Fremont music

Fremont High School band students Kenny McClung, left, and Hailee Lepley are being honored for their music and have made history. McClung, a freshman flute player, was the first Fremont student last year to make the Junior All-State Band that performed at the Indiana Music Education Association State Conference. Lepley is the first Fremont student to make this year’s State Honor Ensemble that will be performing at the IMEA State Conference in January. Both students have also been named to other honors bands. Photo by Jennifer Decker

FREMONT — Two Fremont High School musicians are making names for themselves around the state.

Hailee Lepley, senior, plays the alto saxophone, and Kenny McClung, freshman, plays the flute. Both have been adding to their musical achievements.

“It is with great pleasure that I announce that I have my first student who has made the State Honor Ensemble that will be performing at the Indiana Music Education Association State Conference in January, Hailee Lepley. Last year, Kenny was my first student who made the Junior All-State band and performed at the IMEA State Conference,” Melissa Hardwick, band teacher, said in an email.

“It’s kind of an honor because Fremont’s been open awhile,” Lepley said about State Honor Ensemble. “For the IMEA performance, we play at the Embassy Theatre. I saw on Halloween ‘Nightmare Before Christmas (at the Embassy)’. I was in love with everything there and said ‘I’m going to play there’ and it came earlier than I expected.”

Lepley has a busy schedule of music. She has been in multiple honor bands including one last month, all-district at DeKalb High School, with McClung.

“To do this, it takes a lot of individual effort. You have to take it upon yourself to practice,” she said.

Lepley’s also involved in the school’s drama club where she participates in theater productions and spring musicals, National Honor Society, All-Academic Team and the Fremont Key Club.

At Trine University, she has been taking dual-enrollment courses, having just finished classes in Chinese and Calculus I. Next semester, she’ll take Chinese II and Literature/Creative Writing.

She has yet to decide on a major for college.

“I want to find a life where I can travel and meet all new people and experience all the pockets of the world,” Lepley said.

McClung said to be commended for every achievement is an honor. Last year, McClung played at the Embassy for being in Junior All-State Band.

“Playing at the Embassy was amazing. A lot of high honored people have played there,” McClung said. “It’s amazingly, spectacularly wonderful. I feel honored each time with band.”

McClung is contemplating live auditioning for the all-state band in January that will be held at Purdue University.

He would like to pursue a career in medicine or music.

McClung plays in the school band. He is an A student and ran cross country this year for the first time.

Outside school, he plays in the Trine University Orchestra, playing in Halloween and Christmas concerts. He also takes individual instruction from Aimee Simons.

“We persevere. We have troubles like any other band. We just keep practicing and trying our best,” McClung said. “We have people who care about their music. They care about how the audience takes in their music.”

Lepley and McClung recently received word they were both named to the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Honor Band.

Lepley is the daughter of Vita Geller and Richard Lepley.

McClung is the son of Patricia McClung and Ken McClung.

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