Teen of the week: He’s with the band | News, Sports, Jobs
VINCENT – Garrett Biddinger is a 17-year-old senior at Warren High School.
He is the brass section leader of the Warren Warriors Marching Band, where he has played trombone for six years, sang bass in the school choir, was a member of the last organized handbell band in the state of Ohio and plays several instruments. including tuba, drums, piano, bass and guitar.
“My mother always jokes that if you put a string instrument in my lap, I can understand something on it.” Bidder said. “The guitar is my main passion, that’s where I feel most at home, it’s playing the guitar.”
Biddinger got his first guitar when he was 5 years old. He credits his mother for putting it in his hands, his father for introducing him to 90s grunge, and his grandfather, who also played the guitar, for his inspiration.
“It certainly had a pretty big impact on early music for me, was the fact that my grandfather did it,” Bidder said. “I have his guitar, it’s a nice Gretsch from 1962. It’s great. I love this guitar. I wish I could have spent more time with this man.
Biddinger takes his love of the guitar to Front Street in Marietta with him when he plays for passers-by and leads to the formation of his heavy metal band Down To Fate. The group is made up of classmates and longtime friends Payton Moore and Logan Turner. Biddinger plays lead guitar and sings, Moore plays bass and sings backing vocals, and Turner plays drums, which he learned to play for the band.
“We’ve been best friends since long before any of us thought it was a band,” Bidder said. “Logan had never played drums until we decided to be a band. And I sat him behind the drums and said, ‘You’re going to be the drummer.’ And he’s literally the best drummer I’ve ever met. He’s phenomenal.
Biddinger showed Turner the basics of drum construction, the sounds they make, and how to make those sounds. Biddinger’s ability to teach others comes from his father and his father’s fathers. Biddinger’s grandfather, Dennis Biddinger, was a teacher at Warren for 35 years before his retirement in 2009, and his father, Andy Biddinger, is Modern World History and Economics for Warren High School. Biddinger has his dad for class this year.
“He can really interest you in just about anything he talks about,” Bidder said. “That’s why I wanted to have him in class. Because he is a phenomenal teacher, as well as a very good father.
A long-standing tradition with Bidders is to go to the Indianapolis 500 every year. His grandfather retired, but it was originally a group of seven people who would all attend the race: Biddinger, his grandfather, his father, his two uncles and two cousins.
“There were seven of us, seven boys in a motorhome and two beds”, Bidder said. “I slept on the floor with a sleeping bag, my cousins slept on the floor. (My father) and my uncles in a bed, my grandfather in his king size bed. Yeah, fond memories of that, waking up at 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning, putting on lots of sunscreen to go down to the racetrack and being there when the doors open at 6 a.m., waiting til at 2 p.m. the start of the race. ”
In his spare time, Biddinger enjoys putting on his headphones and mowing the lawn, playing golf, being in the sun, watching TV shows and hiking in the mountains.
“I like to hike. We go to Shenandoah National Park almost every year with my family. So it’s one of my passions. I love hiking. I love mountaineering,” Bidder said. “I like the sounds of being in nature, of being alone in nature. I like to hear the birds, I like the wind in the trees, it’s a big soothing sound for me, and especially in the mountains. … I love the mountains. I fell like I belonged in the mountains. It’s definitely a place of passion for me.
Biddinger hopes to carry his love for music with him into the future. He would like his band to take off and become a huge touring band, but he’s realistic about those chances. He would also like to attend Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, where the music department is attached to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and earn a degree in recording technology or audio engineering.
“People always say, ‘Don’t get into music because there’s no money in it, there’s no jobs in it’ but I don’t know what I would do more of myself.” Bidder said. “It’s all I work for and live for right now. So I want to make my life out of it somehow.