Brian Austin is the Voice of Shaker football (a.k.a. the “Voice of the Bison”) and a host of other events held in the North Colonie Central School District. By day he is a music teacher at Shaker High and in the community has served on the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Board and is currently a councilman on the Colonie Town Board. He and his wife Kerry live in Latham with their three children.
Q: You have been the announcer at Shaker football games and other athletic and non-athletic events at Shaker High? Is there a trick to keeping the game interesting?
A: When I announce the games, I like to keep in mind the people that might not be able to clearly see the field or the play that is happening. It’s not quite play-by-play but pretty close. I also try to keep the audience engaged with the myriad of other announcements that come across the desk throughout the game.
Q: Ever at a loss for words? And if so, then what happens?
A: Except for this question, nope. Anyways, the trick is to keep things moving and fill in those gaps somehow. I’ve even had one spectator come up and say ‘You like to hear yourself talk, huh?’ I guess that’s up for interpretation.
Q: Is there a favorite sport or event or activity you prefer to cover and why?
A: I think football is my favorite sport with the number of fans and mystique of the Friday Night Lights. The Bison Nation is incredibly supportive and that makes the games exciting for everyone. I’ve announced many different sporting events for Shaker and the National Federation of State High School Associations and Shaker football is right up there at the top of the list.
Q: What instrument do you play and why or how did you make music such an important part of your life?
A: Viola was my major instrument in college and I knew I wanted to be a music teacher since I was 8 years old. I have even had the opportunity to work with my first orchestra teacher, Mrs. Barbara Brothers, and thank her for all she did for me. I also play the piano and a mean cowbell!
Q: Who is your favorite musician of all time and why?
A: This is a tough one because there are so many! From my classical roots I would have to say Ludwig Van Beethoven. For a more modern day artist I would go with Zac Brown, and on the local level I would go with the lead singer and founder of the Irish band Get Up Jack, John Haggerty.
Q6: If you were to have lunch with (whoever the favorite musician is) what would you talk about?
A6: L.V. Beethoven: Not much, I just truly appreciate his music. Zac Brown: His songwriting process and rise to fame. John Haggerty: How he and the band make every performance feel like the first one with their energy and love for performing.
If you would like to see someone featured in Five Questions, contact Jim Franco at 518-878-1000 or [email protected]