Creative Drumming Outstanding Student of the Month qualifications: Students are chosen based on their consistent progress, exceptional performance and musical activities over the course of a year.

Creative Drumming Outstanding Student of the Year qualifications: Students are chosen based on their consistent progress, exceptional performance and musical activities over the course of a year and must have previously been a Student of the Month. In addition, Student of the Year must demonstrate exemplary proficiency and potential to become a professional drummer. The Student of the Year is announced and honored at the annual Rhythm Reunion
in May.


Student of the Year
Ryan Friedman 


Ryan Friedman has been studying percussion for about 10 years, beginning with bells in the 6th grade, continuing with snare drum during middle school, and playing a range of instruments through high school. During that time, he performed in multiple school-related stage/concert bands, jazz bands, percussion ensembles and marching bands. In his junior year, he was chosen to represent Orange High School in the Northeast Ohio Honors Band. And in his senior year, he was selected as the drum line section leader for the Orange High School Marching Lion Band. In that role, he was responsible for leading practices and performance by twenty-five drummers.

Ryan likes a wide range of musical styles and particularly enjoys playing the vibraphone in the jazz band, and writing and performing cadences with the marching band drum line. During his middle school and high school years, he and his dad together studied with Dave Brewer, focusing on the drum set. Ryan is currently a freshman at Indiana University, where he plans to study business with concentrations in sports and/or music management and marketing. He hopes to find a way to stay involved with music during his college years and beyond!


Student of the Year
Dan Meehan 


Dan Meehan has been taking lessons with Dave for eight years. He began because he wanted to join the fifth grade band, but music has taken him much further in the ensuing years. Music became his passion in high school, especially marching percussion. Drum line was, in fact, his first and last high school experience, as he began with freshman band camp and left with the Fourth of July parade. Dan marched with a snare for all four years, though he always wished he had played tenors. He served as the co-section leader of the drum line during his junior year, and section leader in his senior year. During concert season, he has performed with his high school's top music ensemble for four years, travelling to Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia to compete in music competitions. He was a member of jazz ensemble for two years, and took part in percussion ensemble all four years.

Outside school, Dan's playing focuses more on drumset and musical composition. He has played in his school's talent show, recitals, and at his senior year baccalaureate. He also recently performed an original tenor solo with accompaniment, which he wrote with the help of his high school percussion director. However, he considers his crowning musical achievement to date to be his participation in the Notre Dame Indoor Percussion Ensemble in its inaugural season this winter. This indoor performance group travelled around Ohio to compete and prepare for its performance at WGI World Finals during the spring in Dayton, Ohio.

This September, Dan will be attending The Ohio State University, where he will play in one of the university concert bands and further his musical experience.

Student of the Year
Ian James Darrow 


Despite early attempts to indoctrinate him into becoming a pianist via the Suzuki method, Ian Darrow began playing the drums during the seventh grade. Five years later, Ian is a Chagrin Falls resident and an incoming economics major at Denison University. He graduated with honors from Kenston High School in June, with recognition as an AP Scholar with Distinction and the AP Economics Student of the Year.

He has taken drum lessons with Dave for over four years and played shows in and around Cleveland - most recently with his current band, the Figures of Action. Ian was also an avid four-year participant and performer in his high school’s Variety Show, and continues to expand his musical repertoire, both by refining his drumming skills and gaining knowledge about music theory and the studio recording process.

When not playing the drums, Ian enjoys pickup lacrosse games, midnight trips to Steak ‘n Shake, reading, road trips, and doing his best to keep his schedule open. He designs web sites on a freelance basis when he needs to refill his wallet. In the future, he hopes to study law, but he’s mostly concerned about getting through college first.


Student of the Year
Gavin Goszka


Originally trained on the Hammond organ, Gavin began studying percussion while in high school. His training continued as a Percussion Major at Baldwin-Wallace College's Conservatory of Music in Berea, Ohio, where he also took up piano, voice, and bass guitar.

