Thomas Hendricks’ mallets bring him lots of oppurtunity


Senior Thomas Hendricks is a man of many hats. He is the senior class president, a homecoming court member, and wrestler, but what over a hundred band kids know him as is their drum major and musically talented peer.

Thomas was first introduced to music at a young age by his parents.

“I took piano lessons when I was really young in like second and third grade, but I stopped that because I didn’t like the teacher,” Thomas said.

Despite having a teacher that he did not like, Thomas decided to give music another chance at Central Woodlands.

Thanks to his brother and the “World’s Deadliest Drumline,” Thomas was one of the few kids in his class to stick with band through all of junior middle and middle school and into high school.

“I thought the drumline at the high school was really [fun] and my brother was pretty involved in jazz band,” Thomas said. “Those were pretty big motivators.  I found myself playing the marimba and stuff in percussion, I started liking it. There was no chance I was going to stop.”

And it is a good thing he didn’t.

“Being in band has definitely impacted me through friends that I made and working with other people in a music standpoint,” Thomas said. “ Especially with chamber music and percussion ensemble, there are definitely little connections you make that aren’t verbal, like eye contact. It’s just working with people in different ways to make the best product possible.” 

Thomas’s experience does not end with just school band; he has also been a part of Meijer Music’s honor band and an attendee to a prestigious percussion camp.

Going into junior year, Thomas went to a camp in West Palm Beach, Florida that only forty people of all ages were accepted to. Some of the other attendees that went to the camp were from places not so close to Florida; these places included Argentina, China, and Australia. The camp was called Mallet Lab.

Despite there being people from all over the world at this camp, one thing brought them all together: their love for music.

This was the perfect place for Thomas.

I found myself playing the marimba and stuff in percussion, I started liking it. There was no chance I was going to stop.

“Mallet Lab was an incredible experience because I got to be surrounded by other musicians that were only there to make good music and have fun,” Thomas said. “It wasn’t like high school band where kids are in band because of their parents or friends or anything.”

Thomas’s passion for the marimba is to thank for all of his unique experiences with music outside of school.

“Marimba is definitely my favorite instrument,” Thomas said. “I like all the intricacies and all the little minutia parts while playing. There are different types of grips and mallets and styles of playing. I also just love the sound of it. I love the mix between melodic lines that you find in a lot of instruments and the percussive sounds you get from the marimba.”

Thomas shares this passion with many of his friends that he has made through music.

“I love playing with people like Sunny Xu who just work hard and take it seriously; I see a lot of myself in that,” Thomas said. “I love playing with them.” 

Unfortunately, Thomas’s time playing with the high school bands is almost up, but that does not mean that he is giving up his love for music. With college in the near future, Thomas maps out his possible interactions with music depending on where he ends up going to school.

“Right now the plan is to go to U of M for business, and if I get into that school, then I probably won’t have time to even minor in music, which is too bad, ” Thomas said.”But, hopefully, I’ll be able to continue playing just by myself as a hobby, and I plan to do that. I don’t plan on just not playing anymore.”

Luckily for Thomas, there may be an opportunity for him to continue to make music a part of his education.

“If I get denied from U of M and I go to MSU, then there might be some more time to pursue a minor in music which would be nice,” Thomas said.

Whichever way life takes Thomas, he will still have room in his heart for music.

“I love music because it gives me an opportunity to express myself and generally relieve stress,” Thomas said.