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Woodlands Senior Connects All the Notes and Brings Down the House with His W.I.S.E. Presentation on the Art of Sampling

At first, what motivated Alexander Rosario to be part of the Woodlands High School W.I.S.E. program was being able to take fewer classes. What he learned was the invaluable education in pursuing his passions and following his dreams, which were born out of the Bronx and a childhood that was shaped by his grandfather and a love of music. “My heart is in the Bronx; my passion is in music. I believe that music heals the soul and brings us up from the depths,” said Alexander. “What uplifts the world, heals the world.”

As he stands before a panel of teachers, mentors, student evaluators, and a packed room of observers, Alexander explains that the art of sampling lies in the ability to take a piece of music and transform it into something new and original. He shared that his grandfather introduced him to music at a young age, and that music was a big thing in his family. His interest in music production started at the age of eight when he would use his mother’s Macbook to use Garageband and other programs to create music. Since then, he taught himself how to play piano, learned how to manipulate beats, drums, and bass using a small keyboard that communicates with a computer music production program called FL. “I taught myself about music techniques and production by reading a lot about it and watching videos,” he said. 

There is so much technology that goes into music production, and Alexander broke down each aspect during his WISE presentation. The true art of the presentation, though, was how he engaged his audience through both education and collaboration. Chipmunk Soul, reverse sampling, BPMs, hi- hat, were some terminology and techniques he covered. But sometimes the best way to learn is by doing. Using the 1976 L.T.D. song “Love Ballad”, Alexander creates a sample with the help of the audience. He asks them which drums, snare, bass, hi-hat, speed, and tuning sounds best. Then he manipulates and integrates the elemental options with the highest votes. Once complete, he plays the final version to the crowd, who shows their approval as they all move to the new beat.

“It was very impressive for Alexander to get up here and do this. When he started this in ninth grade, this wasn’t the person that you saw before you. To get up here and speak extemporaneously and give an absolute masterclass on not only what it is to do W.I.S.E., but to be able to demonstrate something that is very technical in nature and explain it to us seamlessly is absolutely astounding,” said Dr. Fritz, a W.I.S.E.Coordinator. “I am super impressed by what you delivered.”

To watch Alexander’s full presentation and the W.I.S.E. panel Q&A session, please visit the district YouTube page.