I'd been home in Nova Scotia for a few weeks when a drummer friend of mine called asking to borrow some drums. When returning my gear he asked, "How can you not do this anymore?" How DO I not do this anymore? If I'm not a full- time drummer, does that mean I'm not a drummer at all? Since I was a kid, I've loved music, always gravitating to the drums. Hearing KISS Alive 2 on my Nanny's record player when I was 7 changed my life forever. Another life changing moment was when Jeff Smith pushed me out of my comfort zone by getting me to play with the KES stage band and Jazz ensemble at a Music festival with less than a week's preparation! These were huge experiences that gave me the confidence to pursue my passion and a career in the music industry. After graduating from KES, I moved to Toronto and started my journey as a professional musician. After 11 years of playing and sharing the stage with many talented artists, an eye-opening experience occurred while on the road that left me questioning my career. It was becoming increasingly difficult to make an income and play music that was fulfilling for me. I knew eventually I wanted to get married and have kids, and the lifestyle I had wasn't conducive to do that.
The more I questioned things, the clearer it became. I was becoming unhappy with my current situation. After a lot of gut-wrenching nights, I made the difficult decision to leave Toronto and my professional music career of 11 years behind and move home. I got a 'real' job for the first time in more than a decade that was meant to be temporary but, here I am 15 years later, in the same industry. So, how do I not do this anymore? Being a drummer is how I identified, it was the thing that made me a little cool. If I'm not a full time drummer, does that mean I'm not a drummer at all? Absolutely not! Today, I play music on my own terms. Will I play in an arena again? Maybe not; but I'm okay with that. Now the arenas are my 2 kids and a supportive wife. I have the stability and balance I once craved, and yes, playing music, too. I enjoy that now I can say yes to the gigs I want and play the kind of music I enjoy playing. I've taken a similar approach in other aspects of my life as well. A few years ago, I rekindled my love for mountain biking and racing. I look at racing the same way I do music; it fills a spot in my life that requires some risk and has reward and it pushes me to get better and improve my skills. What I get out of a race is much like a gig; I get the jitters just before starting, once I begin it requires focus and concentration and when it's over, it's absolutely exhilarating.
King's-Edgehill alumni feel embraced by their KES experience long after they have left. If you're an alumnus/alumna eager to re-connect with your KES friends, find out how to do that here: