Ascension child psychiatrist marches to his own beat


Recently was named by The Kansas African American Museum as the 2021 recipient of its Doris K. Larkin Rising Star award, Dr. Larry Mitnaul uses his love of music to help promote mental health and wellness.

Sometimes having your past catch up to you can be a good, or even great, thing.

When Larry Mitnaul, MD, was a student and drumline member at Ellison High School in Killeen, Texas, he wrote and arranged a song for the marching band.

Imagine his surprise when he learned that for the past 23 years, his composition, "Wolfpack," has been the football team's anthem and is also played by three other area high school marching bands.

"My band director reached out to me a month ago to ask if I would make a video about how I wrote it, what inspired me, and what I'm doing now," says Mitnaul, a child and adolescent psychiatrist with Ascension Medical Group Via Christi. "How crazy is that?"

Dr. Mitnaul now uses his love of music to help promote mental health and wellness. In addition to the community outreach he does through local and national TV interviews about the topic, he produces Instagram reels and YouTube videos. He recently was named by The Kansas African American Museum as the 2021 recipient of its Doris K. Larkin Rising Star award.

To hear the song composed by the then-17-year-old Mitnaul, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6_U9Uv7IQs.

To see the video he shared with his high school band director, go to https://youtu.be/48oHiXiL0iA.