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Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Kwamane Bowens snags a photo with Coupeville grad turned U-Dub football star Sean Toomey-Stout, who he coached in high school. (Photo courtesy Bowens)

Life is good.

Kwamane Bowens, who was a Coupeville student as a young man, then came back around to help coach Wolf football players, is a multi-threat.

The former NCAA D-I scholarship athlete is currently on the gridiron coaching staff at Anacortes High School, where the Seahawks are a flawless 3-0 after smacking formerly-big-and-bad Archbishop Thomas Murphy last Friday.

Bowens also continues to pursue his musical career as Groovie Mane, having dropped his debut album, Key to Me.

To listen to his music, pop over to https://music.apple.com/us/album/key-to-me/1603659980.

And take a gander at the video for his song Can’t Change (which does have some explicit lyrics) below:

 

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Rachel (left) and Allison Wenzel, supremely talented sisters. (Photo courtesy Susan Wenzel)

The toast of Coupeville is on her way to wow Ocosta.

Allison Wenzel, a three-sport athlete and musical wunderkind in her days as a Wolf, will follow up graduation from Central Washington University by being hired as a K-12 music teacher in Grays Harbor County.

Her job, which kicks in with the 2022-2023 school year, was approved by the Ocosta School Board at its April 26 meeting.

Wenzel graduates from CWU June 11.

The lil’ sis of highly talented Rachel, and daughter of Tim and Susan, Allison was a quintuple threat in high school.

She played four seasons each of volleyball, basketball, and track and field for CHS, advancing to the state championships in all three sports.

Wenzel, who graduated from Coupeville in 2018, was the first Wolf athlete in a decade-plus to go to the big dance in three sports.

When she wasn’t busy with sports, music ruled her world.

A master of multiple instruments, Wenzel also went to state as a musician, qualifying both as a solo artist (interpreting Mozart) and as part of a duo with Jakobi Baumann.

Add that time when she was inducted into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame — https://coupevillesports.com/2019/08/14/talent-so-much-freakin-talent/ — and she’s kind of a big deal.

Ocosta School District officials? You understood the assignment.

 

UPDATE:

After writing this story, I found out Tim Wenzel (and his siblings) are Ocosta grads, meaning Allison is going to work at her dad’s alma mater.

Her aunt (also named Rachel) previously taught for the school district, and Allison’s grandparents live in town. 

Which means we should be getting a first day of school photo when she starts her new job.

Just sayin’!

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When he’s not on the soccer pitch, Eddy Perera plays a mean trombone. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Soccer ball on the foot, or trombone on the lips, he’s a rising star.

Coupeville High School freshman Eddy Perera, coming off of a season on the pitch, has been selected for the All-State Honor Band program.

Run by the Washington Music Educators Association, the event is scheduled to take place during President’s Day weekend in February, 2022.

Of course, the actual performance hinges on where the ongoing pandemic, and all of the restrictions it imposes, is three months from now.

For the moment, though, Perera can bask in the satisfaction of having aced his audition.

Music instructor Sean Brown, who has taught the Wolf frosh the past four years, speaks highly of his student.

Writing on his personal blog, Brown said:

He’s been sort of a stand-out in a small band program, showing a lot of technical ability.

We have been working a lot to improve his sound, which is a long journey we are still on, but he’s another player that has grown a lot and has been thrown in a lot of challenging situations.

When he wasn’t practicing the trombone, Perera played midfielder for the CHS soccer team this fall, one of six 9th graders on the Wolf squad.

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Gavin Battig (Submitted photo)

No matter where he lives, the music remains the same — top-drawer all the way.

Gavin Battig calls Florida home these days, but the 17-year-old composer and musician spent two years at Oak Harbor High School while his father was finishing his career at NAS Whidbey.

While on The Rock, he made friends such as Coupeville basketball star Ja’Kenya Hoskins, who sent me down the musical path which led to Battig.

Inspired as a young child by the Baby Einstein DVD series, he quickly found a love for classical music, which he soon made his own.

