Marlon Matthews ’14 is a Quotation Specialist at GE Healthcare, a Vocalist, a Business Owner, and a Youth Minister. He received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2018. Marlon sang in Lyric Choir, Treble Choir, Concert Choir, Premier Choir, and Young Men's Ensemble, spending a total of 11 years with BCC since its origin.
How did you first get involved with BCC?
My mom saw the original billboard, "Do you know a child that loves to sing?" And the rest is history.
Why is BCC special to you? What does BCC mean to you?
BCC raised me. I can say with full confidence; it is the reason I am who I am. I wouldn't have a fraction of the stories or unbreakable bonds that I have today if it weren't for BCC. The tours were a cool perk, but the family, music, and mission are what kept me coming back.
What is your favorite memory or experience from BCC?
After that much time with such incredible people, you get way more than one but if I have to choose from our greatest hits then the first time the choir sang with the Boston Pops on the 4th of July at the Hatch Shell. The energy was electric. The fireworks were incredible, and it was a bittersweet time of saying one last goodbye to (at the time) our biggest senior class.
What was your favorite piece that you have sung with BCC?
That's an impossible question! Among the dozen that flooded my mind just now; however, I'll choose "The Battle of Jericho." It was one of the most challenging songs YME had done at the time, and I loved the challenge.
What was your favorite concert/performance with BCC? Favorite tour?
My favorite concert was our annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert in 2011. It was when my sister, Allana, and I got to perform "People Get Ready" together. I don't love anything more than singing with my sister. My favorite tour was Vietnam and Cambodia. The people, the food, the cultural exchange, and the adventures were some of the best because I knew they were my last.
How did your time at BCC prepare you for your current career? How has your background in music informed your professional life?
BCC was so much more than just a music group. BCC gave me confidence in my abilities as a leader and the discipline to make commitments and stick to them. I learned decision-making skills, perseverance, teamwork, and humility as well. These have all served me not only in my professional career or academic career but also in my everyday life. I'm currently a vocalist in a professional cover band, but I didn't study to be that. The opportunity availed itself, so I took it. I knew music would always be a part of my life even if I didn't study it. Music has always been and will always be a part of me.
What does our season theme, Breaking The Glass, mean to you?
To me “Breaking The Glass” has a few meanings. The first is breaking the glass because we are in an emergency state. We have to wake up and smell the smoke and do our part to put out the fires; literal and figurative. In another sense, it means unapologetically and irreverently staring long-held traditions in the face and questioning why we follow them and if we still should. BCC has never been about going with the flow or following the norms. We are an organization of young people who will change the world for the better and that starts with each of us using our platforms and positions to bring the person next to us to a place of equity. Finally, it means leaning into the discomfort of empathy and seeing life from someone else’s point of view as much as possible instead of judging from our own glasshouses. We break the glass to connect and understand, not attack and condemn.
What advice would you give to current singers?
Recognize just how special the organization you're a part of is and never take it for granted. When you look at the people around you, understand that these will be some of your best friends for life. Respect them and the legacy of the organization by giving everything you have to make BCC the best it can be. Bottom line: have fun and make a little music while you do it!
Any last thoughts?
I really miss sitting in rehearsals with my friends. Those were some of the best times.