Markella Paradissis-Wagner – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- LRHS sophomore Brandon Cox is both a musical phenomenon and a down-to-earth friend.
Starting music at 12-years-old by learning the bagpipes, Cox now plays the clarinet, saxophone, trombone, and does percussion. He is also in the stationary front ensemble, the pit, in the Marching Mustang Band, percussion class, and the wind ensemble, which is the highest-level concert band LRHS offers.
Cox was born with anophthalmia, meaning without one eye, and microphthalmia, which means that his other eye was abnormally small. Blind since birth and with two prosthetic eyes, he doesn’t let anything stop him from pursuing his passions, like music, which he learns by ear.
One would think that all of his musical endeavors and accomplishments could lead to a large ego, but Cox is one of the most positive, humble and kind people one could talk to. He is funny and hardworking, which makes sense when considering all of his talents. Cox always knows his music and is the first one in the band room every day, according to LRHS Band Director Ron Lambert. It’s obvious he loves music.
Cox said, “It’s beautiful. It’s like a stress reliever. You come home from school and you know you have algebra to do and you just sit behind your drum set and rock out.”
He plans to continue music in the future. He has three YouTube channels, which are Brandon Cox, The Squeaking Reed, and Sledgehog TV, which features his rock band, Sledgehog.
Lambert said, “It always amazes me how easily he melts into a room. It really doesn’t matter what the atmosphere is. He fits right in and you would think someone with a disability would take his time but he’s learned how to be himself. I’m very impressed with his ability to know everyone’s name, even in a crowd, which to me means he cares about who everyone is in a room.”
Cox’ counts on his incredible talent and drive to take him far in life.