Pictured: Rogerio Araujo playing his trumpet, he will be performing with the Scottsdale Philharmonic Orchestra on May 20.
Photos courtesy of Rogerio Araujo

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Life Is Like A Trumpet


Shea Stanfield
The Father of the Blues, W. C. Handy wrote, “Life is like a trumpet.  If you don’t put anything into it, you don’t get anything out.”  Local musician and life long trumpet player, Rogerio Araujo, has packed his life full of melodic high notes in his journey from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Scottsdale, Ariz.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Rogerio lost his father, when he was 2-years-old.  He was a pilot on active duty and member of the Brazilian Air Force.  Rogerio’s mother later remarried his stepfather who was a Brazilian journalist with the Voice of America and a freelance translator. 

The family immigrated to the United States when Rogerio was 9-years-old, settling in Falls Church, Va. where he finished high school and became an American citizen in 1985.  Growing up Rogerio remembers his stepfather’s impeccable taste music.

“His taste ran across the genres of classical, jazz, light rock, and Frank Sinatra.  Music was literally the center of our family’s entertainment on a daily basis,” he said.

At age 11 Rogerio recalls attending an interview with his stepfather for Brazilian TV.  The subject was Karen Carpenter, Rogerio was in love. "Bless the Beasts" and the "Children" became the go to album for the next 6 months. 

In sixth grade Rogerio’s school sent him home with a note inquiring if his parents wanted him to learn to play an instrument.  Of course they did, and a flute was chosen because his stepfather played the flute.  That turned out to be a small disaster!

As destiny would have it, during this time Rogerio’s best friend was going through a similar experience with his father’s trumpet.  One day, while visiting his friend, Rogerio picked up his friend’s trumpet and the rest was history. 

He begged his parents to get him a trumpet; after all he had been secretly practicing over at his friend’s house.  As they continued to resist, not wanting to repeat the same mistake as with the flute, Rogerio borrowed his friend’s trumpet on night to persuade them. He gave his parents a concert, playing "Stranger’s in the Night" and "Up, Up, and Away." 

Whala, a trumpet was soon his! 

After high school Rogerio attended Ithaca College’s School of Music as a Trumpet Performance major.  The year after his junior year at Ithaca, Rogerio accepted a position as a trumpet professor in Brazil.  He was also offered a university teaching position and a principal trumpet position, but his parents reminded him he was on a green card and would loose it if he stayed abroad for more than a year.  

So, Rogerio returned to the U.S. to finish his degree and work as a part-time bank clerk.  Upon graduation the banking job resulted in him landing a full time job with the Washington Post.  Rogerio found having a regular income was desirable, especially while starting a family. 

He continued to perform with his trumpet though Washington D.C. area as jobs became available.  In 1994, Rogerio and his family moved to Phoenix, to escape the miserable weather of the East Coast, and took a job in the business department of the Arizona Republic. 

Today, Rogerio continues working in finance as a Business Manager with the State of Arizona.  He and his trumpet perform with MusicaNova Orchestra, the Salt River Brass, Patina Brass and the Arizona Winds. 

Rogerio also performs regularly with the Scottsdale Philharmonic Orchestra, their next performance is Sunday May 20, ,. at the Scottsdale Bible Church in Scottsdale. For further details and a performance schedule visit their website at www.scottsdalephilharmonic.com .

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield on flowingquill@yahoo.com.