Isaac Maruyama, whom you may remember from our September issue as a standout student from White Bear Lake Area High School, is a singer/songwriter and musician in addition to being a scholar.
Maruyama and friends Patrick Hunner, Paul Moris and Ryan Pedersen, all students at White Bear Lake Area H.S., joined together to form Ember Island, a folk/classic rock band. Maruyama plays acoustic guitar and piano, Hunner plays electric guitar, Moris is the bassist and lead singer, and Pedersen is the band’s drummer. Pedersen and Maruyama’s history of musical collaboration goes back to a punk rock band they had in eighth grade, says Maruyama.
Ember Island was a hit at Marketfest this summer—they had two scheduled appearances and were invited back for a third. “We met a lot of people and had the chance to get an idea of what it’s like to be professional musicians,” says Maruyama.
The group has a podcast, Twenty Below. “It’s about quirky knowledge—we talk about anything and everything,” says Maruyama, adding that the band will be starting a new podcast soon.