Alex Rumbel, 19, poses after a show with her band, The Loud Neighbors Brass Band, on Sept. 7 at Outer Space Arcata. | Photo by Jerame Saunders
Alex Rumbel, 19, poses after a show with her band, The Loud Neighbors Brass Band, on Sept. 7 at Outer Space Arcata. | Photo by Jerame Saunders

Musician Feature: Alex Rumbel

Multi-instrumentalist learns to play 10 instruments in 19 years.

Multi-instrumentalist learns to play 10 instruments in 19 years

Science can often disprove the idea of innate abilities found in humans at birth, but a discussion with Humboldt State botany major and multi-instrumentalist, Alex Rumbel, argues against this theory.

Rumbel’s capacity for understanding instruments has brought her to play over 10 instruments during the span of her 19 years of life and be a vital part of countless bands including Loud Neighbors Brass Band, the World-Famous Crab Grass Band, Laser Bear and Humboldt’s own Marching Lumberjacks.

Rumbel’s first memories of music date back to when she was five years old.

Alex Rumbel plays the trumpet after a show with her band, The Loud Neighbors Brass Band, on Sept. 7 at Outer Space Arcata. | Photo by Jerame Saunders

“My mom has always been a vocalist, and when I was a young kid, she performed in an a cappella group that sang at renaissance fairs,” Rumbel said. “I’d say the introduction to the rowdy bunch of people that come with a renaissance fair was good for preparing me to go to Humboldt State.”

Rumbel’s early musical ambitions sprouted from vocals but moved to guitar when she began studying music outside of school. With the extra finger dexterity from playing at such a young age, moving to a stand-up bass in middle school was a logical first step in learning to play multiple instruments.

“Instead of continuing in strings which could have been dead-end at some point,” Rumbel said. “I decided that I wanted to be a multi-instrumentalist.

“Humboldt County is a DIY thing, and that’s one of the things I love about being a musician here; I feel like there is less pressure to be something you’re not.”

Alex Rumbel

Trombone was the first brass instrument she picked up before she moved up to bass drums for the high school marching band. Rumbel’s high school music career was a flurry of new instruments and new bands. She played electric guitar, electric bass and drums for small rock bands. She also played in the drumline for a marching band, electric guitar for the advanced jazz band, percussion for a band performing in concert and advanced wind ensemble. Then, just for fun, she learned the viola for orchestra.

Rumbel broke her foot during her senior year of high school, which pushed her into social isolation. Because of this Rumbel started college with the mentality of not wanting to be a part of the social aspect of music creation.

“When I came up here, I brought my guitar just to play by myself and I brought my drum pad and my sticks,” Rumbel said. “But I didn’t intend to play in any bands.”

HSU student Alex Rumbel poses with her trumpet after a show with her band, The Loud Neighbors Brass Band, on Sept. 7 at Outer Space Arcata. | Photo by Jerame Saunders

After living in the dorms for a short amount of time, Rumbel found herself in the middle of the Marching Lumberjack’s “dorm storming” where they play around campus to recruit new musicians. She came down from her dorm and quickly found herself dragged back into band performance, learning yet another new instrument.

“I started playing trumpet,” Rumbel said. “That was the best decision I made after deciding to come to Humboldt State. When I first started playing the trumpet, it wasn’t as expressive, and it wasn’t as in tune with how I felt, but then it started becoming perfectly in tune with how I felt.”

It wasn’t long before Rumbel found herself ingrained in the local music scene, mainly playing trumpet for local bands. Recently, she found time to start playing bass for the Laser Bears. The local music scene is described by her as a very tight-knit group of musicians willing to collaborate, great venues with open doors to small bands, and a Do-It-Yourself/Psychedelic thread that defines Humboldt.

“Music has been my lifeline to everything else of meaning that I can imagine.”

Alex Rumbel

“Humboldt County is a D.I.Y. thing,” Rumbel said. “That’s one of the things I love about being a musician here; I feel like there is less pressure to be something you’re not.”

Rumbel’s musical journey shows how something physical like an instrument can have an undefinable effect on the musician playing it. Music has the affect of rippling through the audience as it leaves a piece of each artist in the minds of each listener, and that is one of Rumbel’s greatest connections with the art.

“Music has been my lifeline to everything else of meaning that I can imagine,” Rumbel said. “It has been my social connection for many years being in so many bands and interacting with so many people, but it’s also introspective in the same way, and I feel like, and I know it sounds cliché, I feel like I can actually express myself with music.”

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination

Major League Marijuana

Why I don’t think marijuana is everything it’s cracked up to be in baseball

Pigs Compost on Campus

CCAT tries to reduce HSU’s food waste footprint through new pig program