'I'm totally in the zone'IT executive finds an escape in saxophone
“When I'm playing my sax, I'm not thinking about work, my to-do list, the phone calls I have to make. I'm totally in the zone — in that music landscape.”
That’s what J. Alejandro Rosado Jr., founder and CEO of 12:34 MicroTechnologies Inc. in East Lampeter Township, says about playing in the Lititz Community Band.
He started playing alto saxophone in third grade and even considered going to college to make music his career, he explained, but he was sidetracked by the personal computing revolution.
“While I was still in high school, I earned $300 for helping a local real estate agent hook up some computers, and I said, ‘Wait a minute. Music is fun and everything, but computers are going to be my career,’” he said.
He went off to Millersville University but never finished. He ended up teaching himself, but not before squeezing in a little extra time as a sax player in the university’s marching band.
“I loved it so much that I stayed an extra semester just so I could keep doing it,” he said. “I paid for an English literature class and never went to classes, but I got to stay in the band a bit longer.”
In the late 1990s, while working in the IT department at Armstrong World Industries Inc., small businesses started calling for help in getting connected.
“I said, ‘Wait a minute. Isn’t there a company that does this?’ There were some locally, but none of them focused exclusively on small businesses,” Rosado said.
In 1998, he launched 12:34 MicroTechnologies to serve the small-business market.
Through it all, his interest in the alto sax never wavered. He joined the Lititz band in 2004.
“We have about 75 people, at all skill levels, from kids all the way up to people in their 70s,” Rosado said.
The ensemble rehearses from April to June and then plays a variety of events from June through August, including Fourth of July celebrations, the “Taste of Lititz” food extravaganza and the town’s “Movies in the Park” series.
“We play a lot of traditional band music like the classic Sousa marches, but we also play things like Disney music and the ‘Star Wars’ theme, and we interject more modern songs like ‘Happy,’” Rosado explained. “But we always end the show with ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever.’
“It’s simple community stuff. We just have a lot of fun, which is what it’s all about to me.”