The Making of a Musician: Charlie Uffelman ’20 Profile
Early this September, Charlie Uffelman ’20 released his extended play War n’frost, on Spotify and Apple Music.
Early this September, Charlie Uffelman ’20 released his extended play War n’frost, on Spotify and Apple Music. The EP, which includes the four tracks “Combat,” “Other Side,” “Paper Cups,” and “My Brother,” is the culmination of a summer’s worth of songwriting and producing—skills that he has become passionate about over his years at Lawrenceville.Uffelman’s interest in music began during his childhood. Music was always playing in his house, and his parents, particularly his father, would often expose him to new and different styles of music. Uffelman’s involvement in the art developed considerably when he began playing the guitar. As he listened to songs on the radio, he would attempt to play them on his guitar, allowing him to develop his skills and become more musically astute. For the majority of his middle school experience, Uffelman’s interest remained constant as he continued to listen to his favorite songs, take lessons, and play in a few groups with other peers and friends.
Upon coming to Lawrenceville, Uffelman’s passion for songwriting and performance grew. He attributes the progress he made to his peers, stating that the “community is really accepting of musical talent and people demonstrating their passions,” as well as his involvement in performing arts on campus. Over the course of his three years at Lawrenceville, Uffelman has participated in, among other things, Jazz Lab Band, the Songwriting Club, the Fall Musical of 2017, and Larries, the co-ed Acapella group. After participating in various performing arts opportunities at Lawrenceville, Uffelman shifted his attention to songwriting and performing. He notes that these experiences helped him recognize his passion for music and strengthened his confidence in the field.
Uffelman also recognizes his involvement in The Disciples, which he joined during his junior year, to be a major step in his development as a musician. Uffleman’s time collaborating with other members of the band has helped him find his own particular style when creating and performing music. “Collaborating with other musicians, I believe, is one of the most important aspects of anyone’s musical journey,” Uffelman said.“I think The Disciples has taught me to be more understanding of others’ musical views and has opened my mind to new possibilities.”
As much as his bandmates have taught him about music, Uffelman has also influenced and supported them. He is exceptionally musically talented, providing clean chords, aiding the rest of the group in reading music, and creating inventive melodies from scratch. In addition to his musical contributions, Uffelman brings a calming presence and positive energy to the group. According to lead vocalist Arata Fujii ’21, at every practice session, Uffelman’s mild temperament “really enhances our playing… whenever a performance is close and everyone’s uptight, he’s the one who’s there to ensure that the pressure doesn’t get to us.”
In the immediate future, Uffleman plans to continue songwriting and playing with The Disciples, further building on the skills he’s developed throughout his time at Lawrenceville. He hopes to create more music and collaborate with other artists, drawing from their various styles and incorporating them into his own. Finally, in response to a question about how an aspiring musician may involve themselves in songwriting, Uffelman notes that the key to his success is commitment to music. “Write as much music as you can and do it in a way that you really enjoy, and you’ll find your own way to create this music and understand yourself.”