July 11, 2008
boy enters drumming contest
By STEPHEN BEALE
GOFFSTOWN - Chris Dovas may be proof that one is never too young to be a rock-and-roll drummer.
As early as the age of 3, he began playing the drums with his father, although he confesses that he did not take it seriously until he was 6 years old. Now 9, Chris sounds much older than he is.
Ask him to play “Iron Man,” a classic Black Sabbath song from 1970, and, as he bobs his head up and down while his sticks rumble and roll over the drums, one might forget that he is a 9-year-old elementary school student, not a seasoned rock-and-roller.
Someday he wants to be a professional drummer. A fourth-grader, he is closer to achieving his life dream than most his age. He already has his own band, called “11th Hour,” which is composed of five classmates, one of whom is Amanda, his younger sister. On June 20, the band had a concert at his school, Maple Avenue Elementary.
“I can only imagine what he is going to be doing when he is 18,” said his mother, Donna Dovas.
Chris had some help from his father, George Dovas, a former member of the ’80s band Rukkus, and now a corporate salesman. Dovas says his son is a natural-born drummer. “I really think it’s innate talent,” he said. “It’s really the one thing Chris has gravitated to.”
Chris spends about an hour a day during school nights pounding away at the drum set his father saved in the family basement – along with paraphernalia from his band days. On weekends, Chris will devote hours to his drums.
“I like spinning my sticks, and it’s fun,” Chris said. He also plays sports and has been on local soccer, baseball, and basketball teams. But he has toned down his involvement in sports to make more time for music. He recently began taking lessons in jazz drumming at Music Elements, a school and entertainment center in Chelmsford, Mass.
His teacher there encouraged him to enter the “Undiscovered Drummer” contest, sponsored by Modern Drummer Magazine. Chris submitted a biography and a two-minute YouTube video of himself performing an original drum solo. If he wins, he gets $1,000, a profile in the magazine, and free cymbals.
Next year, Chris will attend Mountain View Middle School, where he wants to be in the marching band. Already, his parents are planning for college.
Dovas hopes his son can use his drumming skills to get into a music college.
Chris is as ambitious as he is talented for his age. His ideal career would be as a drummer in a band. But he also has a pragmatic streak.
“Maybe (I’ll) open a drum shop if I don’t make it,” he said. Should that not work out, Plan C is to teach music to others.