justin

Joined PSQ: 2016

Family: My parents live in the Philadelphia suburbs and enjoy making frequent trips to the city and to visit my older brother and sister-in-law, who live on a farm in Virginia. And I'm a proud uncle to my adorable one-year-old nephew!

Education: I did my undergraduate work at Goshen College, a small liberal arts school in northern Indiana, where I got the chance to study lots of interesting subjects alongside of music. I graduated with concentrations in cello performance, theater, Spanish, and conflict transformation studies. In 2016 I finished a Master of Music in cello performance at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance.

Previous (or current) other lines of work besides PSQ: I currently work full-time as a musician, performing throughout the greater Philadelphia area and teaching cello students out of my West Philadelphia studio. I'm a regular pit musician with various theater companies in town, and I work with numerous chamber ensembles and orchestras. I also teach music at Arden Drama School and direct a church choir in Lansdale.

Favorite Book: I'd be hard-pressed to name just one title, but David Sedaris' dry wit and self-deprecation have earned his books some prime real estate on my bookshelf.

Favorite Food: Vietnamese, Thai, and Indian cuisines are some of my favorites.

Favorite Movie: I'm a big fan of Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, and all of the other Christopher Guest mockumentaries.

Favorite TV Show: My all-time favorite show is the West Wing. Aaron Sorkin's brilliant repartee and finely-drawn characters had me convinced that I wanted to go into politics for a significant portion of my childhood.

Favorite Actor/Actress: The entire current female cast of Saturday Night Live is carrying that show these days (and absolutely killing it, week after week).

Favorite Season: Spring. There's nothing quite like saying goodbye to a long winter!

Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving. Family and food – what could be better?

Favorite Place in the world: Some may roll their eyes, but Philly tops my list. I've been here for three years and am continually blown away by the generosity and creativity of the people here. And there's so much I still have to explore!

Favorite Hobby: I enjoy going on walks and hikes, and exploring new places.

Favorite Sport: Is ping-pong a sport? It's the only one I'm marginally good at, and I could watch Olympic table tennis for days.

Best advice you have ever received: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about."

Three People I'd Like to Meet: Samantha Bee, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ta-Nehisi Coates

My Personal Hero: My parents are among the wisest, strongest, most generous people I know.

One of my Greatest Experiences with Music: Performing Orff's colossal Carmina Burana in Philadelphia's Verizon Hall was one of my favorites. By the final "O Fortuna," it seemed like the roof was shaking.

Most People Don't Know This About Me: I played the trumpet for a while in elementary school. It wasn't a match made in heaven.