Middle school musicians who participate in Masters of Rock (MOR), the pop and rock ensemble, and BOOM!, the percussion ensemble, have found their groove this year, leaving music teacher John-Alec Raubeson very impressed.
“In spite of all the challenges that remote rehearsals bring, these young folks have still brought their best and have found the process to be rewarding and fulfilling in new and unexpected ways,” said Raubeson, who directs both groups.
“My favorite piece of music to learn was probably ‘Tom Sawyer’ because it has so many tight fills and double kick patterns in it,” said MOR drummer Jacob Resnick ’26.
Along with the iconic sounds of the rock band Rush, students in MOR have learned music by Pat Benatar, Justin Bieber, Green Day, Toto and Led Zeppelin. “I love the chance to discover songs differently. When I listen to a song, and then come to MOR and see how it can be created, I see the song in a whole new light!” explained Claudia Glenne Gelblum ’26, drummer.
Daniel Zagorsky ’27 who plays drums, piano and guitar with MOR, enjoys the camaraderie.“Everyone in the community is patient when someone is confused, and it basically feels like a second family,” he said.
That kindred spirit comes alive in BOOM!, too, where members are working on a percussion piece called “Stick Stoff” in addition to creating an original work. “We all work as a team and learning the piece takes time, but it’s very rewarding when you are able to play it well,” explained Alex Pinnock ’26.
BOOM!’s Anna Moscato ’25 agreed. “Getting to play music with others is one of life's great joys and getting to see a piece slowly come together is really magical.”