Music man

Talented freshman impresses with multi-instrumental skills


Abby Chesman, Dimensions

Hadriel plays piano, guitar or drums at Kabbalat Shabbat each week.

The lyrics to “Hello Dolly” fade in as freshman Hadriel Dayanim stands up from his perch at the piano and takes out a saxophone. The audience is captivated by each jazzy note coming from Hadriel’s instrument.

Hadriel is a multi-instrumentalist who performs both in and out of school. He has performed multiple times at the Israeli Embassy, most recently for a Chanukah celebration where he played Israeli music on the piano. He also played piano at the Austrian Embassy for another Chanukah party.

He is most knowledgeable at piano, but he also plays the guitar and saxophone and has played the drums and bass in the past. His musical career began in kindergarten when his parents signed him up for piano lessons, the age at which both his siblings started playing instruments. 

“I was a little bit competitive with my siblings,” Hadriel said. “They had already been playing [instruments] since they were in kindergarten, so [I] basically forced myself to play more.”

At CESJDS, Hadriel is a part of the informal Kabbalat Shabbat band. In addition to his musical solo and accompaniment in the high school’s production of “Hello Dolly,” he participated in the Daniel Pearl World Music Day performance, along with the Yom Hazikaron performance last year.

Typically, Hadriel plays classical, jazz and rock but occasionally mixes it up and plays other genres of music. 

His love for music began in fourth grade when he played in the school band at his former elementary school. During this time, he chose to play the saxophone. 

“I decided to do something completely new because the piano [is] sort of its own genre,” Hadriel said. “First I had to do the clarinet, which is very similar, same reed. So I did that and then I decided to move to saxophone.”

Currently, Hadriel practices every day of the week. He works with several private teachers, both online and in-person, including a classical piano teacher and a guitar teacher.  

Both of his parents and siblings play musical instruments as well. AviShai Dayanim (‘22), is also a former member of the Kabbalat Shabbat band. His sister, junior Darya Dayanim, is an oboist. Though she sometimes finds it difficult to do homework while he practices, she admires his musical talent.

“It’s so amazing what he is capable of at such a young age,” Darya said. “It really takes skill. It takes a lot of creativity and knowledge of theory to do what he does.”

Upper School instrumental music teacher Gary Prince has seen Hadriel’s growth during his time at JDS. Prince works with him on school performances and jazz music, but has helped him with other parts of his musical journey as well.

“I love working with Hadriel,” Prince said. “He is an incredible musician… he is always game for anything. There is no challenge too big for him. You can throw anything at him and he is game to try it. He’s up for everything.”

In the future, Hadriel wants to learn how to play the oud, a string instrument with origins in the Middle East. He finds it hard to operate as an oud has 11 strings and no frets. 

Hadriel plans to persist with his passion for music in the future. While he is unsure whether he will pursue a musical career, he intends to keep it as a hobby.

“There’s something about being able to make something that’s very beautiful,” Hadriel said, “ … It’s like, how can you make something that sounds good, and has a cool theory behind it just by clicking a bunch of buttons… It’s very indescribable.”