Neesa Conlon: Most likely to. . . heal others through music


graphic designed by Erin Lafferty

by Erin Lafferty, Reporter

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This is the eighth story in Lancer Media’s 2015 Summer Series: Most Likely to… 

These feature stories highlight rising seniors who are becoming role models of Lancer Spirit.

Neesa Conlon may just be Linganore’s very own Pied Piper. Conlon is an exceptional flute player who, along with the band, brings the school together through music. Next year, Conlon will bring others together in a new way: conducting. Conlon will be drum major with rising senior Noah Ismael, but this doesn’t mean she plans to give up the flute.

Conlon has been playing the flute in the marching band for three years. She is energized by her drive to perfect her musical skills. Conlon is always challenging herself to improve and test her abilities.

She has been playing the flute since fifth grade and hopes to continue playing the flute in college. Planning to attend Frederick Community College (FCC) for at least one year after high school, Conlon is very interested in enrolling in music classes and joining the Frederick Community College Flute Choir.

Conlon plans to become a musical therapist. A musical therapist is someone who designs a planned use of musical influences to aid in brain functioning. Certain types of music can affect a human’s behavior and help his or her well-being. Overall, the job of a musical therapist is to plan a therapy, in the form of music, to address the cognitive, physical, mental and social needs of an individual.

Her main goal is to honor the gift of music she has been given to help promote wellness and healing in others. The effect music has had on her life has been powerful, and she hopes to use this gift to help rehabilitate other people.

Until Conlon can start healing others, she will continue to challenge herself in other ways. Being a drum major is a huge responsibility in the marching band.

Mr. Kevin Lloyd, band director, can name several reasons why Conlon was chosen as a drum major.

Lloyd says, “Conlon is an excellent leader, one of the best marchers I have seen over the past 20 years, and she had a very good conducting audition and essay that are a part of the drum major selection process. Overall, she is an excellent example for other students.” 

Lloyd says that throughout Conlon’s years in band she has improved most as a musician.

“She has put tremendous efforts towards improving. She took lessons and was a member of many honor bands including West Virginia University, Towson University and Shepherd University. Neesa has really made the most of her opportunities during her time at Linganore.”

“I don’t want to be a drum major who puts herself in the spotlight, but rather to complete my final year at LHS knowing that I’ve been a part of something bigger and better than myself. I want underclassmen to realize that growth comes from pursing a goal and trying to achieve it, no matter what the final outcome is,” says Conlon.

Moving towards being a drum major, Conlon looks forward to spending a year on the field with her younger brother Dillon, who is a member of the Class of 2019.

“He’s been one of my biggest supporters during my high school marching seasons, and he’s a great musician himself.”

Conlon can’t wait to watch her brother play saxophone from the conducting stand. “It’s a memory he and I will share forever.”

Conlon’s mother and father, John and Nan Conlon, say that, “We have watched Neesa grow from a shy, quiet girl to a driven and confident young woman. She’s always been gifted musically, but through the past three years, she’s gained confidence in her abilities and stepped out of her comfort zone.” Band has been a major role in helping Conlon overcome her fears of being in the public eye and gain self confidence.

“We, as her parents, always knew she could do anything she set her mind to. However, with the help of the band program at Linganore, Neesa’s confidence has grown exponentially.”

Conlon has received the Academic Excellence award all three years of high school and hopes to graduate with high honors. Currently, Conlon is a member of two Honor Societies: Tri-M Music Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. During her senior year, Conlon plans to apply to the the National Honor Society and the Science Honor Society.

Outside of band and school, Conlon loves to spend time with family and friends, supporting her brother at his martial arts events, and occasionally perform with her church worship band. During band season, Conlon doesn’t have much spare time, but when she does, she enjoys spending time with her family and, of course, checking her Instagram.

Courtney Green, a close friend of Conlon’s, says the number one thing she admires most about Conlon is how kind hearted she is. Green says Neesa is a great friend because she’s always there when she needs her and is always willing to help.

The band portion of her life doesn’t stop in the summer. Conlon will spend yet another two weeks at band camp in August.  She hopes to get in as much pool time possible this summer and enjoys going to the beach with her family.

“I love Topsail, North Carolina. My dad and brother go scuba diving while my mom and I take bike rides to town to go shopping and have lunch. It’s a great time to relax, enjoy the sun, and spend time with family.”

Conlon is also looking forward to getting her driver’s license and having a little more independence.

Conlon says LHS has taught her to be an independent thinker and strive for her goals. She looks forward to broadening her horizons during her senior year in high school. She plans to continue enjoying the music program and possibly take one more step out of her comfort zone by auditioning for the vocal ensemble.

Conlon’s parents say it’s very difficult to pick a “favorite” trait of Conlon’s because there are so many they admire. “One of the traits we immensely respect about Neesa is her level of dedication. She is deeply committed to giving 100% in all of her endeavors. Neesa doesn’t settle for mediocre.”