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December 16, 2011

Lafayette Allows John Paul Bisciotti ’14 to Follow His Passions in Music and Engineering

John Paul Bisciotti '14 works with laser equipment in Hugel Science Center.

John Paul Bisciotti ’14 works with laser equipment in Hugel Science Center.

When he graduates from Lafayette in a few years, John Paul Bisciotti ’14 (Media, Pa.) plans to be a mechanical engineer—but he will surely be a more musically talented mechanical engineer than most.

Bisciotti takes classes in engineering, mathematics, and physics as he works toward his degree. He excels in math and science, and enjoys communicating and problem solving, so it’s a good field on which to focus his academic attention.

But outside academics, Bisciotti’s great love is music. He plays with the Jazz Band and Jazz Ensemble, in a jam band called the New Mechanics, and often accompanies fellow musician Carlos Barata ’14.

“In short, my goal is to play as much music as possible,” he says.

As one of Lafayette’s Creative and Performing Arts fellows, Bisciotti receives a stipend to support his creative pursuits, including performances on campus and in the community.

For all his talent and love of music, Bisciotti has no plans to make a career of it.

“Early in high school, I had to decide whether I wanted to pursue music or something else as a career,” he says. “I decided that [music] would function better as a lifelong hobby.”

John Paul Bisciotti '14 plays the cello.

John Paul Bisciotti ’14 plays the double bass.

At Lafayette, he has found a place where he can nurture both of his interests. Before applying, Bisciotti met with Jeff Helm, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Skip Wilkins, associate professor of music.

“Both left good impressions. After these meetings, I felt that at Lafayette I could pursue my future in engineering while still balancing my lifelong passion with music,” Bisciotti says.

He sees overlapping aspects between music and the courses he takes for his major.

“For example, this year in my physics course, thermodynamics & waves, I learned fundamental principles about [sound] waves such as refraction and interference,” he says.

Bisciotti took up the cello in third grade. “I wanted to play the cello exclusively because it was the biggest and seemed fun,” he says. Later, he also learned to play bass guitar and the double bass.

He took lessons in playing classical music, but learned rock and jazz by different routes. His older brother, Frank, influenced his interest in rock music, and he learned jazz by listening to Philadelphia’s WRTI 90.1 and performing with school ensembles.

“It always amazes me how a composer can find a way to communicate without the use of words, and how a musician can convey that mood to an audience with ease,” he says. “Music always catches me off guard but still remains familiar, and I like that.”

Last year, he completed an externship with Turner Construction and this year he will have an externship with Tier One LLC. Bisciotti has also worked with the Office of Admissions as an ambassador tour guide.

posted in Academic News, Cross-Train Your Brain, Engineering, News and Features, Student Profiles, Students, Top News

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8 Comments

  1. John Paul,
    Greetings from a fellow Lafayette alumnus, chemical engineer, and double bassist! The article about you is heartwarming and highlights the flexibility of the Lafayette Experience. My engineering education led doing submarine design at GE and cryogenic applications at Air Products. Before Lafayette I played bass in several symphonies, a jazz band, and gigs with my dad who was a musician. At Lafayette I sang in the College Choir and took my bass on choir tours where I played in a jazz trio with piano and vibraphone. You are fortunate to have a broader variety of opportunities to play bass and perform while at College. My best wishes to you for continued success both in engineering and music at Lafayette and after graduation.
    Warm regards,
    Ed Alkire ’58

    says Ed Alkire '58
    February 2, 2012 at 7:58 pm
  2. Great article! We’re so glad we got to meet you through the externship. We wish you luck in all of your pursuits.
    Linda and Mike Iassogna

    says Mike and Linda Iassogna
    February 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm
  3. WOW!!! You are amazing! Sounds like you’re having fun with your music while working extremely hard on your mechanical engineering degree. Keep up the great work! Hope to see you over the Holidays!

    says Dawn Govannicci
    December 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm
  4. BEAST

    says Taimoor Sohail
    December 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm
  5. John Paul, Drew sent this to my sister and me. What a wonderful article. We enjoyed your playing at the wedding and just spending time with you. If you ever need to get away and don’t want to drive all the way home, you know there’s always a place on our sofa for you. Merry Christmas! Jill

    says Jill Fluck
    December 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm
  6. John Paul!! What a coincidence! I plan to pursue Physics/Engineering (Mechanical) while playing the Violin (which I want be a better player at Lafayette) and soccer. You are now my official hero! CHEERS!!!

    says Pawan Dhakl
    December 20, 2011 at 9:56 am
    • Pawan, thanks for the comment! If you have questions about Lafayette, engineering or music, feel free to email me at bisciotj@lafayette.edu. Anyone else who is interested can do the same. Happy Holidays!

      says John Paul Bisciotti
      December 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm
  7. Hey, John Paul..your Mom forwarded this link to me and my sister (remember our visits?). We are all so proud of you and glad you are enjoying Lafayette and doing so well….How cool is it that you are able to connect what you are learning in classes of your major to music? Enjoy the rest of the year, Merry Christmas and happy and healthy New Year.

    says Linda Worrall
    December 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm
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