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John Magruder

John Magruder's RARB Bio

I was born in Miami, Florida back in '69. After a few months, I moved to Downers Grove, Illinois because the winter in Miami was not cold enough. My parents reluctantly followed.

I discovered the wonders of singing a few years later when I got bored with reading everything I saw. In grade school, I sang in special local choirs and in every school function I was allowed to attend. I performed in a few musicals while in school, and in high school I sang with every special singing group that I could. I sang madrigals, I sang pop, I sang jazz. Secular, sacred, you name it, I sang it. I was in high school to sing — not to get an education.

After high school I joined the US Air Force. For the next four years I was a Bombing and Navigation Systems Specialist. This meant I troubleshot and repaired the Radar, Computer, Camera, and Navigation Systems on B-52 Stratofortress Bombers. I served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, stationed at a (then) secret base in Saudi Arabia.

During my time in the Air Force, I did not sing much... except for in the shower. I also found that I did not want to be in the military for life, and wanted to pursue massage therapy instead. Go figure.

When I got out of the military, I started school at the University of Illinois. Shortly thereafter, a new friend of mine asked me to go with him to an audition for a new a cappella group on campus. He knew I used to sing a lot and wanted some moral support. At the audition, the people in charge asked me if I wanted to try out too. I wasn't too interested, but they eventually talked me into it. When I sang my solo, the group members started harmonizing with me spontaneously, and it was great. Less than a week later, they asked me (but not my friend — oops!) to join their group, and I said yes.

That group was the Xtension Chords.

Four years and two albums later, I found myself a very different man. While at the U of I, I grew my hair out and even got an earring. I discovered the wonderful world of the World Wide Web. I was there when Mosaic (remember that?) was the newest and most curious of programs and Mark Andreessen was just another unknown CS major. I was an HTML coder for the now defunct online humor magazine MELVIN, and later a webmaster for an Internet Service Provider new to the Champaign-Urbana area. I even worked as a massage therapist for a while, too. After I moved back to the Chicagoland area, I sang briefly with a semi-pro a cappella group that later broke up.

I am now living in Berwyn. I work in my hometown of Downers Grove where I am again a Webmaster. I am also married to a wonderful woman... one of the founding members of the Rip Chords — a women's ensemble that started at the same time as the XChords. What can I say? A Cappella brought us together.

OK, time to summarize:
singer-turned-war veteran-turned-massage therapist-turned-singer-turned-Web designer

Got it?
Now you know more about me than you probably even wanted to know.

Reviews by John Magruder

52 total reviews including 10 reviews from before May 1998, which predate our database and are not listed here.


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