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Name That Tune: Evan Hammerstein

Jenna Mazzoccoli
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Evan Hammerstein, a junior at The Awty International School, take on this special holiday edition of Name That Tune.

This week’s Name That Tune is brought to you by Evan Hammerstein, a junior at The Awty International School. With more time to himself, he has expanded his repertoire of guitar tunes. Read on for excerpts from our interview and watch his video to see if you can guess this holiday edition of Name That Tune.

Age: 16
School: Junior at The Awty International School
Instrument: Guitar

How did you get started playing guitar?
My mom wanted me to start playing piano at a young age. I started piano at age 4. Eventually, my older sister got really good at piano, so I wanted to try something else. So around the 6th grade, I picked up guitar, started lessons, and I joined a rock band. Ever since then, I’ve been focusing a lot on guitar and singing. 

Do you play acoustic or electric?
I play mostly acoustic.

Are you still in the same rock band?
We stopped playing together last year. But right now, I’ve been working on my own stuff.

How did you end up at Awty?
I came to Awty in the ninth grade because I was getting bored with academics at public school. It’s been really fun. It was definitely hard at first, and I’m still getting used to it. There are way less people than [at] a public school and the academics are harder. But I am really enjoying it! 

What extracurriculars are you involved in?
I’ve been in choir since the 6th grade. Now, I’m also in jazz band. I joined jazz band not that long ago. We haven’t met yet this semester, but we are hoping to play together soon. I play electric guitar in jazz band.

What genre do you leans towards?
I tend to like songs that are just fun to play. I like the Beatles and more contemporary, slower songs. Awty does open mics a lot – where you can come and play whatever you want. So I do slower, fun, guitar songs.

When was the last open mic and what did you play?
It was right before the Covid on Valentine’s Day, and I played Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars, Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran, and You’re Beautiful by James Blunt. That was a really long time ago.

Are you planning on join a band again or are you content playing solo?
I really like doing solo stuff, but I am trying to get some friends together to collaborate on some songs at least. Maybe not a full-on band, but a group to play with every once in a while. 

Do you have any performances coming up?
It’s hard to plan things right now, so I don’t think I have anything coming up. I am trying to increase my repertoire while I have all of this time. 

Since you’re a junior, what are you considering for college?
My older sister is going to major in music. I don’t want my parents to get bored with both of us doing the same thing. I definitely want to stick with a Texas school. Right now, I’m deciding between business and genetics for my major. 

Do you and your sister ever play together?
Not too often. Unfortunately, the bassoon and guitar don’t go well together. But sometimes at Christmas, me, my sister, and some of our cousins will make a Christmas CD for the parents. Maybe we'll do that this year!

Editor’s note: Play a musical instrument and interested in contributing to Name That Tune? Email [email protected]

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