March 23, 2011By: PR Comm
The next newman in our “Of People and Plumes” kickoff is bass newman, Taichi Natake. He is a 3rd-year transfer from El Camino College in Torrance, CA studying Environmental Science. The story of how he got interested in that subject goes back to his younger years, and is, unfortunately, one of those commonplaces that fills the pages of National Geographic all too often. But before we get there, we need to learn more about Taichi.
Taichi is an exchange student from Japan, and to answer that burning question: his family is all safe and unharmed. His father was transferred within his company to the U.S. about four and half years ago as Taichi went into his Junior year in high school. In Japan, Taichi grew up in a rural, mountainous area where he loved to go fishing, hiking and camping regularly. Slowly, new developments started popping up in his area and over time the building accelerated. He realized he was witnessing full-scale urbanization when he went to his favorite hiking spot one day, only to find a cement parking lot standing in what was once crisp, quiet mountain air, but now smelled of diesel and buzzed with machinery. Joni Mitchell wrote “Big Yellow Taxi” in Hawaii in the 70′s, but the words apply too literally to Taichi’s observation: “they paved paradise to put up a parking lot.” The following day, Taichi tried to go fishing, but there were no bass to catch. That was when he realized the environment was not invincible and had to be protected.
Taichi didn’t get to immerse himself in the cause immediately because, like his Japanese classmates, his life was consumed by studying for the life-determining college entrance exams. In Japan, a student can take the test once and it covers a breadth of topics. The results determine where a student will attend college, and what majors are available to him or her. So it does not come as a surprise that students undergo relentless pressure to succeed on this exam. When he moved to the U.S., however, the pressure was off and he could focus on learning English and got the opportunity to take Environmental Science AP. He continued taking English, environmental science and general education courses through community college until he could transfer.
In Berkeley, Taichi devotes himself to band and his research. He helps his professor monitor golden eagles in Ventana Ranch in San Benito County, CA. The research project has infrared cameras set up in many locations around the area that sense an eagle’s presence and begin taping its behavior. Taichi views the footage and sorts the depicted eagles into different categories. He then analyzes the factors, such as ambient temperature, that attracted the eagle to that particular site. Soon he hopes to get some of his work published in one of Berkeley’s student publications.
There is so much more to say about Taichi’s fascinating experience immigrating to this country but not enough space to say it. The stories regarding the language barrier, the cultural differences and so on will have to wait for another occasion. Luckily, he is a really easy guy to talk to, so if you ever see him be sure to say hello and chat him up for a few minutes—you’re sure to get a warm smile and friendly conversation.
March 22, 2011By: PR Comm
The next Executive Committee member is Jeff Wayland, who is Senior Manager of the Administrative Committee. He is excited to face new challenges with the upcoming band season in AT&T Park. Since he has been in band, he has always liked Ad-Comm. Jeff appreciates the behind- the-scene aspects of the committee. Yet he is excited at the prospect of ensuring that stuff gets done for the band, as efficiently as possible . He likens Ad-Comm to that of a “stealthy ninja committee.”
Jeff is majoring in Cognitive Science with a focus on Neurobiology. He originally started out as an MCB major but after taking Brain, Mind, and Behavior with Professor Presti he decided he wanted to focus more on cognitive and psychological aspects of the brain.
Outside of band, Jeff is involved in many things. He works at the Visitor Center on campus as a tour guide and is charge of Cal Day this coming April. He also works as a lab technician at Berkeley’s Free Clinic, in addition to being involved with the Walker Sleep lab, as a sleep-scoring specialist. While some people may assume that Jeff partakes in all of these activities to gain resume experience, Jeff argues that he has a true passion for each and every project he commits himself to.
Aside from Band, the activity that Jeff is most dedicated to is biking. During his freshman year he lived in the Clark Kerr Residence Hall and had to bring up his bike to commute around Berkeley. Eventually Jeff purchased a commuter bike, racking up around 100 miles a month! He looked into the Cal Cycling team and despite his initial apprehensions Jeff decided to join. Currently he races in competitions almost every weekend and on April 19th he will be going to compete in the Conference Championships at Stanford. This summer with friends he will be biking from Tahoe to Los Angeles following the Amgen Tour of California.
Although he has a busy schedule, his passion and dedication allow him to find time to participate in so many activities, stating, “if it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t do it.”-Jeff Wayland
Make sure to keep checking out the blog, our Facebook, and our Twitter account to learn more about other members of the Cal Band!
March 20, 2011By: PR Comm
As the 2011 Public Relations Director, I am proud to introduce fellow Ex- Commie and the 2011 Executive Secretary, Ilaria Mastroserio! Born and raised in Milan, Italy, Ilaria relocated to the States when she was 8 years old. As a vignetter, her father chose to settle down in the small northern California town of Placerville where she has lived ever since.
A second year Tenor Sax, and third year Integrative Biology major/Pre-Med student Ilaria has a unique tale of how she decided to join Cal Band. After her first year as a student she felt like she needed something more to add to her college experience. Several of her friends were members of the Band and after hearing their positive stories about the benefits of being in an amazing student-run organization such as that of the Cal Band, Ilaria auditioned and the rest is history.
