By Paul Ingvaldsen / Staff Writer
Sitting on a stool before a bass drum, music major Nathaniel Reed, 25, said, “All of my family are musicians. My mother directed me to start playing the clarinet when I was 7. I was pretty young and I didn’t know anything about music, so I played the instrument for a year and learned how to read music.
“The next year, I made the jump over to a brass instrument and played trumpet. After playing for a few years my mother informed me that I was going to have to have braces,” Reed said Monday, March 24. “I knew braces were going to make playing difficult, if not painful, so I actually began playing percussion instruments, drums.”
Reed said, “At that time I was still at Mokler Elementary, a K- 8 school that didn’t have a music program, so my mom enrolled me at Alondra Middle School in a special Summer school music program used to prep older middle school students for high school.”
“I played percussion for the first two weeks before I got braces, then the teacher, who knew I had some brass instrument experience, asked me to play the trombone just for one day. There were no trombone players, so I said ‘Yes.’”
“I fell in love in just one day and I have been playing ever since. That was 12 or 13 years ago and I just want to play the trombone.” Reed said.
Music major Francis Camarrillo, 21, said, “He’s a passionate player,” describing Reed as a performer.
Reed continued, “I still have another year or so to go, but I’d like to transfer to USC. Unfortunately, the way it works, it will probably come down to finances, rather than expertise.”
Giving advice to other music majors, Reed said, “Music majors have to spend as much time on homework as pre-med majors. Only in the last year have I really made progress. Phil Keen, a low brass instrument teacher hired by the college as an applied private instructor, has made all the difference. He’s been a great help.”