It was an ordinary day. Watching a YouTube video featuring Zachary Vaughen on drums that someone just emailed to me. Zachary is the son of Ed who taught music in the Manheim Township Middle School and High School for many years. A few years ago, after the MT School Board decided to cut back the music offerings throughout the district, Ed was so distraught that he decided to resign and find work elsewhere. What a loss for the school district that decision created. Ed was loved by his students for his caring and understanding approach to teaching. Years ago I had Ed as a student in my Graphic Arts classes at the high school and he was such a likable young man. Ed could play just about any musical instrument and when I found out he had returned to the school district as a teacher, I was so happy for him. Up until the time when Ed resigned, I worked with him to schedule photographs of his music groups for the yearbooks that I produced. Ed made it so easy to do my job.
Zachary's Middle School photo.
I pulled out the 2012 Middle School Yearbook to see if I could find his son, Zachary, and found both of them in the photo of the Jazz Band I had taken that year. Well, the video I watched featured Zachary auditioning for the 2016 Grammy Foundation's Grammy Camp jazz session. This past November, based on his audition, he found out that he had been chosen to attend the camp and be part of a jazz combo. On February 6 he arrived in Hollywood and will stay there until after the Grammy Awards tonight. While there he is practicing close to 12 hours a day, recording an album with other campers at Capitol Studios, and playing along with special guest artists at local clubs and venues. He will attend the Grammy Awards tonight as a guest of The Recording Academy and will take part in other musical activities held before and after the awards.
Zachary practicing on the drums.
And Zachary, my readers, is only a Senior in High School. Pretty impressive! In high school Zachary is a member of the jazz and marching bands. He said he's never known life without music, being that both his parents are accomplished musicians and fill their home with music. He grew up listening to Earth, Wind and Fire as well as John Mayer and Norah Jones. Last Monday, the day after he arrived in Hollywood, he got to meet jazz drummer Kamasi Washington, one of his musical role models. He got to spend time with him which was priceless. After returning home in a few days, he will get back to school and continue to search for a college. He hopes to study music performance at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He is so honored to be part of the Grammy music camp and will remember his experience for many years to come. Couldn't have happened to a nicer young man and his family. Maybe someday I will get to see Zachary on stage at the Grammy's receiving one of the awards. Could happen you know! It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.