Featured Member: Brian Shaw

Brian ShawBrian plays oboe, saxophone, and percussion in QUO (and has also played flute, trombone, and also every other instrument), and joined us in October 2009.

How did you come to join QUO?
I was at a bar with some friends shortly after moving to NYC in 2009 when a couple people I didn’t know came to join us, both carrying instruments. I inquired, and found out they had just come from an orchestra rehearsal. Flash forward 1 week and I was at rehearsal with my oboe, for the first QUO season ever! I’ve been a member (on and off as time permits) ever since.

How long have you been playing your instrument(s)?
Being the son of a band teacher, I grew up with instruments around the house. My first formal training was on the piano, around age 8. I studied alto saxophone in middle school, and oboe in high school. The rest (I play all the woodwinds) I picked up on my own over the years, most recently starting to teach myself bassoon just this past summer. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks! 😉

What musical symbol best describes you and why?
At this exact moment in life, I’m a portato (not to be confused with potato). A little confusing by outward appearances, still completely useful and dynamic, being full and yet slightly separated from my neighbors. I am at once living my life to the fullest and keeping my eyes on what’s coming next. Ever changing depending on the tempo of life. I love how portato stands alone, and yet is fully dependent on its peers. That’s me. 🙂

What is your favorite place to take friends visiting NYC?
For me, the magic of the city is in day-to-day life, so when family/friends visit, I take them to my favorite restaurants, open mic spots, and bars; show them the “chill” side of NYC. There’s a great Italian place in HK called Gallo Nero that I love, and a quaint bar in Astoria called Mosaic that has a fantastic beer menu.

Question from fellow QUO-member Christina: If you could live anywhere other than NYC, where would you live?
I attended college in Miami, FL, and often think about moving back, especially during the winter months. I just love a life where I never have to worry about wearing a coat. I would absolutely miss the joy of public transportation, though. As terrible as the MTA can sometimes be, I simply cannot imagine life without it.