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Trumpet Maestro Mark Nicholson Elevates Philly’s Streets and Steps with Musical Magic

by Madonna

Mark Nicholson, a trumpet player, finds joy in performing whether it’s on a stage or a street corner, as long as there’s an audience.

Every day, the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art draw visitors eager to recreate Rocky’s famous run. However, on certain afternoons, Mark Nicholson adds a special touch to the experience.

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Nicholson sets up his speakers and showcases a championship belt adorned with images of iconic boxers like Balboa, Creed, Drago, and Lang. Then, he selects one of his ten trumpets and begins to play. His renditions of “Gonna Fly Now” and “Eye of the Tiger” not only motivate some joggers but also bring smiles to the faces of passersby who recognize the tunes.

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Despite being a professional musician who regularly performs with bands in various venues across Philadelphia, Nicholson equally enjoys playing for the public. Whether it’s at the Art Museum steps or a street corner in South Philly before an Eagles game, he finds fulfillment in sharing his music with anyone who happens to be around.

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“I would play whether I earned negative five dollars or a million dollars. It’s just a fundamental part of who I am,” he explained. “I believe this is my identity. I believe this is my calling.”

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