He graduated with a B.S. in Geology, another long-standing interest, and began working at Sodja Music during an interim in his school schedule. Shortly afterward, he met fellow musician Edward Douglas, and the two went on to form the horror soundtrack outfit Midnight Syndicate. Since their 1998 release Born of the Night, the duo has sold over 300,000 CDs to date worldwide, and have recently gained the interest of a Warner-affiliated production company to score an upcoming major motion picture release.

In his spare time, Gavin enjoys caving, ghosthunting and renovating historic homes. He is currently working on completely restoring the former Geauga County Regional Hospital in Chardon (built in 1874) to periodic-authentic condition.


Student of the Year
Dan Tramte

My name is Dan Tramte and I go to Bowling Green State University. I am a percussion performance major at the school of music there. It all started when sophomore year in high school came around. I decided that I wanted to start taking lessons because I loved listening to our drumline at Brush High. By junior year, I auditioned for the quad line and made it. By then, I practically made a complete transition into the world of percussion. I played percussion for the wind ensemble, marching band, orchestra, and show choir band. Needless to say, I fell in love with it. I then decided that I wanted to do it for the rest of my life, so I auditioned for the Bowling Green School of music and made it with a $1000 talent scholarship. I made the snare line in their Falcon Marching band, along with the symphonic band, and percussion ensemble. Independent from school, I marched in an independent world WGI indoor drumline call Matrix playing bottom bass. I also play trumpet, guitar, piano, bagpipes, and sing.

August 2006 Joey Saponaro 

• Seventh-grader at St. Francis of Assisi School

• 13 years old

• Playing drums 1.5 years

• Plays basketball, football, baseball and golf

• Likes to hang out with friends and go to movies

July 2006 Jamie Shorey 

• Playing drums move than 5 years

• Will attend Oberlin College in fall

• Graduated from Hawken School

• Student of Dave nearly 3 years

• Musical projects range from experimental rock to ska to blues in a variety of bands, the majority including his closest friend and guitarist, Taylor Shockey, with his Mapex custom kit.

• Enjoys ultimate frisbee, snowboarding, making art and hanging out at the steps of Coventry.

June 2006 Alix Rosenberg

• Senior at Orange High School

• Will attend college in fall

• Playing drums 4.5 years

• Taking lessons with Dave for 2 years

• Loves to sing

• Favorite band is Something Corporate

• Enjoys spending time with friends and family

• Has two younger sisters

May 2006 Jena Talbot

• Student at Mayfield Middle School

• 12 years old

• Member of the Mayfield Middle School 6th grade band

• Enjoys playing soccer and other sports, hanging out with friends and watching TV

• Wanted to play drums for a long time and her parents signed her up two years ago

April 2006 Joe Chamberlain

• 14 years old

• Has been playing the percussion for 5 years

• Attends Bay village high school

• Plays in school band and marching band and recently played in the Citrus Bowl Parade in Florida

• Is on the High School Swim Team, and is on stage crew

• “In my spare times I like to build stuff like catapults and I am going to build a marshmallow gun soon!”

• Likes to make animated movies, read and, play set

March 2006 Zach Herak

• 16-year-old sophomore at University School

• Playing drums for four years, taking lessons for two

• Member of school debate team, mock trial team, entrepreneur club and culinary club

• Plays on school junior varisty baseball team

• Plays drums in school jazz band and with two other bands outside of school

• Takes Chinese lessons

• Hopes to study drums through college

February 2006 Ted Friedman

• Rediscovered drums more than 25 years after first taking lessons

• Takes lessons with his son, Ryan

• Enjoys playing Gretsch set and working on improving his skills

January 2006 Sarah Kurdila

• 15 years old

• Playing drums 1 year

• Attending Laurel School

• Plays volleyball for school

• Enjoys art and reading, as well as working for a local community theater

December 2005 Jon Gannon

• 14 years old

• Playing drums 4 years

• Attending Mayfield High School

• Plays snare drum for the 8th grade band at Mayfield

• Also plays football, baseball and wrestles.

