Young Penn State Fan Shows Passion For Music & The Blue Band

From the time that he was just 2 years old, Caylix Kallhoff has always had an immense love for music. No matter where his father, Penn State women’s basketball assistant coach Aaron Kallhoff, was coaching, Caylix can always be found following the music.

For over 15 years, the Kallhoff family has been involved in the collegiate basketball life between TCU, LSU, and now, here at Penn State. Aaron began coaching at Penn State back in April, and the decision came easy when it was time to make the move here.

“We talked a couple of times over a couple of days and [head coach Carolyn Kieger’s] vision and what I was looking for professionally and for my family and our situation,” Aaron Kallhoff said. “It was just a great opportunity and one that I thought would be the best for both me and my family.”

Being in State College provided access to the Penn State community, a new coaching opportunity, a safe and welcoming town for the family, but it also meant something bigger to Caylix: the Blue Band.

For years, Caylix has learned the fight songs and anthems of colleges all over the country, but Penn State was always well known to him.

“He loves college bands and he loves college mascots to where if he hears a band on his iPad, he can tell you within the first two seconds what fight song it is,” Aaron Kallhoff said. “From Bethune Cookman to Notre Dame, that is his infatuation, listening to fight songs.”

Caylix was ecstatic to begin his time at Penn State, and going to watch the Blue Band was his favorite part of every event.

“He knew about the Blue Band before I even took the job,” Aaron Kallhoff stated. “He had listened to the Penn State marching band, he knew it right away to the point where when I took the job he was listening to it every day.”

Although Caylix already had extensive knowledge of the group, he got a real taste of it while being able to attend all types of sporting events here on campus. Penn State’s beloved Blue Band calls Beaver Stadium home, while athletic pep bands bounce around all across campus, including the Bryce Jordan Center and Rec Hall.

“It’s important to him to the point where my football tickets are where he can see them still, and he just loves it,” Aaron Kallhoff said.

Caylix interacted with the pep band at a volleyball game here at University Park, and his love only continued to grow. No matter the event, Penn State’s beloved band needed to be there.

Soon enough, Caylix wound up dressing up like his favorite music-makers to fit the part and show his appreciation for them.

“He even went out and got his own pair of khakis because that’s what the Blue Band wears,” said Kallhoff. “He’s got black shoes and his own Blue Band polo that he wears for every sporting event.”

Caylix’s love for the Blue Band reached a new level over the holiday break when he traveled with his family and the Lady Lions down south.

“He went with our team to Florida this week, and we did a Thanksgiving dinner and shared what we were thankful for on the team and staff,” Aaron Kallhoff said. “And he got up and wanted to say what he was thankful for, and he said, ‘I’m thankful for the Blue Band’, and that was it. Not mom, not dad, not the dog — the Blue Band.”

Caylix with some Lady Lions players as the team visited Florida

As comical as that is, the Blue Band and Penn State have played a major role for Caylix, who hopes to be a drummer one day. There are even plans in the works for him to even start attending the Blue Band’s practices.

“Our other kids are involved in sports, and that’s what their love is,” Kallhoff said. “If his love is in the band, then we’re gonna make sure that he has the same opportunity.”

Caylix was diagnosed with Autism at a very young age, and the band gives him an opportunity to pursue what he is passionate about and live out his dream.

“I am looking to start an Autism foundation called ‘Caylix’s Cause,'” Aaron Kallhoff said. “As much as I am a coach, I am always going to be a father first, and I wanna make sure that he is set up to succeed. That is a big purpose of my ‘why.'”

Caylix’s love for music only continues to flourish, and like so many others, so will his love for the Blue Band.

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About the Author

Mara McKeon

Mara is a senior staff writer majoring in English and public relations. She loves all things sports and anything that has peanut butter. You can usually find her obsessing over country music or Penn State wrestling and counting down the days until she gets to see Luke Combs in Beaver Stadium. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara, and for more formal affairs, her email is [email protected].

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