A Musical Life: Drew Patton

May 3, 2013

Drew Pattton will perform his senior recital this weekend at Friends University.
Credit Courtesy photo

Drew Patton first discovered his passion for music by watching Wichita bands such as Ricky Fitts and Hanoi Chevrolet during his high school years. He began playing music shortly thereafter in a succession of bands including punk, progressive rock (with the band Cosmic Octave) and beyond.

Upon entering college, he discovered an interest in jazz (including greats such as Joe Pass) and quickly became infatuated with writing music "on the page" because he was able to discover new harmonies outside of what he was accustomed to playing on the instrument.

Patton is the first classical guitarist ever at Friends University to be featured as a soloist by the Chamber Orchestra. He is also the recipient of the Koch Enabling Grant’s highest award, which will allow him to travel to Europe this year to study classical improvisation.

Drew Patton will perform his senior recital at the Friends University Rhiney Fine Arts Center on Saturday, May 4 at 7:30pm.

My name is Drew Patton. I am a guitarist/composer.

Frederick Chopin might have given 30 public performances in his whole career, which is kind of a shame because he’s one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time. He’s known as the poet of the piano. Everything that he puts out has this lyrical, smooth quality and just takes to places you wouldn’t think [they’d go] but they seem so right. It’s like genius past the point of logic.

I feel the same way about Claude Debussy as well. He was inventing his own rules of harmony and still making things that sounded just as beautiful as everything that came before it, that was so much more structured.

On the guitar side I gotta drop the name Mauro Giuliani. That guy was the Eddie Van Halen of the nineteenth century, man. Every piece he ever wrote was just so flashy and complex and just so cool.

When I made the transition to classical, it was actually my last year in college. Before that I was focusing on jazz [and other music]. It was a really, really tough undertaking. Most of those classical kids got their instruments when they were in elementary school and they’ve been playing them ever since. It’s just something that they do. Here I was with a classical instrument essentially for the first time and it’s intimidating.