Friends School of Baltimore's Student News * Founded 1938

The Quaker Quill

Friends School of Baltimore's Student News * Founded 1938

The Quaker Quill

Friends School of Baltimore's Student News * Founded 1938

The Quaker Quill

Friends juniors prepare for the 2023 Homecoming dance.
'Back to the Future' at Friends School [Brief]
Homecoming 2023 threw students from the '80s to the future, as DJ Ok got everyone on their feet, and even faculty busted a move.
Fans line up for snowballs from a Kona Ice truck during a break in the rain on Scarlet and Grey day.
Scarlet & Grey Day Hits the Quarter Century Mark [Brief]
On a recent rainy Saturday, Park and Friends School sports teams faced off in a series of contests, cheered on by hundreds of soggy fans.
On the final day of Spirit Week, seniors dressed in Friends School colors - scarlet and grey - for the annual Pep Rally.
A Silly, Spirited Week [Brief]
Leading up to Rivalry Day, students dressed up to show their school spirit - and sense of humor.
A senior accesses the Common App landing page for the University of Delaware. As college deadlines approach, the class of 24 is sleepy and stresses.
Seniors Feel College Pressure as Early Deadlines Approach [Brief]
The mood in senior hall is tense, as sleep-starved teens scramble to finish their essays - along with a heavy load of mid-semester schoolwork.
The Morgan State University Marching Band processes down the Friends School driveway, lined with cheering crowds of students, from preschoolers to 12th graders.
In a Year of Tragedy, Morgan Band Concert a Particular Gift [Brief]
Friends students expressed gratitude for the marching band's energetic performance - especially so soon after a shooting on the Morgan State University campus injured five students.
In Orioles fan and 12th grade dean Josh Carlins office, Friends memorabilia and a recent Baltimore Sun front page celebrating the teams winning season have pride of place.
Fans Dress for MLB Success on Friends' 'Orange Thursday' [Brief]
Led this season by an exciting core of young, up-and-coming stars, the Orioles have won back the hearts of many Friends School fans.
Award-winning novelist Jenny Offill visits the 10th grade English class of Rob Traviesso - her own former student.
Upper School Author Visit Brings Reunion [Brief]
Novelist Jenny Offill spent a day on campus meeting with students at the invitation of her own former student - English teacher Rob Travieso.
Senior Maeve Reichert, head of the literary magazine Mock Turtle, talks to potential 9th grade recruits during the 2023 clubs fair.
Highlights From Upper School Clubs Fair [Brief]
Dozens of clubs showed their stuff and courted new members at the high-energy, candy-fueled gathering on the quad.
Seniors line up in the heat to have their final yearbook photos taken.
Seniors Say (Melted) Cheese? [Brief]
This year's senior yearbook portraits fell during a record heat wave.
Lunch & M? Try Lunch & Melting [Brief]
Lunch & M? Try Lunch & Melting [Brief]
Heat broke records this month at Friends School of Baltimore.

For Mr. Z, Music Was The Bridge

From trumpet to guitar to timpani, multitalented band director Wade Zagurski plays it all.
Courtesy of Wade Zagurski
Band director Wade Zagurski with some of the many instruments he has mastered.

Trumpet, timpani, guitar, or bass guitar: Wade Zagurski can play it all! With apparent ease, the Friends School band director can produce a wordless language everyone can relate to. 

“He definitely knows his stuff,” says senior Joseph Penders, who participates in Mr. Z’s jazz rhythm lab. “He can pick up any instrument and play. It’s really impressive.”

Zagurski puts it modestly.

“I’m kind of a jack of all trades,” he says. 

Every musician has a starting point. It is not possible to just be good at all instruments without putting in the time. Zagurski began early.

“In elementary school, I started on the trumpet in the 4th grade,” he says. Growing up, his family didn’t have much money, so “it was a very unique thing for me to have my own musical instrument.”

The trumpet was the beginning of his ever-expanding passion for music. Eventually, he was offered money to play for a local church. 

“It blew my mind. I realized, like, ‘I can get paid for this,’ ” he says. It dawned on him: “music was an inexpensive, affordable source of edutainment.”

His hard work, and talent for music, eventually brought him out of his hometown. 

“Music was the thing that pulled me out of the Essex and Dundalk area, and got me into a full scholarship at Towson University,” he says.

Not only did Zagurski receive a full scholarship, but he got additional stipends for teaching music classes at Towson. From there, he was able to build his musical career. For 20 years, he had a business called Sound Opportunities Music Instruction. 

What’s more, his passion for music eventually took him all over the country. 

Outside of school, band teacher Wade Zagurski plays trumpet, timpani, guitar, and bass guitar in numerous ensembles. (Courtesy of Wade Zagurski)

“For about three years I was on the road full-time, playing in a horn band,” he says.

Today, Zagurski still plays multiple instruments in different bands. 

“Outside of school, he plays shows and gigs every weekend,” says senior Harrison Fribush. “He’s in a bunch of different groups and he plays the trumpet, the bass, the guitar. He’s really all over the board.”

What types of music does this aficionado like listening to himself?

“That’s really hard for me to pin down, because it’s like asking a chef their favorite spice or an artist what their favorite color is,” he says. “It depends on each genre. And I love all the genres.”

But if he really had to pick?

“I think my preference would tend to be a little older, the 70s and 80s progressive kind of music. But, yeah, I mean, I like it all,” says Zagurski. “I just like hearing stuff that I’ve never heard before.”

These days, it is easy to forget the creative aspects of older music.

“Back then, it was a lot more artistry … without restriction. Meaning, if they had an idea, and it took 13 minutes to follow this idea through, it was artistry, and it was unencumbered,” he says. “So I tend to like to hear these artists really work through their ideas.”

And how did Zagurski find his way to the Friends School of Baltimore? 

“Some friends of mine said, ‘Hey, there’s a band director named Grizz Gifford that is calling for an assistant,” he remembers.

Gifford linked Zagurski to Friends. And after he didn’t return as band director in the current seniors’ freshman year, Mr. Z took over the band department.

Zagurski has advice for students – and people in general. Hard work pays off, he says. But also, make sure you’re enjoying yourself.

“When you take up your own instrument, take up what you love. Let things happen naturally that way,” he says. “But practice, and be diligent about it.”

So follow that passion, or start a new hobby. Music was an unexpected career for Zagurski. Maybe following what you love will change your life too. 

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About the Contributor
Evan Lawner
Evan Lawner, Contributor
Evan, class of '24, is a student-athlete and student leader. He also likes to play the drums.
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    Dahira BinfordFeb 12, 2024 at 9:32 am

    The Binfords have known Wade Zagurski for years. Jack of all trades, musical and non- musical, generous with his talents, time and friendship. Kudos to a great guy and to the Quill for its excellent write-up!