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Daniel's Life

Daniel Kala'i Baumann born September 10, 1983 to Michael and Stacy Baumann at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. Daniel was greeted when he got to our house in Mt. Prospect a couple of days later by his 2-year-old brother Sean. From the day we brought him home everyone had always commented what a beautiful baby he was, with his dark brown hair and blue eyes, it was a striking combination. Dan attended Euclid School from K through 4th grade and was always the kid that teachers could trust not to make any detours to deliver notes to the Office or run errands as needed.

The 4th grade would change Dan's life forever he was going to discover the gift of music. He was in the school Orchestra and proudly played the Viola at the school concerts, he was a natural musician. Dan was very serious when he played his instrument; he kept a good scan of his music and the music teacher working very hard not to miss a note. Dan continued to play the Viola until we moved to Mundelein 2½ years later.

Dan was in the 6th grade when we moved to Mundelein in November 1995 and was so anxious about getting enrolled into the Orchestra at Carl Sandburg Middle School. Dan was disappointed when he found out that the school didn't have an Orchestra and decided to sign up for Band in hopes that they would have an instrument he could transition to. I still remember Daniel coming home and saying he signed up for Band at school. I was puzzled and asked him "What are you going to be playing if they don't have any strings?" he said, "I'm a Percussionist!" I had no idea what kind of instrument a percussionist played. I later found out that Dan was asked to be a Percussionist because of his height, he was one of the few tall enough to see over the Bass Drum during Marching Band season. In October 1996 Dan proudly marched in the Columbus Day Parade in Chicago playing the Bass Drum. From that day forward Dan was a Percussionist but never forgot that it all began with a Viola a few years earlier.

All of 7th grade was spent competing at neighboring schools for Band Competition. By May 1997 the Carl Sandburg Middle School Band had won the Superstate Championship held at the University Of Illinois in Champaign. It was a very happy time for Dan and his Band members, they all worked so hard to get there and no one even came close to them. Dan continued to play the drums and through his and his Dad's hard work and investigative know how they discovered the Drum Center in Wheeling. This was the beginning of a new relationship for Dan, he found a friend in Mitch the owner of the Drum Center. Mitch was instrumental in getting Dan on track and keeping him excited about playing the drums. Dan got his first drum set from Mitch (Mapex Mars Series) and eventually acquired a second set (Slingerland/Ludwig Bass) from him as well. I still remember the smile on Daniel's face when he got the second set and was able to get a Bison Snare Drum (purple in color) handmade by Mitch. Dan always enjoyed spending afternoons at the Drum Center listening to Mitch and especially enjoyed digging in the basement for parts to fix whatever he happened to be working on at the time. On the way home Dan would love to reminisce about what a great time he had just had with Mitch and how cool it was to be only 16 years old and hanging with such an awesome guy. Dan had always dreamed of someday owning a Bison Drum set custom made at the Drum Center by Mitch.

Most recently Dan played the Quads at Mundelein High School in the Marching Band during home football games, the homecoming parade and a local competition at Wheeling High School. I can still remember that unforgettable smile on Dan's face the first day he put on his Marching Band Uniform. Dan always wore his Marching Band Uniform with pride and always looked so handsome.

It would only be fair to sum it up by saying, "Music was Dan's life". He was a talented musician that could play almost any instrument he had interest in. His room housed one of his drum sets with all the accessories you could imagine, along with three guitars, two amps, a keyboard, CD player and too many CD's to mention. Dan not only enjoyed listening to "Classic Rock" but also had in his collection Big Band music, Hard Rock, Alternative music and yes even the Spice Girls. His all time favorite band has got to be Metallica; he even wanted to go to San Francisco in April when they had a concert with the San Francisco Orchestra.

Most recently Dan had taken to Bowling with a long time family friend named Sean. For the sake of not mixing him up with his brother we affectionately call him Sean "N", for Nugent is his last name. They had even gone so far as to invest in beautiful purple and blue marbleized bowling ball that they would only get to share a few times.

We all have so many cherished memories of Daniel and could go on forever talking about him. But in closing I will quote Dan's brother Sean by saying "you could trust Dan to be himself, to have a smile on his face in the school halls, or you can trust him to have a strong opinion about something". In addition Sean had written, "I hope Dan has affected your life too and with that he will be animated in our memories".