Former Bay Port student drums up music college admission
By Janelle Fisher
GREEN BAY – A drum set Madison Moreau said she received as a Christmas gift when she was only 6 years old sparked a lifelong passion for music and drumming.
“I was always interested in music,” Moreau said. “My mom pushed the piano on me, which I took for maybe five or six years. I got bored of it and started playing my drum kit more often. I think that’s how I got hooked.”
Moreau, daughter of Jon and Cathy (Vanden Heuvel) Moreau, grew up in Suamico, and got her first “real” experience playing drums in fifth grade through the band program at St. John the Baptist in Howard.
But she said her curiosity didn’t stop there.
“I wanted to learn more about playing drums than concert percussion so I began taking lessons from Steve Seitz,” she said. “After a few years with Steve, I began taking lessons with Chris Piette to get a better grasp on the metal aspect of drumming. As of now, I am teaching myself, but I feel as though I have an amazing toolbox of concepts to work with based on my previous instructors.”
In addition to her instructors, Moreau credits her “toolbox” to her many other musical endeavors, and her parents.
“My parents have always been encouraging, not only with words, but also by purchasing most of my drum equipment early on,” she said. “One band that supported me, and to be honest made me realize this was a passion, was a local cover band called the Glam Band. Drummer Eric Johnson is good friends with my dad and let me play a song with the band when I was in seventh grade. I played ‘Metal Health’ by Quiet Riot. It was such a surreal experience that I’ll never forget. I’m not sure I would have the passion I have now for playing music if they did not give me (that) opportunity.”
Moreau, now 18, said she still harbors that passion for music, and all that it entails.
“There are a lot of things I enjoy about playing the drums,” she said. “I think my favorite aspect is how easy it is to express your emotions through the kit. If I’m angry or having a tough time with a task, I find it quite beneficial to go to my drum kit and bang out a tune or two.”
Musician of many talents
Although drums are Moreau’s instrument of choice – it isn’t the only one she’s mastered.
She is currently a member of three bands.
Moreau plays bass in Solshade, a metalcore band formed in 2021.
She plays drums in Flying with Giants, a hard rock/grunge cover band formed in 2017, and Ditch the Hubcap (formerly known as Kirbee), a punk band also formed last year.
Don’t be surprised to hear her singing a tune or two either.
“Solshade is the only band that currently has shows lined up,” Moreau said. “Our next show is on April 30 at Barleypop Live in Madison. We have a week-long mini-tour of the Midwest planned for summer, but nothing is solidified yet. Flying With Giants has played mostly at Jed’s New Stein n’ Grill in New Franken, but has also opened for the Glam Band at The Bar on Holmgren Way.”
Moreau said Solshade released a single on all-streaming service called Manifest and has plans to release a debut EP later this year or in early 2023.
She said Flying with Giants has also recorded a demo.
Music program acceptance
As Moreau’s bands’ futures seem to be falling into place, she also has big plans in the works for her individual future after her recent audition for the music program at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay resulted in her immediate acceptance.
“My experience was great,” she said. “I went in to audition, played my tunes, did some sight-reading, and then was told I was accepted into the program. After college, I hope to be playing in a band or two and doing shows every weekend. I also need to keep the lights on, so for a solid career path I am looking to be a high school band director.”
Moreau said she isn’t sure exactly what the future holds for her, but “as long as it is filled with music I’m along for the ride.”
Moreau said outside of drumming, music seems to find a way to fill her life through her hobbies.
“I am addicted to collecting vinyl,” she said. “My collection is worth $12,000, (which consists) of 278 records, 15 CDs and one cassette. I started collecting in September 2019.”