FEU drummer shines in local and international competitions for his senior year

FEU Advocate
January 14, 2021 09:55

Aaron Reyes, senior member of Far Eastern University Drum and Bugle Corps (FEU DBC) and graduate of Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) program bagged several wins in solo snare competitions last year. 

Among them were international level contests where he notched second place during the Malaysia International Virtual Band Championships 2020 for the Open-Percussion Solo Category earning him experience in the international stage. 

Another was the Asian Virtual Championships (AVC) 2020 for the Snare-Open Class Division where he managed to get the third highest score and was among the 26 gold medalists from the Philippines during the said event hosted by the Asian Marching Band Confederation.

He also emerged as the champion to an international-level competition—'Trick or Beat 2020’ Virtual Drumline Competition for the Snare Solo Category, University Division held by The Drumline Network last October 2020 and in Winter Guard International (WGI) E-solo Southeast and International Division.

“First thing that pushed me to compete was the children. FEU Drumline taught me not only to compete but inspire, so I was mindful of the children aspiring to be musicians that will be watching. Second, I wanted other countries to know that we can do what they can and how capable Filipinos are of making their own solo compositions,” Reyes shared to FEU Advocate.

He also expressed his desire to uplift the Philippine music industry citing the lack of embracement and awareness towards percussion musicians like him. 

Reyes then said the process he had taken before competing, “It was not easy because I committed myself to the comments of the judges in my recent competitions. I dissected my piece again to identify what I lacked and also heed the suggestions of our director and my colleagues in the drumline.”

Gaining the limelight of international competitions, Reyes also dominated local ones such as the Suay Mak, Pambansang Samahan ng Banda ng Pilipinas (PASAMBAP) Snare challenge attaining the first place.

During the Musiko Virtual Competition (MVC) 2020 he found himself in a difficult spot with a strong competition but still able to win by a very narrow margin.

Additionally, he won third place in John Wooton Throwdown Challenge as his earliest local competition to embark on his contest spree in 2020.

With a total of seven wins last year, Reyes attributes his success to his consistent diligence to developing his craft citing his persistence to perfecting his pieces as he devoted much time in training at FEU campus.

Despite having a breakout year, he suggested, “Let us not normalize competitions in music since I noticed a lot of kids joining bands just to compete, competing is a part but it should not be one’s main purpose in music. Developing your love for playing [instruments] is already music itself, but playing to compete and prove your superiority to others, that’s a different thing.”

He noted that he has plans to study music and eventually teach if given the chance. 

Although Reyes has already earned his bachelor’s degree in HRM, he remains open to future opportunities of sharing his craft and knowledge in percussion to younger musical enthusiasts. 

-Antonio Luis Carreon
(Photo courtesy of Aaron Reyes)