Clarinet to Saxophone: Sam Gregory

By Amanda Lehnerd

Sam Gregory, a Youngstown State University student majoring in music education, has found that music gives him a satisfying feeling that many other activities in life cannot provide.

Starting at a young age, Gregory showed an interested in music by running around his house and day care singing and dancing. The first musical instrument he took an interest in was the clarinet.

After experimenting with the clarinet for a few years, Gregory decided to start playing the saxophone in the seventh grade.

“I viewed saxophone as the ‘coolest’ of the woodwind instruments,” said Gregory. “It has a striking appearance that caught my eye before I knew what sounds it could even produce.”

Along with being a student at YSU, Gregory also participates in a band called Husky Suspect. The band started with a group of guys from YSU.

“We got together last semester and started jamming, and we were offered a gig for a last minute opening at Suzie’s on Halloween,” said Gregory. The band didn’t have a name yet, so I got the name from an online band name generator before the gig.”

The band plays mostly classic jazz standards and a few pop tunes with Gregory as the singer, along with six original pieces.

Gregory has always felt that music is an emotional outlet for him. Music allows him to feel good and happy.

“Music is something that has always made me feel good,” said Gregory. “I’m able to hear melodies and convey how I feel when I play. So far, I’ve found that music satisfies me more than any other activity in life.”

Many people may not know, but Gregory came into this world as a surprise and has been surprising others with his musical abilities since.

“I was born unexpectedly at my parent’s house,” said Gregory. “My mom was unaware she could even have children until I popped out.”

Along with playing the saxophone, Gregory has decided to spend more time improving his vocals.

“I’ve spent more time recently listening to vocalists and improving my singing voice,” said Gregory. “I’ve made plenty of progress and have taken a liking to contemporary R&B, soul and jazz artists.”

Gregory finds that the best way to improve musically is to internalize the music you listen to, or that you aspire to play.

“Once the sound you wish to create is in your ear, all you have to do is practice consistently until your technique catches up to your ear,” he said.

Gregory feels that music can play an important role in anyone’s life. If someone is willing to take the time to learn about music they will be able to master it at some level.

“Almost anybody can learn music; very few people are completely tone deaf and void of rhythmic sense,” said Gregory. “Anyone can get better at singing or learn to play an instrument with just a little bit of practice every day. Music is something that I believe can provide fulfillment on a greater scale than simply watching television or playing video games.”