“I was always given instruments to play, such as a toy piano or drum sets and things like that,” Battig said.

After beginning piano lessons at age seven, he quickly developed a great joy for music, with his skills growing at an often astonishing rate.

“I have been classically trained by the same teacher, and have always loved and grew up with classical music,” Battig said.

“I was always told by my teacher that I have been exponentially better at playing than years past,” he added. “And have grown exponentially at my playing skills to the point where I have been playing classical pieces that he performed for his college-level recitals.”

Now a senior at Fleming Island High School, located a short drive from Jacksonville, Battig has added a variety of musical instruments to his skill-set.

He currently plays the drums, marimba, vibraphone, trombone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, baritone, and both the bass and acoustic guitar.

But the ivories still call his name.

“I have always been drawn to the piano the most,” Battig said. “It is such a beautiful and graceful instrument with such potential in playing some of the most beautiful sounds known to man.”

Along with playing, he has developed deep skills as a composer, crafting 100+ pieces after writing his first work, Ember Tree, in 2015.

Battig, who’s working on an orchestral symphony, has crafted compositions for concert bands and string quartets, as well as solo pieces for trombone and piano.

He shares his work with other students, as well, using Google Classroom.

“I have always wanted to teach composition, which is why I started to open up to this idea of actually fulfilling this dream,” Battig said.

It’s a path he’d like to continue down as he moves forward in his own journey.

“This composition thing and playing music isn’t a side gig for me going forward,” Battig said. “It has largely been a huge focus of mine almost all of my life, and I plan to continue that throughout my future and college.”

He plans to study music composition, with hopes of earning a doctorate degree.

“I want to teach at the collegiate level, and also compose at the same time and direct bands and orchestras if I can, hopefully around the world,” Battig said. “I would love to be known globally for my music, but that all starts here in this country I believe.”

While Baby Einstein launched his love of music, now some of the biggest composers in music history help guide his career.

“My biggest inspirations are mainly classical composers,” Battig said, citing Frédéric Chopin and Claude Debussy.

“Many of my pieces today have a similar style to his (Chopin), and he invokes so many feelings that I just am so inspired by when listening to and playing his pieces,” Battig said.

“Impressionist music in the classical world (like Debussey’s) is something I try to recreate, which is evoking emotions and a story through my music.”

Battig also gives a large amount of the credit to his longtime music teacher.

“He has been so helpful in my journey as a pianist, and has always been an amazing teacher and pianist, and it is so inspiring to me to keep getting better.”

The ability to create deep emotion through music, whether accomplished by legendary composers or through his own work, is what drives Battig’s appreciation of the art.

“Music is so inspiring,” he said. “It evokes emotion, it tells a story, it does so much within a certain amount of time. It’s an entire language in of itself, it tells a story without words a lot of the time.

“Music is powerful; it moves man to sadness and excitement and hope and sorrow,” Battig said. “It can change your mood and attitude within seconds.

“That power inspires me to do the same with my own music. It inspires me to play with so much emotion and to tell a story when I play music that is not my own as well.”

 

Battig makin’ magic on the piano:

 

For more Battig music, pop over to the link to choose from multiple outlets:

@gavinbattigmusic | Linktree

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Former Wolf football coach Kwamane Bowens (left) just released a new eight-song EP. (Photo from Bowens Facebook page)

The days keep poppin’, the music keeps droppin’.

Former Coupeville High School football coach Kwamane Bowens, recording as Groovie Mane, released his newest batch of songs Wednesday — just in time to carry listeners through the New Years celebrations.

His EP, titled Artist, features eight songs from the man who brought his D-1 gridiron skills along with him when he worked with the Wolves as part of Marcus Carr’s coaching staff.

 

To find all the tracks, pop over to Bowens Soundcloud page at:

Groovie Mane | Free Listening on SoundCloud

 

Or check out new tracks such as Life Scars on his YouTube page:

 

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