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Source/Picture: Daytona State College Entertainment
Honoring society's rise no accident
By Bobbie Jo Stuff, InMotion Staff Writer
Issue date: 5/1/10 Section: Entertainment
"One of the age old questions has always been, can music really be taught or is it an ability that comes from within?
Yes, anyone can learn the notes and play them in sequences but is that all there is to it? Is it just taking classes and learning, or is it an emotion felt with every note? Unfortunately, there is no simple black and white answer for these questions. It's a decision musicians have to make on their own.
New Jersey based band Honor Society has both classically trained and emotional inspired musicians. They also know first-hand what it's like to fight for a dream.
Honor Society is comprised of lead vocal/guitarist Michael Bruno, keyboard/guitarist Jason Rosen, bassist Andrew Lee and drummer Alex Noyes. Forming in 2005, they spent a rough few years without a label playing the local bar scene. The guys even toured in a minivan, sleeping on fans' couches before finally signing to Hollywood Records in 2009.
The band is now starting its second headlining tour after opening for big names like The Jonas Brothers and Timbaland, making a Billboard Top 20 album and having a cameo in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.
Yet, when sitting on their new tour bus and laughing about times spent in school, where most of them met, the members of the band seem very down to earth when sharing the story of their rise.
"In high school Jay and I learned a tremendous amount from our teacher Marty Celay," Bruno explained. "He taught us so much about music and the guitar. Then we had more structured learning in college. It's important to learn all that stuff but then you have to take time on your own to put it into practice, put it into play. Otherwise it's just theory."
Rosen graduated from Berkley College of Music, Bruno from New York University and Lee finished at University of Hartford. While Noyes started at Wagner College, he didn't finish. Noyes explained why having less institutionalized musical training than his comrades never intimidated him.
"I think everybody sort of learns differently. Basically for me it was playing every weekend," he said. "I was in bands since the start of high school. We would spend time in my basement and just play, play, play so that in and of itself was the foundation for me. And I also am a firm believer in feeling music instead of just learning music. There's a creative side to it as well, not just a technical side."
Lee quickly jumps in adding, "Speaking for Alex or when Alex joined the band, I don't think there was any block in communication or musical know-how. It just all fit."
They mutually agreed learning about their craft and putting it into practice every single day helped get them where they are.
"We didn't get here by accident." Noyes stated with a smile of accomplishment.
Daytona State College student and musician Brooke Jones sees where Honor Society comes from but likes the idea of taking it to another level.
"If you want to be a musician, like as a career, it's something you can't deny. The music is inside of you is dying to get out. You learn because you want to, you practice everyday and if you skip a day it's like a piece of you is missing. You might not even know what notes you're playing, you just play."
So maybe the answer to the questions above is to find the balance that works for you. The one common ground is practicing your craft often because if one thing is true, you really won't end up there by accident."