Junior Choo dives into music
By Hannah Spranger, Co-Content Editor
Ethan Choo has an impressively long musical resume for someone who is only a junior. He participates in the school band, two other bands — one alternative rock and the other jazz — and has competed around the state, all as a drummer.
Throughout his nine years of playing music, Choo has been encouraged by a variety of supportive figures in his life.
“[My mom is] probably my largest inspiration, but [also] other drummers, my drum teacher, [and] peers,” Choo said.
The beginning of Choo’s musical career was not exactly conventional.
“When I started listening to music, I really liked just the drums,” he said. “The thought of banging things [and] hitting stuff sounded fun, so I started and it just grew from there.”
Choo is hopeful that what he has learned from being a musician will lead to a future career.
“I’ve always liked, since I was a kid, to be able to challenge myself with especially music, [and I like] being able to play with other people,” Choo said. “Hopefully that’ll go into later years, maybe studio musician is a good option for me.”
Choo has been playing with junior Benny Robinthal in their jazz band “Off the Deep End” for the past year. The two musicians have been in school band together since sixth grade, and forming a band was the next step.
“[Choo] just brings the raw skill that we need,” Robinthal said. “Ethan … holds the band together, because he’s just so good.”
Choo’s percussion ability brings a special flare to the group.
“[He has] pure musical talent, and then he’s able to adapt very easily without us communicating verbally,” Robinthal said. “If we’re in the middle of playing something, he’s able to understand where we’re going next.”
Along with “Off the Deep End,” Choo is involved in a band called “God’s Hand Carpentry.” Bandmate senior Emmett Sherman is able to see Choo’s desire to challenge himself in his music.
“Ethan is a really hard working person. If he has a goal, he sets out to do it and he does it. He sees something that he wants to do, and he doesn’t let anything get in his way,” Sherman said. “It … is really impressive to be able to work with somebody that’s that persistent and takes it that seriously.”
Sherman and Choo have been working together for the past two years in their alternative rock band.
“Ethan is one of those guys that you hear him play once and that’s enough to know that you want to work with them,” Sherman said. “He’s really talented. And that’s what he does, that’s his life and … he really shows that with how well he practices.”
Similarly, Choo has been impacted by his time playing with peers in bands.
“Being able to work with others is one of the largest [lessons],” he said. “[As well as] having the grit to keep going if something is really difficult.”
Despite facing challenges, Choo has managed to stay inspired and continue making music.
“I just went through a large practicing drought, but I got inspired again by a person,” Choo said. “I took a marimba lesson with somebody named Miho. … She just had this thing about her that just made me want to practice, which didn’t really come from anyone before so it’s gotten me back in the swing.”
Choo encourages people to give music a chance.
“If you’re thinking about taking music lessons, you should because it’s worth the money even if you don’t stick with it because you’ll always learn something,” Choo said.