The Tonight Show with Jay Leno has tapped Eastman School of Music student David Aguila to reveal for the first time ever to a national audience a talent he’s developed alongside his musical ability. On Wednesday, Jan. 26, Aguila will surprise viewers with a skill he’s honed but kept hidden. He’ll appear in a segment in which host Leno comes into the audience following the monologue and talks to audience members, in this case asking about their talents.
At the age of 10, Aguila, who had never played a musical instrument previously, took up the trumpet. He’s passionate about the trumpet, saying it’s “my entire musical life” and devoting many hours to practicing. At the Eastman School, Aguila studies with Professor of Trumpet James Thompson and performs with the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, the Brass Guild, and other ensembles.
Dedication is necessary for the 23-year-old to achieve his career goal, a spot in a professional orchestra, in a very competitive musical market. Yet somehow Aguila finds time for at least one other hobby: “cubing,” solving Rubik’s Cube puzzles. The trumpet player was introduced to the Rubik’s Cube about seven years ago and has pursued that interest with a competitive drive as well. Aguila started participating in and then organizing cubing contests, finding that many of his fellow competitors were also immersed in music.
“Studying music and cubing have lots in common like patterns, consistency, and memorization,” he explained. “There are certain patterns that the cube has, and when you see those patterns you do algorithms to move the pieces where you want them. I relate it to rhythm, where you have different notes on rhythm patterns. And, with both, if you practice, you’ll get better.”
Aguila is keeping his trick secret until his national television debut, hinting “it’s a special skill involving Rubik’s Cube and one hidden talent.” He leaves for California, where The Tonight Show tapes, this Tuesday evening to tape the show the following afternoon. But audiences will have to wait until the show airs at 11:30 p.m. eastern time Wednesday night to learn Aguila’s special skill.
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