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When senior and commencement speaker Sam Freund first picked up the bass, he had no idea it would later help him earn music scholarships to some of the top music colleges in the country.
Now, Freund, has decided to go to Loyola at New Orleans for jazz bass, after receiving $24,000 in scholarship money.
“He is one of the best high school bassist in the midwest,” said music teacher Kevin Cole.
Surprisingly, it was Freund’s amazement of the guitar that started him playing the bass.
Freund recalled, “It was the winter of fifth grade at (senior) Bobby Schindel’s house. He owned a guitar that I picked up and started playing. I learned one song, Seven Nation Army, and I went home to show my dad. I asked if he played guitar. He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘What’s that thing you play then?’ He said, ‘It’s a bass.’”
“I later found out it was close enough to a guitar and a little harder to play,” said Freund.
Since playing bass, Freund has been apart of 16 different music groups, who played everything ranging from jazz to metal.
When Freund got to high school, he joined the jazz band and starting learning the upright bass. His freshman year, he did not try out for jazz band because he was “scared of Cole and scared of failing.” After he overcame his fear, Freund tried out his sophomore year and made Jazz I.
“Jazz I gave me connections and exposed me to the public and other jazz programs,” said Freund.
Freund was also picked this year to give the commencement speech at senior graduation.
“I was shocked when I was picked,” Freund said. “I figured I might as well do it though, maybe it will be fun.”
In college, Freund looks forward to connections with more people and more musical opportunities. If he likes it enough, he may even plan on getting his master in Jazz bass.
Freund said, “Even though playing bass was a mistake at first, sticking with it was definitely not.”