I have been a long-time lover of music of all (most) kinds. My mom would play records in the house: The Kingston Trio, Tijuana Brass, Burl Ives, and Chubby Checker, among others.

When I was seven or eight years old, my mom purchased a set of hardbound music books from a traveling salesperson. They were quite similar to the encyclopedia collections that salespersons sold way back in the day, but these were books full of all kinds of piano music, mostly classical. She also secured me a piano teacher, and I began to learn the piano. I would regularly go to the lessons. I enjoyed the piano, and I learned how to play it. I’ll never forget that my first piano teacher had a pet skunk that ran around the house.

A few years later when I was in middle school, mom decided that I should probably play another instrument of some kind in addition to the piano. She (and I?) settled on a clarinet. We rented one, and I joined the middle school band. I never did take a clarinet lesson apart from my experience in the band.

Sadly, the clarinet was not for me. So my mom did some looking around in our small city of Leadville, Colorado and found some parents who wanted to get rid of their kid’s drum set. My mom was probably glad to get rid of the squawking high-pitched squeal of the clarinet, and the parents were probably just as glad to get rid of all of the banging on the drums at all hours.

The drum “kit” (as they’re called – they can also be called a “drum set”) was a very nice, basic set of Ludwig drums. I started learning how to play the drums by practicing to Beatles records. I’d put a record on, turn the volume way up, and begin banging away.

I kept playing both the piano and the drums. I got better and better at both. I would describe myself as an intermediate player of both instruments. For example, an intermediate piano piece that I play is “Claire de Lune.”

When I was a junior in high school, I joined a band that played both kinds of music – country and western (C&W). (Couldn’t resist the quote from the movie The Blue Brothers.) The band was called “The Decibels” and I had a ton of fun playing in that little three-piece group. We played all over the mountain communities near Leadville: Buena Vista, and Salida. We played at Elks clubs, in small little bars, for weddings…that kind of thing. We didn’t just play C&W, we played some rock as well. I’ll never forget when rehearsed “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple, and tried it out at a small bar called the “Balltown Lounge” near Twin Lakes, Colorado. The song was a wild hit.

Well, music has stuck with me all of my life. In my late 30s and 40s, I played drums for a praise and worship team at a large church in the Denver Metro area.

I’ve formed a couple of bands over the years.

  • One of my bands called “Caleb’s Hill” was dedicated to writing and playing our own Christian music.
  • I also set up a 22-piece big band swing jazz organization called “William and the Romantics.” I stayed in the band for 13 years, but then left it during the COVID pandemic. Fortunately, the band members decided to stay together, and keep the band’s name! As far as I know, they’re still playing away.

Today, I own a nice Yamaha baby grand piano, and a guitar (which I have not yet learned to play.) Though I don’t currently own a drum set, my plan is to buy a small electronic kit that I can keep here in my little basement writing and YouTube studio.

Anyway…love, love, love music!!

A montage of music symbols, with the caption "I love music!"