NewsPositively Central Texas


CENTRAL TEXAS PROUD: Music student makes Waco ISD history

University High School Drummer places 1st at International Competition
Posted at 9:50 AM, Nov 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-29 10:50:43-05

WACO, Texas — When you see Nick Ashby play the drums, you can tell he was born to play.

“I kind of wanted to get good at it because I thought it would be a cool skill to have. I could impress other people with my drumming,” Ashby said.

Ever since he started drumming in the fifth grade, he’s been nothing but impressive.

“He pretty much takes the ball in his own court and just runs with it. He’s one of those kids when you start them they just keep going,” University High School Director of Bands Archie Hatten said.

Ashby’s relentless passion for music led him to make history. This month, he was awarded First Place in the High School Tenors Division at the Percussive Arts Society international Convention (PASIC) after he got a final score of 81.

He competed against hundreds of musicians from all over the world.

“It’s a surreal feeling really. I never expected to get this far. I only started playing with the marching band a year and a half ago. It’s a crazy feeling because it never happened before,” Ashby said.

Not only was he the first to perform in the competition, but he is also the first student to win at the event in Waco ISD history.

“It is something that should be looked at as kind of unbelievable. That this kid, went to the international level and did such a great job and got first place at that," Hatten said.

Nick said it’s all thanks to his teachers and private lessons provided by Waco ISD.

“I really used him. I was with him after school and during school. Almost every period to practice with him,” Ashby said.

Nick is not sure what he’ll do after he graduates, but he believes if he keeps following the rhythm it’ll lead him to the sounds of success.