Balancing his interest in music and computer science defined graduating senior Brennan Traube’s college experience
Looking for Brennan Traube? You’ll likely find the Towson University senior in the Center for the Arts, instrument case in hand, heading to the symphonic band rehearsal space or hanging out with friends from the Towson University Marching Band in the Arts Café.
Earlier this month, Traube wrapped up his seventh and final term with the symphonic band, where he plays the euphonium. “The way I describe it is, it looks like a baby tuba, but it sounds like a trombone,” Traube says with a chuckle.
In high school, he was the only student playing the instrument. In the symphonic band, he’s one of six. “When I got here, I was like, There’s other people who play this instrument!” he recalls. “We all get along. The euphoniums are just goofballs.”
But unlike most of his peers in the ensemble, Traube isn’t pursuing a major in the College of Fine Arts and Communication. In January, he’s set to begin work with the National Security Agency, who offered him a conditional offer of employment as he began his final term as a computer science major at TU.
“I took a computer science class my sophomore year in high school. And I was like, oh, this is cool, because it’s kind of like learning another language,” he recalls. “I realized once I learned the building blocks, I could build anything that I want.”
After being accepted to three universities, Traube chose TU for its leading computer science program and highly regarded marching band.
One of Traube’s favorite classes was Case Studies in Computer Security, taught by Professor and Mathematics Chair Michael O’Leary, where students have about six weeks to prepare before a panel of alumni working in cybersecurity come to campus and hack into their systems.
“We had professionals coming in to teach us what we were doing wrong, to show us the crazy things that they could do,” Traube says, adding, “I’m definitely keeping the texbook from that class.”
In addition to representing Towson University in the marching band, Traube wore his Tiger gear on national television while competing in a college week episode of “Wheel of Fortune” that aired in November 2016.
“We were actually making sandwiches for a band trip when it was scheduled to come on, so we brought down the big projector in the band room and we were watching it there,” Traube recalls.
His family watched the game show most nights, and Traube auditioned for “Wheel of Fortune” during his freshman year with his father, who also later appeared on the show in 2017.
“He got, like, the final puzzle and everything. He got it all,” Brennan says. “So when it comes to ‘Wheel of Fortune’ he has bragging rights, even though I was on first.”
Balancing his coursework in the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics with extracurriculars in the College of Fine Arts and Communication has allowed Traube to express both sides of his personality.
“In my computer science [work] it’s very mathematical, it’s very logical,” Traube says. “But I’ve always had this relationship with music to express emotions and have those connections. If I didn’t [do both], I 100 percent would not be who I am today.”