The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Local band prepares for upcoming performances

The average college student can expect to make new friends, expand his knowledge, and acquire new interests during his 4-year journey. Few decide to start their own band.

Three University of Maryland students, Zach Field, Gabe Bustos and Anthony Ajluni, and one Towson student, Sam Balcom, formed the band Harmonic Blue January 2011. The four started playing music together in dorms and house parties, but they soon began performing at clubs after receiving positive feedback from other students. What started as a project among friends quickly became a full-fledged band.

CHS 2012 alumna and current student at the University of Maryland, Meghna Balakumar, first heard of Harmonic Blue from one of her professors and soon after became band manager. According to Balakumar, what the band has to offer to CHS students extends beyond the music.

“They’re an up and coming band to look out for, and I think they serve as an inspiration and set an example for other aspiring high school artists of what you can do if you keep at your passion,” Balakumar said.

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More information about the band, tour dates, and music can be found at, where “Silver Spoon” is also available for free download.

“Everything just kind of fit in, and then we just kind of ran with it,” lead guitarist Ajluni said.

The band’s genre of music can be described as rock with blues, jazz and folk influences in Jack Johnson-meets-Radiohead blend.

According to Harmonic Blue’s website, the members cite influences from many musicians including Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills, Elvin Jones and Paul McCartney.

“I personally like how there’s a peaceful melancholy to it,” Bustos said. “You can find a really relaxing peace in the blue of life.”

Harmonic Blue derives its sound from a collaborative process where each of the four members adds his own unique touch.

According to Ajluni, this method is not always efficient and can lead to arguments, but is essential to their song-writing process.

“By the time it’s come around, it’s totally different from where it started, so I think that’s why we have somewhat of a unique sound,” Ajluni said. “It’s kind of hard to tell people what genre we are because we draw from a lot of different things.”

In spring 2012, Harmonic Blue won the University of Maryland Battle of the Bands and performed at the University’s spring concert, Art Attack, opening for various artists including B.o.B and The Dean’s List. Then, they embarked on a summer tour along the East Coast, following the release of their EP Villa Borghese.

“It was an honor and a privilege to win and represent the student body as their chosen band for Art Attack, but it was not an opportunity that we inherently made for ourselves,” Ajluni said. “The tour was a fruit that came from the efforts of us booking the shows ourselves and deciding what the route was going to be. It was 100 percent us, so it was really self-rewarding.”

The members are dedicated to the band, even when the time required for their schoolwork cuts into time needed for the band. However, the band remains Aljuni’s priority.

“You have to be comfortable and realistic with yourself,” Ajluni said. “There’s a limited amount of resources in life, one of which is time, and you can only do so much, but if you try your best in what you do, you’re not going to regret it.”

It can be difficult balancing schoolwork and the band, but Harmonic Blue will face a bigger test this coming spring, when two members will graduate.

Despite the impending challenge, the band remains steadfast in their decision to remain just as dedicated, if not even more so. They came out with their latest single “Silver Spoon” released Nov. 12, for which they are currently working on their first music video.

In addition, the band is working on a full-length album with 10 to 15 songs on it, about twice as many as their most recent EP. They are also planning a series of performances, including an April 3 show in Philadelphia.

“There comes a point where you just decide this is what I want to do with my life, and for us, at least for myself, we’ve found a way to make it work, and we’re just doing it,” Ajluni said. “We’re young, and the future is ours. We don’t have any inherent responsibilities, so if you find a way to make music and make it work, then you do it.”

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Local band prepares for upcoming performances