Volume 12, Issue 5 - September/October 2010

life beyond the auto glass business

Feeling the Beat
Denny Noreikas, Dow Automotive

Name: Denny Noreikas
Day Job: Senior Account Manager, Dow Automotive
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Alter Ego: Blues Harmonica Extraordinaire

Ever since Denny Noreikas, senior account manager for Dow Automotive, quit playing the guitar as a child, he knew he wanted to get back into it. He just didn’t know how. Then, one day at a bookstore with his wife, he came across the book “Country and Blues Harmonica for the Musically Hopeless” by Jon Gindick.

“Everyone has some sort of hidden talent, and we all need to find out what that is.”

“I bought it as a joke,” Noreikas recalls. Soon, however, he was playing campfire songs with the blues harmonica that came packaged with the book. He began to purchase additional self-teaching books and CDs and attended a few weekend instructional seminars.

Now 11 years, 52 harmonicas, three microphones and two amplifiers later, Noreikas would describe himself as an intermediate player.

“Everyone has some sort of hidden talent, and we all need to find out what that is,” he says.

Noreikas squeezes as much practice time as possible in throughout the day.

“I keep a harmonica in the glove box,” Noreikas says. “Sometimes when my wife and I go to the store, if I don’t want to go inside, I’ll just play. I also tend to pull out a harmonica at around 11 o’clock at night when we’re watching the news.”

He says he plays at least a half hour to an hour a day, and, because of its small size, Noreikas says he always has a harmonica in his pocket.

“I travel a lot for work, and when I travel, I’m able to play in my hotel room until about 10 p.m. when someone taps on the wall, saying I’m too loud,” he jokes.

And Noreikas has found others who share his passion for the harmonica. Two and a half years ago, he began performing with a band called “The Plunge” at weddings. He also is an active member of the Dayton Blues Society. On the second Sunday of each month, the group holds a blues jam session, and Noreikas usually performs.

Once a victim of stage fright, Noreikas says the harmonica has helped him face a fear.

“I can get up and give a presentation in front of 200 people for work and not think anything about it, but three years ago, the thought of getting in front of the same group to play the harmonica would have terrified me,” he says.

He also tells new players to lessen the time spent playing using books and CD training material and encourages them to simply play along with music.

“Blues is music you can feel,” Noreikas says.

Noreikas has been with Dow Automotive for nine years. He is based in Dayton, Ohio.

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