As 2019 comes rushing in, I find myself reflecting on the many friends that I have gained throughout the course of my life. And, being in a stage of rediscovery and pursuing a dream, I thought of my friend August Zadra.

August grew up in Moose Creek, Alaska. As he practiced playing guitar every day for more hours than most of us sleep, August had dreams of being a rock star. Alaska has never been a hotbed for churning out rock stars, so as August got older he made Los Angeles his new home and attended the Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music. He found himself playing in various groups in and around L.A., including a Styx tribute band named Grand Illusion.

In 2010, he received a call from former Styx vocalist Dennis DeYoung, after DeYoung had seen a YouTube video of August performing the Styx hit “Too Much Time On My Hands.” Separated from his bandmates in Styx, DeYoung was looking to assemble a band that could perform Styx music, specifically someone that could fill the void left by his former bandmate, vocalist/guitarist Tommy Shaw. August was the perfect fit, and he was asked to join DeYoung’s band.

Since that day, August has been thrilling audiences all over the U.S. and Canada, playing dozens of theaters and arenas every year, including a recent gig here in Naperville at Pfeiffer Hall! He is also preparing to release a record of his very own on Frontiers Records in early 2019 with his band Waiting For Monday.

August is a dear friend that continually inspires me to keep believing in my dream, as he is living proof that with practice, hard work, and faith, dreams really do come true.