Musician of the Month – November

📝By Eric Xiao

Musician of the Month is a series of SJAM Music blogs that highlights the accomplishments and experiences of one outstanding SJAM Music student each month. The Musician of the Month for November is Rohan Shetty!

Rohan is currently a Grade 12 student at SJAM who excels with his academics and is actively involved in various extracurriculars, notably those within the SJAM Music department.

He has been studying and performing music ever since a young age. His earliest and most proficient instrument is the violin, which he has been learning for 9 years. He has also played the piano for 6 years, and his go-to instrument for SJAM Music classes and ensembles is the saxophone, which he has been learning for 5 years since middle school. Although he has participated in a few music competitions, such as the Kiwanis Music Festival, he mainly plays these instruments for enjoyment/as a hobby.

At SJAM, Rohan has been a highly-valued member of Junior Band, Junior Jazz, Drumline, Intermediate Jazz, Senior Jazz, and Senior Band. He is also a Music Council member, having helped organize many SJAM Music events, and he is the founder and leader of SJAM’s String Ensemble.

His musical passion shows no limits outside of school as well. Prior to the pandemic, he was an alto saxophone player in the KW Youth Concert Band, which consisted of a group of highly-gifted young musicians who performed advanced-level music. They practiced once a week at Wilfrid Laurier University and performed two major concerts per year. Rohan has also been a member of the KW Community String School, where he put his proficient violin abilities to good use. He was part of the program’s advanced senior orchestra, which rehearsed once a week, and they also performed two concerts each year.

What lured Rohan to SJAM’s Music program in the first place was his band experiences in middle school. He thoroughly enjoyed being part of his middle school band, leading him to take music classes and join various music ensembles and clubs in his high school career. Through his high school music experiences, he has found himself a relaxing hobby, made new lifelong friends, and gradually improved his musical skills over the years.

Most importantly, with SJAM Music, Rohan has found substance and enjoyment in collaborating with others.

“I really enjoy playing with other people in ensembles,” he explains.

He is not simply just a musical go-getter, as he fills his time with other hobbies and interests as well. Before the pandemic, his go-to sport was tennis. He has played at the intermediate level for four years, and he has also been part of SJAM’s tennis clubs and competed in various board-wide tournaments. Rohan is also a programming prodigy, having learned to code since Grade 4. In his elementary school years, he was proficient in the basics: HTML, Python, and Scratch. He has boosted his skills to a whole new level in high school, now being proficient in web development, Python, Java, C#, and machine learning. Just like many of his friends, he also enjoys video-gaming as a hobby, playing PC games such as Valorant, Minecraft, and Genshin Impact.

As advice for music beginners and newcomers to SJAM’s Music program, Rohan states:

“Try to do what you’re interested in, show involvement, and keep practicing.”

In other words, getting an active start within SJAM Music in high school will help one easily improve their music abilities and make their mark early in the program.

Rohan has demonstrated a clear passion for music, and we hope that his name will remain a staple in the SJAM Music community for ages! Stay tuned for next month’s Musician of the Month blog 🙂

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