Growing up in a home that’s adorned with an extensive collection of antiques and always has classic rock over the speakers, creativity was bound to be an integral part in the life of senior Dusty Uhrig. Combining that with his passion for music and access to quite a few instruments created an artist.
“I play guitar, the drums, bass and piano,” Uhrig said. “I really like drums because I can just use every part of my body and a lot of energy to play them; I love feeling the beat and just getting into it. On guitar I’ll mess up if I really get into it sometimes… but on drums you can just feel it.”
Uhrig dedicates a lot of himself to playing and creating music, but not just for the fun of it. He feels strongly about the power and impact of music, making it more than just a hobby and turning it into a passion.
“I think music does more for people than everyone thinks, music is always around. I think it can be real therapeutic, and it can help people through things, understand things, relate to things. I grew up with music, and the only thing I’ve seen music do is make people happy,” Uhrig said while strumming on his guitar.
Music is also social for Uhrig, he has a band with his friends, Reynolds senior Hunter Eppley and Mt. Tabor seniors Paquale Caccavella and Morgan Bevis, called Over Easy.
“There isn’t a time when Dusty isn’t down to make music and he’s always giving his best effort,” Caccavella said. “Some of the best musical experiences I’ve ever had were improvising over (Uhrig) or (Bevis’) chord progressions.
“As an artist, (Uhrig) has grown a huge amount over these past couple of years. He never ceases to impress me and is always pushing his musical envelope.”
Uhrig’s talents don’t stop at instrumental music either. He is a part of the a Capella group X and will be played the leading role of Corny Collins in the spring musical “Hairspray.”
“I’ve done musicals for a long time… I (used to do) summer enrichment, which is how I know Mrs. Moody and Mr. Hicks, I’ve known them since the seventh grade. Honestly, (musicals are) a very fun thing to do, it’s a lot of stress, but it’s just so much fun and you form a lot of relationships,” Uhrig said.
Making music is very important to Uhrig, and he also likes working with the producing aspect, which he does at Ovation Sound recording studio with his boss Bill Stevens.
“I met Dusty while giving a lecture for his Electronic Music class at the Career Center. Liz May, who teaches that course, is a friend of mine, and I speak to her classes from time to time about my experience as a recording studio owner and operator… It is not often that students actually reach out to me, but (Uhrig) called, and expressed an interest in getting some experience at Ovation Sound,” Stevens said. “(Uhrig) spoke eloquently, was extremely respectful, dressed professionally, was polite and pleasant to be around. I could tell he was intelligent, but more important was the fact that he did not have the disease that plagues so many people and convinces them that they already know everything and cannot be taught. So I gave him a chance. I gambled and won with Dusty. He has been working for us at Ovation Sound for almost 3 years now.”
Music brings a lot of happiness into Uhrig’s life, and he intends to work with it as a career, which isn’t exactly an easy path, but himself and those around him trust that his passion will get him far.
“The thing about the music industry is that you never know which jobs will become available, how you will be needed, when you will be needed, or what you will end up doing,” Stevens said. “I have faith that (Uhrig) will work hard and be prepared for whatever lies ahead.”