Growing passion

SHS student learns to find himself through his band


Darcy Leber

Ryder Harris plays bass at his band’s concert on Dec. 8.

Right before junior Ryder Harris steps onto stage, he shifts into his performer mindset. He admits that he still gets nervous before performing, but these feelings have begun to normalize. He explains that it now feels like just another show since he started performing in his middle school years.

Harris joined Keeping Destiny as a guitarist in the summer of 2020, and has grown in his passion for music ever since. Keeping Destiny was a band created by 2020 SHS graduate, Cooper Heaton. At the time, the band was made up of rudimentary musicians hoping to become something greater.

Like many amateurs, Harris and the other members started out playing in band members houses. Immediately the musical bug bit him, sending the young bass player into a world of unknowns.

With many trials being faced, the band grew, lost members and gained different ones. With different phases of the band, new beginnings have come. Things like a new look, new members and name of the band have changed since 2020. Keeping Destiny is now known as Senescence.

Through all of these changes, there has been one person beside Harris through it all, Heaton. They have been able to see Harris morph into the musician he is now. At the start of their collaboration, Heaton described him as a timid newcomer.

“He just seemed a bit unsure of himself.” Heaton said.

Harris’s dad, Tim Harris, has seen growth in his ability, but also within himself in these past few years. Tim has always played a supporting role in Harris’ passion for music. He loves the fact that he’s gotten involved in something he enjoys so much.

“It’s just neat as a parent to see your kids get into something and be good at it,” Tim said.

Tim understands that the band brings much responsibility to Harris’s life, and he appreciates seeing his son embrace these difficult responsibilities.

“It’s just neat as a parent to see your kids get into something and be good at it…He’s becoming a young adult,” Tim said. “I’m digging it.”

From his initial debut in the band to now, Harris has shown obvious growth in his musical ability. Heaton vouches for him in saying he’s improved greatly and has turned into a phenomenal bass player. For someone who wants to continue in music as a career, like Harris, this is very important.

“If we can get to the point where it can be a career I would love that,” Harris said. “I’m very sure about what I wanna do after high school.”

Through this attitude, Heaton sees how dedicated Harris is to the band. They value Harris’ commitment and interest in being a part of the band. With it becoming his main focus, Harris has had to learn the balance between school and musical endeavors. But, music clearly takes precedence over other inferior responsibilities.

The priority goes to the band, playing shows or creative cognition. The band has many shows, some falling on school nights. In order to play those shows he has to sacrifice time and rest. To him though, this is nothing but a commitment to his craft.

Harris says that they try to perform as often as possible, but sometimes shows don’t go through. These tribulations don’t stop him, or any of his band members, from pushing forward.

One problem that the band has learned to overcome is the way they record their creativity. They’ve moved from basic self recording devices to having their creations professionally mixed and mastered. Harris sees this as absolute growth in a direction that he is very proud of.

As the word is being spread about these rising stars, they have been finding more and more people to support them. Even for band members like Heaton, they have enjoyed having the opportunity to meet new people and find more places to go.

“We enjoy what we’re doing,” Harris said. “It’s easy to do what we’re doing with the people we’re doing it with.”

Although the band appreciates all of the support from those around them, they have faced difficulties along the way. But, one thing Harris is adamant about is persevering through it all.

“We’ve come a long way and we’re going to keep growing,” Harris said.