by Nathan Bass
Some of the greatest bands of all time are born from suburban garages; High school students coming together with classmates to create new unheard sounds. J.E.B. Stuart high school has a long standing tradition of graduating quality arts students. With a renowned theater and music department, Stuart has a plethora of popular musicians and thespians who are graduates, such as Stuart’s music department alumnus Franz Stahl (‘80), a former member of the popular band, The Foo Fighters. Stuart continually creates an environment where music and non-music students alike can flourish and be creative in what they love.
“The teaching staff is great and there are lots of opportunities for people to get involved with music in,” said sophomore cellist Bridget Early.
Most Stuart musicians stick to just playing in the orchestra or band. Some students, however, are able to bridge the gap, such as sophomore Ian Myer. Myer is a saxophonist in J.E.B. Stuart’s band. He also plays in multiple local bands around the area. He finds time to balance his schoolwork and practice with his band.
“I don’t get as much sleep as I would like to, but I get it all done,” Myer said.
Freshman Eliza Stuart is another Raider musician, but she does not play in the school band. Stuart is the bassist for her rock group ‘the Diamond Dolls’. The group originally formed at a music school in 2012. Despite not being in the band or orchestra at Stuart, she is very interested in pursuing a career in music.
Many students are not in a music department, but still are music enthusiasts. A recently created jam session was born from their love of the genre they play ‘Reggae Rock’. Made up of sophomore Blas Goncalves-Borrega and two juniors, Marco Djorjevic and Victor McManus, they began to play because they love the music they listen to.
“We all love the same bands that we have been listening to for years so we decided to make a band,” said Djorjevic. The group is performing at Stuart’s annual talent show later this year.
“We will be the first reggae-rock group to ever perform at a Stuart talent show,” Goncalves-Borrega said.
When people begin to make music they want to display with the world they have many options. One of the most popular options is SoundCloud. SoundCloud is a place for musicians to upload and broadcast their music for anyone to hear. Users range from amatuer to signed professionals. Many Stuart students use this for their own music. For example, sophomore Lawson Smead, EDM creator, has been using Soundcloud since he first started making music.
“Soundcloud is the best place for me to put my new music, but then I inevitably take it off because I realize it sucks,” Said Smead.
Concert Master in Stuart’s orchestra and junior Bobby Hosseini makes popular EDM (Electronic Dance Music), and displays it through Soundcloud as well. Hosseini has multiple songs with views in the thousands. He finds time to be an IB diploma candidate.
“I understand school comes first, I love making music but I have my priorities.” said Hosseini.
“EDM is a risky career choice due to the competition, I am much more interested in studying medicine,” he said.
Stuart’s band and orchestral departments have been awarded for years. Continually creating a place for music students to thrive. With many students branching out and participating in out of school bands, the horizons for Stuart musicians are expanding.