Hello. I’m Paul Beckman, a current sophomore at Naperville North High School. At Naperville North I participate in the marching band, the jazz ensemble, the percussion ensemble, and the nationally ranked symphonic wind ensemble. Outside of school I regularly perform with a jazz combo and my church worship team. I currently study classical percussion with Ben Wahlund of Black Dog Music Studio.
I’ve always been interested in music, and I participated in concert bands and jazz bands throughout elementary school and junior high. However, my real pursuit of music began last year as I became a freshman at Naperville North. I began studying with Mr. Wahlund, which opened doors for me to do everything from playing percussion with a city chorus singing opera to being part of the percussion ensemble piece ‘Inuksuit’ in Millennium Park.
In addition, I auditioned for the chance to attend the percussion session at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center and the attended the session. This was a fantastic experience of two intensive weeks of percussion with twenty-five other students. I made great strides in my playing and ended up winning a performance award and a scholarship to return the next year. While at camp I had the amazing opportunity to study under such renowned educators and performers as Orlando Cotto, Jeff Stitely, Vicki Jenks, Adam Cowger, Dan Moore (Director of Percussion at the University of Iowa), Rodrigo Villanueva (Associate Professor of Percussion at NIU), Liam Teague (Associate Professor of Percussion at NIU), and Robert Chappell (Distinguished Teaching Professor of Percussion at NIU). This experience gave me the knowledge I needed to really pursue my passion for music in the next year. I hope to return as a student or teaching assistant in the coming years since I learned so much.
As a sophomore I auditioned for and was selected to participate in both the Jazz Band and Symphonic Band from Illinois district 9. I hope to participate in more events like these as well as multiple solo competitions on both concert snare and marimba in the coming months. I hope to strive in the coming years and throughout my life to become a better musician both technically and expressively, be able to communicate better within the context of musical styles, spread enthusiasm and passion for music, and help others to do the same. Thank you for visiting!