The secret life of Frank Marzano

Monday, May 8th, 2017 at 4:46 PM
The secret life of Frank Marzano  by Madi Gross
from Frank Marzano's website

“Probably the best gig I ever played was a CD release party in Toronto last year. My song ‘Tough Cookies’ was included on a compilation CD for a Canadian record label, and I played a short acoustic set which was very well received.”

Outside of being a math professor at Edinboro, Frank Marzano enjoys watching foreign films and visiting New York City, but what he enjoys most is playing, writing and listening to music.

“As a kid I was really into baseball, but when I was 14 they went on strike and [that is when] I got interested in music. Music was the first thing I could do reasonably well,” Marzano said. “When I was in my 20s, I fronted a band in the Chicago area. Nowadays, I mainly do solo acoustic shows. I also occasionally play lead guitar in the Brenna Bone Band.”

Marzano further explained that he mainly plays acoustic, bass and electric guitars, but also plays a variety of instruments such as dobro, mandolin, ukulele and keyboard. He enjoys playing original songs over covers and some of his musical inspirations include The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Electric Light Orchestra. 

He explained that although he mainly plays rock and roll, he does mix in elements of the folk and jazz genres. “For the last year, I’ve been playing lead guitar with the duo of Seann Clark and Brenna Bone. They play contemporary country and pop, and more jam and improvisational stuff. It’s really taken me outside of my comfort zone,” Marzano stated. “That’s a good thing.”

In 2013, Marzano played at the Academy Theatre in Meadville, which seats about 500. He explained that this was one of the bigger venues he’s ever played.

“It’s definitely a different experience,” he said. “You can’t see the expressions on the faces of the audience, so you can’t feed off that as you would in a smaller venue. Mainly I remember the sound bouncing off the back wall and echoing back at me,” Marzano explained. He added that the venue “made it hard to keep time.”

Marzano went on to tell of a venue he enjoyed playing at very much. “One of my favorite places to play was the Barking Spider Tavern in Cleveland [that is now closed],” he said. “[It had] no pool tables, TVs [or] trivia machines, just a stage with musicians on it.”

“Even as an audience member, I enjoyed being there,” Marzano expressed. “I like to play at places where the patrons are there to hear music. I don’t like being background music,” he added.

As for his career as a professor, Marzano has been teaching at Edinboro since 1995.

“I went to graduate school at Northern Illinois University,” Marzano continued. “‘Gen ed classes like Finite Math were taught three days a week in a big auditorium of 500 students. Once a week, students would meet in ‘breakout’ sessions of about 30 students taught by a graduate assistant (which is what Marzano was). That’s when I discovered I really liked teaching college students,” he explained.

“I’ve taught remedial math, graduate-level courses in partial differential equations, and everything in between. I typically teach college algebra, pre-calculus, and discrete mathematics,” Marzano said.

“I like being able to look back at the songs I’ve written and the recordings I’ve made and say, ‘I created that,’” Marzano continued. “I like that I’ve encouraged younger people to get further into music. If you do nothing but math all day, it can make for a very long day.” 

Madi Gross is a staff writer for The Spectator. You can find Frank Marzano's music on www.frankmarzano.com 

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