Aug. 28--When In The Valley Below takes the stage Wednesday at CBS' Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, it will not matter that doors continuously closed in the drummer's face in the past.
All the obstacles, hurdles, and challenges faced by Joshua Zeigler on his way to becoming a professional musician will be an afterthought when the lights of Broadway shine on him and his band as they perform on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Zeigler, a 32-year-old Hanover native, moved to Los Angeles on a whim in 2005 with the starry-eyed hopes and dreams of making it in the music business.
Having just graduated from Berklee
College of Music in Boston, he was not exactly using his degree working as a server and bartender in the restaurant industry to help make ends meet. But that did not deter the 1999 Hanover High School graduate as he kept plugging away, playing gigs and giving private music lessons on the side.
"I just kept being persistent," Zeigler said. "I kept moving forward and I knew there would be a window of opportunity."
That window began to open after previous auditions and gigs helped land him a spot with Naked Eyes, a 1980s band known for hits "Always Something There" and "Promises Promises."
He did some small tours with the resurgent 80s band and got to play with Saul Hudson,
otherwise known as Slash, from Guns N' Roses.
In July 2012, Zeigler joined In The Valley Below, a four-member group that signed with Capitol Records in March, shortly after the band garnered national attention at South by Southwest, an Austin, Texas, music festival that showcases up-and-coming bands.
Now, the kid who played drums to emulate his father Clair Zeigler as a five-year-old will play to an audience of millions. Clair and his wife, Gail, will be in the audience Wednesday night.
"It's one of the proudest moments of your life," Clair said, "to see your son's dream come to fruition like it has over the long course of his career; it's fabulous to see something like that happen."
Clair, who grew up in Abbottstown, started playing the drums in the 1960s. He took lessons and played with some local bands after exploring percussion in high school, but never went after his interest too aggressively, putting the sticks down in the 1980s.
Joshua said that as a kid, he enjoyed attending his father's shows and rehearsals. The music moved him and the lights drew him. Then he saw The Cars play in Harrisburg on City Island.
"That started it right there," Zeigler said. "I knew that's what I wanted to do."
Gail described her son's musical pursuit as picking up where his father left off.
"Josh picked it up from his father, like an inherited thing," Gail said.
Kevin Chronister, a private music instructor in McSherrystown, taught Zeigler from 1995 to 2002. He said once Zeigler got to high school, he began to see his potential.
"He was one of my best students," Chronister said. "He's an excellent drummer. I thought something was going to happen (for him) outside of a local band."
Zeigler credited instructors Chronister, Galen Leitzel, Larry Kuntz, Deb Smith and Mr. Novasedliak as his inspirations for him to chase his dreams of being a professional musician.
"They put up with me and pushed and pulled me in different ways," Zeigler said. "They opened my eyes to the larger opportunities for music out there."
After the Letterman show, Zeigler said, In The Valley Below will go on a United States tour in October followed by a two-month European tour in November and December.
He's been to cities in France, England, Germany and Belgium, using his musical talents as his passport to the world.
"It's been amazing," Zeigler said. "I've had to pinch myself a lot of times. To finally see these cities I've dreamed of visiting as a kid. Now that I'm getting to do that and share my music with the world, it's beyond words."
firstname.lastname@example.org; 717-637-3736, ext. 147; Twitter: @walt_walters
If you go
What: The Late Show with David Letterman
When: 11:35 p.m. Wednesday
(c)2013 The Evening Sun (Hanover, Pa.)
Visit The Evening Sun (Hanover, Pa.) at www.eveningsun.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
Most Popular Stories
- PBS Series Examines America's Demographic Shift
- California's Ban on Plastic Bags: What Now?
- Petri Likely Broke House Ethics Rules
- Americans Bet Big on Gambling Industry
- Exxon Gives Nod to Fracking Risks
- Morgan: 'Can't Believe' Wal-Mart Blaming Him
- Texas Sees Gains in Hispanic College Enrollment
- Can You Be Fired for Using Medical Marijuana?
- Wealth Gap Widens as Rich Spend More on Kids' Education
- Lack of Sea Ice Brings 35,000 Walruses Ashore