5 Things to Know About Marques: Music Edition

So, I’ve said quite a bit, already, about Disney. Now let me talk about my second love: Music. Honestly, music is my first love, but this blog took off creatively, for me, when I put to digital paper the type of conversations, about Disney, that I have with friends and co-workers.

Rather than simply saying “Hey, I love music!” I wanted to make this particular post interesting, by telling you 5 things about me that you might find interesting. I’ve said a few of these things, to people, in the course of conversations. Some of these things may be completely new.

All are true.

1. The trombone was not my first instrument of choice. My primary instrument was the cello. In fact, my first music teacher told me that I was on my way to performing in a major metropolitan symphony, one day. I believed him, because I was just in love with the sound of the cello. Performers like Yo-Yo Ma had me inspired.

What changed? I wanted to be in the marching band. No, you can’t march with a cello. I ended up on trombone because I was already familiar with bass clef, so the transition was a lot easier.

Sometimes, I do regret not going back and really dialing in my technique on cello. That said, the trombone has taken me to places I never thought I would be.

2. One of my favorite performances, in high school, was the 1993 Playboy Jazz Festival, at the Hollywood Bowl. I know we have our opinions about today’s Bill Cosby, but at the time when he was “America’s Dad” he hosted the festival.

I remember him greeting us backstage (we were the opening act). He gave us a tremendous pep talk. He revealed that he had read about our growing success, and suggested that we get an opportunity to perform at the festival. He amped us up, and we had a great show.

By the way, since then the Playboy Jazz Festival has made it a point to have more student groups perform at the show.

3. I nearly flunked out of UC Irvine! What does that have to do with music? Well, at the time I was a Computer Science major. What I didn’t understand was that CS was about software (imagine trying to program a calculator from scratch). What I originally wanted was hardware, which meant going into computer engineering.

Seeing that CS was not my forte, I took it upon myself to try out for the music department. I picked a song, practiced it, and went into the audition room. When I was done, the judges promptly asked me who prepared me for the audition, since I had done pretty good.

When I told them I did all of it on my own, they were aghast.

So, obviously, I made it into the music department and the rest is history.

I wanted to add on to this one, though, with one other special thing. When I was a music department student, there was no formal jazz studies. When a group of asked, and insisted that one be created (they had a couple of jazz related courses), UCI managed to make it happen, so we became the inaugural jazz studies student body.

4. When you see my Microsoft MVP award, now, you’d think it was for Xbox. Actually my award, given in 2008, was for Zune. Yes, Zune. Remember Zune?

Why for Zune? Well, I was a fan of what Zune was doing at the time. They were making music into a community based medium. You could have a profile, share songs, discuss music, discover new genres. They really were doing some great things around music.

I wanted to be a part of that. I was so involved with the community, actually, that I managed to hit Zune’s forum limit (a limit they didn’t think anyone would get near).

Since Zune is no longer a thing, my go-to services are Apple Music and Spotify. I’m right now really into Spotify, because I feel they have the better curation.

Neither one really has a good social component, by the way.

5. I’ll make this Disney related in this sense: My favorite piece of music, by far, from Disney, is the original score to Fantasmic. Not the score to the current version of the show, but the version from the original.

Shh, don’t tell anyone, but I sometimes enjoy standing in the middle of my living room and conducting Fantasmic.

So that’s a few things about me? Feel free to tell me some cool music-based things about you: Do you play an instrument? What’s your favorite music genre? Etc.

Leave a comment here, or continue the conversation, with me, on Twitter.

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