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Small Talk with Teri, By Teri Norbye

Jun 27, 2016 10:25AM ● By Teri Norbye

Meet Bruce Rockwell, a choir director and guitar teacher at College Park, who resides in Benicia with his wife and son. What’s most rewarding about your job? "My relationships with students, seeing how music changes their lives and how being in a supportive group like this can really make a difference in their high school years." What's the hardest thing about your job? "Staying on top of the mountain of details and minutiae. It's pretty daunting, and I need a lot of help.” What is one thing about you most people don't know? "I used to play in rock bands. I was an extra in a Pointer Sisters video, 'Neutron Dance'. About 2/3 of the way in, I am dancing in a blue jumpsuit.” What has been your greatest challenge so far? "Building a good choir program in a school that had none. I did it gradually. I study Kaizen, a Japanese philosophy. It's a way of improving every aspect of what we do so that every year we're able to make noticeable improvements.” What do you like to do when you're not working? "I'm a winemaker. I have a vineyard and lots of fruit trees. I graft different varieties onto the same tree, so I have rare types of fruit and heirloom fruit varieties. During summer I play guitar in my rock band, Big Medicine Head. We were pretty big in the early ‘90s in Santa Cruz. We'll do 3-4 shows a week in Santa Cruz, Benicia, Sacramento, or Portland. We kind of play all over.”