Musical bond: 2 band members at South Fork High School embody teamwork and friendship

Helps create halftime pageantry

STUART, Fla. - High School football. it's a ritual for many families in America. It's as big of a night for the players as it is for the band members.

Two band members at South Fork High School in Stuart embody the teamwork and friendship that creates the halftime pageantry.

Winona Brackenis, a trumpet player with a gift for music. On the field, Cassidy Farach stands right behind her.

Cassidy has a passion for helping others. Winona relies on that help with every synchronized turn. She has been blind from birth. As the band plays, Cassidy helps guide Winona in the right direction during the performance.

Winona says, "She is the best guide I've had so far. She is wonderful. She learns quickly. I couldn't ask for more."

The two young ladies are high school juniors. They, along with the rest of the South Fork band, have spent months practicing.

For Cassidy, it's a whole new world.

"This is my first year doing anything musical in my life, she says, so I'm lost."

Lost with music but guided by purpose, Cassidy knew her friend needed a helper on the field, and  volunteered.

The formations are complicated, even for seasoned band members. Their every move is plotted in the band drill book. If it was in braille, Winona would be able to read it, but she says it's just not practical.

"I'd have to take off my gloves and figure out when we are and flip through the pages and find the braille."

Once the steps are memorized, there are other subtle signs between Cassidy and Winona,  like tapping on the shoulder.

Winona says, "It gives me the tempo when the drum major is conducting."

Bonded in friendship,  their talents are reflected and strengthened in one another..

All of their hard work pays off at the end of the second quarter in the football game. Halftime is their time to shine.

Winona and Cassidy are so in sync, it's sometimes hard to spot them on the field.

"I say I play the Winona whenever someone asks me if I play an instrument," says Cassidy.

Their goal is not to stand out, but to blend in, something Winona has been doing her whole life.

"I feel like a normal person, I do everything everyone else can do but sometimes in a little different way."

Winona's parents watch every performance filled with love and admiration. They are proud of her determination and her drive to be the best she can be.

Two young women.

"I guide her from what she can't see, says Cassidy, and she guides me from what I can't see."

In perfect harmony on and off the field. Like band sisters.

Print this article Back to Top