9 who shine: Listening to the music

When the striking sound of a xylophone rings out from the field at Chelsea High School you can expect to find Kelli Mitchell standing confidently behind it.

Mitchell has served as the drum major for Chelsea High School’s band for the past two years.

“With percussion there is always something new you can learn,” Mitchell said. “With Huntingdon’s program just starting up, I hope I can help them grow and even recruit more percussionists.”

Mitchell plans to attend Huntingdon College in Montgomery on both a band and academic scholarship.

Throughout high school, Mitchell received the chance to play with honor bands at Huntingdon, Troy University, Auburn University and the University of Alabama.

She’s also a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Shelby County Youth Leadership, Beta Club and the National Honor Society.

“She’s just a good all around student,” said Band Director Dane Lawley.

Mitchell plans to major in nutrition at Huntingdon. And although music and nutrition might not seem directly related, Mitchell said one thing strikes her as similar.

“I’m a big people person … and eventually I hope to go into nutrition so I can help the people I come in contact with make better choices about food,” she said. “By playing in the band you are meeting new people all the time and learning to work with different personalities.”

Mitchell said she knows she will carry her love of music with her past college life, even if it means helping out with school bands or simply passing on her passion to her own kids one day.