Performer Profile: Michael Ma

Michael-Ma-mprofileMichael Ma first performed with Pacific Crest in 2014. He is returning as mellophone section leader for the 2016 season.

Tell us about your background and family.
I was born and raised in Camarillo, California. I have one older brother, Brandon, and one older sister, Allison.

What brought you to Pacific Crest?
My high school drum major during my sophomore year of high school wanted to audition on mellophone at Pacific Crest, and one of my visual techs was a performer there also. I attended the December Experience Camp, and just took a chance at the audition to see how I would do.

How did the Pacific Crest experience impact your life?
The experience is unforgettable at Pacific Crest! They treat everyone so well! The organization has taught me responsibility, how to manage time wisely, and even patience. The entire first season was a struggle for me. I had only been playing for six months prior to the audition. When I was nearly bumped to an understudy position, that motivated me to push myself to more than I had ever done, and in the end I was able to keep my spot. I definitely saw an impact on my work ethic! The best part of the experience every summer is being able to perform for thousands of people almost every night of the tour!

How do you think Pacific Crest will affect your future goals and plans?
With the past two summers under my belt, I have chosen to major in music and either math or German with an eventual goal to teach high school. The patience and responsibility I’ve learned on tour has also helped me work well with other people. PC also made me realize that I have a great passion for the arts at school and that I won’t be able to live life without them.

Is there anything else you want to say about yourself, your life, the people who have most influenced and inspired you?
Growing up in a small town was definitely a challenge to have myself seen by others. I worked hard and immersed myself in more band-related activities and bowling tournaments (another important hobby of mine). Drum corps was also a huge challenge since I chose to take a break from bowling after 10 years of competing almost every weekend. I really want to thank my mom the most because she sacrifices her time to drive me an hour and a half to camps so I can live my dream.

Is there something you’d like others to know about Pacific Crest?
Pacific Crest is a family environment, which is filled with humor and special bonds among members that you can’t experience outside PC! The family aspect continues to strengthen as the season continues and as the corps song is played. PC is also willing to work with students who may think they aren’t the best and then transform them into someone with way more confidence, who is willing to fulfill responsibilities or solve problems that they face day in and day out. I personally think that every person in their high school or college band should definitely come check out Pacific Crest in December! I-vii-I-vi-V