43: From Living in a Van Down by the River to Mentoring MusicPreneur’s (Feat. Carlos Castillo)

Welcome to Episode 43 of the MusicPreneur.Com podcast.

Today's episode features two outstanding interviews:

  1. Manny Laureano of the Minnesota Orchestra shares his Secrets of the Musical Mind.
  2. Carlos Castillo on his journey as a MusicPreneur and guiding others to success.

Show notes for this episode can be found at

Opening Remarks: [1:25]

Secrets of the Musical Mind Featuring Manny Laureano [10:03]

Carlos Castillo start [42:50]

Carlos' Story [1:01:34]

Carlos' Early Days as an Entrepreneur [1:09:03]

Closing Remarks [1:22:33]

mannyManny Laureano (born August 17, 1955) is an American trumpet player and conductor.

He is currently the Principal Trumpet of the Minnesota Orchestra, as well as the Co-Artistic Director of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies. Laureano began his musical studies in the New York City public school system and received his Bachelor of Music Degree from the Juilliard School in 1977. He was appointed Principal Trumpet of the Seattle Symphony, where he performed various solo works, including the rarely played concerto by Michael Haydn. He held this post he held for four years before serving in his current position as principal trumpet with the Minnesota Orchestra. He has appeared numerous times with the Minnesota Orchestra as soloist playing concertos by Haydn, Hummel, Arutunian, and Tomasi.

He also performed the American premiere of the concerto by Viennese composer Friedrich Wildgans along with Leonard Slatkin conducting in Minneapolis in 1983. He has performed as soloist with a variety of ensembles throughout the United States including the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, the South Dakota Symphony, and the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs in Colorado.

As a conductor, he has worked with a variety of ensembles, ranging from having been Music Director of the Calhoun-Isles Community Band in Minneapolis, Music Director of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, to several appearances in Young People's Concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra. He has been in demand as a clinician for young orchestras throughout the state of Minnesota.

In 2002, Manny and his wife Claudette were invited to guest-conduct the National Suzuki Youth Orchestra Festival Orchestra and were invited to serve again in 2004. Manny has served as Co-Artistic Director of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies (MYS) since 1988. He is the conductor of the MYS Symphony Orchestra, and is the brass coach for the MYS Repertory Orchestra, conducted by Co-Artistic Director Claudette Laureano. Laureano served as Assistant Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra during the 2005-06 season and served as conductor of the 2008-2009 Minnesota All-State orchestra. In recent years he has appeared regularly as guest conductor at Indiana University, as well as the Eastern Music Festival, St. Olaf College, and Bethel University.

Carlos Castillo

Carlos Castillo

My Story

I used to have a 9 to 5 job, which I really loathed. I was working as a dispute analyst for a major credit card company. It was my job to explain to people who refuse to read things that the thing they signed without reading would cost them $70,000 and it was beyond our control… I needed a way out.

But couldn’t really justify quitting. The money was good. So good, in fact, that I had amassed enough in my 401k that if I were to cash it out I could fund my lifelong dream to buy an RV and roam around the country recording all of the music America has to offer. I had my out! I had dreams to chase, but unfortunately I was being anchored by this day-job. And so, in 2012 I got myself fired.

Planning to get fired is a weird process. I had already started work on my MBA. I also knew that once my 401k hit a certain level, the company-match would kick in, nearly doubling my investment. So the VERY day that company-match kicked in, I quit; “Office Space” style.

That’s right, I just stopped doing anything productive and spent my days in the office shopping for RV’s and recording gear, transcribing tablature, and doing my MBA homework…

…Six month’s later (after winning a high-performance award in the interim) they finally walked me down to HR and gave me my coveted pink-slip. I promptly requested my 401k withdrawal form and joyfully skipped out of the office for the last time, knowing I was no longer at the mercy of “The Man”.

It turns out that launching the Schwilly Family Roadtrip was the best thing I ever did!  Without my 9 to 5 job holding me back, I’ve since been able make a living in the music business – by helping musicians learn to do the same.

About the author, James Newcomb

I'm a full time MusicPreneur. Every now and then I play music. Send me an email at!

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