‘03 Boettcher winner not blowing his own horn, but decides music is his ‘passion’

       A year ago, Brian Margrave was graduating from Coronado High School, heading to CU Boulder with the school's first Boettcher Foundation scholarship in 19 years.
       Now Margrave is back in town after completing a freshman year that provided good times and learning - as well as a clearer idea of what he wants to do with his life.
       “I love it,” he said of the school. “Boulder is such a cool town.”
       But he also had to make a tough decision there. When he enrolled, Margrave had a double major in music and aerospace engineering. During the school year, he came to the realization that he had only so much time and he would have to give up one or the other.
       He'd always done well at math and science, but at last he said he decided music was his “passion.” So he dropped the engineering major, including the scholarships that went with it. “I was torn between them,” he said, “but I like music more. It seems more meaningful to me.”
       Margrave hasn't looked back since. In fact he's been pouring himself into music. Specializing in the trumpet, he played in the symphonic band, brass quintet and the jazz band at CU, and was a member of the marching band last fall. In addition, he takes private lessons and works on solo-playing for his music classes.
       “Playing for six hours some days isn't unusual,” he said, adding, “Most of what I do is music now.”
        So far writing music is not a big interest, although he enjoyed composing pieces for a theory class. “Most of them aren't that good, but it's something I want to do more of,” he said. What he enjoys most is playing pieces by his favorite classical composers, such as Gustav Mahler, Ludwig Beethoven and Aaron Copland.
        He started with the trumpet in summer band the year before fifth grade. He liked it and kept doing it, but only as a “kind of hobby for awhile.”
       His goal after college is to “spend at least a few years” teaching music in high school, then possibly go back for a master's degree. Side possibilities would be teaching privately and performing at side gigs, he said.
        He sees his future without rose-colored glasses. “There's a real shortage of music teachers,” he said. “That means you can find a job but you don't get paid much.”
       Engineering, on the other hand, might have meant more pay but less certainty of work.
        Margrave has lived all his life on the Mesa on the Westside. His parents are Dave and Patti Margrave.
        Brian Margrave won several scholarships going into college, but by far the biggest was the Boettcher Foundation scholarship. Providing full-ride tuition to its winners (partially shared with their respective colleges), the foundation gives out only 40 scholarships to Colorado high school students a year.
       Asked if living up to such a prestigious award caused him much pressure, Margrave said no. “They certainly expect you to do well, but it's not like they're looking over your shoulder all the time,” he said. Besides, he noted, he has “high expectations” for himself as well.
       The foundation supports its award-winners with dinners and outings, and its representatives get to know students like Margrave “on a first-name basis,” he said.
       As for his future plans, “The people at Boettcher think it's great when you go into teaching and give back to the community,” he said.
       The previous Boettcher winners from Coronado were Julie Boles and Deborah Austin, 1984; Timothy Barbari, 1976; and Mark Lovell, 1974. Grant Goerzen made it two years in a row for CHS this year (Westside Pioneer, April 29) and will attend Denver University.

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