The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Student Artist Spotlight: Trombonist Pedro dos Santos ‘26 tunes up music department spirits

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Photo by Liv Bamford for The Lafayette
Pedro dos Santos ’26 participates in four music ensembles with his trombone.

Pedro dos Santos ‘26 has a love for playing music that has transformed him into a talented trombonist and leader in Lafayette’s music community.

Santos’ musical passion began when he was in sixth grade when he picked up the piano and the trombone.

“It just seemed like something fun to do,” Santos said. “I’m really glad that I got into it because I do really enjoy it.”

When Santos chooses an activity to participate in, he chooses the ones that he finds the most enjoyable. In his eyes, the motivation to get better will naturally follow.

So, when Santos stopped feeling satisfied by his piano playing around the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, he dropped it.

“I didn’t really want to practice it, I was only really getting ready for the lessons,” Santos said. “So I was like, ‘Alright, let me let me put this down for now.'”

“It’s something I want to get back into because it does seem like a lot of fun,” he added.

Besides personal enjoyment, another thing that Santos finds motivating is being in a group, something that playing the trombone offers him.

“When I was playing the piano, it was really only just for myself,” Santos said. “In being part of a band, there’s a lot of motivation. I want to get better for myself, but I also want to get better to help this group that I’m a part of to also get better.”

At Lafayette, Santos is a part of four ensembles — Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band and Percussion Ensemble — and his passion is contagious.

“I think he just does everything with a profound level of joy that spreads around to everybody around him,” said Kirk O’Riordan, director of Concert Band and faculty advisor of Pep Band. “He’s been a great leader by example in that regard alone and he makes a huge difference in the morale of the ensemble.”

“He holds the low brass section together,” said Jackson Eshbaugh ‘27, a fellow member of the Concert Band. “He’s leading the rhythms and we’re following, which is very helpful because I’m not the best at rhythm.”

Santos’ magnetic energy and desire to improve have distinguished him as a leader, so much so that O’Riordan appointed him brass principal for next year’s concert band.

“I think, in the next two years, we’re going to really grow to depend on him for a variety of other leadership responsibilities and he’s going to rise to it,” O’Riordan said. 

Santos also stands out amongst the music community for his sense of humor.

“I love taking instruments that you wouldn’t expect to work out or be great in the musical situation and make something fun out of them, something the audience isn’t expecting,” Santos said. “Last semester, for my jazz concert, I had a slide whistle solo and in the percussion ensemble, I had a song that was entirely on balloons.”

Santos’ skill and light-hearted shenanigans in the music department will not cease to surprise during his time at Lafayette.

“He’s going to do it in a way that’s going to make everybody around him better and happier,” O’Riordan said.

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Emma Sylvester
Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

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