Justen Blackstone: The Voice of Backstage Podcast
Known around the world for both his rich baritone voice and his incorrectly-spelled first name, Justen’s work on the microphone brings the stories of Backstage Classical Music Podcast to your willing ears. Under his mother’s tutelage, he began to learn the piano at the age of five. The piano proved too meek an instrument to contain Justen’s musical passion though, and he discovered a love for hitting things very, very hard—this love, which some refer to as “percussion,” eventually led Justen to play timpani with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. Justen also began to realize a love for singing at an early age, and there is footage (available for roughly $1,000,000,000 since Gawker isn’t around to steal it) showing Justen and Adam winning vocal duet competitions as prepubescent middleschoolers.
After a successful run with his acappella group “Sixpence” (including an impromptu performance for the King’s Singers), Justen earned dual bachelor’s degrees in piano and vocal performance, received a Master’s Degree from Westminster Choir College, and settled in the Bethlehem, PA area with his beautiful wife Olivia. He teaches adjunct voice lessons at colleges in the Valley and leads an active performing and accompanying schedule. When Justen isn’t teaching voice, working on Backstage Podcast, or accompanying a local soprano through a particularly rough passage in “Caro Mio Bien,” he is probably destroying you on Xbox Live or grooming his goatee.
Adam Gingery: The Pen of Backstage Podcast
Adam, generally considered to be the fourth most famous West Chester, PA native after Samuel Barber, Bam Margera, and whoever it was that invented Mother’s Day, handles content production and story-writing at Backstage Podcast. His last name is pronounced with “hard G’s,” and no, he does not have red hair.
Like Justen, he started playing the piano as a young child, and when his parents realized that he simply had too much air for the keyboard, they handed him a euphonium. Adam and Justen found early success in both piano and vocal duo competitions, and Adam won numerous awards on the euphonium while collaborating with Justen on the piano. In high school, Adam played with Bravo Brass in Philadelphia; afterwards, he earned a dual bachelor’s degree in piano pedagogy and euphonium performance. While Adam found little use for his piano pedagogy degree (other than the fact that he met his extraordinary wife, Erika, in pedagogy classes), he did complete a Master’s assistantship at Texas Christian University in euphonium. Adam ultimately found little use for the euphonium degree as well and currently enjoys a career in advertising and freelance writing in the city of Philadelphia.
When he isn’t managing PPC campaigns and convincing clients that their landing pages don’t work, he’s probably playing the euphonium with a local ensemble, relaxing at Greenstreet Coffee, or yelling at the Eagles.