Adam Gamblen on the drums in the Princess Margaret Secondary School band room this week. The Grade 12 student is looking forward to a career in music and was recently named the Rotary Club of Penticton-Okanagan student of the month. Mark Brett/Western News

Working music from all the angles

Adam Gamblen is the Rotary Club of Penticton-Okanagan Student of the Month.

Whether he’s on the drum kit, behind the soundboard or helping with concert set up, Adam Gamblen is looking forward to a future in music.

The Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary School has recently auditioned for post-secondary schooling at Capilano University for jazz studies.

He’s been soaking in sound production from nearly every angle. He has helped on the technical side with lighting and sound for Maggie’s theatrical productions for the past few years, doing sound work for school events, dances and even working with crews at the South Okanagan Events Centre for big-name concerts like Dierks Bentley.

He started in Grade 9, filling in the gaps for the previous tech crews for the school who had since graduated.

“I think Grade 11 I started to take things seriously. Then I was doing a lot of events for the school. Then during the summer I started doing events for money actually, so I’ve been working doing that stuff for a while now,” Gamblen said.

Working on the loading crew for Dierks Bentley was an educational experience for Gamblen.

“Sometimes you get to see pretty cool stuff when you’re doing things like that,” Gamblen said. “I really like it. It’s something I might go into a future in. It’s pretty cool to see behind the scenes of some shows. People always see the front of the stage, but don’t realize what’s going on behind it or all the prep it took to get that going.”

It may open doors for Gamblen should he move to Vancouver, connecting with the same company to help out with shows at Rogers Arena. He has been learning about the different equipment on the job, but since last year Gamblen has been doing his own research, looking up soundboard models online, and getting a job with Non-stop Productions doing local DJ shows in town.

“There I started to learn a lot about different types of gear and how those sort of shows would work,” Gamblen said.

With eight years of drumming under his belt, starting out in rock drumming, Gamblen now has a penchant for jazz. He auditioned to Capilano recently via Skype playing drums with local music teachers Justin Glibbery on piano and Michael Treadway on bass.

“I took jazz band all throughout high school, starting in Grade 9. I really loved just sort of the style about it. Jazz, sometimes its unpredictable. Rock music sometimes it can be relatively the same, whereas jazz is switching up all the time,” Gamblen said.

He’s hoping to get in a lot of work this summer, heading off to university with even more experience.

Music teacher, Don Grant said he is a natural and quiet leader in the Fine Arts Department.

“He is rock solid in percussion but is equally solid in all the technical aspects like lighting and sounds. He will jump in and do whatever needs to be done. Kids respect him for the energy he puts in everything he does. He doesn’t ask for respect, it just happens. He has a gentle personality, is easy to approach and people are naturally attracted to him,” said Grant.

Not only is he working hard in the classroom, Gamblen is the lead for sound and lighting work for the school concert and jazz band works at the SOEC during Penticton Vees games on sound and lighting. Gamblen also has a part time job at Winners. It is no wonder the least thing he enjoys about school is the late nights doing homework. However, setting priorities with so many demands on his time is something he knows he needs to work on to achieve his goals.

At that top of that goal list is to join a travelling road band like that of Cirque du Soleil when he finishes the four-year university program. Teaching is also an avenue he would like to explore.

The Student of the Month is a Rotary Club of Penticton-Okanagan initiative. The award aims to recognize outstanding students for unique achievement in scholastics, extracurricular activities, community involvement, leadership and service to others.The Rotary Club of Penticton Okanagan is partnering with Penticton Secondary School and Princess Margaret Secondary School, aided by a generous financial contribution from Gateway Casinos as part of their proactive involvement in wide-ranging community service projects.

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