Zac Brown Band Percussionist Shares Life Lessons and Music with MHS Students
On Thursday, Aug. 29, world-renowned percussionist and Zac Brown Band member Daniel de los Reyes visited with the Milton Hershey School high school band hours before taking the concert stage at Hersheypark Stadium.
De los Reyes spoke to the 45 high schoolers about his musical experience. He was candid with students about his early failures before finding success in the music industry. His perseverance in the face of failure resembles that of MHS founder Milton Hershey.
“A lot of the time, I failed,” de los Reyes said. “But I didn’t let it overtake me. I used it to be better. When that feeling overcomes you, it’s okay. Just get back up.”
The fourth-generation musician is also the founder of the nonprofit, DayGLOW Music. His organization provides music-based training, especially percussion, to students who may otherwise never have an opportunity to participate in a music program. During his visit to MHS, de los Reyes encouraged students to make a difference in the lives of others through music.
“You have something beyond special. You have been chosen to be great here [at MHS] and to do great things beyond here. You have the ability to give that opportunity to others,” he shared.
He also emphasized the importance of teamwork. “I believe being a good musician involves being a good person. Listen to, help, praise, and accept one another,” he said. “All those traits make you a good person and a good musician.”
De los Reyes ended his visit by performing for students, explaining his techniques and the background of specific instruments before answering students’ questions.
MHS sophomore and flutist Rebecca Amanor shared what she found most impactful about de los Reyes’ visit. “He wasn’t handed his opportunities, he reached for them,” Amanor said. “He’s not just playing music—he’s been through the ups and downs. He’s taught people how to play music and now he’s taking what he’s learned and he’s sharing it with everyone and that’s an amazing thing.”