This issue’s Artist of the Issue is Scott Jackson of the Fifth Form. Since Scott arrived at Belmont Hill as a sophomore, he has made his presence known on campus as not only one of the friendliest and most genuine kids you will meet, but as the school’s premiere drummer in the jazz and rock bands. “When I first began taking lessons in sixth grade, my parents got me this really bad drum set because they thought it wasn’t going anywhere and that I was only going to play for a year or so,” he said. However, five years later, Scott is playing the drums more than ever in Belmont Hill’s Upper School Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, and Rock Band, while also helping out with the Middle School Jazz Band and the Orchestra.
While most people associate drummers with solely playing rock music, Scott considers himself a jazz drummer. Over the years, jazz is the style of drumming he has enjoyed the most and worked the hardest at playing. Scott stated, “When I first started, I didn’t really know what I was doing, so I just played to a lot of the songs that I liked, which were rock songs at the time.” Then during his freshman year, he joined the jazz band at Andover High School “as an experimental sort of thing” and decided that he loved jazz and jazz music, and from there on decided to pursue it.
Scott loves to play all different subgenres of jazz, such as acid jazz, smooth jazz, modal jazz, bebop, and “basically everything that falls under the umbrella of jazz music.” His favorite part about playing jazz drums is that it’s very different from rock because it “has this component to it called syncopation, which makes it not as direct and concrete as some other styles of drumming, and I love the complexity of it.”
Fitting in extracurriculars can be very difficult at Belmont Hill due to the workload and other commitments of school; however, Scott’s passion for music is worth any free time lost.
When asked by Fifth Former Ryan Williams if he received multiple extra points added to his grades because of his various involvements in the arts, Scott simply replied, “just one,” perfectly exemplifying how he plays the drums for the love of jamming out, making great music, enjoying himself, and getting to work on one of his passions each day at school.