In first grade, Tim Hunt  ’14 joined a boys’ choir, telling his mom, who was concerned over his supposed tone-deafness, “I am going to do this and you are not going to stop me!” Ever since that defiant act, music has been a huge part of Hunt’s life. At Bowdoin, Hunt is co-musical director of BOKA—one of the two co-ed a capella groups—as well as a trombonist in the Jazz Combo. 

Hunt, a neuroscience and French double major from Oakland, Calif., has been constantly expanding his musical interests and talents. Hunt’s early experience in the boys’ choir was formative in his passion for music and was heavily influenced by the choir instructor. Hunt said his teacher was “really talented at instructing and he had a great knowledge of the male voice.” 

In fourth grade, Hunt decided to pick up the trombone,  “partially because it looked like a lot of fun and it made a lot of noise and I liked the idea of moving around,” he said.

“There was also a girl that I kind of had a crush on in fourth grade who was playing trombone, so that might or might not have influenced my decision,” he added. A few years later, he began to explore jazz as well.

Hunt did not participate in musical extra-curricular activities his first year at Bowdoin, and he felt that absence in his life. He soon realized his need for “creative outlets,” which propelled him to audition for a cappella and the Jazz Combo his sophomore year. 

Music has been both an educational and a social experience for Hunt. He took Introduction to Music Theory, which has helped him grow as a singer and trombonist, and was useful when doing arrangements for BOKA—which he said involves a lot of trial-and-error. Hunt is also a “You-Tube taught” guitarist who has been experimenting with folk music. 

Hunt said BOKA has been “a great group socially. It’s really become a core group of friends for me.

“Musical collaboration is a great way to build friendships. Working with people towards the same goal in that kind of context really promotes group cohesion,” he said.

There are five seniors in BOKA this year, and Hunt describes it as both fun and challenging to “have to figure out how to lead rehearsals and direct the group,” with the responsibility on them as seniors.

Looking toward the future, Hunt hopes to “find a group of people to sing with or some sort of band who wouldn’t mind incorporating a trombone.” In fact, he’s been experimenting alongside the banjo stylings of John Swords ’15 and recently jammed on his trombone with Bowdoin student band, the NARPs.