Aside from dedicating much of her energies to the Band, Ilaria can be found helping out in a variety of other places around the Bay Area. Every Spring semester, she and her peers work diligently to plan Relay for Life, an amazing event to raise awareness about the effects of cancer. Furthermore, she volunteers in the Alta Bates Emergency room every Tuesday, in order to gain experience in preparation for a career in the medical field.
In addition, she has an insatiable curiosity about all things biological and appreciates hands-on adventures where she can learn about what she studies in class. If you cant find her taking samples from squirrels for biological testing in the Valley Life Sciences building you may find her out in ecological preserves on Saturday mornings. This semester Ilaria enrolled herself in a lab which consists of four hours of animal observation, some of which include several species of bird and salamanders. While some may think that a four hour lab every Saturday is crazy, I would argue that it illustrates Ilaria’s passion for knowledge and exploration.
When she has time to take a break from her studies and volunteer work, Ilaria can be found relaxing at home. From cooking delicious frittatas and indulging in episodes of “The Bachelor” to dancing around the house while she gets ready for class, Ilaria bubbles with effervescence and vivacity.
In the future, she hopes to incorporate her love for scientific exploration into her career, though she is unsure of what exactly that will entail. As for next season, Ilaria hopes to preserve the traditions of Cal Band, despite the obstacles that we may have to overcome with our temporary move to AT&T Park. In the face of uncertainty, I can’t think of anyone better than Ilaria help lead her fellow bandsmen through quickly adapting to changes while still preserving the tradition and energy that is unique to the Cal Band!
March 19, 2011By: PR Comm
Derek Fitzgerald is a first year Phonez player hailing all the way from Corpus Christi, Texas. He grew up in Denver, but then moved to Texas to go to high school. Derek loves Cal and is already involved in many things that help others to get the true Cal experience. He is a coordinator for the Overnight Stay Program, a program where admitted high school seniors can come to Cal for two days so they can learn what it is really like to be a Cal student. OSP has three sessions in April, and Derek is doing a lot of the logistics and planning for the program. Also, he was accepted to be a CalSo counselor for the summer! Derek is busy getting ready to show students what campus is like and teaching them how to register for classes. I’m sure he’ll be an expert in doing the “Time Warp,” too!
Outside of Berkeley, Derek loves to travel. He went to Europe two summers ago and fell completely in love with Rome. He plans to live there after college one day. Derek has also traveled to the Caribbean and all over the US. Derek has two main passions in life. The first one is that he loves doing community service and helping people. Seeing other people happy always puts a smile on his face. He tries to do as much volunteer work as he can in his spare time. The past two years he has served on a branch of the US Department of Justice called the “Weed and Seed Program.” On the board, he works to find ways to weed out drugs and violence in local communities and seed resources and positive influences for kids and community members.
Even though Derek is only a first year, he already knows he wants to major in Civil/Environmental engineering. Derek’s second passion is for airplanes and airports. There is something that just fascinates him about the fact that a giant “metal can” can fly! As a civil engineer, he either wants to design airport, airplane flight patterns, or work with water flow and sanitation in urban areas. If he decides to go the environmental route, he hopes to work with water treatment in underdeveloped nations.
One fun fact about Derek is that his favorite foods are sushi, Cheez-its, and Coke. He recently gave up sugar, though, and not being able to drink Coke is proving very difficult for him! Derek has such a bright personality and amazing energy, and we love having him as part of Cal Band. He truly embodies the California Sprit.
March 18, 2011By: PR Comm
Griffin Hosseinzadeh, a third year trombone player from Orange County, CA, is our Student Director for the 2011 season. Coming from sunny SoCal, Griffin may not be a huge fan of Berkeley weather, but he has sacrificed his tan for a chance to study in the impressive Physics Department at Cal. He is currently doing research in the physics division of Lawrence Berkeley Lab and was a TA for Physics 8B last summer. As you can tell, he is well on his way to attending grad school so he can work in research or teach (or do both!) in the future.
While education is obviously a big part of Griffin’s life, if you had to choose one word to describe him it would surely be musical. He is a natural musician and has dabbled with different instruments since he was little. At Berkeley he has performed with the University Wind Ensemble, the Chamber Orchestra, and the Cal Band Big Band on various instruments and can even be found covering percussion parts at SHBs when our own percussionists can’t make it. He plays bass and guitar in his free time and is one of the founding members of the band Tenacious Oski, a rock group who will be performing for the third year in a row at the Cal Band Spring Show in April.
One of Griffin’s favorite musical past times is arranging. He has arranged countless cadences for his section, a couple of songs for the full band, and the Killers Show, which was our first show during the 2010 season. He will be working with his committee this summer to arrange some of the shows we will perform at AT&T in the fall. When he isn’t doing physics problem sets or making music, Griffin enjoys watching Seinfeld and playing intramural soccer and ultimate frisbee.
Go Bears! Keep checking the blog for more player profiles!