EG Alum Wronski lands on America’s Got Talent – East Greenwich News
Above: Sam Wronski, left, playing with Drake Milligan in Nashville last weekend. Credit: Matt Wronski
For Sam Wronski, there’s a straight line between his recent appearance on America’s Got Talent, playing bass in Drake Milligan’s band, and his early musical debut in East Greenwich schools.
Wronski, EGHS Class of 2017, began playing upright bass in Leslie Lee’s fourth-grade orchestra class. By his senior year, he was the only one left in the orchestra of that fourth-grade class, and by then he had taken on other instruments as well.
At one point he was studying piano, guitar and bass simultaneously. It was too much and he focused on bass guitar.
“Of course you can assign [my love of music] to the music program,” he said in a recent interview.
In particular, Wronski credits high school music teacher Brendan Carniaux for inspiring him to consider music as a career.
“I wouldn’t have followed the music without him,” Wronski said. “I clicked with him my freshman year. The day I had to audition for the jazz band, I was so nervous. I did the audition and he seemed shocked that I learned the material. He tried his luck with me, I felt it.
Initially, he was just the youngest of a few bassists in the jazz band, but by his final year, he was the only bass player.
“I could see the way [Carniaux] understood the music and it really gave me something to admire. I don’t think I would have gone to music school without it,” Wronski said.
For Wronski, that meant Belmont University in Nashville. He attended Belmont for two years but kept busy with out-of-town gigs. “I decided to take a year off and see how it went. Then Covid hit and it made more sense to me not to go back to school.
It was a bit terrifying, he says, but the music community has been great. And, as it turns out, his move to Nashville only made him the first Wronski there. Matt and Dana Wronski (herself a singer), former owners of Tio Mateo’s/Greenwich Bay Gourmet, moved there in 2018; their daughter Ellie and her family followed.
Wronski didn’t know he would be performing on America’s Got Talent until about a week in advance. He had started playing in Drake Milligan’s band several months ago. Milligan’s manager reached out to ask if he would be free for a few days in April, but gave no details. “I wonder what is this thing I’m doing,” Wronski said. “A week before we’re supposed to fly [to Los Angeles for the taping]I discover.
Milligan hails from Texas and has been compared to Elvis, with his deep, ringing voice. Wronski said he didn’t come to Nashville with a deep love of country, but that has changed, especially when playing with musicians like Milligan.
“I’ve never seen anyone play and sing like him,” he said. “His idols are Elvis and George Strait. I think that’s why he did well on AGT – he’s his own thing. It’s cool that I can be part of it. »
Here is Drake Milligan’s initial performance on America’s Got Talent:
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