Sea King Band Members Jam in Their Free Time

Alexa Stevens, Online Editor

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Senior Alec Berry plays the electric guitar. Photo by Alexa Stevens.

Most PV High students have heard of the school band – one that conjures the image of a teacher-led organization that participates in school-sponsored performances. 

However, there also exists a different school band – one made up of the various student organizations that perform outside of school, landing various types of gigs, whether it be at weddings or birthday parties.

These bands have performed at student birthday parties and town-wide events, among other festivities.

Junior Cole Hajek serves as either the guitarist or trumpetist for several PV-based bands, having played the former instrument for four years, and the latter for eight. Hajek plays in both the orchestral style and the big band jazz style, heading a combo called “Bold and Brash.” 

With his bands, he has “played at fundraisers mostly, like the PV Wine Walk.” As such, the groups acquire the majority of their gigs through the school.

Hajek has found a passion for music, and “will definitely continue to play after graduation, even though it might not be [his] major.”

Senior and guitarist Alec Berry shares a similar sentiment as to his post-grad musical plans. 

“I will absolutely continue playing guitar after graduation. It’s a big part of my life and something I want to continue doing as long as I can,” Berry said.

Unlike Hajek’s, Berry’s group is untitled.    This group of friends, with Berry on the electric guitar, has “jammed at birthday parties, various school events and recitals, and did a fundraiser type event at a church earlier this year.” 

Berry and his bandmates enjoy playing these gigs, as on top of having fun, they are able to provide entertainment to others.

As Berry’s high school graduation nears, he becomes sentimental toward the memories created at the guitar alongside his bandmates, peers, and friends. 

“I’ll definitely miss the friends I’ve made in PV who I love playing with,” he said.

“But, hopefully, we’ll find times to see each other again and sort of ‘get the band back together.’” 

Band director and teacher Shellie Parkinson confirms this sentiment, but expands, speaking as to the changing music industry. 

Not only do students play conventional instruments for gigs, but also do sound control and create electronic music. 

Parkinson said, “That’s become a really big thing as the music industry is changing.”

Students now look into careers as DJs and sound technicians, finding their start at school events. 

Parkinson explains that playing gigs while in high school would be a great way to initiate a career in the musical field. For both Berry and Hajek, one truth prevails: playing music is more than a mere hobby. 

“I started in eighth grade and it’s been a huge part of my life ever since,” Berry said.

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