Special Music: Claremont Heir performs “Buddy Holly” by Weezer

Megan Chang, Jack Shea, and Alex Tinkham

Hearing the growing plaudits from the audience, Claremont Heir steps out of the shadows and into the spotlight. The drummer twirls her wooden sticks, exciting the crowd as the guitarists and bassist strum a few chords. The vocalist approaches the microphone, and soon, Rock music—classic, hard, punk, grunge, alternative—reverberates around Darwin’s Pub as adults and teenagers dance and sing along with the five freshmen on stage.

Drummer Lily Pesikoff, guitarists Bo Farnell and Michael Skaribas, bassist Dair McFarland and vocalist Lindsay Frankfort make up Claremont Heir, a rock band created in May 2017. Pesikoff and Farnell started the band after meeting during a Middle School jazz band class. Jordan Almes, Pesikoff’s former drum teacher and a musician in the professional band Now We Fly, has served as the band’s manager since its formation.

Although the members have always enjoyed listening to music, joining a band has broadened their tastes and interests in different genres, especially rock.

“Playing in front of people—it’s kind of a rush,” McFarland said.

After long hours of hard work dedicated to their practices, the band members appreciate the satisfaction of mastering a new song.

“I love the feeling of standing at the microphone and singing our song [all the way through],” Frankfort said. “It’s my favorite thing to do.”

Theo Sanders
The five freshmen have become close friends thanks to the band.

According to Claremont Heir, each musician experiences a unique euphoria during practices and live performances.

“There’s this feeling when you have mastered a song and you get to play it with the other band members, and everything is just going really smoothly, and you’re really happy to play it,” Pesikoff, a drummer since second grade, said.

With the seemingly never-ending stress of school, practicing and performing songs gives the members a reprieve from academics and sports. For Frankfort, standing in front of a microphone for two hours every Sunday night elicits a strong mix of contentment and relaxation as the lyrics naturally flow.

After spending two to three hours together each week for over a year, the band members have all grown closer to one another.

“I don’t think we had ever had a real conversation [before the band started], and we’ve become pretty close friends,” Pesikoff said.

In addition to growing closer as friends, the Claremont Heir members have gradually developed into more confident musicians because they have practiced and performed in front of various audiences.

“[Playing in the band] has definitely made me a better musician by [teaching me] to listen to different parts of the song and [figuring] out what makes it work instead of just listening to it as a whole,” McFarland said.

Although they have only performed together twice in front of an audience—once on May 16 at Eighth Grade Celebration and once on June 1 at Darwin’s Pub—Claremont Heir plans to perform again on Sept. 14.

“I’m just super excited to be playing live again,” McFarland said.