November 2005 Levi Thomas

• Has been interested in playing drums since age 20, but didn't start taking lessons until his 40s

• Goal is to make beautiful music, especially gospel, with his wife, who is taking piano lessons

• "It's never too late to fulfill your dreams."

October 2005 Ryan Friedman

• 11 years old

• Playing the drums for 1 year

• Attending Brady Middle School in Orange

• Other hobbies include sports, listening to music and playing other percussion instruments in his school band

• Enjoys attending Dave's drum circles and clinics.

September 2005 Charlotte Pender

• 10 years old

• Playing the drums for 3 years

• Attending Ratner School

• Likes to play basketball and soccer

• Has a rabbit named Snowball

August 2005 Alex Horejs

• 12 years old

• Playing the drums for 1 year

• Attending Mayfield Middle School

• Plays in school band

• Also plays piano and guitar

• Loves to design and construct different things

July 2005 Ashley Tekavec

• 10 years old

• Playing the drums for 1 year

• Attending Mayfield Center Elementary

• Plays bass, snare and hand bells in school band

• Likes hanging out with friends and watching TV

June 2005 Kyle Marti

• 16 years old

• Playing the drums for 6 years

• Attending Lakewood High School

• Also plays keyboards, guitar and bass

• Member of the Lakewood Project, an extracurricular rock orchestra; Lakewood High School Wind Ensemble, Jazz Workshop, Symphonic Orchestra and Marching Band; pit orchestra for the Lakewood High School musical; and local band, Emerald Ruins.

May 2005 Kevan Arnold

• 14 years old

• Playing the drums for 5 years

• Attending Wickliffe Middle School

• Plays on the soccer, basketball and track teams.

• Plays in the 7th and 8th grade symphonic band.

April 2005 Channita Pack
Channita Pack is a sociology major at Cleveland State University. Music is her first love. She received classical vocal training. As a child she sang with the Cleveland Singing Angels. After high school she sang in the Ohio State University Mentoring Choir and was the assistant choir director. Although she grew up playing the piano, her desire was always to play drums. After encouragement from a friend, Channita signed up for drum lessons with Dave Brewer in April 2004. Her lessons have enhanced her songwriting skills and she's now happy pursuing a music career.

March 2005 Gabriel Hersch
My name is Gabriel Hersch, I am seven years old and go to Agnon school. I've been playing drums for about a year and a half. There are other musicians in my family. My dad plays the saxophone, my brother plays the bass, and my mom plays some piano. Besides playing drums, I like to play soccer and do art. I have three pets: a hamster, Cracker, and two cats, Sammy and Hotchto, which is Polish for "hurry up."

February 2005 Tom Stasko
Hi, my name is Tom Stasko. I am a 15 year old student at Bay High School. Before drums I used to play trumpet in the band and wasn’t having any fun. So, I decided to change to drums just over a year ago. Besides playing drums, I play basketball, I like to hang with my friends, and most importantly listen to music. My biggest musical influences are Catch 22, Led Zepplin, The Who, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

January 2005 Benjamin H. Anderson II
Benjamin is a 7-year-old Cleveland native who has been drumming with his instructor, Dave Brewer, for almost a year now. Benjamin comes from a family of musicians - his father is a singer and bassist; his sister plays guitar; two of his uncles are drummers; and his grandfather was a gospel singer who recorded albums with the London Philharmonic. When his parents encouraged him to learn piano or guitar at age 5, Benjamin objected indicating that he wanted only to play the drums. And so he does. His family has a home recording studio in the basement where Benjamin plays his rack-mounted, black Pearl set. Benjamin is a first-grader at University School and his other interests include football, baseball, tennis, entomology (the study of bugs) and building Bionicles.

