It all started with a two foot tall drum set his father gave him when he was four years old. Its delicate paper heads and black plastic shells decked out in neon stars are far from resembling the bold copper timpani drums he plays in the Blue Devils Bugle Corp or the gleaming snare he plays for the high school drumline, but this childhood playset inspired a lifelong passion for playing music. During his high school career, senior Alec Wingfield has recognized his dreams of musical and artistic greatness. He was accepted into the Blue Devil Bugle Corps the year it was crowned Open Class World Champions, and he won Poetry Out Loud at the school-wide level twice and advanced to top ten in the state.
Being a member of the Blue Devils Bugle Corp was a dream of Wingfield’s since his childhood. That dream came true in 2014 after six weeks of testing how well he meshed with the current ensemble. Wingfield was overjoyed and eagerly attended the 12 hour practices in preparation for his first performance. He was not about to lose his spot on the renowned 150 member traveling drum corp with six consecutive High Percussion Titles. Despite his three months of practice before his first performance, the crowd of 8000 was daunting, and the stadium seemed to triple in size as Wingfield sank inward under the pressure and vulnerability of his solos.
“…they would say Blue Devils B then it was just you, and you are just on and people are waiting for you to do something. You are just so exposed,” Wingfield said.
Despite his nerves, Wingfield shined through his first performance. Now with two years, 24 practice hours a week, and 20 performances, each drumming solo is played with confidence.
If musical talent and dedication weren’t enough, Wingfield is an amazing friend and kind-hearted person, according to senior Grisey Castro. Castro said that he loves Wingfield because he will always lend an ear, he appreciates classic video consoles like Atari and Nintendo 64, and he would pick up a friend at three in the morning to watch sitcoms and eat sandwiches.
“Alec knows who I am as a person and knows the worst parts of me but is still like, ‘You know what man, you are a human and I’m cool with that because you are real’,” Castro said.
Wingfield’s friend senior Sam Rollins shared a similar sentiment.
“He’s honestly one of the best people in our senior class. That’s slightly biased coming from me, but it’s true. He’s loyal and a fantastic friend…He represents what this school is trying to get out of their students,” said Rollins, who met Wingfield freshman year in band.
From his friendships, to POL, to earning First Chair in the County Honor Band, Wingfield’s high school story is one of triumph. To Wingfield, his biggest success doesn’t involve prose or drumsticks.
“ My biggest high school accomplishment was definitely finding the love of my life, Kera Bruce…She has helped me through my entire high school career,” Wingfield said.
The feeling is similar between the couple.
“ [Alec is a] safe haven and a home to come to and someone who is always going to push me to be my best self …I don’t know. I love him. He is my favorite person. He’s the reason why I smile about every day,” said Bruce, Wingfield’s girlfriend of three years.
Wingfield always knew he had an affinity for music, but it wasn’t until his senior year he realized his passion for teaching music. He developed a love of teaching while giving music lessons to kids ages 6 to 14, and he plans to study music education at CSU Long Beach. Wingfield aims to “keep playing music forever” and hopes to be a high school music director in LA.
His talents for teaching haven’t gone unnoticed.
Rollins experienced Wingfield’s teaching style when Wingfield helped him master tricky songs in drumline and with his audition piece for Cal Poly’s drumline.
“His method is not just saying ‘No, you’re wrong, fix it.’ He is more like ‘No, this is what you’re doing wrong, let me show you how to fix it.’ And he’ll come back to make sure that it’s fixed; he won’t just leave you on your own,” Rollins said.
Through his years as a Bearcat, Wingfield has grown immensely as both a musician and a person. With a level head and strong support system, Wingfield has been able to focus on his passions while never forgetting that “being a senior is about having a good time.”
“He can see that happiness is the end goal, but the road doesn’t necessarily matter,” Castro said.