. It’s a privilege,” Kuhlman said.
Kuhlman was not willing to give up the opportunities in his future and only a year later he found himself conducting in the footsteps of the greats.
“Being able to perform in the same hall that some of the best musicians play in is truly an honor,” Kuhlman said.
This trip would not have happened without the hard work of the students, parents, teachers, and trip coordinators such as: LSN Choir Director Steve Perry, LSN Choir Director Jonathan Krinke, LSN Orchestra Director Joe Keeney, LSN Assistant Director of Bands John Johnson, LSW Choir Director Amy Krinke, LSW Choir Director Ryan Sullivan, LSW Orchestra Director Kirt Mosier, LSW Band Director Clifton Thurmond, and LSW Band Director Shawn Harrel.
“I was really proud of the kids and I was definitely proud of my colleagues who got to share the experience as well. It was something that I think all of us will remember for the rest of our careers,” Kuhlman said.