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Meet Christina Harbaugh, Member of Jean McQueen

Name: Christina Harbaugh

Hometown: West Palm Beach, Florida

Major: Psychology

Year in School: Sophomore

Her Campus (HC): What instrument do you play and how long have you been playing?

Christina Harbaugh (CH): So that’s a tricky question. I play keyboard in the band, but I really just started learning how to play keys recently. I’ve been playing piano ever since I was 5 years old, but I was taught to play classical music which I’m very good at doing, but playing keys is completely different. It’s basically like learning how to play the piano over again because it’s such a completely different style of playing.

HC: Who inspired you to play music?

CH: Definitely my mom. It was really my sister who was pushed into playing the piano first because my mom did it when she was younger, but after my sister started learning it was my turn, I guess. We grew up listening to a lot of oldies though, so I’ve always loved music, and hearing my mom play piano always made me want to try it.

HC: I noticed you aren’t a music major; do you still play?

CH: I do! I actually accompany a few vocalists in the College of Music and play for a few seminars here and there. I also help out at St. Thomas Moore as a pianist from time to time as well. Considering the major decision, I told myself before I came to college that I didn’t need a degree to pursue music, and I still stand by that logic today. That’s not saying that trying to get a degree in music is completely unnecessary. I still give major props to people trying to get one today, and in the long run, having that experience is going to probably get them chosen over me in a job interview. I kind of picked psychology as a backup plan in life just in case music didn’t work out.


HC: Do have plans to continue playing music after college?

CH: I hope so! The music industry is a very tricky business, so even if it’s just getting a job as a pianist at a church or literally playing for Broadway, I’ll take what I can get! I just feel like I’m meant to pursue music in some sort of way. So whatever happens, happens, and I’ll be okay with it.

HC: What’s the name of your band? How many people are in it, and how did you all meet?

CH: So, the name of our band is Jean McQueen and the Man-Eating Machine. Trust me, I know it’s a long name I’ve been trying to get the boys to agree to change it forever. Sometimes we just go as Jean McQueen to make it easier. There is a total of six of us in the band, which is a little more than you’ll usually see in a typical band, but I promise the sound is worth it. Zach is our awesome guitarist; JC is an incredible drummer; Ed plays saxophone solos unlike any I’ve heard before; Jianni brings something new and jazzy to the table with his trumpet; I mess around on keys, and David who kind of speaks for the band is our amazing lead and bass player. I’ve known Zach, JC and Dave for quite a while now, but we all just recently met Ed and Jianni about a year ago in the College of Music.

HC: What kind of music do you think your band sounds like? Is there a particular reason you chose this genre of music?

CH: We really like to cover the Grateful Dead a lot, so I definitely think they’ve shaped our sound a lot. If you had to put a title on it, I guess we sound like an alternative funk band, but we make sure to just jam out a lot in the middle of the songs just to kind of show off what we can all do and react with each other to make cool music. We just really like the Grateful Dead and they’ve always been one to feel the music they’re playing and just take solos whenever they feel like they need to and that’s so cool to us.

All images courtesy of Christina Harbaugh.


Nicole van der Sommen is a Junior studying Editing, Writing & Media at Florida State University. She loves taco nights with her friends and changes her hair color more than she changes shoes. She loves reading Harry Potter (for the billionth time) and to knit, often.
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