This time of year, percussionist Adam Silverman is rarely in one place for long.
While serving as the road band director for former "American Idol" runner-up Lauren Alaina, he performs at one country music concert after the next, often visiting multiple states in the same week.
Despite his hectic schedule, Silverman got a chance to return home this week. Silverman, a Westminster High School and McDaniel College graduate, visited his former college Monday and talked with students.
He sat in on classes throughout the day and night, concluding with Bo Eckard's Jazz Ensemble course Monday night. He shared stories about life on the road, offered advice for music majors and even played for a bit during class.
It was his first extended visit to McDaniel since he graduated as a music major ten years ago. He's got one more day home before a gig with Alaina at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., Thursday.
Earlier this year, Silverman was promoted and is now Alaina's band director. He oversees the performers that support Alaina, a powerful teen singer who is expected to release her second album later this year.
When Silverman is on stage, he is setting the beat and listening to all the musicians to ensure their sound is exactly what it should be.
"The band creates Lauren's sound," he said to Eckard's Jazz Ensemble students Monday night. "If you take us away and change us, her sound changes. From the record label to the producers to her management, they are very concerned to what is happening on stage."
Silverman began touring with Alaina in fall 2011. He appeared on "Ellen" and "American Idol" early in his run.
He's been applying what he learned at McDaniel College in his professional life.
Silverman was accepted into music programs at North Texas University and the Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts.
Yet Silverman picked McDaniel, in part, because he was not yet convinced a music career was for him. He was considering a career in medicine until he showed up for an audition as a freshman and wowed Eckard.
Eckard told him he should be a music major. And Silverman went for it, with the full support of his family.
As a student at McDaniel, Silverman took advantage of every musical opportunity, focusing particularly on jazz studies and ensemble. He rehearsed 4-5 hours a day, a schedule he maintains professionally.
"I don't think he ever missed a class," Eckard said.
The way Eckard figures it, music industry success requires three pivotal attributes: talent, work ethic and the ability to get along with others.
"Adam is the best combination of those three qualities I've seen here," said Eckard, who joked he should have asked the City of Westminster for a proclamation making Monday Adam Silverman Day.
Silverman currently lives in Nashville with his wife Nicki. The two were featured in an episode of HGTV's "House Hunters."
He treasures his time at home. He likely won't get much time there this summer.
Once Alaina releases a new single, Silverman is expecting it to do well. Alaina, 18, is now at the point where she can draw several thousand fans to shows she headlines. She is particularly popular with her age demographic, Silverman said.
While he's not yet sure who Alaina will be touring with this summer, he said he's looking forward to a busy period of performances at festivals, fairs and concerts throughout the country.
"It's about to get really hectic," he said.