Take2 Dreams Big...Works Hard

by Emma Marc-Aurele

Young musicians Adrian Chirtae and Julian Woodrow are brothers who were born and raised in Sunderland. Even more than just being brothers, the two are actually mirror twins. So when coming up with a band name, the duo decided on “Take 2,” which seemed fitting.

The two just graduated from high school and got their first taste for the stage at the age of 8. 

“We were in 3rd grade. Our home town school was so small (K-6, 40 kids) that they would do show-and-tell at lunch time. We signed up for the ‘lunch box special’ to sing an old folk tune our mom and grandfather taught us called, ‘Eddie-kuchi-katchi-gammi Tosanarra-tosanogga Samma-tamma-wacky Brown.’ We choreographed the whole thing in tandem with each other; people liked it so much they’d start to request songs for us to sing each week, and it only escalated from there.”

Since their debut at the “lunch box special,” Take 2 has made some seriously impressive strides. In X-Factor Season 1, they performed in front of 4,000 people and made it to bootcamp, competing with 100,000 other acts to make the top 100. Although they may not have won, they kept persevering. They tried out for season 2 of The Voice and made it to the top 200 out of 50,000 acts and stood out as the youngest performers to compete.  

Although the boys excelled in both talent shows, it did not take long to realize that these kinds of competitions didn’t quite suit them. 

“It’s just not the path we want to take. We did the X Factor and The Voice, we’ve tried out for America’s Got Talent and American Idol, but we just think those shows aren’t for us. They wrap you up in contracts for years and by the end, you’re no better off than where you started.” 

Take 2 quickly moved onto bigger success with their creative and inspirational country-wide tour.   

Their Dream Big Tour launched in 2015. After seeing how underfunded and forgotten the local music programs were, Adrian and Julian decided to start performing at schools to inspire other students to enjoy and create music. The boys played 117 concerts in schools all across the country to try and promote their message of “dreaming big.”

“We wanted to do the Dream Big tour because it has long since been our dream to tour, and not only with covers, but with our own music. So in 11th and beginning of 12th grade we recorded our album, and then two months before we graduated we set out on the road... don’t worry we did graduate.” 

“We thought schools, especially elementary and middle, would be a great place to play our music, seeing as it was our main demographic. We also wanted to preach dreaming big and “pick up an instrument” because kids 8-13 are the perfect age to start playing instruments and learn music; their minds are sponges, soaking up knowledge. So even if we only inspired one kid, that would be just amazing because schools are making more and more budget cuts every year, and usually the first thing cut is music and the arts, and it shouldn’t be. If we could create more interest in learning, playing and singing music, more kids would sign up for those classes, then educators couldn’t cut the programs... diabolical right?” 

Even after such a successful tour and dealing with the fame that Take 2 has acquired, the boys still credit their small-town home in Vermont for much of their success. They say in some ways Vermont inspired the two to pursue music in the first place. 

“If Vermont were a lady, she’d be a gentle, loving, tender-nurturing mother who gives you all the space you need and knows exactly what to say to keep you motivated. I don’t think we could’ve written so many songs if not for Vermont. It’s quiet enough to let you think and dig deep for all those heart wrenching lines, it’s also got enough opportunity to get yourself out there and get a feel for performing before moving on to the bigger venues and tougher crowds. We never played a show in Vermont where the crowd didn’t clap ecstatically, which is a great confidence booster when you’re a starting musician.”

With their tour all wrapped up, the boys took the summer off and have been diligently working on “honing their craft.” They have been busy attending a lot of song writing camps and workshops. 

“We have been writing like two maniacs on hamster wheels. It typically takes 50 songs to get a solid 10 for an album, so we’re just trying to write our next album right now. We plan on playing out a lot more come January and spring.” 

As for college, Take 2 plans on potentially attending Full Sail University for studio arts and song composition come Fall of 2017. Though, they reassured me, that nothing is for sure yet. 

When asked to give some advice to those young artistic dreamers they happily advise, “Practice practice practice. That’s how we got to where we are today, tirelessly day in and day out practicing. If it truly is your passion, you’ll love watching yourself improve, and it won’t feel like practice. We also very rarely say no to a gig, even now, so all the up and comers should play wherever they can. It’s mostly to hone the performance side. At an open mic, never look at the hole in your guitar to plug it in, practice plugging it in without looking. It’s a little thing but it goes a long way.”

Take 2 are normal teen boys who love to take advantage of Vermont’s awesome recreation by skiing, snowboarding, and rock climbing. Their journey as young third graders playing at show-and-tell to launching a successful music tour is proof that “dreaming big” pays off as long as practice and hard work are in the mix as well!