Eric Brundin, Director

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Instrument: Trombone. I also double on baton and finger snapping, … which can be quite challenging for a trombonist.

Year Joined the Band: 1982

Favorite Esquires Tune: I love the sweet, romantic story and melody of “Polka Dots and Moonbeams”. Another favorite, “Kalamazoo”, is a tune that Betsy and I had a lot of fun with when we were engaged. It also reminds us of special times we had the privilege of meeting Tex Beneke when he used to perform at Carnation Garden in Disneyland.

Musical Influences: I have always listened to vocalists to learn how to express the meaning and emotion of music instrumentally. Early influences for me included Al Jarreau, the Yellow Jackets, and Manhattan Transfer. Later, as I heard more big band era music I learned to appreciate the unparalleled breath control and phrasing of Tommy Dorsey and his student, Frank Sinatra. Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, and Nat King Cole were all brilliant at weaving both notes and rhythms in complex ways that flow naturally, not leaving you with a furrowed brow. Bottom line, though, is that music should be fun. Fats Waller, Jack Sheldon, Jack Feierman, Paul Smith, Louis Prima, and Tommy Pederson, along with all the folks listed above, have really typified that for me. If there are names on this list that you don’t know, I think it would be well worth your time to look them up.

Studying / Profession: I am the K-12 Science Curriculum Leader for Long Beach Unified School District, the district from which I graduated and where I taught chemistry, physics, and physical science for a little over a decade. I am very proud to be part of teacher support for a nationally recognized top urban school district (2002, 2003, and 2007 Broad Prize recipient). Long Beach is the most diverse city in the U.S. according to the last census and our students and teachers are a lot of fun and fantastic to work with.

Hobbies: I love playing tennis, learning humility on the golf course, wrestling with my kids, and watching great swing dancers.

A Little Something About You: Although I basically speak for a living as a teacher and professional developer, I am an idiot with a microphone. I have discovered that although I have mastered walking and chewing gum at the same time, directing the band and talking on a microphone at the same time are beyond me, so you will rarely see me do that. (Once a trombonist, … )

Best Part of Being an Esquire: Without a doubt, the BEST part was meeting my beautiful wife, Betsy (another trombonist). Besides that there are two really rewarding things: seeing young musical instrument operators grow into musicians, and watching young and old dancers lose themselves in music and dance – sometimes even in romance.