Holiday Issue: 2016
A drummer, heart and soul


Kings High School has hundreds of students involved in extracurricular activities. Among these teenagers are kids who put their heart and soul into musical ventures. One of these musicians is 16-year-old drummer, Daniel Laverde.

Laverde is well-established in the local music world. He is currently involved in five different bands: Sonnaray, his main band; Structure of Control, a jazz and progressive group; Der Frunkenstein, which is a newer group for Daniel. He is also involved with the Cincinnati Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Kings High School jazz band. 

“Sonnaray plays all kinds of rock music, except for deathcore, screaming stuff,” Laverde explained. “We don’t play pop either. That’s poison to society, today.”

Recently, he participated in Guitar Center’s annual drum-off competition in Cleveland, Ohio. He worked with his two drum instructors to help perfect the five minute solo he was required to prepare.

“I did well, I thought. I ended up losing, but according to the manager of the store, I came in second [place,]” Laverde said. “Not that they place ranks in this competition, though.”

The drum-off was based on technical ability, showmanship, musicality, and originality.He advanced to the Northeastern Regional Finals before being eliminated, allowing him to win plenty of new drum equipment. An impressive feat for a junior in high school.

“Laverde is a fine player,” Mike Maegly, the percussion instructor for Kings High School comments. “I firmly believe that he will be able to make a living out of his drumming one day.”

Laverde began playing the drums when he was only eight years old. Along the way he found inspiration through his favorite drummer, Jojo Mayer, who received his first drumset at the age of two and still plays concerts fifty years later. Unlike Mayer, Laverde likes to beat on his own personal choice of a Gretsch drumkit.

After high school, Laverde plans on majoring in business and minoring in music at Belmont in Nashville, Tennessee. He hopes to make a living off of being in one or more musical groups.


By Skyler Reisinger

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