Get to know Erik, Our drum instructor!
I was born and raised in central Wisconsin, surrounded by music from an early age. While my mother and older sisters played the piano, I went a different direction, setting up a mishmash percussion set with Tupperware, metal pots, and wooden spoons for sticks. The summer before 6th grade I enrolled at the Wausau Conservatory of Music, and I got my first drumset shortly afterwards at the age of 12.
Throughout middle and high school, I was heavily involved in choir programs, jazz bands & the year end Pop Concert of Wausau West, which gave me rhythmic, melodic, and ensemble foundations and opportunities to showcase my talents. The chance to play for and share rhythms with hundreds of people confirmed that percussion and drumset was my true passion. After graduating, I participated heavily in open mics and formed lifelong musical relationships with countless people from the area.
In 2011, I joined my first gigging band that focused on unpredictable, partially improvised performances. This approach to music pushed me to find and break the boundaries of what a drummer’s role could be. I began implementing a wide range of non-traditional rhythmic instruments into my setup, creating a franken-set combining timbales, shakers, hand percussion elements, digital samples, a tree log, effects pedals, and even a Didgeridoo. All of these elements gave me the ability to express not only rhythm, but also mood, feel, and ambience.
In the last 3 years, I have expanded my resume to include several Wisconsin-based acts covering a wide range of genres, including Rock, Roots, Folk, Latin, Jazz, Funk, Pop. This includes Indigibliss, One Strong Army, Feed the Dog, The Local Heroes, Joe Bucher & The Young Guns, Zopel Jazz Project, Substyle, and Featherwolf. I currently perform over 150 shows a year with these and other projects.
I’m very excited to share my approach to percussion and drumset through Holly Ann Music. We are all lifelong students, and as I continue to dig deeper into the craft, my passion for drumming continues to grow deeper. I am thrilled to teach my students not just the techniques, but how to find your unique identity as a drummer and find true satisfaction in expressing yourself through rhythm.