One of the most unique performance groups at Findlay High School is Pantasia, a steel drum band started in 1997 by Tim Mattis. Since Mr. Mattis’ retirement, there has been a lot of speculation as to who would take over direction of the group. It turns out that Pantasia has not been taken over by one new director, but two; Mr. Daniel Wilson and Mrs. Denise Sheehe.
“I love music and I’ve worked with Shockwave and a group called Aftershock in previous years. I was looking to challenge myself and learn some new things.” Mrs. Sheehe said.
Despite her enthusiasm, many students know very little about her and her experience with music.
Mrs. Sheehe was an intern at Walt Disney World, working as a server, performer, and lifeguard in the happiest place on earth before graduating from the University of Findlay. She is currently a teacher at Chamberlin Hill.
“Seeing the students perform and the joy they get out of that is my favorite thing,” Sheehe said. “I love it when they get excited and are trying new things.”
Mr. Wilson, FHS and Donnell Middle School’s band director, is also taking part in Pantasia’s direction this year.
“Since I have responsibilities outside of school with middle school band activities as well as managing the high school band, having another director to help with the duties of the group is needed,” Mr. Wilson said. “My role for the group mostly is administrative, though I do help with rehearsals at times. I do all the building permits, financials, trip logistics and drive the truck. “
Although he focuses more on the technical side of the group, Mr. Wilson is still very excited about getting to know the students in Pantasia.
“When I directed The Boingers, one of the things I enjoyed the most were being able to interact with students outside the formal classroom setting and get to know them better,” Wilson said. “With 120 students in band at the high school and now that we are growing quickly at the middle schools, getting to know students one on one can be difficult at times. Pantasia’s relaxed setting and small group allows me to interact with students individually.”
The students in Pantasia are adjusting quite well to their new directors.
“At the end of last year, I was nervous about Mr. Wilson taking over but now that we are this far into the season, he’s actually pretty great.” Senior Jashan Singh said.
“Mrs. Sheehe’s a ball of energy. She gets all of us to smile and move along with the music.”
“I’m honestly shocked how much I love it,” Sheehe said. “Seeing the students interact with each other and perform… I’ve fallen in love with it.”