Story and photos by Angela Howe-Decker
Ashland High School junior Logan Shrewsbury manages to stay level headed and upbeat while balancing his academic studies and a busy schedule of practice and performances both in and outside of school.
One of Shrewsbury's drum teachers, Terry Longshore, spoke sincerely of the young man's talent and drive.
"I've worked with Logan for nearly three years and he is an extremely dedicated student, a hard worker with a lot of innate talent," Longshore said. "He is a real delight to work with."
AHS Principal Jeff Schlecht agreed.
"I believe Logan to be the most talented percussionist I've seen in my entire 28-year career," he said. "He's very special. We get to enjoy him for one more year, and then the world gets him."
The award-winning percussionist talked with the Daily Tidings about himself and his passion for music.
DT: How long have you been playing percussion instruments?
Shrewsbury: I started playing percussion in sixth grade six years ago, and I've been playing drum set for five years.
DT: What do you like most about your percussion studies?
Shrewsbury: This is kind of a funny question for me. I really don't know why I like playing drums, I just do. But in terms of formal studying, Dr. Terry Longshore and Tom Freeman, the two main drum teachers I've studied with, are both great people on a ton of different levels. I'm really lucky to have been able to work with and learn from both of them.
DT: What do you like least about it?
Shrewsbury: Moving drums around everywhere gets really annoying sometimes. But, whatever &
I can deal with it.
DT: Who are your musical influences?
Shrewsbury: I think that nearly everything I've ever heard in my life has influenced me to a noticeable degree, and I listen to a ton of different stuff. I'm all over the place in terms of what I listen to. If it's Wayne Shorter or Keane or Deftones or Marvin Gaye or Minus the Bear or Bill Evans or Aphex Twin or Steely Dan, I'm cool with it. Also, someone played The Shins in chemistry a couple weeks ago, and I really liked it. I haven't gotten anything from them yet. To be more specific, though, Josh Freese, who's played for a bunch of people, was one of the first drummers I looked up to. Keith Carlock, Jimmy Chamberlin, Ndugu Chancler and Elvin Jones are just a few drummers that I really like, but I wouldn't say that they really influenced me a lot more than any other drummer I've heard. You can get something meaningful out of hearing any musician, horrible or amazing.
DT: How often and how long do you practice?
Shrewsbury: Depending on how much I have going on and how tired I am, I try to fit in at least an hour a day, along with jazz band classes two to three times a week, and other periodic band practices. On weekends, it's more like two to three hours. My muscles were really sore after playing Mr. Grizz, for example, so I've had to tone it down recently.
DT: Any advice for younger kids interested in playing drums?
Shrewsbury: Just have fun with it. You can take drumming as serious as you want to, so just do whatever you want to. I would recommend trying out private lessons, even just for a little while, if you can. I just get really depressed or feel like I'm just wandering around if I don't do anything musically related, so I'm kind of stuck with playing as much as I do.
DT: What are some of your other interests?
Shrewsbury: I enjoy reading and photography when I have the time. Not much else, really.
DT: How do you keep up your grades while spending so much time practicing your music?
Shrewsbury: I don't know. For one, I don't take a lot of really hard classes. I just always end up with 'A's even if I don't feel like I'm doing much of anything for school. If I were taking AP classes and doing some other extracurricular thing, then something would go down the drain for sure. I'm genuinely lazy.
DT: What are your plans after you graduate high school?
Shrewsbury: I'll go to a four-year college/university, major in music somewhere like UNT, USC or Indiana Bloomington. Other than that, I have no clue.
DT: Is there an instrument you haven't tried, but would like to try some time?
Shrewsbury: I'd like to try bass &
either stand-up or electric.
DT: Of all your accomplishments, what are you most proud of?
Shrewsbury: Making all-state jazz band sophomore year was pretty noteworthy for me at the time.
DT: Where is the next event we can hear you play?
Shrewsbury: I'm playing in the AHS jazz band on May 28 and possibly in the Rogue Community College talent show on June 22. There are some other gigs that will hopefully come up since I'm in contact with a bunch of different musicians, but those are two gigs I know off the top of my head that are for sure going to come up. We'll just wait and see, I guess.
Upbeat teen strikes right balance
Story and photos by Angela Howe-Decker