A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Kayla Pleasant

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Kayla Pleasant

Kayla Pleasant, a current junior at Portage High School (PHS), has bolstered her educational journey through an extensive commitment to academics, sports, and extracurriculars. Fueling the greatest purpose within her schooling is her love of band.  

“I just roll with the punches and figure everything out as I go,” said Pleasant. “Whatever comes first, I tackle first and whatever needs the most preparation – that’s what I prepare for most. If I have a lot going on at once; I close my blinders and do all that needs to be done.” 

Pleasant, a lifelong native of Portage, has found a sense of belonging in PHS. She is a proud member of the Principal’s Advisory Committee and the No Place for Hate Committee. Both of her roles help accumulate intel from PHS students to help expand on-campus efforts promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Pleasant is also a member of the National Honor Society and is in her third season of varsity track. 

Her biggest primary sense of belonging, however, is her longstanding history with her school’s band.

“I started doing band in sixth grade,” said Pleasant, “I’ve been getting gold for my solo every single year since then. I’ve received two silvers, both for a low brass choir. One of them was a state silver. We got a gold at District and then a silver at State.” 

Being a member of PHS’s band has allowed Pleasant to build up accolades for a future music career. She has already completed two seasons in the Pride of Portage Marching Band, including a performance at the Indianapolis 500, and is in her third full season playing trombone for Big Red Basketball Band. Her dexterous use of the bassoon led to her freshman admission into the Indiana Junior All-State Honor Band. Pleasant also recently competed in the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA). 

“I did Junior All-State freshman year, which is the younger version of All-State,” said Pleasant. “I’ve also done Indiana University Summer Music Clinic. Those were pretty prestigious events for us students. There were one or two jazz bands and then one orchestra, and I got to be a part of the second band. Making Junior All-State, however, is still definitely one of my proudest moments.” 

Pleasant’s recent induction into the Indiana Bandmasters Association All-State Band as the first chair bassoonist marked a great milestone in her high school career. The festival’s finale concert was held on March 10 at the Elliot Hall of Music at Purdue University in West Lafayette.     

“Everything else I’ve done has been really good and helped me get to where I need to be, but honestly, music is my calling,” said Pleasant.  

Though Pleasant still must take on her senior year, her current considerations for her postgraduate plan are to enroll in the U.S. Marine Corps’ Marine Band. Following enlistment, Pleasant would intend to pursue further education at Indiana University for a music education degree.

For her upcoming senior year, Pleasant is excited to take just two required courses and to fill the rest of her curriculum with general music courses. Outside of school, she is thrilled to engage with the natural beauty present within Portage. She loves to walk and ride her bike and plans to start gardening again.   

“I am generally an outdoorsy person,” said Pleasant. “I love how we are surrounded by nature and that we have a ton of parks that we live by. They have a lot of opportunities in Portage. If you find your people, it’s definitely a really tight-knit community.”