‘There’s No Place Like Home’

Killdeer Grad Makes the Grade in Homecoming Gig

Leighton  & Grandpa Sig Schaper 2016 NDSCS Wahpeton Wildcat Stage Band 154xxx Leighton & his mom Julie Schaper 2016 NDSCS Wahpeton Wildcat Stage Band 197xxx Leighton Schaper 2016 NDSCS Wahpeton Wildcat Stage Band 181xxx Leighton Schaper 2016 NDSCS Wahpeton Wildcat Stage Band 161xxx

By Staff Writer 

For the DC Herald

Leighton Schaper closed his eyes and just took in the atmosphere as he stood in the Killdeer High School gymnasium.

A smile curled around his face as he embraced his old stomping grounds. Schaper was home.

And, like the old saying goes, “There’s no place like home.”

Schaper returned to Killdeer as a member of the North Dakota State College of Science Wildcat Singers and Stage Band. He plays the guitar for the Stage Band, and, the way the crowd responded, he plays it pretty well.

The Wildcat Singers and Stage Band played for an enthusiastic crowd of students and community members April 20 – many there specifically to watch Schaper perform. The Killdeer gig was one of 13 concerts the group performed in North Dakota and Minnesota.

The 20-year-old sophomore, who is scheduled to graduate from North Dakota State College of Science in a couple weeks with a degree in Diesel technology, pumped plenty of hands, had his share of high fives and enjoyed long embraces from family and friends before and after the performance.

Yes, Schaper was home.

“This is nice,” Schaper said with that never-ending grin, again looking around and taking in the ambiance of a former life. “I haven’t been back in this gym since I graduated.”

And like the last time, there were family members – 24 of them – sitting in the crowd enjoying the music and skills they had come to expect from Schaper’s lineage.

Although he never played music in high school, Schaper played guitar on his own. Music was something that was common for his family. His brothers and sisters were musically talented, playing piano and instruments “by ear,” said Schaper’s Aunt Deb Schaper Allmendinger.

Schaper’s grandfather, Sig Schaper, played in banjo and his grandmother, Many Ann Kush plays the accordion and piano.

“So I was surprised but happy to see that Leighton, who also has a nice singing voice, was involved in college music,” said Allmendinger.

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