The Holtonian

Finding purpose through music

Senior devotes time, passion to saxophone

Maggie Pruitt, editor

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Streaming through the empty hallways and cascading through the stagnant air, echoes sweet, harmonic melodies. Opening the heavy, steel door, the source of such optimal noise is none other than senior, Draven Wahwassuck. As Wahwassuck commands his shiny, gold saxophone to play, his eyes speak for his lifelong adoration for the collection of notes streaming off of the score, filling the immense room. Wahwassuck, although now entirely awestruck by the beauty of rhythm, once knew little of the musical world. Sparking in the fifth grade, Wahwassuck fell in love with music from the moment he laid his hands upon an alto saxophone.

His journey towards music was swayed just a bit in grade school. He had a man who created his passion towards a harmonious mind, his grandfather. His grandpa listened to the saxophone player Kenny G and suggested he should learn how to play, so he did. Ever since, Wahwassuck has not regretted his grandfather’s suggestion.

“Band, to be honest with you, has given me a purpose; it gave me something I would be good at,” Wahwassuck said.

Even though many wonder how one person could spend so much time in the band room, Wahwassuck enjoys it. It gives him plenty of practice and is a place of relaxation and belonging, like a safe haven. In that room he may spend time with friends and feel comfortable as if he won’t be judged for the way he sounds. Band Director Jayme Malsom believes Wahwassuck always brings enthusiasm into the room.

“He shows his love for music all the time. I don’t think there is anyone in the Music Department, band or choir, who loves music more than Draven. He gives 100% all the time,” Malsom said.

In September, Wahwassuck permanently expressed his enthusiasm for music on his wrist. After dedicating seven years of practice to music, he decided to get a tattoo of a treble cleft inside of a heartbeat.

“I was excited to see his tattoo picked with a very strong understanding that he would have it for the rest of his life. It fits him so well because his heart is truly about music,” mother Janci Smith-Sullivan said.

Wahwassuck has been admitted to the University of Kansas. He will be trying out on February 20 to get into the School of Music, and hopes to play in their marching band. Along with a desire to continue his career in band, he also plans to study music education. He would like to teach adolescents.

As Wahwassuck continues to express his love for music, his family adores watching him grow in his musical abilities, as well as a young man.

“My favorite thing about Draven is his passion for music and the love of others. He has always said that he wanted to help people in his future and believes by helping others learn music he will give them an outlet that he has always found important to his ability to deal with all the good and bad that he has encountered in his life,” Smith-Sullivan said.

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Finding purpose through music