Senior Michael Roche is a Spanish major with a minor in music and what can only be described as a talent for instruments. After all, he can play 10 different instruments, with representatives from each instrumental category — the strings, winds, and percussion, among others — and is currently teaching himself how to play two more. Roche began his instrumental career in middle school when he played the saxophone for several years before branching out to learn different instruments. By high school, he was playing the bass in the pit band for performances of “Phantom of the Opera” and “Oklahoma,” and decided to learn how to play the flute. Within a year of beginning to learn, he was playing the flute in his high school’s band and playing with as much, if not more, talent than those who had been playing for years. Roche continued to train and played the flute and piccolo in Fairfield’s Orchestra during his freshman, sophomore and junior years while also starting a band, “The Jimmy’s,” with his friends, where he plays the guitar, bass, drums and keyboard while also doing some vocal work.

 

Roche can also play the mandolin, flute, piccolo, saxophone, piano, harmonica and tin whistle, and is currently learning both the Er hu — also known as a Chinese two string fiddle — and the hammered dulcimer. His favorite instrument to play is the drums. Post-graduation, he intends to continue playing with “The Jimmy’s.” “Not as a career, just for fun or as a way to earn some extra money,” Roche clarified. He also plans to write and record some of his own music for the same purpose. Just like the array of instruments he can play, Roche’s musical taste is diverse. At the moment, his favorite music is from the 90s alternative/grunge era, but at other times he has preferred classic rock, punk, classical and even folk music.

 

With this diverse taste in music, Roche has been to many interesting concerts. His favorite was when he saw “The Who” perform at Barclays, “They played my favorite of their albums straight through and then played just about all of their other favorite songs,” Roche said. “They’re one of my favorite bands and even though they’re getting pretty old, they’ve really still got it. They sounded awesome and put on a really energetic four-hour show.”

“Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle” — Nirvana

“Nirvana’s probably my favorite band and this is my favorite song by them. I love the guitar riff during the bridge.”

“All My Life” — Foo Fighters

“This song has lots of different dynamics, switching between quiet palm-muted guitar with whispered vocals and loud screaming sections.”

“2nd Piano Trio” — Shostakovich

“This is my favorite classical piece. It’s really dark and intense, I think it was originally based on a Jewish folk song.”

“The Rover” — Led Zeppelin

“This is just an overall really solid song. The guitar riffs are really driving.”

“Apres Moi” — Regina Spector

“I love the piano for the whole song, but once the drums come in it’s like a really intense jazzy cabaret.”

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