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Inspired by the children’s book Because by Mo Willems, Because… is a podcast that explores the people, places, and things that helped us get to where we are today. Join Marc Zyla, as he explores these stories with people we admire.

Latest Episodes
  • On this episode of Because, we hear the becauses of Grammy nominated guitarist Mak Grgic. Touted as a gifted young guitarist by the New York Times and a guitarist to keep your eye on by the Washington Post, Mak Grgic is a star on the worldwide stage. An expansive and adventurous repertoire attests to his versatility and wide ranging interests. From the ethnic music of his native Balkans to extreme avant-garde and microtonal music, his roles as soloist, collaborator, and Grammy nominated recording artist are fueled by curiosity, imagination, and boundless energy.
  • On this episode of Because, we hear the becauses of composer Jonathan Bailey Holland. An acclaimed composer, Holland has been commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, the American Guild of Organists and Arx Duo. His work has been performed by such artists and ensembles as the LA Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, as well as Awadagin Pratt and Roomful of Teeth. He was recently named the Jack G. Buncher Chair and new head of the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
  • On this episode of because we hear the becauses of Rachel Price, Quad City area Youth Advocate.Rachel has worked in the youth development field for over six years, where her passion is creating a supportive and safe environment for all youth to thrive.Rachel was born and raised in West Virginia, where she also attended college and received a Bachelor's in English. Rachel and her husband and Because.. host Marc Zyla, also from West Virginia, moved to the Quad Cities six years ago and are proud to call the community their second home. Rachel, a former competitive rower, enjoys kayaking, hiking, and exploring the Midwest with her husband and two rescue dogs, Dolly and Roxie.
  • On this Episode of Because... We hear the Becauses of composer, Jacob Bancks.Praised as “colorfully orchestrated, invitingly lyrical” (The New York Times) and “highly caffeinated” (The Boston Globe), the music of Illinois composer Jacob Bancks (b. 1982) has engaged and inspired musicians and audiences around the world.At the core of his output are works for orchestra, with performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, the Sarajevo Philharmonic, the Annapolis Symphony, the South Dakota Symphony, the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony, and the New York Youth Symphony.
  • On this episode of Because… we hear the becauses of Brian Baxter.Brian Baxter is a musician and orchestra manager who composes music inspired by family, place, and poetry. He writes primarily chamber, orchestral, and vocal music. Brian resides in the Quad Cities and serves as Executive Director for the Quad City Symphony Orchestra.
  • On this episode of Because... we hear the becauses of David Renfro. A native of Kingsport, Tennessee, David is the Principal Horn of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2005. He also serves as the ASO's Chief Development Officer. Prior to that appointment, David taught horn and chamber music at Henderson State University. He received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Horn Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where his primary teachers included Myron Bloom, Michael Hatfield, and Richard Seraphinoff.
  • On this episode of Because… we hear the becauses of violinist and conductor, Kyle Dickson. Kyle is quickly building a reputation as an innovative and compelling presence on the podium. Recipient of the 2021 GPMF Advocate for Arts Award, Dickson is a Salonen Conducting Fellow with the San Francisco Symphony under the guidance of Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen through the Colburn School in Los Angeles.
  • In today’s episode, we hear the becauses of New York City based low brass multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator Reginald Chapman. Reginald enjoys interfacing with a variety of situations and genres, his career includes a long list of studio credits and extensive touring itineraries with brass bands like Lucky Chops and NO BS Brass, indie rock groups such as Foxygen, as well as Broadway/Classical/ and Jazz performances. I hope you enjoy our chat!
  • In Episode 8 of Because we hear the “becauses” of Boise Philarhmonic Executive Director, Laura Reynolds. Laura’s story begins as a beach baby in California and follows her path to the Seattle Symphony and the Boise Philharmonic where Laura is instrumental in pushing orchestras to embrace their important roles in their communities.
  • In Episode 7 of Because we hear the “becauses” of Augustana Voice Faculty member and Mayor of Moline, Sangeetha Rayapati. Sangeetha’s story begins in Westchester, PA and follows her path to becoming head of voice faculty at Augustana College and Mayor of Moline, Illinois.