Milwaukee man helps kids march to an inspiring beat

He leads Nei Phi Neph Marching Knights Drumline
Posted at 3:55 PM, Apr 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-16 16:55:05-04

A former Marine, police officer and teacher is working to keep kids occupied and out of trouble through music with the Nei Phi Neph Marching Knights Drumline.

“Keep kids so busy they're too tired to fight or steal a car," said Antony Hibbler, who leads the Nei Phi Neph Marching Knights Drumline.

We found kids busy practicing at Redeem Faith Fellowship Church at 33rd and Lloyd in Milwaukee. 

The pulsating sounds of young talent emanated from the room. Students began by reciting a positive poem in a military-like style. 

"Practice, practice practice! Good better best! Until my good is better until my better is best, sir."

"In life, if you want the kids to be great first give them giants to walk in the footsteps of," said Hibbler.

40-year-old Hibbler is a father of three. He believes life is a battle we cannot win alone. 

"Our mission for being here, our purpose should always tie into God. When we start to make purposes on our own it becomes selfish," he said. 

Hibbler has many talents. He says a higher power called on him to shape young lives.

"I prayed for wisdom before I prayed for money," he said. 

"Our mission for being here, our purpose should always tie into God. When we start to make purposes on our own it becomes selfish," Hibbler also said.

His students must embrace discipline, telling students, "Excuses aren't acceptable."

Nei Phi Neph is a staple at Summerfest. Among the group's members are Anthony's own kids and even his mom and several relatives.

Josiah Young, Anthony's 21-year-old brother, gave a virtuoso performance exploding with talent. 

Anthony's 4-year-old son "Deuce" clearly has been gifted with rhythm. He takes to the drums like a child years older. 

"My son is four years old, he doesn't take no for an answer. If I'm going to do my show, have to have a stick and a drum ready," said Hibbler. 

Hibbler estimates that in the last decade the Marching Knights have reached at least 14 hundred students in Milwaukee.

Hibbler says it's gratifying to see his kids excel.

"The reward is when you see them doing well in life or whatever they want to do...I tell them if you have an extra ticket and you want to invite an old man like me, by all means, do so," he said.

Hibbler hopes to instill a sense of discipline in the kids. 

"Whatever else they do in life, If they apply the discipline part were good," he said. 

Hibbler is a man who has found his life purpose. Using the rhythm of life to help kids flourish.

"When I see young people who I've had the privilege to touch their lives, it touches my heart," he said.