Spotlight: Joe Kesterson of Broken Arrow Band Parent Association

I started working with Broken Arrow (OK) band dad Joe Kesterson to learn the logistics of coordinating a 5K fundraiser, which we talk more about here. When I asked him to tell us a little more about himself and his life as a band booster, this is what he said. He's a great example of someone who's in it for all the right reasons.

We'd love to feature YOUR story next! Tell us about your experience as a music parent, and you could be featured here next. Or maybe there's someone else in your community or your booster group who needs to be thrust into the spotlight. Email me at kathleen (at) amparents (dot) org to find out more!

kesterson

Attached is a photo of me and my oldest daughter after they won Grand Nationals in 2011. Her name is Lauren and she is a senior this year (flute). Our youngest, Megan, will be in the Pride this year as a freshman clarinet. She also plays oboe in concert band.

Bio for me?

I'm 42, been married 18 years this month to my lovely wife Sharon. I'm Senior Designer for the oldest and largest sign company in Oklahoma, Claude Neon Federal Signs. I design signs for all kinds of businesses (like casinos, hospitals, business parks, etc.), specializing in way-finding and environmental graphics. On the side my hobby is custom painting/airbrushing of motorcycles and show cars, although I have slowed down on that the last year or so. I also have an internet t-shirt store of designs for my motorcycle buddies.

We've been with Pride since 2010 (Zo year, does everybody keep track by the shows?). We started as generally interested parents, going to the meetings and competitions. One meeting they mentioned that they were raising funds to re-wrap the band's equipment trailer. Since I was in the sign business I told them I thought I could get it done cheaper, so that's how I got involved.

I ended up getting it cheaper, then designing, and helping to apply the graphics with some of my co-workers and other band dads. I signed up for Pride Operations first. That's the band dads (and occasionally moms) that help push pit on and off the field and build props, load trucks, etc. My wife joined up with the Spirit Wear group and I eventually got drafted to help design new shirts, patches: whatever was needed.

Destiny year (2011) I started helping the directors with whatever they needed designed and designing show logos, and shirts. I was drafted to take over Special Events from the senior parent that was doing it before me so I spent a year working with him learning the ropes and I took over full time on that last year (2012 Surrender year).

We do several events during the year for which I coordinate volunteers, assist directors in running, and doing advertising and promo design. Rooster Days Run and now Run with the Pride 5k, Drums of Summer (the DCI competition we host), the Broken Arrow Invitational and the Pride's send-off dress rehearsal the day before leaving for Grand Nats.

My wife Sharon assists me with Special Events and does Spirit Wear, helps with uniforms, and feeding of the kids on Friday nights before games.

Now we're about as involved as you can be and we wouldn't have it any other way.

It's a tremendous opportunity for our kids to be involved with Pride, of course, but it has been phenomenal for us as parents too. Parents that aren't involved with their kids' band just have no idea what they're missing out on. Sure, you give up a lot of spare time—maybe all of it—but the friends you make and the memories more than make up for that.

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