David Virzera’s family has always been involved with entertainment.
His father had a band in which he sings and plays guitar; one of his uncles is a drummer; the other owns a studio; and Virzera said, “I think my great-grandmother was an opera singer.”
So, it’s no surprise that he is a musician here at St. John’s University.
A senior marketing major, Virzera chose to come to St. John’s because he had a good feeling about it.
“When I came to visit the campus, I liked it and they also offered me a good scholarship,” he said.
As for his major, Virzera said, “Originally, I applied to the business school because I was in a program in high school, the Academy of Finance. At first I was interested in finance, but after working at Smith Barney for four years, I noticed a lot of things in finance that didn’t suit me.”
Virzera’s involvement at St. John’s came from his involvement in high school. He was president of the marching band, a member of the jazz band and a part of New Hyde Park Memorial High School’s theater group.
“I learned a lot from the theater group,” he said. “It is probably one of the best experiences of my life because you learn things about people and characters, because characters are based on people, so you learn about people and life.”
While at St. John’s, Virzera continued to have a passion for performing arts by joining the Pep Band, Jazz Band and Chappell Players.
“Somehow in the course of a month, I got involved in three activities by accident,” he said.
The opportunity to be a member of the Chappell Players arose while he was at an activity fair.
“I was checking out the table and wearing this hat for a type of guitar and this guy asked me if I played guitar,” said Virzera. “I said no, I play drums and he said they needed a drummer, but I said I was thinking of trying out for the play, and he said ‘no you want to play drums.’ And, ever since I’ve been ‘Drummer Dave’ and I play the drums for most of the shows.”
However, his involvement with the Chappell Players doesn’t stop at the drums. He has performed as Mr. Haskins in “Arsenic and Old Lace” and Maude, the bartender, in “Bye, Bye Birdie.”
As for Pep Band and Jazz Band, Virzera says it was luck that he was able to join the groups.
“There weren’t many people in the Jazz Band at one point and they asked me to join,” Virzera said. “And, while I was at a basketball game, my friend who was in Pep Band came over and said that they were short on drummers and I started talking to the director and I tried out.”
Virzera is also a member of Alpha Psi Omega, which is a theater honor society, and was recently presented with a Founder’s Week Award for Performing Arts.
Outside of St. John’s, Virzera is into music, computers and sports. His favorite band is Pearl Jam and he and two friends are trying to start a band. He also teaches the drums in Floral Park on Wednesdays and Fridays.
“I have approximately 12 students of all different ages,” he said.
His advice for students who want to get involved at St. John’s is to “know what your interests are, what you’re good at, and what you enjoy and go from there.”
“My ultimate goal for the future is to have a nice, successful band,” Virzera said. “Seven Caged Tigers is the name, look for us soon,” he said with a laugh.
Virzera is applying to graduate school for media communications management and hopes to find something in that industry. He would like to do work possibly behind the scenes at a network or radio station, or even be the voice on the radio station.
“I really enjoy entertaining people and being on stage,” Virzera said.