A high school pep band can entertain the crowds watching a basketball game and spur school spirit when the band members play songs, such as the school’s fight song. The music from the Rowan County Senior High School Pep Band doesn’t just entertain, though. It charges the atmosphere and stirs the crowds, especially during tournament season. The members of the RCSHS Pep Band are, for the most part, high school students and middle school students and members of their schools’ concert bands. Sometimes, though, there is one member of the Pep Band who, while he may be small in stature, may have the largest share of school spirit.
Six-year old Connor Christie has been a member of the high school’s Pep Band for the past three years, playing his miniature drum set alongside his high school counterparts. While it is highly unusual to have a six-year old as a member of a high school Pep Band, Connor has a special connection to this band – his father. Connor is the son of RCSHS Band Director Kevin Christie and his wife, Dawn Christie, school psychologist for Rowan County Schools.
While his mother sits close by, Connor is eager to be one of the “big boys” and takes his participation in the Pep Band seriously. He usually sits next to fellow drummer, Austin Johnson, and tries to mirror Austin as he plays his drums. Even though he is outgrowing his drum set, Connor Christie has yet to outgrow the fun that he has being a member of the band. Where most six-year olds might get antsy and fidgety sitting in one location, Connor relishes his time with the “big kids.” His fellow Pep Band members look at Connor as “one of the gang” and look forward to his participation with the band.
Connor first began playing drums when he was just three years old. Rather than just having him sit and listen to the Pep Band play during a game, Connor’s parents, Kevin and Dawn, let their little drummer join the band. People began to take notice of this littlest Pep Band member during the 2011 basketball tournament season, especially when the RCSHS Boys Vikings moved on to the KHSAA State Tournament. Clad in his green and white and sitting at his Lilliputian-sized drum set, the tournament camera often found him and put the little drummer on the big screen at Rupp Arena.
In this season of basketball tournaments for the RCSHS Vikings and Lady Vikings with the music of the Pep Band continuing to rev up the fans, there will be one band member – Connor Christie, the littlest Pep Band member – who will be serving up a double or triple portion of Viking spirit with his drums and his sticks. Keep drumming, Connor!