December 2004 Michael Waxman
I began drumming with Dave Brewer when I was 5 years old and I instantly fell in love with the drums. After Dave took a break from teaching when I was about 9 or so I continued my lessons with two different instructors. By the time I entered high school I had quit taking lessons. I ran into Dave after not seeing him for 7 or 8 years and signed up for lessons. I hope to pursue drumming on some level in college. I’m a senior at Hawken School. I’m co-captain of the varsity football team, co-captain of the Policy Debate team and the 2004 State Champion. I am also the founder and leader of a student group called the “Natural Foods Project” that has a mission of providing fun and informative nutrition education to high school students. In my hectic schedule the sweet serenity of drumming keeps me sane. There’s nothing like getting home from a long day at school and going down in the basement to get lost in your drum set for an hour or two.


November 2004 Tim Blue
Performing Arts Activities:
Tim Blue has been a professionally performing musician for more than half of his 33 years. His start in music began playing keyboards and singing in his high school band Finite Reality. He has played in a number of bands including Escape, Reason 7, Suburban Boys, and Heater. Today, Tim sings the lead vocals and plays keyboard in Streetlife, a five piece band that has been together for over seven years.

Tim also has experience recording music. He was a producer for the first two Midnight Syndicate albums and wrote the song, “Among the Ruins,” found on the second album, Realm of Shadows. He was also involved in a live recording of the band Overkill.

Tim has been drumming for three years, playing on his Yamaha Stage Custom drum set. He studied
with Tim Lane before becoming
a student of Dave Brewer. Tim
currently puts his drumming talents to use in the band Bad Luck & Trouble which has him playing
with his father, Jim Blue, on guitar and Lee Weigman on bass.


October 2004 Angie Marino

Performing Arts Activities:
I'm Angie Marino and I am 11 years old, and I attend 6th grade A.C.E. class at Forest Park middle school. When I was six years old, I started playing piano, and about a year ago I started playing drums and bass. I also like baseball and skateboarding.


September 2004 Drew Strobel
Performing Arts Activities:
• Playing drums for five years.
• Playing with friend’s in several bands featuring
heavy metal, hard rock, industrial and punk.
• Playing in jazz band at Hawken upper school.
• Taking lessons with Dave for two years.


August 2004 Jack Adams

Jack, age 5.
Instruments played:
Drums and percussion

Performing Arts Activities:
• 2 years marching band, Garfield Heights
• 2 years concert band, Garfield Heights
• Punk rock band
• Also enjoys playing bass and guitar
• Video and sound recording


July 2004 Paige Embry

Hello, my name is Paige Embry.

I am age 14, and I attend Euclid Middle School.

I have been drumming for 3 years. I've tried several different musical instruments, but drumming has been the one that has stuck with me.

I really got hyped about drumming after seeing the movie Drum Line last year. In the movie the main character is a star Drum Line drummer and I thought maybe in college I could be a star drummer.

I am on my school's basketball team and the track team. I like rollerblading, hanging out with my friends and going to the movies.

All in all, I am a typical teenager.


June 2004 Gavin Goszka
A drummer for the past 18 years, Gavin is one half of the gothic orchestral duo Midnight Syndicate, whose music has struck a somber chord with audiences both here and abroad. The band's latest release, "Dungeons and Dragons", was sanctioned by game manufacturers Wizards of the Coast and serves as the official soundtrack for the popular role-playing game of the same name. Their music has been played at Universal Studios, Cedar Point, and a variety of other theme parks throughout the country on Halloween, and has also been featured on Monday Night Football, the Travel Channel, and the Today Show. The band is currently working on their sixth full-length release, due out in early 2005.


May 2004 Andrew Farren
Instruments played:
Drums: 6 years

Performing Arts Activities:
• School bands
• School jazz bands
• Rock band, Obelisk
• Rock band, All Hallow's Eve
• Forming new band, possibly
• Reenactment Battle games
• Fencing
• Dungeons and Dragons


April 2004 Jacob Murray
Jacob Murray is 9 years old. Jacob is a third grader at Center Elementary school in Mayfield Heights. He has two sisters, a dog, a cat and a leopard gecko. Jacob is entering his third year taking drum lessons. He really enjoys practicing now that he has a full set of drums to practice on.

