Vidalia drummer sticks to learning at summer camp

Published 12:46 am Wednesday, August 31, 2016

VIDALIA — If you see Vidalia High School student Nick Scirocco, he probably has drumsticks in his hands.

“I take my sticks with me everywhere I go,” he said. “My teachers get irritated with me in class, and my aunt got mad at me one time for having my drumsticks at the movie theater.

“If I go to a baseball game, I take them. I pretty much have them anywhere I’m at.”

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Given his infatuation with drumming, it is no surprise the marching band drum captain took the opportunity to improve his skills over the summer at Northwestern State University’s drumline camp.

“We learned a lot about sticking — a better way to hold the sticks and do some stick flips,” he said. “I also learned how to read music.

“It was fun, I made some friends, and I learned a lot of stuff drum wise.”

The 15-year-old freshman said being away from home due to the four-day camp in June was a different experience for him.

“I was shy at first because I didn’t know anyone,” he said. “But I started to connect with some of the other drummers, some of the instructors and had private lessons.”

Some of those friends he made were connected with the Northwestern band. Scirocco said if he could learn the fight song, the Demon Band members were willing to let him be in the stands with them during games.

“It’d be cool but a lot of pressure,” he said. “But I’m using to playing at pep rallies and football games in front of people.”

Vidalia High School Band Director Shawn Smith said Scirocco, even though he’s only 15, is one of the best drummers in the area, so he recommended the camp for his development.

“It gave him a chance to interact with drummers with similar skills,” he said. “It was a good chance to network and really move forward.”

Scirocco said since he was little he has been playing drums on pots and pans. So when sixth grade arrived and he had a chance to join the school band, he knew right away he wanted to be a drummer. In seventh grade, he was moved up to the high school marching band.

“I have just always liked hearing other drummers, and one of my favorite movies is ‘Drumline,’” he said. “I’ve always liked parades and listening to the band play.”

Though he said education is important because he wants to make good grades and ultimately land a marching band scholarship. His parents, Jana and Mark Geoghegan and Marcus and Summer Scirocco, also naturally like the scholarship idea, Scirocco said

“My parents like that I’m in band,” he said. “They feel like I’m learning to do something, and I’m also part of something.”

Scirocco said he studies a good bit — before band practice starts is a good time to complete homework.

“In a way, yeah, being in band helps with school,” he said. “It sort of helps with math skills when learning measures and notes, but mostly being in the band helps me with keeping my stress down.”

Scirocco said he’d like to major in music and go on to be a band director at a college or university.

“Nick’s an all around great kid,” Smith said. “He’s smart, makes good grades and is very dedicated to drumming — he really takes it seriously.

“I absolutely believe he’ll go on to get a scholarship.”