Playing around

Zack Fedor can be seen at local venues, outside Menard Hall


Niko Robledo

Zack Fedor, 21, playing his guitar

Niko Robledo, Editor of Photography

SPRINGFIELD – Walking toward classes, many students have seen a musician strumming his guitar and belting out songs in the shade of Menard Hall. The man who has come into fame on LLCC’s campus for his impromptu performances is Zack Fedor.

It’s not often that a person stumbles into the life of a musician. It takes years of focused practice and diligence. The hope is that the work you put in is the work you get out.

When Fedor was 12 years old, his father took him to his first open mic. Fedor says he and his father were looking for something to take up all of their time. This turned into a true passion for him, guiding his direction in life.

“Like a dad taking his kid to baseball games all over the state, my dad started taking me to open mics all over the state, and I just hit it,” Fedor said. “I just kept on playing in front of people because there weren’t any other options. Nothing was coming as close to making me as happy. So whether I was scared or not wasn’t an issue because overcoming it was the only option.”

Fedor is 21 years old and a music student, studying under Jane Hartman and Jason

Fedor plays shows on the weekend around the Springfield area. His set is three hours long and has no song list. He prefers to feel out the venue and crowd as a way to pick the songs that come next.

Fedor said the only equipment he needs for a show is his PA system and an acoustic guitar. He will rarely stop for anything. If he does stop, it’s probably because he broke a string.

Besides performing his solo act around the Springfield area, Fedor also hosts an open mic with two other hosts. The open mic is located at Craft Beer Bar on Monday nights, starting at 9 p.m. Fedor wants the space to be a place that musicians of any skill level can feel comfortable coming out and playing. He wants amateurs and professionals to play together so the new musicians can learn and the professionals can share their knowledge.

“I have been the type in the past to ask myself ‘What realistically can I do?’ Because what my heart is set on has to be realistic for me,” Fedor said. “It’s the realistic
issue at hand, and that is I am a performer. That’s all I’ve
ever been. That’s all I’ve ever had the passion for and I’ve put so much time and energy into it.”

Fedor has his heart set on moving to Chicago in the next two years, where he hopes to be playing five shows a week. There is no giving up in his mind, he’s decided this is the only option to live a happy and productive life. He says it will be time to hit the grindstone and find success or see if the universe spits him out.

Niko Robledo can be reached at [email protected].