Imagine keeping a beat with your hands and feet – one foot tapping out eighth notes while the other hits quarter notes, one hand finding the sixteenth notes and the other triplets. For Kelbee Sweedman rhythm and control in percussion comes easily. Still, it took him more than a year and a half to play the pattern.
“What’s cool about (percussion) is you don’t need an instrument at all and you can still practice,” said Sweedman, who said when he was younger he was reprimanded for tapping with his pen and pencils. “I was always beating around and making noise.”
Last year, Sweedman received superior ratings at state for a marching snare solo and an ensemble percussion piece. This year he is one of two students selected from Glacier High School to play with the All Northwest Ensemble.
Sweedman says music holds true to the adage that the more you know the more there is to learn.
In addition to percussion, Sweedman has tried his hand at wind instruments, learning tuba with the freshman band as a junior and trombone this year as a senior. Sweedman hopes to continue his education at the University of Montana and major in musical education.
“There are so many forms and styles of music and they express different moods,” he said. “It’s kind of like a mood ring for me I guess.”