The Music Moment: Will Knox and The Bear Necessities

2 mins read

Will Knox has harbored a burning passion for music from an early age. He began playing piano at eight years old and guitar at 11. This musical enthusiasm inspired him to join the “Bear Necessities,” a high school cover band that performed at last year’s “Battle of The Bands,” made up of Knox, Joshua Pfinster, Ben Cisco, Max Gurnee, Arman Azadpour, Ben Weiss, Caleb Travers, Sina Kassayan, Zachary Gosler, who all demonstrated their musical prowess at last year’s competition. Reminiscing on the event, Knox said, “I really enjoyed being able to hear all of the other bands perform; it was really fun.” 

Knox shared, “I was inspired to join The Bear Necessities after seeing how many students shared a passion for music. Most of our members are from Jazz, and I noticed most people wanted an opportunity to bring their craft outside of the classroom and compete.

He continued, “I have always played in groups and have been playing in groups basically since I got into music, and I think that has helped me with my progression as an artist”. 

With its eclectic assembly comprising a guitar, two saxophones, two trumpets, a trombone, drums, a bass, and a piano, the Bear Necessities has ventured beyond the school’s music room to bring their harmonious joy to wider audiences. The group has notably expanded its performance venues, offering Knox and his bandmates many opportunities to showcase their talents. He said, “The Bear Necessities and I play at community centers for children many times, including Stanford Preschool.” 

Knox also plays with a Carlmont quintet at restaurants and city centers in downtown Menlo Park.

In terms of producing music and the genres they perform, the Bear Necessities are very diverse in their areas of expertise, revealing their adaptability and wide repertoire of knowledge. Knox said, “We play a lot of pop, jazz, funk, and soul songs, and in terms of producing music, like a lot of other high school bands, perform mostly covers”. 

In terms of practicing and rehearsing, The Bear Necessities have been working hard during flextime, jazz class, and outside of school. Knox said, “Preparing for Battle of the Bands or public performances takes a lot of time and effort, especially when you have a larger band.”

The Bear Necessities are returning this year’s Battle of the Bands and elsewhere. Hoping to showcase their talent to a wider audience, Knox said, “We are planning on competing in the Battle of Bands, and I am planning on bringing in a Jazz quintet from Carlmont that I also play for, where we play a lot of New Orleans-style jazz.” 

Ultimately, The Bear Necessities is a tuneful demonstration of high school students’ nuanced talents and creative abilities. The band is a testament to how far musical expression can take people, making waves beyond the classroom and resonating with listeners. I am beyond excited to hear their Battle of the Band performance on May 10 and everything else Knox and his entourage have in store!

Niklas is a sophomore at M-A. This is his first year in journalism. He hopes to write about local events and politics. In his free time, Niklas enjoys exercising and going to Coffeebar!

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