PRESHO — Bryson Muirhead’s senior year was littered with accomplishments, but being an all-state band member defines him more than most things.
“Band is a very big part of who I am, how I define myself,” Muirhead said. “That’s one of the main ways I define myself because music in general, with band I’ve been doing it since fifth grade, and before that I took piano lessons for a few years.”
Muirhead grew up around music. His dad, David, is the Lyman High School band director, and Bryson followed in his older brother’s footsteps as a tuba player in fifth grade. He was a natural. Muirhead has been an all-state band member seven times since his sixth-grade year.
He finished 7-for-7 in making all-state band, but one short in concerts played due to COVID-19 wiping out the all-state band concert during his senior year. Still, the multi-sport athlete feels he’s more fortunate than others.
“The way it stands, I got really fortunate because the only sport left I do is track. Wrestling finished up right before it shut down,” Muirhead said. He finished 30th at the state cross-country meet this year, as well as fourth at 113 pounds in Class B wrestling. “I got really lucky I got to finish that part out before things got to be so hectic.”
Muirhead won’t compete on the Lyman track and field team again, but he also won’t be putting down his tuba. He was selected to play in the 147th Army Band (South Dakota National Guard), which he calls, “the best of the best in the state.” He’ll leave for South Carolina in June.
“(Band) was a pretty big role because without it, I don’t know if I’d still be (going to South Carolina),” Muirhead said. “Every other form of joining the National Guard, you’re going to have to go to a specialist school for at least two years. And because I got into the Guard band, I’m still going to be able to go to college by spring semester 2021.”
He doesn’t anticipate this being his final year playing the tuba either. In the classroom, he’ll study international business after a Midwest Ambassadors Tour peaked his interest during the summer before sophomore year. He was able to travel around Europe to Switzerland, England, Germany, France and Austria.
“We got to play overseas in Europe -- all over the place -- which I really liked,” Muirhead said. “It was a really cool experience and I realized how much I enjoyed traveling, which in turn, is why I picked that major.”