Sophomore George Kurisaki enjoys practicing the snare drum everyday.
by Karissa Taylor
He listens to the beat of the drum, each beat captivating him and drawing in his attention and focus. Drums are more than just an instrument to sophomore George Kurisaki. They are a way for him to express himself while having fun. He first joined marching band his freshman year because he loved the sound of the snare drum. “I took up drumming for the school band because I think it’s fun. It interested me because I like the beat of the snare drum. I wanted to play it, so I wanted to do marching band,” he said. After being in band for a while, he learned that marching band was more challenging than he had thought due to his partial hearing loss, so he began practicing more. “I’ve gotten better at drumming by practicing a lot at home. I do warm-ups of diddles and paradiddles,” Kurisaki said. “I think it’s fun when you play the notes right and you’re able to play it faster.” According to Kurisaki, a paradiddle is a complicated sequence of notes using both hands. Kurisaki practices with marching band everyday during zero period, after school on Mondays and Wednesdays, and twice a season on Saturday “rehearse-a-thons,” which last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On top of all the practice marching band does together, he practices everyday for at least one hour. “The key thing to get better at being a drummer is practice. I also practice at home by watching YouTube videos about drumming,” he said. He does not believe that the long hours spent at marching band practices are overbearing, but rather he welcomes the time to help him improve. Although he has not yet decided which college is right for him, Kurisaki hopes that with enough practice, he will be able to play for a college marching band. “My goal in band is becoming a drum captain before I go to college, which I think I can accomplish by
PHOTO BY VITORIA MAGNO
Little drummer boy. Sophomore George Kurisaki practices playing his drum at marching band’s afterschool practice.
By the numbers...
practicing a lot at home and working on getting better,” he said. According to band director Mark Aguero, Kurisaki requires more than just skill to become drum captain, but his determination could help him accomplish his goals. “Drum captain not only requires strong playing, but strong leadership and communication skills as well. People will respect him for his accomplishments, but he will need to earn their personal respect and desire to follow his directions,” Aguero said. Aguero has seen a considerable improvement in Kurisaki’s speed and stick control, which he believes comes from hours of practicing and hard work. “The type of growth that he has shown can only come from hours of work. One cannot ‘fake’ the types of things that he is now able to do. This only comes from devoting the time necessary to perfect the techniques,” Aguero said. He is inspired by Kurisaki’s perseverance in overcoming challenges other people in the band never had to worry about, such as his hearing loss. “George’s perseverance despite his hearing loss is inspiring,” Aguero said. “The things that a musician needs to be able to do are difficult enough, but when coupled with diminished hearing capacity, it becomes significantly more challenging to succeed.” Despite these challenges, Kurisaki enjoys being a part of marching band and considers playing to be his way to show his school spirit and cheer on the school’s sports teams. “I like being in marching band and representing [the school by] playing during football and basketball games,” he said. According to Kurisaki, drums offer more than music and they help him express himself. “I like drumming because you get to show off with your friends and be proud of yourself,” Kurisaki said.
From Bali to Cali Freshman Barron Mainz spent a year in Indonesia. by Kolbie Brightwell
California has approximately 70 times more land area than Bali.
There are about ten Californians for every Balinese.
163,696 sq. miles
2,232 sq. miles
3,891,428 people census.quickfacts.gov and baliprov.go.id
14 HIGH TIDE . FEATURES
Between surfing from sunrise to sunset and hours of school and homework, freshman Barron Mainz has needed to adjust to life in California after living in Bali, Indonesia for a year. “Everything is different,” Mainz said. “It’s clean here and dirty there. Indonesia is a third-world country. Everything is cheap, very poor, and very dirty, but still the people there are very pleasant to be around. Here in America, it’s the complete opposite.” When Mainz moved to Bali from Santa Barbara, he was introduced to an entirely new economy and lifestyle. In Indonesia, the county as a whole speaks Indonesian, but each island has a different language. The island Mainz lived on speaks Balinese, but Mainz learned how to speak Indonesian as well.
“It took me about two to three months to pick up Indonesian. To learn the language, I went to a school that basically only spoke Indonesian. [However,] I had an English teacher from America and my principal spoke English.” In Indonesia, the quality of education is “poor” and the students are given a limited number of sports to participate in. “The sports were limited to badminton, ping pong, and surfing,” Mainz said. “Here, I can play any sport, and the education is much better.” Part of the reason Mainz and his family moved to Bali was because of America’s declining economy and the limits education places on the jobs they could get. “It’s very expensive here, but what I love about America is that your options of actually becoming something are greater than anywhere else,” he said.