Many kids grow up dreaming to become a doctor. One local surgeon did not have these dreams as a child, however. In fact, John Falcone experienced his earliest success behind the mouthpiece of a trumpet.
After he completed his journey of becoming a physician, he would find himself back in the world of music again, learning that both of his passions required perfected techniques and years of training. With the upcoming release of his self-titled album Falcone Rising on June 7, Falcone is seeking to get the word out about his unique style of music and, more importantly, his message.
Raised in a small community, John Falcone describes himself as a good kid, an altar server, the valedictorian of his graduating class, someone who was gifted at music and an athlete who ran cross country and went to state.
Not only did he play the trumpet, he earned first chair in the New York State Symphonic Band, an all-state group of elite musicians. With less than seventy students in his graduating class, this honor was significant for someone coming from such a small school.
His musical success continued into adulthood. As a professional trumpet player in the American Federation of Musicians, he had the opportunity to perform in pit bands for musicals and other large events. He was also granted the opportunity to play for several big shows, with Guys and Dolls and the Music Man being among his favorites.
Although he was a good kid growing up, he reflects on his college experience at Cornell University as a time where he got into some bad situations.
“I stopped going to church, I was drinking alcohol, I kept living — and all that stuff became the new normal to me,” Falcone said.
During this time in his life, Falcone describes himself as angry. Despite his own struggles, professors saw the strengths in him. He was excelling in his coursework and yet was struggling personally. He kept thinking, if there was something he could do to make everything better, he would.
When his grandmother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, he became more and more interested in the medical field. He studied for the MCAT, did fairly well and, the next thing he knew, he was enrolled in University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. While in school, he became the member of a house band.
“I was a singer and guitarist and we were a house band for a bar in Pittsburgh. It was a lot of fun,” Falcone said.
When he graduated from medical school, Falcone would put aside his rock band dreams for a while. He said, with work consuming eighty hours a week while in residency, there was no time left to play and something had to go — for Falcone that would be music.
Although he would hold surgical instruments instead of musical ones for a while, his talent and passion did not go away. He had been compelled by music from an early age.
“When I was a teenager, I wrote some lyrics and chord progressions on the guitar,” Falcone said.
While the classically trained musician and surgeon has several accomplishments he’s proud of, perhaps the most meaningful of all is his newly founded music ministry. Falcone Rising started as a New Year’s resolution in early 2018 when he felt compelled to bring the message of the gospel to others through his music.
“I gave my life to Christ, and then started Falcone Rising after prayer and feeling called to do so,” Falcone said.
Falcone contacted Eric Copeland of Creative Soul Records, where he said he found the perfect fit in a consultant and production company as an independent Christian music artist.
“I submitted three songs and got good feedback on it,” Falcone said.
Falcone Rising is a concept album, a collection of ten songs produced and recorded with talented artists, including Grammy and Dove award-winning musicians. The album consists mainly of rock songs, one pop song, and a song Falcone performed for his wife at their wedding. According to Falcone, unlike most pop-inspired songs that play on Christian radio stations, this album takes scriptures and turns them into songs with a unique feel to them.
“This album has more dirt and it sounds harder; you can hear some Metallica sounding guitars in there,” Falcone said.
Falcone has found several similarities between the operating room and the music ministry. According to him, both require a certain knowledge base, whether it be anatomy and physiology or knowledge about how to write songs and how to build a chorus. There are also certain techniques involved in both that can require years of practice and training.
“I can save a life in the operating room or I can save a life in music ministry,” Falcone said. “Plus, you get to wear cool clothes in both of them.”
For more information about the album release, visit www.falconerising.com or like @FalconeRising on Facebook.