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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Profiles in the Arts: Brett Broczkowkski

Photo by Jenny Nessel ’19.

The history of a jazz drummer

Brett Broczkowski ’17, a marketing major with a justice and ethics in the law minor lives and breathes music.

“It’s like, dress to impress – you’ve got to show up spiffy so that it works out,” Broczkowski said.

About ten minutes before jazz band rehearsal, while he was meant to be warming up, Broczkowski described why he was motivated to practice drums.

“What I like about jazz [is] that you cannot be wrong as long as you resolve [the phrase],” he said. “It’s such an expressive style. When I play in a group, I try to always recognize that I am playing for the group. As [a] drummer, [I] am the backbone; if we [the drummers] are not there, no one else can be there.”

What initially attracted Broczkowski to the band was that it afforded him the opportunity to continue his passion while also meeting new people.

The drums have always been a part of Broczkowski’s life. He began playing when he was in second grade and continued through college; he even attended summer jazz camp at Moravian College while he was in high school. However, when he got to Saint Joseph’s University, he wasn’t exactly certain of what musical direction to take.

“I knew I wanted to continue music in one form or another, but I was originally considering the Pep Band because I wasn’t sure [if] there was a jazz band,” Broczkowski said. “I [then] did some digging around the music department and found Dan, [Green, the Jazz Band director].”

The process of finding Jazz Band was initially difficult; yet, once he was in it, he couldn’t get enough. He has stayed in the ensemble for the music and the people.

“It’s a relaxed atmosphere. We’re all friends.”

The band is not only a form of enjoyment for Broczkowski, he also appreciates the challenges that come with it.

“The one feeling we try to harbor is that feeling that anyone can step up to the plate and [express themselves],” he said.

Every Wednesday rehearsal begins with three or four musicians who warm up without any plan of action. It could begin with a drum beat or a few chords from the piano, but the music fills the room with each instrument playing off of each other. This atmosphere drew Broczkowski in. Some musicians from the band are available for on and off campus events, such as the Kinney Center 5K in September.

Yet, with his feeling of pride for the Jazz Band came an uncertainty for band recruitment. In his experience, the Jazz Band was especially hard to find.

“We need to reach out to students while they still have that high school interest in the instrument,” Broczkowski said. “For me, coming out of high school, I knew I wanted to continue drums in college, but someone who’s not as passionate might lose interest.”

Broczkowski then suggested an insert in the new student pamphlet, or maybe even a spot on the new student email list.

Since it is his senior year, Broczkowski will soon be handing off the drumsticks to another drummer in the band. However, he did not hesitate to express how much he has adored his time in the band. One of his favorite memories had to do with last year’s spring concert.

“Leading up to the concert, I thought that we weren’t there at all, and I was very nervous,” Broczkowski said. “Yet, somehow that night, everything came together. Everything went well.”

The Jazz Band is performing this semester at the Villanova Jazz Festival on April 1 and its spring concert will be held on April 27 in Bluett Theatre.

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