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Keeping the beat

Senior Nick Fangman remains persistent in his love for percussion (H. Sturckey).
Senior Nick Fangman remains persistent in his love for percussion (H. Sturckey).

The light chiming of a marimba trickled into the dead quiet of thePerformingArtsCenteron Jan. 29 as senior Nick Fangman revealed his own original percussion compo­sition, “Midnight Clearing,” at the annual Variety Show.

Gradually, the delicate sound was supported by the harmonies played by seniors David Bayley and Kenny Columbus, also plinking away on the marimba. By now, the audi­ence’s attention was seized by the charming melody unfolding.

He remembers his father talking about how cool drumming was; that was all a 10 year old needed to hear, and in the fifth grade, he received his first drum set and found a new passion. Since then, he has been a percussionist for the HMS concert band and for the HHS marching band.

More accustomed to the creative freedom he had being a drummer for Shoot the Mes­senger—originally called Sporadic Senses—for nearly six years, his interest was piqued by a suggestion made by Columbus.

“You don’t get to play what you want in marching band,” said Fangman.

It took two years of consideration before Fangman actually began writing the piece, and it was completed in about a month. Although not a particularly difficult piece, “Mid­night Clearing” had placed first at the solo/ensemble competition

“It wasn’t really that hard,” said Fangman. “It only took like two hours for us to learn.”

The song was in full swing as the rapid beat of snare drums, played by senior Todd Meyer, and the rumbling of bass drums contrasted with the buoyant sound of the vi­braphone—and silence. A few moments passed until slowly—softly—the chiming began once more, drawing in the audience’s focus.

And although he isn’t pursuing a career in music, he remains persistent in his love of percussion.

A sudden surge—a sound that swells and fills the auditorium—and a concise end.

The audience roars with approval.

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