Senior Stories: Philippe Chow: Engineering a passion for music

Correction appended

Mechanical engineering might not be the most colorful major at GW. But leading your own eight-person band on the side might spice things up a bit.

Just ask Philippe Chow, who became a mechanical engineering major after trying out two previous majors and another university before settling on his choice at GW. He’s worked at the Naval Research Laboratory and was awarded an undergraduate research fellowship, but he complements his strong experience in science with a passion for music.

Chow, who can play trumpet, piano and “a bit of bass,” has used his talents with the GW Jazz Department, GW Latin Band and GW Concert Band during his four years. His love for playing instruments even led him to develop his own six- to eight-person band called “Hello Society.” Chow describes the music as having “the jazz mentality because there is improvised music in the background . but it takes influences from all over the ranges of music.”

This summer Chow hopes to juggle his work at the Naval Research Laboratory with a tour he and his bandmates are putting on from Chicago to Charlottesville, Va., which will mark both the band’s reunion and farewell.

Next year Chow will continue to pursue his interests in engineering, but this time in another field. Having been accepted to the SUNY-Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, he hopes he will be exposed to research he can be passionate about.

“This past year I’ve been kind of frustrated with learning how to tighten bolts, which is fine – it needs to be done – but it’s frustrating.”

Though he is not sure what he wants to do with engineering when he finishes school, he knows that he wants music to be part of his life.

“As long as I can do all of that and still play music, I’ll be happy.”

The Hatchet erroneously reported that the SUNY-Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering was called University of Albany’s College of Nanoscale and Research Engineering.

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