Schloneger to pursue music as career


Elly Green, Reporter

Senior Jonah Schloneger has been playing music for 15 years, since his parents had him take violin lessons at two-years-old and piano lessons at four-years-old. Since then, Schloneger has immersed himself in a lifestyle of music, ranging from marching band to experimenting with hip hop style. Schloneger has been accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and dreams of attending there, however, his second choice is to major in music at Friends University, and he does not plan on stopping there.

Schloneger says that music has been a core component of his life since before he could even remember. Both of his parents are professional musicians and have always supported his choice of pursuing music as a career, in fact they encouraged it. Other than his parents, another mentor to Schloneger is his former music teacher, Keith Woolery.

“Keith Woolery was the teacher that changed my perspective of music and the value it holds more than any other,” Schloneger said. “My freshman year our jazz band went on tour to New Orleans, and that experience solidified my aspirations to be a musician as a career.”

Music teacher Amy Ives has been working with Schloneger since his sophomore year, she says that he has continued to increase his skills to become the best jazz pianist in the state.
“Jonah is set apart from the typical student because of the time he dedicates to perfect his craft,” Ives said. “No one knows how much work he has put in to get to where he is right now except for him.”

During his years at NHS, Schloneger has participated in jazz ensemble one for four years, wind ensemble for four years, drumline for four years, becoming the leader for drumline his senior year, Choraleers and Railaires for two years and was involved in the drama departments production of Into the Woods his junior year. In addition, Schloneger and other students created jazz combo one which he has been a member of for two years.

“Jonah is definitely an asset to the music program at NHS. He is the jazz pianist for Jazz 1, a drumline section leader, tenor in Choraleers, and previously Railaires,” Ives said.

Aside from extracurricular activities at school, Schloneger puts in work at home in order to improve his individual musical instrument skills and singing talents as well.

“I play piano or any other keyboard instrument, percussion, and I also sing,” Schloneger said.

After graduating high school, Schloneger hopes to pursue music in college and eventually make a career out of it. Schloneger says his biggest dream is to be a recording artist and release albums of his own accord, which means not being signed to a record label. He plans to write and record a project this summer and release it before he heads off to college.

“I fully expect music to be my career,” Schloneger said. “I’m not sure exactly what that means yet, but I know that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I don’t really have a backup plan, it is all or nothing.”

Aside from being involved with music from such a young age, Schloneger’s passion for music is also fueled by the creative freedom music gives him. He says that he loves creating a sound that is completely his own and that he can continue to work on and improve over time. However, Schloneger knows that creating music is not always ‘sunshine and rainbows.’

“My least favorite part about being a musician is that your worth can often be based on the opinions of others,” Schloneger said. “Trying to make it in an industry based on judgment is brutal and something that all musicians have to learn to overcome.”