Musical brothers

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

SHERMAN -- Plenty of families are hitting the road this summer crossing the country to see the sights, but two Sherman brothers are spending their summer crossing the country to something out of the ordinary; they're going on tour with a famous singer.

James and Jason Dering say some of their earliest performances were on Channel 12 playing the violin for the station's annual telethon as part of the Dering Family Fiddlers.

Now the brothers are playing together again, but this time it's a different style of music. They share a lifetime of music.

James played piano professionally in New Orleans, playing in the French Quarter. He then earned a Master’s degree in jazz studies and is working towards a doctorate.

Jason played in the Sherman High School drum line, and picked up the drum set along the way, and stuck with it.

But the musical interest goes beyond James and Jason, it runs in the family: their mom teaches piano lessons, and their dad worked with the Sherman ISD orchestra program for years. Now James heads the music department at Grayson County College, and is set to join Jason on the road this summer with pop artist Teddy Geiger.

"So many aspects of rock playing are related to jazz and jazz is really my primary area of study and so they're not really too completely disconnected," James said.

Jason played in a band that opened for Ashlee Simpson then went on tour as a member of sister Jessica's band. Through those connections he ended up with a gig with Teddy.

When he heard the band needed a keyboardist, Jason knew just the person.

"When I got off the phone with him about playing the gig with Teddy, it was just funny because at the end I was like, I guess we're in a band together now, but this is kind of strange, but it’s going to be fun,” Jason said.

While the music of a 19-year-old pop artist is different from the jazz styling that normally come from James' piano, he says the tour will help his future projects at the college.

"I hope it shows the students out here that I am connected to what's going on in the contemporary rock area and I think ultimately it'll also serve to help me use what I've learned on the road and so forth to design a curriculum here," James said.

Jason has played two shows with Teddy so far and James will join the act next week for a tour that's scheduled to last all summer.


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