Caldwell, N.J., July 13, 2017 –
When you do something it is “super important” to do it like you mean it, Broadway musician Andres Forero told middle and high school students at Caldwell University’s percussion camp. Returning to the camp for a second year in a row, Forero, drummer for the hit Broadway play “Hamilton,” gave a percussion clinic to 20 students on July 11. Now in its sixth year, the camp features daily clinics presented by nationally acclaimed drummers and percussionists, said Alexander Bocchino, director of the camp and a Caldwell music faculty member.
In an entertaining interactive format, Forero, who has won Tony, Grammy and Emmy awards, took the students “out of the pit,” playing R&B, jazz and creative music. “It is wonderful to share what is underneath the stage, studio and live shows,” he said. He also gave the young people words of wisdom, saying they should be grateful to their parents for sending them to the camp. Recalling how he had grown up in humble circumstances, he told the students that one year his mother worked very hard so he could attend a music camp.
He stressed the importance of have good listening skills and working with “intention” in whatever they do. “The intention behind what you do should have a substance and meaning to it.” That, he explained, applies to music and anything else they set out to do in life.
Forero, a music prodigy, has played around the globe. In 2016, he was on the cover of Modern Drummer magazine. He recalled how when he was younger he thought it would be nice if he could someday afford a subscription to the magazine. His life experiences—including being in a car accident many years ago and having to learn to walk and play again—have given him the opportunity to share with young people how to get past obstacles and to achieve goals.
Recent high school graduate Carina Page, who has attended the camp for several years, said Forero is such an “amazing musician,” and she was impressed by “the way he teaches us different ways to portray creativity in music.”
Bocchino remarked, “We are lucky to have a musician of Andres’ caliber come to our camp and share his wealth of talent and experiences with the students.”
Forero said it was an honor to return to the university. “How could I say no? I’m grateful to Alex and the staff … it kind of my responsibility to share my experience with young people … I learn as much as I teach.”
The camp also features a trip to the Birdland Jazz Club in New York City where music faculty member, prize-winning composer, and saxophonist Rob Middleton plays, and a final student concert on campus for parents and friends.