ST. MARYS — Senior Roughrider Austin Reynolds, 18, has a passion for music.
Reynolds participates in both the St. Marys All Brass Band and the Symphonic Band, for which he plays the tuba.
“I’m more of a musical kind of guy,” he said. “Just band is my thing.”
He tried his hand at saxophone from fifth to eighth grade, but found that it did not fit. That’s when Reynolds found the tuba.
“When I was in seventh grade, me and my friend, Cody, we (were) inspired to be the outsiders and do a big instrument,” Reynolds said. “It got pretty interesting. We’re about the biggest instrument on the field when we march. And we stand out pretty (well). And we are loud.”
He likes the lower, broader tone of the instrument and the warmth it brings the band’s sound.
Within the last month Reynolds, who plays acoustic and electric guitar, formed a band with fellow classmates Samuel Tobin, Brennan Brow and Jamoson Vogel. Although the band is newly formed and mostly just for fun, Reynolds is pleased with their progress so far.
“It’s working out somewhat,” he said. “Right now (we play) just whatever we go with. Sometimes it’s blues, sometimes rock.”
Heavier rock — AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses, for example — is mostly what the band has been practicing.
“We have not played in front of anybody,” he said. “We’re still trying to figure out what we want to play. I don’t have big plans for this band, but it would be pretty cool to get a gig, like, at SummerFest, or at a bar here in town.”
Reynolds received his first guitar at the age of 6, and took lessons from age 12 to 14. He said he loves guitar as a means of expression.
“You can always play your feelings in a guitar,” Reynolds said. “Whenever you get mad, you play the guitar, if you’re sad, you play guitar. Music is a way to express my feelings.”
Reynolds prefers to listen to country music most of all.
“If I listen to anything else, it’s probably, like, 80s,” Reynolds said. “I like the 80s and 90s rock. I don’t really have a (certain) inspiration, but if it was anybody it’d be Angus Young. I’ve always looked up to AC/DC.”
Young is the lead guitarist for AC/DC, and Reynolds admires his apparent natural talent.
Although Reynolds’ immediate plans after graduation do not include music, he has not eliminated it from his career plans entirely.
“I always thought that someday I would play in an orchestra,” Reynolds said.
The Lima orchestra, he said, has “every instrument that you could think of. And it takes really good skill to get into.”
In the fall, he plans to enlist in the Marine Corps.
“My grandpa was in the Army,” Reynolds. “My dad always said that he regretted not going into it, so I figured I’d pick it up for him. And it feels right. They’re the lead men that go out. We, basically, are the frontier.”
Reynolds, though a bit nervous, said he is mentally ready to make the commitment.
Physically, he still needs work, he said, but is counting on training to build him up. He welcomes the discipline that will come with being in the military, and “always (being) ready for the unexpected,” he said.
Reynolds has contemplated the possibility that being a Marine could cost him his life.
“It’s a risk I’m willing to take,” he said.
After the military, Reynolds hopes to study diesel mechanics, possibly at UNOH or at a northern Indiana school.