Stephenville festival band gets new drummer

Frank Gale
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Drummer Brad Aucoin is enjoying his first season with the Stephenville Theatre Festival Band.
 —  Photo by Frank Gale/The Western Star

Brad Aucoin said he’s sure the first couple of years after he took up playing drums at the age of eight were tough for his mom, but now they’ve paid off.

“Mom kind of got used to it after a while,” said the now-19-year-old, who is the drummer for the Stephenville Theatre Band this summer.

Aucoin’s first major gig with the Stephenville Theatre Festival came up quickly this year when former drummer Roy Berti decided not to return this season after being the festival band percussionist for 12 years.

Evan Smith, the festival’s musical director, went to high school with Aucoin and the two had played in the Stephenville High Concert Band together, along with some other things outside school.

Smith suggested getting Aucoin to be part of the festival band. It was an added bonus when he learned Aucoin was a student of Berti’s from when he started playing drums up to when he attended university in the fall of 2012.

Aucoin said this is a real good way to spend the summer because he can do what he enjoys and get paid for it.

This fall he will be returning to St. Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., for his second year of a four-year program, where he is studying music and majoring in percussion. He is also learning piano as part of the program. He is also self-taught in playing guitar.

This season at the festival Aucoin is playing with the band in “British Invasion: America Strikes Back,” “Country Jubilee,” “A Night with Jennifer Dawson-Hobbs,” “A Night with Mallory Johnson,” “A Night with Evan Smith” and “Festival Gala: 35 Years of Memories.”

While the only show he had played in at the time of his interview was the first showing of “British Invasion: America Strikes Back,” he said he was not nervous.

He was gifted a little of his musical talent from his dad who is a guitar player and sings at kitchen parties. He’s not sure of his ultimate goal, but he does know that it will have something to do with music and that’s why he is pursuing music education.

Aucoin said at the festival, his peers in the band, and the singers they are backing up are all great to work with. He said with 15 to 20 songs a set and two sets in each show, there are lots of tunes to get down, but so far he hasn’t had any trouble.


The Western Star

Organizations: Stephenville Theatre, Xavier University

Geographic location: Antigonish, Western Star

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Recent comments

  • Anita
    September 10, 2013 - 16:01

    Not sure what type of music you sing and play, but If you like, I canwrite out some of my songs and maybe send you a cd of mine if you guys are looking for more and more songs to play and sing? I am mostly country and folk music. My cds are availabe at "Arlims" and at Partytime Sound. Anita