THE NATIONAL ANTHEM (STAR SPANGLED BANNER)
Performed by Filbert Fontejon
Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences
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A SHORT INTERVIEW WITH FILBERT
UCI Engagement: How long have you worked at UCI?
FF: About three and half years now.
UCI Engagement: What do you enjoy about working at UCI?
FF: I like working with the people here and the environment. Working in communications gets me out of my bubble and allows me to meet new people. I like developing relationships, and as a web graphic designer, getting to know my [ICS] colleagues helps me give them the best product.
UCI Engagement: When did you figure out you could sing?
FF: My parents have had me singing on a karaoke machine ever since I was little. My go-to music of choice when I was younger was anything by New Edition. I also used to sing in choir for church and in high school. Nowadays, it’s a side hobby I enjoy, and you will usually find me singing only for my wife and kids.
UCI Engagement: Do you have a favorite music artist or song?
FF: Three different artists immediately come to mind: Michael Bublé, Boyz II Men, and Elvis Presley. As far as a specific song, that is a hard choice because I love them all. I would probably say “Save the Last Dance for Me” by Michael Bublé or “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men.
UCI Engagement: Do you play any instruments?
FF: I do. I play piano, guitar and the ukulele, all for fun. Being home this last year gave me the opportunity practice and play more, even if it was just for myself or my family.
UCI Engagement: Since singing is more of a hobby for you, has there ever been a moment you performed for a group besides family?
FF: We had an ICS staff holiday party on Zoom this last December. They invited everyone to compete in a talent show and this gave me the opportunity to show everyone I could sing. So, I put together a video where I sang a three-part harmony of “White Christmas” by The Drifters. I did all the parts, background, and lead, and overlayed them. It was really fun to do.
UCI Engagement: Why did you audition for the National Anthem?
FF: A couple of my friends pushed me to audition. At first, I hesitated. But I figured that a great way for me to express my patriotism, represent the school, and participate in something fun here at the UCI would be to sing the National Anthem for the Staff Service Awards. So, I gave it a shot and here I am. I feel honored and blessed to have this opportunity.