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Brothers each win gold at percussion championships

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JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THISWEEKNEWS
Christian (left) and Teddy Rozanek pose for a portrait at their home Friday, July 19. The brothers each won a gold medal this spring at the Winter Guard International Percussion World Championships held in Dayton. JOSHUA A. BICKEL/THISWEEKNEWS
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Teddy and Christian Rozanek are both musicians of note.

The brothers each won a gold medal this spring at the Winter Guard International Percussion World Championships in Dayton.

Teddy, 20, is a bassist in Rhythm X, which won an Independent World Gold Medal. Christian, 17, is center quad player for Capital City Percussion, which won the Open Class Independent championship.

Both brothers have participated and played tenor drum at Westland High School. Christian is entering his senior year at the school.

Even though he was in the process of winning his first gold medal, Teddy said he was more excited about his brother's success at the championships.

"We were rehearsing for our finals when I got a call from a friend that Christian's group had won," he said. "I was so thrilled for him, but I couldn't imagine both of us winning gold medals, even though Rhythm X had been doing well all season. It was great when we got a chance to stand together with our gold medals."

Christian credits his older brother for inspiring him to begin playing drums.

"I always watched him growing up. It pushed me to want to play as good as he played," he said. "It just looked like he was having so much fun."

"He's giving me a lot more credit than I deserve," Teddy said. "He passed my skill level long ago because of his dedication and hard work."

The brothers got to play together at Westland for one year, when Teddy was a senior and Christian a freshman.

They played drums together a lot at home.

"We were practicing six to eight hours a day," Teddy said. "We never heard any complaints from the neighbors or had the cops called on us, so I guess we weren't too loud."

"Our parents really supported us and never told us to stop," Christian said. "Drumming's definitely not a comforting activity for your family. But they were always patient."

Drumming is a comforting activity for him, he said.

"When I get behind a drum, it just feels normal to me," Christian said. "It makes me feel comfortable and relaxed."

Teddy switched from drums to bass after graduating from high school.

"It's a little easier to be creative with a melodic instrument," he said.

He really didn't choose to play drums when starting out in his school's instrumental music program in sixth grade, Teddy said.

"It was more my lack of ability to play any other instrument," he said. "I picked up a saxophone and couldn't get any sound. I picked up a trumpet and couldn't get any sound. I picked up a drum, and I felt right at home."

With Rhythm X, Teddy tried something that had never been done before at the WGI championships -- he played a stand-up bass during the band's performances.

"It seemed to work out really well, even though it hadn't been done before," he said.

Teddy will be eligible for WGI competitions for two more years.

"I really enjoy it. We've been able to meet musicians from so many places, like Japan, Thailand and the Netherlands," he said. "It really is an international competition."

"What's great about the WGI is that everyone is pulling for each other. You want to win, but you're not trying to pull every other team down," Christian said. "If a team is struggling, other teams will pitch in to help. Like one of the international teams didn't have their instruments and people loaned them their instruments for the competition."

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