I have been playing guitar for almost 20 years now and I am a proud graduate of class 2004 and I can still remember why I wanted to play guitar more than anything. I was watching TV one night and VH1 had a concert series going on. It was Santana and friends, I was glued, I could not take my eyes off of the TV. As the concert went on, he brought out Dave Mathews and played a song called “Love Of My Life” and I was hooked. I yelled to my Father and asked if he could teach me how to play guitar and the rest was history. I became a very big fan of Classic Rock, which I still love over any genera of music and a big fan of the fast heavy solo’s of The Eagles and Led Zeppelin. Over time The Eagles have become my favorite band of all time,
I also played Trumpet from 3rd grade- 8th grade. I stayed pretty much behind closed doors when it came to performing or letting anyone know I played an instrument unless I had a performance to attend to. I had the pleasure of having Mr. Crawford teach me from 3rd grade to 6th and then had the pleasure of Mr. Trilio from 7th to 8th. When I got into High School I did not sign up for any music class until my Sophomore Year. That is where I met Mr. Hjelmervik and my life changed. He taught me the theory of music and helped me get over my fears of performing in front of a large crowd. During this time I remember he took 5 advance guitar players and put them in a group. We were able to write music and jam and have an awesome time during school. Then one day Mr, H approached us and said ” I need you guys to help the class write a song that they can perform” I thought this was a great Idea, I get to help kids who are just learning or who need some confidence write a song they can perform for their peers and family. When all said and done, Mr. H then asked the 5 of us to write a song that he could record and make a video for to show other kids. Boy was I nervous, I remember sitting in front of that camera about ready to pass out thinking I couldn’t do it, but much to my surprise I did it and I was amazed. I remember when the video editing class had to edit the video for us, I had about 20 people come up and as me how long I have been playing and man was that a great feeling. To hear people tell me how good I was and that they never would’ve thought I play guitar was music to my ears.
After my Junior year, Mr. H announced that he was going to retire, this devastated me. My mentor who has taught me everything was leaving. But I knew he had a trick up his sleeve, no more than 2 days later, he introduced his son to the class that was going to take over his position and much to my surprise we all hit it off. Mr. Hjelmervik’s son taught me more than I could ever know. He brought a new style into the class room, and helped everyone become more confident. I wouldn’t be half the musician I am without them.
There is something that is over looked when it comes to music. I was a troubled kid growing up, never did good in school. But music kept me off the streets and help me grow into a better man that I was. To sit there and play a song and have everyone start singing with you and coming up to shake your hand to tell you how good you were, well I don’t think there is a better feeling than that. Calaveras needs to recognize that music teaches all humans to love one another for who they are, not who they hang out with or what they wear or what they drive or where they come from. You can take 2 strangers, put them side by side and they will tell you they have nothing in common with each other. BUT, put on some music and I guarantee that they will have something in common after that. It brings everyone closer, I mean look at the rallies we did, when ” We are the Champions” came on, we all sung that, when the football players would walk out to Back in Black, we all sat in the crowd and sang it. Music brings everyone that much closer. It teaches you to open your mind and helps your brain work faster and react better to certain situations.
Both Mr. Hjelmervik’s changed my life for the better and the respect I have for them in un repayable but keeping this music program alive and well would mean the world to them and me. This Calaveras Has Talent is awesome. Its giving musicians a chance to be heard, in fact I may try out for it to show my support. Saving the music program will not only keep tradition alive but also help kids learn to help one another and bring everybody that much closer.
i still play guitar to this day and finally have bought my dream guitar. I write music for people and now have a band that I jam with for fun. I will always be a musician because of MUSIC. Save this great program!!!!!!!!!!