Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Bob Axtell


When did you begin playing your instrument?
When I was eight years old.

Did you come from a musical family?
No one in my family was musically inclined, but my parents encouraged me. I went to school in Fairhaven, Massachusetts where we had an excellent music program in our schools. Once I picked up the trumpet I was hooked. When I was 17, I played at Carnegie Hall with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra.

How long have you been in the New Horizons band?
Probably about eight or nine years.

How did you hear about this band?
From Arch O’Connor whom I met in the Alpharetta City Band.

Do you belong to any other musical ensembles?
I formerly played with the Callanwolde Concert Band and the Atlanta Wind Symphony. Currently, I play with the Alpharetta City Band, the Jazz, Concert Band and Brass Quintet with RNHB. My wife would kill me if I was involved in anything more!

Do you play any other instruments?
I play bluegrass guitar for my own pleasure.

Do you take lessons?
I took lessons through high school. My last teacher was with the Boston Pops Orchestra.

What was your line of work?
I graduated college as a textile engineer from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. I went to work right out of school for the DuPont Company, and I worked for them for 37 years. I started out in research, and ended my career as CEO and Global Marketing Director for the Flooring Systems Division. We lived in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and then we were transferred to Atlanta in ’97. At that time, I was running the carpet fibers business.

Do you have family?
Judy and I have been married for 48 years. I met her in college. We have two children, a son and a daughter, and four grandchildren.

What are your hobbies?
I enjoy playing my trumpet and I enjoy the camaraderie of the bands. It keeps me busy. I’m not a golfer. I used to play a lot of tennis. I still play a little and I work out at the gym every day. Music is a big part of my life and it always has been. When I worked, it was all about work. When I retired, in two seconds I threw it over my shoulder and I didn’t miss working at all.

Please share an unusual fact about yourself.
I have to smoke a cigar every day after lunch. That’s my quiet time.

How long have you been engaged in this habit?
25 years. I live on Providence Lake. We have a dock and a deck, and I go down there and fire it up and think about things.

What items are on your “bucket list?”
You know, I don’t have any. When I was younger, I wanted to do two things in my life: travel around the world, and become a professional musician. I was able to do both. I travelled a lot for work, and I’m married to a woman who enjoys travelling. We’ve been to just about every country in Europe and Asia.

Have you been to Antarctica?
No. We haven’t been to Africa either, but we’ve visited a lot of wonderful places around the world.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever met?
I’m a big fan of FOX news. I haven’t met Charles Krauthammer, but I’d like to have dinner and a conversation with him. I think he has a brilliant mind.

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