Student Art Spotlight: Josh DeAusen


Photo courtesy of Josh DeAusen.

Senior Josh DeAusen plays the drums at Rio with his own band, Time Machine Tunes. DeAusen has been in this band since December 2021 and is also in Concert and Jazz Band at WCHS.

By Maya Bhattiprolu, Copy Editor

While most high school kids can be found on their phones or playing sports outside of school, senior Josh DeAusen can be found in his house, playing his drum set. 

DeAusen has been playing the drums for over three years and is currently in both Concert Band and Jazz Band at WCHS.

“I was never very interested in sports nor was I very good at them, so I learned to play instruments instead,” DeAusen said. “I thought that clarinet was boring and I thought that drummers were so cool.”

DeAusen loves playing the drums because it allows him to release any pent-up emotions. He also specifically loves his band classes at WCHS because of Instrumental Music teacher Ariel Allal.

“Everyone loves Mr. Allal because he is so funny and charismatic. He shows that he really cares about his students and always puts in so much effort for us,” DeAusen said. 

DeAusen also attributes much of his love for drums to his supportive bandmates, who give encouraging and helpful feedback. 

“I have been friends with Henry Gill, one of the other drummers in Jazz Band, since freshman year,” DeAusen said. “We supported each other going into the jazz audition and my experience would definitely not be the same without him.”

Junior Sara Chou plays the trombone in Jazz Band along with DeAusen and has known him for two years. She admires his altruistic approach to both life and music. 

“He is always trying his best to make sure that others are happy before himself and always looks out for people,” Chou said. “As a drummer, I admire his dedication to drumming and how much he really loves playing. I know that he always takes time out of his day to practice because he truly loves it.”

Jazz is not the only genre DeAusen plays.  In fact, his ability to play many different styles of music is a key part in the success of his own band, Time Machine Tunes. 

“It started when my friend Rizee wanted to play music at RIO for a Christmas event they were hosting,” DeAusen said. “At the gig we played mostly Christmas music but also some Taylor Swift songs and The Beatles. My favorite part about being in this band is all the fun memories I made with the other members.”

While he loves playing all different types of genres and artists, he also appreciates unique challenging pieces that help him break out of his comfort zone.

“My favorite piece that I have to learn is Oclupaca by Duke Ellington/Arr. by Michael Philip Mossman,” DeAusen said. “This is an Afro-Cuban style song and is one of the pieces that I am currently learning for Jazz. It challenges me to play in a style I do not have a lot of experience in and has a 12/8 feel section that took a while to understand.”

He also loves learning about other musicians and listening to their songs as motivation for his own improvement and creations.

“Zack Graybeal has been a big inspiration to me because of how freely he is able to play around the drum set,” DeAusen said. “His playing style is really able to show character and personality through the way he orchestrates his drum fills and grooves. It inspires me to practice more so that I can create and learn my own personal playing style.”

For the future, DeAusen plans to reach out to other musicians and join a band in college. Playing drums has been a way for him to connect with others and share his feelings in a different medium.

“Learning to play instruments and listening to music in general has taught me about self-expression and has increased my interest in learning about other cultures,” DeAusen said. “I hope that even when I am older, I still have the opportunity to play drums in a band as maybe a side-gig.”