Teen who has been blind since birth is part of the Montpelier marching band

Published: Sep. 20, 2018 at 5:12 PM EDT
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An inspirational story out of Williams County. A student at Montpelier High School is proof positive that if you work hard enough, just about anything is possible.

We are in the middle of high school football season here in northwest Ohio. It is homecoming this week at Montpelier. The game will certainly be a big part of the festivities but so will the half time marching band show...A remarkable young woman will be on the field with the band.

The Montpelier marching band hit the field for practice today, and they didn't miss a beat. That includes Bailey Dohm. The 16-year-old sophomore has been blind since birth, "I have loved music since the first time I heard it. I started playing in the band in the fifth grade."

However this is her first year in the marching band, "I love the overall excitement of it and that I get to be involved. In marching band you get to do all kinds of cool tricks, and you get to do all kinds of moves."

Laura Zumbaugh is the Band Director, "She just plays by ear. She listens to other people in her section and plays right along. Sometimes we make recordings for her so she can listen to them on her own and focus on her part, but she mostly plays by ear. She does not read music."

There's been a learning curve, but that has provided valuable life lessons for everyone, "We do make mistakes and we do mess up, but we just try and try and try, and eventually we get better."

This is all possible thanks to the help of a good friend. Kalynn Warner and Bailey have been friends since second grade, "She is an inspiration to everyone. I wanted to help her so we could prove to everyone that just because she's blind she can still do the things every other person can do."

So here's how it works, "Kalynn holds Bailey by the shoulders and guides her from the back. Bailey marches in time and she's just as good as the other kids."

Kalynn doesn't play an instrument, so there have been challenges, "It's difficult, I won't lie. It's a little hard, but once you get started, it gets easier as it goes."

Such important lessons for all of us coming from bailey and her friends. "You really can do anything you set your mind to."

Montpelier takes on Edon tomorrow night for homecoming. It's probably a safe bet that there will be just as much cheering for the marching band as there will be for the football team.