John Maga, trumpet
John grew up in Colorado and played piano as a youngster. In Junior High, he picked up his uncle’s trumpet and that was it. He played trumpet through high school, starting private lessons with William Pfund, former President of the International Trumpet Guild. He stuck with Pfund, attending the University of Northern Colorado where Pfund was also a music professor. John got a double degree, a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.
Then, off to Boston University to study trumpet with Roger Voisin, former Principal Trumpet with the Boston Symphony. He received a Master of Music Performance degree and was set to make music his career. Except. “It wasn’t that easy to get jobs playing music,” he says. “And my sister told me I could get a graduate degree in chemistry and get paid for it.” So he headed to Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. “I discovered that grad school and chemistry was also fun.” He went on to receive a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and is now a scientist at a biotech company in Marin County.
John has played with many orchestras and brass quintets across the country, including the Greeley Philharmonic (Colorado), the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra (Colorado), the Premium Brass Quintet (Boston), the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra (Indiana), and the Concord Chamber Orchestra (Wisconsin). And now he subs with orchestras around the Bay Area.
At that biotech company, coincidentally, John works with Kris Antonsen, our other trumpet player. He subbed with us a few times with us during the past 6-7 years. So when an opening arose for the Prometheus’ principal trumpet chair, his name was at the ready. “Playing as principal is a real challenge, and I’m looking forward to it,” he says. And we’re very happy that chemistry was his career choice!