Finding the flowers: ‘Father figure’ plays central role in life lessons

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Audri Chenoweth, Web Editor-in-Chief

As I walk into the band room, once so strange, I feel as though I am home. My band family is all around me, and we are comfortable here in this room together.

“Dad” is the name that most of us call our band director, not just because he teaches us in rehearsal and spends an enormous amount of time with us, but because in life he guides us with advice for every situation, like any father figure.

Just like our fathers, Mr. Bryan Mangiavellano teaches lessons about life and how to grow up to be the best we can be.

The day I met  Mangiavellano was my first day of band before school started; I walked into the room and began to cry due to being overwhelmed and alone.

“Dad” walked up to me and awkwardly patted me on the back, which is the most Mangiavellano thing he could have done. He said it would be okay, I will make friends and be comfortable soon, but this was a place where we make mistakes and learn from them.

The most important thing I have learned from him is to not sweat the small stuff. We all make mistakes and it is important that we learn from them. Even though this originated as a part of a band lesson, I have come to realize that it applies to everyday life.

We must allow ourselves the opportunity to make mistakes or else we will never grow into better people.
Unfortunately, we cannot just come out of the womb perfect – this is a trial and error sort of situation. We try new things that do not work or are not good for us, and we try things that are. Let the good things stick and let the bad ones go. We learn from mistakes, that is just a part of life.

Mangiavellano has been someone who I know I can always turn to. He is a role model for all of his students based on how he handles all situations, especially those that are not always positive.

Thank you “Dad” for teaching me. He has had a positive impact in the way I have grown.

I truly appreciate all the support he has given me over the past four years and I would not be the person I am today if I had not had him guiding me.