Along with playing drums, Jacob enjoys sports. Each season he gets involved in either baseball, football and currently he plays basketball for the MBA third and fourth grade league.


March 2004 Danny Meehan

Instruments played:
Drums, percussion, bells, dulcimer

Arts Activities:
• Danny started drum lessons one year ago.
• First Performance was as a featured soloist on bells accompanying the school choir for a standing room only performance.
• Danny had his first audition and made the percussion section for the school band.
• Other interests include reading, soccer, and anything involving the computer or video controllers.


February 2004 Ken Wolenski
Instruments played:
Drums (15 years), saxophone in high school

Arts Activities:
• Ken is a middle school teacher who is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Science Education.
• He enjoys playing music with other teachers and students.
• He enjoys playing a variety of music styles on his kit at home (and his daughter, Jessica, likes to play, too!)
• Additional hobbies include: Model Railroading and Amateur Radio.


January 2004 Raymond Douglas, Jr.
Raymond Douglas, Jr. is a seven year old student who attends Lowden Elementary School. He loves to create new beats on his set of Yamaha drums. He plays on his set at the talent show at school.

Raymond is also an usher at Rising Star Baptist Church and is in the RSBC Choir.


December 2003 Nathan Snyder
Instruments played:
Drums, 5 years

Arts Activities:
• Played in punk band, The Nerv, for a year and a half
• Percussionist in Brush High School band
• Forming new band, “Dead End”
• Painting miniatures for fun
• Reading and writing


November 2003 Nikki Woods
Instruments played:
Marimba, bells, drumset and percussion

Arts Activities:
• 3 years percussion in school band
• Memorial School Band contest room chairman
• Drawing lessons at the Cleveland Museum of Art
• Makes jewelry at home
• 3.9 grade point average
• Member of the National Jr. Honor Society


October 2003 Zane Gamin
Instruments played:
Drums and percussion, banjo, guitar

Arts Activities:
• 3 years in Emerson Middle School Band
• 2 years in Emerson Percussion Ensemble
• Has performed in various Lakewood school venues and at the 2003 Rhythm Reunion
• Maintains high Merit Roll status
• A natural athlete in baseball, tennis, lacrosse and other sports.


September 2003 Andrew Hecht
Instruments played:
Drums and percussion

Arts Activities:
• Performs in Esoteric Groove
• Photography
• Writing


August 2003 Ian Darrow
Instruments played:
Drums, 4 years

Arts Activities
• Plays in 2 bands, one rock, one blues
• Performed in KHS Variety show
• Played at several end-of-school parties this year
• Amateur videographer
• Skating
• Web design for profit :)


July 2003 Wayne Habat
Instruments played:
Piano, drums and percussion

Arts Activities:
• Industrial Arts, Automotive, Welding, Theory
• Bands: Polka band w/Father, 3 Rock bands
• Places performed: Peabody’s Down Under, Odeon, PIT Cleveland Bottom Line Saloon, Winner Battle of the Bands Medina Career Center
• Maintains 3.75 GPA


June 2003 Alaina Antonello
Instruments played:
Alto sax, drumset and percussion

Arts Activities:
• 2 years alto sax in concert band
• 3 years school chorus
• Mixed media visual artist
• Drama and dance activities
• Aspires to play in an original band


May 2003 Liam McDonald
Instruments played:
Drums and percussion

Arts Activities:
• 7th Grade concert band
• Jazz Workshop
• Percussion Ensemble
• Honors Band
• Cedar Point Band
• Trash Can Band


April 2003 Dan Tramte
Instruments played:
Percussion, trumpet, piano, guitar, bagpipe

Arts Activities:
• 4 years marching band (trumpet, tenors)
• 1 year symphonic band
• 3 years wind ensemble (trumpet/percussion)
• 2 years jazz band
• 3 years orchestra (trumpet/percussion)
• 2 years commencement band
• 2 years homecoming band
• 1 year show choir band (drumset)
• Pit Orchestra for Brush musical “Brigadoon”
• Pit Orchestra for Brush musical “Lend Me A Tenor”