Name: Jake Gold
Instrument: French Horn
Major: Earth Systems and Civil Engineering
Class of 2018
Jake Gold, an up-and-coming freshman from Santa Monica, has already become one of the best French Horn players in the Symphony. Raised by two environmentally-conscious parents, Jake has always been aware of the global climatic issues facing both future generations and his own. That’s why Jake is firm in his resolve to major in Earth Systems and Civil Engineering; they offer him an education and a career that can better both himself and society. With a charming smile and an altruistic mindset, Jake continues to make the best of all Stanford has to offer.
How (and when) did you get your start on the French Horn? Did you play any other instruments beforehand?
I began playing French Horn when I was in 8th grade. At that point, I had already been playing trumpet for 5 years, and thought adding another instrument for my high school career would be valuable. The two instruments seemed similar enough to me, but both sent me on very different paths performance-wise.
Do you have a funny anecdote, or a good memory from your time in SSO so far?
During the SSO retreat, [the Symphony] had just finished a two-and-a-half hour rehearsal, ending around 10 PM. We were all extremely tired and were heading off to an enjoyable bonfire get-together with both staff and students – this was our chance to take a break from playing and have fun getting to know each other. The French horns had that exact mindset… but from a different perspective. We spent the next two-and-a-half hours in the hall playing octets with one another until our lips gave out and we called it a night. The best break from one type of music is another!
What’s an interesting, non-musical fact about you? Bonus points if it’s something no one would ever suspect about you.
I was born with a heart defect known as transposition of the great vessels. This is a life-threatening ailment that results from the aorta and pulmonary arteries being switched with one another. The science to perform the surgery was less than a decade old when I was born, so [for that] I am extremely grateful.
(Bonus points awarded)
Do you have any siblings? Are they as musical as you?
I have two extremely tone deaf siblings, a brother and sister. My brother is a senior here at Stanford studying Marine Biology and Environmental Engineering. He’s very bright, and we often hang out around campus when we have free time. I also have a younger sister in 10th grade who is a remarkable swimmer. She can be a drama queen sometimes, but is also extremely intelligent.