The Voice

Playing in perfect pitch

Photo+courtesy+of+B.+Bala
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Playing in perfect pitch

Photo courtesy of B. Bala

Photo courtesy of B. Bala

Photo courtesy of B. Bala

Photo courtesy of B. Bala

Natalie Trzeciak

He feels the soft vibration of the strings beneath his fingertips. His mind is focused on the music, on every changing chord. The atmosphere the audience is giving off is electric. The very thought of them enjoying his music is exciting, and nothing less than what he dreamt of as an 8-year-old boy.

Junior Brian Bala first became involved in music after joining the middle school band on saxophone. However, his passion for music sparked when he began to teach himself the guitar in 8th grade.

Though Bala continued his involvement in Concert Band freshman year, he was determined to play the guitar in the Jazz Band after seeing them perform.

“I talked to Mr. Rohde about joining,” said Bala. “The music was difficult though, so he asked if I wanted to learn to play bass instead.”

With an upright bass in hand for the first time, Bala vowed to learn to play well enough to give jazz a shot, and began to stay after school to improve. He started to take lessons the following summer with Chris Ray as well.  

 

Bala and Clemetsen practicing together. (B. Bala).

Bala and Clemetsen practicing together. (B. Bala).

Bala’s hard work paid off as he joined the Jazz Band his sophomore year.

“It took a lot of endurance to keep up with them at first, but with time I got the hang of it,” said Bala.  

With a new ensemble also came new friendships as Bala met senior Matt Clemetsen. Together the two, along with junior Lukas Kubelka, formed their own band. The Rhythem Section then went on to play many shows at venues such as the Penny Road Pub, and to record an album that became available on iTunes.

“Being able to go out and play a show well is amazing,” said Bala. “It makes you feel good about yourself and who you’re playing with.”

Bala later went on to receive a scholarship through the fine arts boosters that allowed him to go to a music camp at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There he spent a portion of his summer playing with other students and working with professors.

“It was a really good experience that put my level of playing into perspective,” said Bala. “It makes you realize just how little the music scene in Huntley was.”   

Though Bala will not be majoring in music, he plans on continuing to play music regardless of where life takes him.

“It’s great to be able to do what people you look up to do,” said Bala. “Though music can be difficult, it’s always a great stress reliever.”

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Playing in perfect pitch