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He’s at Ease on Links, Music Stage

Scott Hoch is a 17-year-old senior at Granada Hills Charter High School living a double life.

By day, he’s an “A” student, a member of the school choir, captain of the defending City champion golf team and preparing to run in his fourth Los Angeles Marathon. By night, he’s a drummer for the rock band Nathaniel’s Endeavors.

That he so adeptly switches mind-sets and personalities, from trying to make a pressure putt in total silence to sitting on a stage with his heart pounding and adrenaline flowing as he helps create loud, invigorating music, is tribute to his many talents.

“It’s an absolute rush,” he said of his drumming experience. “It’s like ripping it down the fairway when the pressure is on. There’s nothing quite like it.”

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As if playing for a rock band and the golf team weren’t enough time commitments, he also manages an ice cream store, which helps pay for the $2,000 custom-built drum set he just purchased. And during the summer and fall, he decided to camp out in a tent in his family’s backyard.

“I like the stars,” he said.

Hoch could be a star in the making because he has the kind of energetic personality that makes others want to be around him.

“I don’t get much sleep at night, you can say,” he said. “It’s worth it because I’m doing what I like to do. I’m sure when you grow up, you don’t get more time in the day.”

One recent week, his schedule included golf Monday, golf and work Tuesday, golf and band practice Wednesday, golf Thursday, band show Friday, record Saturday, drum lesson and work Sunday.

He also has homework and must make time to attend various jazz or rock concerts.

As for golf, he’s expected to be the No. 2 player for Granada Hills, but he views his participation more from a recreational perspective.

“I’m humming music while I’m putting,” he said. “I’m not planning my next shot while on the drums.”

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Nathaniel’s Endeavors is composed of two Granada Hills seniors, a Granada Hills graduate and two Reseda Cleveland graduates.

Hoch met lead vocalist Byron Aram in a Granada Hills physical education class when he was a freshman.

“I was in a terrible punk rock band,” Hoch said. “He said, ‘You know, I can teach you a couple of things.’ ”

Influenced by Tom Petty, Steely Dan and James Taylor, Nathaniel’s Endeavors has an upbeat, inspiring sound. And the band’s website at nathanielsendeavors.com has everything from band-member biographies to information on future shows.

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“We’re a very dynamic band, with acoustic and hard rock,” Hoch said.

The group has played at college campuses, recreation halls and clubs. It’s working on its second CD.

As a drummer, Hoch dances when he can and never sits still. He’ll come off stage soaking wet from his energy-sapping performance.

In his experience, girls prefer to hear he plays in a band over playing on the golf team.

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“I wouldn’t say I’m chased by girls, but I’m in a band,” he said.

And what’s the greatest perk of being a drummer?

“I have a towel girl,” he said. “She brings me a towel every show, and I love her for it.”

Hoch never set out to have a conflict between golf and music, but both require time and commitment to succeed.

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“It’s never seemed awkward,” he said. “I’ve played golf for so long and drum for so long. It’s me. When I picked up drum sticks, I didn’t know drums were any cooler than golf.”

The mental focus is clearly different.

“In golf, you’re trying to stay focused in the moment,” he said. “In band, you’re trying to let the music get on top of you.”

Hoch has filled out his share of college applications, but he must soon decide whether he’s going to take a year off from school to focus on music.

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“I’ll admit I’m the king of procrastinators,” he said. “When the time comes, we’ll see.”

His mother, Anita, a school psychologist at Chatsworth, has been supportive of his endeavors, even allowing the band to practice in the family’s garage.

“He wants to be a rock star who plays golf,” she said.

But she wants him to go to college. Considering how well he seems to juggle responsibilities, why can’t he be a college student who’s a drummer, hits a golf ball 290 yards, runs marathons, watches stars from a tent and knows the difference between cake batter and French vanilla ice cream?

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Eric Sondheimer can be reached at eric.sondheimer@latimes.com.


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