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September Student Spotlight: Eyan Varacalle-Goetz

As we transition back to school, it’s the perfect time to highlight a young drummer who is not only an active Stages student, but very involved in music at his school – Calvert Hall – where he is a member of the concert band, the marching and and the competitive marching band. Eyan was nominated by his teacher Jason Cohen, who says of Eyan:

“Eyan has been studying drums with me for about 9 years. In our time together he has worked so hard with such a great attitude and accomplished many things.  Eyan has done band programs, Electronic Music Production and is now starting his second year Calvert Hall Marching Band.  He was recently promoted to snare drum. He never turns down a challenge and takes criticism better than any student or person I have ever met.  The future is bright with Eyan!”

Read on to learn more about this talented teen drummer!

What do you study and why did you pick that instrument?

I study the drum kit at Stages and percussion in high school. I chose the drum kit at 7 years old mainly because my uncle plays drums. He used to let me play around with his drum kits when I was little. He also gave me one of his older drum kits and inspired me to start taking lessons. My parents are also huge music fans, and we would watch concerts on TV often. I loved watching the drum solos and was in awe of some of the crazy things drummers can do. I wanted to do the same thing. I also study percussion at Calvert Hall High school. I am a part of the concert band, the marching band and the competitive marching band. I play the marimbas, timpani drums, snare drum, symbols, and bass drum, just to name a few.

Who is your teacher and what do you love about them?

My teacher is Jason Cohen. Mr. Jason has been my teacher for the past 9 years starting with my very first drum lesson. Mr. Jason is kind, caring and extremely helpful. One thing I love about Mr. Jason is that every week before lessons start, he asks me how I’m doing, what’s new in school, how is marching band going, how is swimming going or if there is anything else that I want to talk about. I love that he really cares about me and enjoys hearing about my other activities. Mr. Jason is also very supportive of my percussion journey. Not only does he help me with my high school pieces, but he also pushes me on the drum kit to take on challenging songs. Thank you Mr. Jason for always believing in me.

What kind of music do you like to listen to and play? Do you have a recent favorite artist?

As a drummer, I like mostly playing 70s or 80s rock and pop songs. For example, Rush, Led Zepplin, Queen, The Eagles, etc. Some of these drummers can be difficult to replicate and I enjoy challenging myself to improve on the drum kit. Recently I have been listening to Rush, Imagine Dragons, Panic at the Disco! I also listen to Lofi playlists when I am studying or for background music.

What’s your favorite thing about Stages or do you have a favorite Stages memory?

My favorite thing about Stages is the band program. It helps me connect what I’ve learned during lessons and apply it directly to the songs. I also like that I get to play in the band with my sister, I get to meet new people and learn from new teachers. I also really enjoy playing in the concert at the end of the program. We have played in some very cool venues and it is always a good time and very rewarding. My favorite memory would have to be playing Tom Sawyer by Rush at the Tin Roof. We nailed it!

What are your musical goals?

My main goal for music is to be good enough to play most songs by ear. I also want to learn to think of solos and fills on the spot and work on my overall speed.

What is one of your non music-related goals?

Outside of music my goal is to maintain honor roll grades in high school while I continue to pursue music in and out of school and swim year-round for my school and my club teams. I would like to get into an engineering college and hopefully continue playing and studying music while getting my engineering degree.

Tell us a favorite fun or interesting fact about yourself not related to music?

One interesting fact about me is that I am a year-round swimmer. I have been swimming since I was 4 years old. I started swimming competitively at 7 years old. I swim for Cardinal and Gold Aquatics year-round, Calvert Hall High School in season and Valleybrook Country Club in the summer. I am a Junior Coach for the Valleybrook Swim Team and I also work as a lifeguard at Valleybrook. I have always loved the water and swimming is my favorite thing to do aside from drumming. Another interesting fact about me (that is music related) is that I got to march in a Walt Disney World parade this past spring with the Calvert Hall marching band. Also, the Calvert Hall Competitive Marching Band won the Maryland State Championship this past year.

Do you know a student who is deserving of being in the spotlight? Nominate them by emailing us and telling us why they deserve to be recognized! 

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