Name: Christopher M. Orlando
School: Boyer College of Music and Dance
Major: Music education, with a concentration in saxophone
Home town: West Wyoming, Pa.
Why I chose Temple: "My high school band director was a Temple alumna who majored in music education. She was a great educator — and I wanted to be a great educator. Also, one of my friends went to Temple ahead of me. He's a saxophone player too, and he was a direct source of info about the sax concentration at Temple. I heard him play, and I thought, 'That's the way I want to sound.' Clearly the saxophone teacher at Temple was doing something right.
"Where I come from, it's very rural. We get the first day of deer season off of school. But the city has so much to offer. Think about it: You have the Philadelphia Orchestra, there's tons of awesome music to see — and there's the Philadelphia sports scene. When I visited Temple, it was a big change. Where I'm from, the tallest things are trees. Here, the tallest things are buildings. It was a sense of wonder."
Transformative moment: "I've been a member of the Diamond Marching Band since my freshman year. I'll never forget the first time I stepped onto Lincoln Financial Field. It was the Villanova game. The reaction we got from the crowd was pure enjoyment. It was awesome — the wildest reaction I've ever heard.
"In high school, I came from a competitive marching band background. Our goal was to compete and win trophies. But Temple's Diamond Marching Band is different. It's a football band — a show band. We're there to entertain, to pump up the crowd, to keep the momentum going. But we take it very seriously. We do have fun, but before that we're all business, perfecting the show, rehearsing from 4 to 6 p.m. three days a week. Marching band is a one-credit class structured like any other class, with an instructor, Dr. Matthew Brunner, and three TAs — the difference is our class is on a football field.
"People don't realize that the Diamond Marching Band is student-run. With 205 students in the band, Dr. Brunner relies on student leadership. There are students in charge of each section; I'm one of the section leaders of the alto saxophones. Dr. Brunner gives section leaders the music, and we have 20 minutes before each rehearsal to teach all 24 people in our section their parts. Everyone has to know where they're going and what they're doing. You have to be organized. Being a section leader, you learn time management, communication skills, leadership skills. I'm conducting and making decisions. People like to see that you're in charge, that you can delegate and handle multiple tasks. These are things that directly rate to my career goal of being a band director — or any career, really."