Arts and Entertainment

Art Focus: Nick Sobel

By Brittany Bishop
Published: December 2009

Senior Nick Sobel has continuously grown and progressed musically over the past eight years. Beginning his journey in the fourth grade, Nick did not always enjoy the arts. Nick initially chose to play the saxophone because his father recommended it to him. His first instrument was very difficult and frustrating to learn, making him weary of playing.

Still, he persisted to work and practice, walking home every Tuesday with his heavy, cumbersome saxophone after taking lessons he took in the Oak Hill Middle School basement.

As years went by, Sobel, after incredible amounts of hard work and effort, began to master, as well as truly enjoy, playing the saxophone. As time unfolded, he also started to sing and soon began to write, compose, and arrange his own music.

Sobel, although having written a multitude of songs, still has a difficult time with the process. “Creating music almost never comes easily. As with any other art, it requires refining, editing, and a lot of consideration, he said.

However, the reward he gets after completing a song is priceless. “When everything’s right though, there’s this feeling that can’t be replicated; it’s sublime and utterly satisfying, he said. Sobel tends to take his time with music, molding it to perfection.

Sobel uses music to find meaning that is consistently rewarding in his life. Because he has never been highly motivated by school work or satisfied by his grades, music started to become a guide and tool for protecting and preserving his sanity.

“Not only is music highly enjoyable, but the right song at the right time can really strike you and be very therapeutic, Sobel said.

Now, Nick tends to surround himself with the music that he loves to play, sing, and hear. Besides playing the saxophone in the school jazz band and for his band Pajammin’, he also sings for the Newton South a capella group Newtones and is writing a concept album for his senior WISE Project.

Nick is currently arranging something fresh and new for the Newtones that he is rather excited about; he is also making an album of music that will hopefully be completed this spring.

Because music is such an important part of Sobel’s life, he is able to incorporate it into his daily life, family, and friends. Being in three bands (Pajammin’, Joint Venture, and the rap group Eight Inch Friends) over the past couple years, he has done an excellent job keeping his peers connected with his musical passion.

These bands are an example of both his musical ability and the importance of social life. Being a member of these bands allows Sobel to demonstrate his talent through playing his saxophone, writing original songs, and singing for the crowd, while still enjoying time with his classmates.

Sobel manages to bring both the serious and humorous side to music as well. As demonstrated in his senior WISE project, he is able to merge his musical talent with his schoolwork.

As shown in Eight Inch Friends, he can make music comical, interesting, and an activity to joke about and play around with friends.

Although he is currently preoccupied with college applications and schoolwork, Sobel hopes to get back to playing more music over the winter break and the months following. His band Pajammin’ will start to pick up more shows as things start to settle down.

The band already has two performances, Winter Jam II and the Invisible Children Benefit Show, that they have scheduled to play in January. At these concerts, the band members plan to give their friends and fans the type of music that they have continuously enjoyed in the past, from Pajammin’ originals to a heavy dose of popular covers. Sobel hopes to bring more energy to the performances, making them more fun to watch than they have been in past years.

Despite his passion for music, Sobel does not believe that he will consider music for a major or living. He wants to pursue music in college, but rather as a minor or as a pastime.

Maybe Sobel will even create or join another band in college or maybe he will join multiple bands as he has done at South.No matter what he decides to do, music has always and will always be a passion for Sobel, who believes that he will continue to play and experience music for the rest of his life. For him, music is, and can be, everything.

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