Spotlights flashing. Explosions of color and sound. Fans screaming as Usher steps out on stage. But most of all, it’s energetic. It is, according to senior Brook Alexander, a typical night on tour. Alexander was selected after an audition to travel across the country playing drums, fulfilling a dream that very few accomplish.
At the age of two, Alexander began to play the drums. Coming from a musical family, he was always encouraged to practice and thus his passion for music was ignited. Little did he know that it would one day lead him to tour across the United States with hip-hop superstars like Usher and Trey Songz.
However, Alexander acknowledges that God had a plan for him–a plan that put his love for music and his talent on the drums to full use.
Throughout his life, Alexander has been involved as a drummer in various bands. At the age of ten, he played the drums at church. In high school he played for the jazz band, drumline and marching band; in college he played in the jazz band, percussion ensemble, orchestra and also in a few outside gigs.One day, as he was getting ready for an orchestra performance, he decided to check his Facebook.
“My Facebook app wasn’t working very well and something told me that I needed to check my inbox… in it was a message from a guy that I had met more than a year ago. He said he had some information for me about an audition,” Alexander said.
The audition was for a drummer with up-and-coming star Miguel, who was touring with Usher. Miguel fired the previous drummer and needed a new one immediately. Alexander auditioned and ten minutes after his audition, he was called back and given the job. From November 10, 2010 to January 1, 2011 he toured cities including Miami, Boston, Las Vegas and New York City.
“The tour was loud, exciting, fun, and filled with tons of energy both from the performers and from the crowds. And every single one of these people involved were the most serious, passionate, and amazing people that I’ve ever crossed paths with. No divas, no drama, no stress, everyone was just really chill and a pleasure to be around,” Alexander said.
One person in particular that stood out as “really nice” was Usher. Other celebrities he met include Trey Songz, Mary J Blige and Magic Johnson.
“I even stood next to Diddy and Jamie Foxx. I didn’t meet them, but I got to stand next to them, and [there was] another person that I didn’t meet but stood next to–Justin Bieber. I figured there’s someone at Vanguard that would get excited about that,” Alexander said.
His favorite part, however, was getting to meet and speak with so many different musicians and fans who shared his passion for music.
As for advice for his fellow students, Alexander maintains that networking is key, not only in music, but in any field.
“Make sure people know what you can do,” he said.
Alexander believes it is important for people to keep their minds open to new possibilities.
“I know it’s kind of typical, but I’m going to say it anyway: be ready for what God has in store for you. One minute, I’m playing in churches, small venues and Newport Mesa Church. The next minute I’m playing in Madison Square Garden,” Alexander said.