WUFT News

Music School Students Perform In Gators’ Soccer Games

By on September 4th, 2013
Tobin Wagstaff and the University of Florida Gators' Soccer Drum Line perform at Pressly Stadium on August 30. Wagstaff's music students gather to cheer for the team at every home game.

Stephanie Fuenmayor / WUFT News

Tobin Wagstaff and the University of Florida Gators' Soccer Drum Line perform at Pressly Stadium on August 30. Wagstaff's music students gather to cheer for the team at every home game.

He plays; they play.

He stops; they stop.

Tobin Wagstaff, founder of Studio Percussion Music & Dance Center, has been encouraging Gainesville youth to get involved in music for more than a decade.

Wagstaff’s non-profit music school helps provide those with financial limitations and at-risk youth with the opportunity to learn how to play music at a low cost. The studio is participating in the ongoing University of Florida Gators’ soccer season, playing on the drum line for every home game.

They’ll be back on the bleachers supporting the UF team on Friday, Sept. 6.

Wagstaff knew that everyone can’t afford music lessons, so he created a comprehensive scholarship program that allows students to pay for classes at low rates.

Scholarship applications take  income, expenses and financial hardship into consideration. Monthly rates for lessons vary from $15 to $30, depending on the student’s needs, according to Wagstaff.

“My son has never not wanted to go… even to this day,” said Barbara Fuller, mother of one Wagstaff’s students. A friend referred her to Studio Percussion seven years ago.

Wagstaff, a former UF Gators’ Marching Band member, began offering private lessons at his home in 2002.

Those students are now adults.

“It’s really cool to see the impact that I had in these guys when they we were young,” he said.

Some started families; some opened studios on their own; some continue with music. But most kept in touch.

Without Wagstaff’s mentoring, Fuller said, her 15-year-old son George probably wouldn’t have made the decision to start his own band at age 13.

His students are not the only people he has helped out.

“My biggest privilege is that I’m able to teach music, ”said Gidon Herman, assistant coordinator at the studio. “He gave me the possibility of doing it when other places didn’t.”

Herman said he always wanted to work teaching piano and guitar lessons, but the lack of formal musical education made him unable to find a job.

Wagstaff gave him the chance to work at Studio Percussion.

Since then, Herman helped Wagstaff expand the studio’s programs to coordinate events like the homecoming parade.

Wagstaff’s achievements haven’t gone unnoticed.

He gained national attention in 2009 when he was selected to be a part of the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” due to his work and presence in the community.

Tobin Wagstaff working at the charitable music school Studio Percussion Music & Dance Center. Wagstaff's music center offers comprehensive scholarships for low-income students.

“I’m interested in providing a hand up,” Wagstaff said. “At whatever rate you end up paying, we’ll help you out and meet you where you are and make it work for you.”

Preparations for the homecoming parade performance are coming up, Wagstaff said, as well as fundraisers in which volunteers would be needed.

Scholarship information and a list of lessons and classes can be found on the organization’s website, studiopercussion.org.


This entry was posted in Arts and Entertainment and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Arts and Entertainment

Hippodrome Theatre Receiving Grant

The Hippodrome Theatre is receiving a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. The grant will be used toward the production and creation of the community-centered work “The Hidden Sayings”.


B.B. King has played at the Cotton Club in Gainesville. Courtesy of Bert Burt Wetherington.

Gainesville Community Reacts To The Loss Of A King

Blues legend B.B. King died at the age of 89 on Thursday. King has performed at the Cotton Club and the Phillips Center in Gainesville.


The Relationship will perform in Gainesville Thursday evening at High Dive downtown.

Youth, Napster, And A Little Green Worm: Q&A With The Relationship’s Brian Bell and Jon LaRue

Weezer guitarist Brian Bell and his band the Relationship stop in Gainesville Thursday May, 7. WUFT caught up with Bell and bassist Jon LaRue to talk about their new album and upcoming show.


Rosemarie Romero, a Gainesville artist, uses nail polish as paint over an image of a naked woman in her studio in Gainesville. Her ongoing performance piece "porn nails" was part of her master's thesis at UF.

Smaller Communities Attracting Young Artists Away From Big City Scenes

Some young artists are choosing lesser known locals over popular art hubs. Though many art students continue to follow the dream of making it big in Miami or New York, smaller cities like Gainesville may offer more freedom for less pressure.


Flat Land band performs on a stage being pulled by a bicycle in downtown Jacksonville during One Spark. The group used the moving performance to get attention and votes on their music education project.

Gainesville Locals Win $15,000 To Start Music Education Program

Local bands Flat Land and Bells and Robes and event company Phairground won $15,000 for music projects at the One Spark festival in Jacksonville. The group founded Future Music Makers Youth Enrichment Program, a project aimed at creating music programs in local schools.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments