Drumming Up Success
Spotlight Date:March 19, 2015
If you have recently attended one of the Foundation Guild Musical Luncheons, a Jazz Concert, or the famed Prism Concert, you have probably noticed Tyson Jackson behind the drum set. Now a Dreyfoos Senior, Tyson has been playing the drums since the age of 2. “I distinctly remember sitting in church beating on hymnals within the pews. It was then that my passion for music was evident.” It makes sense that Gospel remains one of his favorite styles to play, alongside R&B and jazz.
Tyson studied at Bak Middle School of the Arts before coming to Dreyfoos, and has spent summers studying through the Juilliard Jazz Summer Residency from 2008-2013, both locally and in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“The Juilliard Jazz Summer Residency was an incredible experience where I discovered an immense amount of information regarding to the history of jazz music. In 2012 and 2013 I was awarded a scholarship to attend the Juilliard Residency in Salt Lake City, Utah. There I discovered that as an artist I should serve as a conduit to every style of music that I play, and always play as if it is my last opportunity.”
He has been nominated to attend the Vail Summer Jazz Workshop in Colorado this summer.
Through continuing his studies at Dreyfoos, Tyson says that the school has “offered me a fresh, dynamic sense of leadership, unity, and overall musicianship that is irreplaceable. I am very thankful to all my teachers that have pushed me to these levels of leadership that I initially thought were unattainable.”
“After graduating from high school it is my desire to attend the Juilliard School of Music to receive my bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies and minor in Music Education. While in college my goal is to enhance my knowledge of the very popular and distinguished American art form of jazz music and also improve as an overall musician. I plan to further develop my classic percussion skills as well as other key rhythmic instruments (piano, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, and the saxophone) … Being able to play different instruments will not only provide more opportunities to play at various venues in New York, but it will also provide a strong foundation in my desire to teach music on the college level … No matter my level of success, I understand the importance of humility and not forgetting where I came from.”
Although Juilliard is Tyson’s first choice, as he awaits to hear their response he can decide on a second choice from the number of schools he has been accepted to – Berklee School of Music, Michigan State University, Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and University of South Florida.
“To me, Dreyfoos means family, freedom of expression, and love. Throughout my life Dreyfoos has been a constant reminder to me through times of musical complacency that I should never give up. Being here has allowed me to be exposed to many experiences both musically and non-musically that are in-exchangeable. For that and so much more I am eternally grateful.”