North Penn’s very own rockstar

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Mr. Scott Swindells (far right) and his band. While not teaching English, Swindells turns to music

TOWAMENCIN- His heart, beating out of his chest, as he slowly makes his way to center stage. As the curtains unveil, the spotlights beam into his eyes. Despite his discomfort, the crowd brings him a sense of ease.

Scott Swindells, North Penn English and creative writing teacher has a whole other side to him that many of his students are not aware of. All while in the midst of his 19th year teaching here at North Penn, he has had tremendous success in yet another passion of his: performing.

Swindells’ passion for music sparked soon after his mother bought a yellow upright wooden grand piano from the turn of the century. This little token of momento that started it all is still in his house to this day. When he was 25, he and a few other locals came together to form BeatNikBrown. This small cover band primarily performed in restaurants and bars. After being a part of BeatNikBrown for 17 years, he thought it was time for a change.

Swindells came together with Matt Templin (lead singer), Jack Logue (guitar), Andy Scoles (drummer), and Pat Hoban (bass) to form what came to be known as, HOTD. Swindells performed countless variations of 2000’s top hits, with artists ranging from Carley Rae Jepson and Bruno Mars to Biggie Smalls.

“I know that the strength of my keyboard playing is pretty average, I have fun with it, but I think the reason I got to be in a band at that level is because I did all of the rap songs. A lot of the cover bands have guys that are cover band guys trying to rap, but I was a rapper trying to be a musician,” Swindells said.

HOTD was where Swindells biggest opportunities arose, as he performed in the Philadelphia Eagles stadium, as well as at Secrets in Ocean City Maryland. They made their way up and down the coast, performing live in Ocean City, Dewey Beach, Atlantic City, and Sea Isle City. HOTD’s biggest spectator attendance consisted of 1,000 fans singing along at Secrets in Ocean City Maryland.

“Secrets was by far one of the most fun stages I’ve ever performed on,” Swindells said.

For Swindells, the crowd is what motivated him to perform and is what drew him into the music industry. His fans also allowed him to feel comfortable on those big stages with hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of eyes on him. If the crowd feels as if they are a part of the band, whether that be by singing along or by moving to the beat, Swindells feels as though he has done his job. This is one of the main reasons why he loved performing at weddings.

“As soon as the first song drops, everybody’s ready, they want to dance, you don’t have to coax them out onto the dance floor and that was the whole point for me. That was the whole point of playing music, was getting to try to make people dance,” he added.

Swindells had to manage his time accordingly, as he was performing, teaching, and being a father, all at the same time.

“As a teacher, I’d be here on my break in school, looking over setlists and chord progressions, getting everything ready. I would leave school on a Friday after teaching you guys and drive down to the beach,” Swindells said.

As a teacher, I’d be here on my break in school, looking over setlists and chord progressions, getting everything ready. I would leave school on a Friday after teaching you guys and drive down to the beach”

— Scott Swindells - NPHS English teacher

From teacher by day to performer at night, Swindells had a lot on his plate; he dealt with having to grade critical papers and assignments on the ferry from Dewey beach to New Jersey. For Swindells, his kids are everything to him, so, any spare moment he had, he spent with them, coaching their baseball and soccer teams. The only thing he was truly missing out on, was his sleep.

“I did it for as long as I could…with a lot of caffeine,” he joked.

In 2018, Swindells broke off from HOTD, and instead, performed with HOTD’s drummer, Andy Scoles. The two of them forged their own path in the music industry, naming their partnership Two Point Oh.

However, ever since he was young, he had promised his wife that he would cease performing when he hit 40, and that’s exactly what he did.

“Now I get 8 hours of sleep every night and my yard looks great,” he added.

Although his music career has come to an end, Swindells continues to share his love for music through small performances such as the ones he has put on during quarantine on his driveway (socially distant of course) for his neighbors to enjoy. He has also incorporated his musical touch into his English class lectures to captivate his students. Music has provided him with so many new experiences and relationships that make his story one for the books.