It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got that Ding!

Louis Armstrong brought musical glory to New Orleans.  Tony Orlando brought it to Orlando.  Now Mark Scutterman is bringing it to Chrislip.

After graduating from Chrislip High, Mark went on to the Interlochen Center for the Arts, where he spent four years in an advanced music program.  The payoff came last month when he landed a job as lead triangle player with the Gilder Symphony Orchestra of Gilder City, Michigan. 

Mark spoke with the Journal’s Anne-Marie Waterhouse about his new position.

Anne-Marie:  Congratulations on the symphony job, Mark.  That’s quite an accomplishment.

Mark:  I guess.

Anne-Marie:  How did you first get interested in the triangle?

Mark:  Same way everyone else does, I suppose.  I started off banging on my toy blocks, then pots and pans.  Next thing you know, viola.

Anne-Marie:  Don’t you mean “voilà”?

Mark:  No, I started banging on the viola.  But it turns out that’s a stringed instrument, so all that was left was the triangle.

Triangle similar to, but not exactly like, the one played by Mark Scutterman

Anne-Marie:  When did you realize you had a future as a triangulist?

Mark:  Probably when I was a teenager, and friends would call and say, “Hey, Mark, party tonight, eight o’clock.  Bring your triangle.”

Anne-Marie:  And did you love the instrument right from the start?

Mark:  No, but I was too gifted to stop.   The triangle is an unforgiving mistress.

Anne-Marie:  Can you describe your playing technique?

Mark:  I hit it with a metal stick and it dings.

Anne-Marie:  Wow.  You seem like a pretty dynamic guy, Mark.  What do you do when you’re not practicing?

Mark:  Watch TV.  Mostly C-SPAN and the Weather Channel.  And I enjoy tinfoil collecting.  You know, every time you have a stick of gum you save the foil, and you see how big a ball of it you can get.

Mark Scutterman using a cordless remote control to change the channels on his TV machine

Anne-Marie:  And how’s that working out for you?

Mark:  Oh I don’t collect it myself.  I just like reading about people who do.

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