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Chad Frisque. Courtesy photo
Cities Vista Vista Featured

Vista resident Chad Frisque splits time between singing opera, technology and Boy Scouts


VISTA — Vista resident Chad Frisque has no problem juggling three of his loves — technology, theater and volunteering — seamlessly into his busy life.

“In technology, theater and volunteering, it comes down to personalities and relationships, and trying to really figure out what the other person is trying to achieve,” Frisque, 46, said.

Frisque, a Kansas native who resides in Vista, is the senior business development manager at the IT consulting and integration firm Burwood Group.

But when he’s not working, Frisque performs as a tenor section leader and soloist with the San Diego Opera and his own company, FAB United.

His next appearance in the San Diego Opera will be October’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” while he’ll star as part of FAB United’s “All Is Calm” in November.

“I love doing things that blend my passions,” he said. “I am passionate about supporting our military, music/culture and telling good stories.

“I will be producing ‘All is Calm’ which will bring together for the third year San Diego Opera, Bodhi Tree Concerts and Sacra Profana to tell the story of the un-official Christmas Eve truce of World War I,” he explained. “This poignant story is told by the soldiers through their letters, stories and songs. It is an amazing story of hope, acceptance and peace in such a challenging time. We will produce this at the Veteran’s Museum in Balboa Park the weekend before Thanksgiving.”

With an early interest in music, Frisque earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Wichita State and UC Irvine, respectively. As a tenor soloist, he’s performed in such works as Stravinsky’s “Oedipus Rex,” “The Recitant,” Berlioz’ “L’Enfant du Christ” and Britten’s “War Requiem,” J. S. Bach’s “Magnificat,” “Weihnachtsoratorium” as well as “Messiah.”

“Learning how to present yourself, learning how to interact with people, and being able to confidently deliver a message — those are all incredibly important things I’ve learned as a singer that have translated to every other area of my life,” Frisque said.

For the love of Scouting

The busy Frisque also spends countless hours as an assistant scout master and training coordinator for the Boy Scouts’ Troop 474, which includes 40, 12-to-18-year-old boys, including Frisque’s 12-year-old son, Maxwell.

The troop, which has families from Mira Mesa, Rancho Penasquitos, Poway, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, Escondido, Tierrasanta and Kensington, recently organized a Trail Clean-up Day.

For more than six hours on National Trails Day June 2, the troop fixed single-track and mountain bike trails at Rancho Penasquitos Canyon, using pick axes, shovels and other equipment to rehab or redo the trails.

A Boy Scout himself as a child, he has been a scout master since his son joined the organization six years ago. He said leading large groups of children has helped him as a singer and employee. He noted Burwood has been a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts, allowing his troop to come to the Burwood offices in San Diego for leadership training and merit badge days.

“Volunteering has really helped me in other parts of my life,” said Frisque, an alumnus of Richland High School in North Richland Hills, Texas. “I’ve learned a lot about myself working with children, and it’s taught me how to structure meetings, deal with people with short attention spans and keep people engaged.”

Frisque also noted it’s been amazing to spend so much quality time with Maxwell, who is a First-Class Scout and patrol leader for the troop’s Greased Lightning Patrol.

“My experience with scouting and the troop has been very, very positive,” Frisque said.

Hello, girls

When asked what his thoughts were regarding the recent changes to scouting (letting girls into the organization,) he said, “it’s honestly as big a deal as you want to make it.”

The Boy Scouts program is becoming Scouts BSA in February 2019 to reflect the decision to include young women, the Boy Scouts of America announced in early May

The organization’s name will remain the same; only the program for older kids will change its name.

The Boy Scouts of America, or BSA, announced last fall, that it would begin allowing girls to become Scouts.

“We’ve had girls in scouting since the ‘60s with venturing,” he said. “We’ve also had girls and co-ed scouting in international scouting for many years. My challenge with Girl Scouts is, as a single dad, I couldn’t get involved with my daughter. It was a different program and therefore, men are not allowed to be leaders.

“So, having two kids in different programs at the same time would have been difficult to work,” he said. “With my daughter, she has been around the troop and has experienced some of the things my son has experienced. She wants that, too, and I welcome it.”

In the end, he said, it really is all about the kids.

“My goal is to make an inviting program where kids, no matter what gender, can have experiences that will help them grow into productive, future members of society,” Frisque said. “Many of the things we do challenge them to think differently, to give back and to work together. The boys I think will actually grow from having girls around.”

What’s so fun about scouting

As for what makes scouting so rewarding and what some kids might be missing out on by not joining is a lot, he said.

“Scouting is great because of the different activities and experiences that not all residents have a chance or outlet to enjoy,” he said, citing examples of hiking in the wilderness, fishing, shooting a bow and arrow, or target rifle/shotgun and riding a horse.

“These are experiences that really are unique and come from an organization like scouting,” he said.

He added that knowing how to be prepared for and what to really do in an emergency, giving service to many different outlets and knowing you are doing it for the betterment of where you live are other positives.

“I played sports for many years in my youth, but sports offer one type of experience or outlet,” he said. “There is a lot of time placed in sports and with competition increasing to get into college, I believe Scouts is the best experience to create a real-rounded individual,” he said.

Scouting has also been known to help kids prepare for their futures and it surely did for Frisque.

“We teach our youth how to effectively interact with those around you,” he said. “To prepare for a new job interview for example. My Scouts know how to structure a meeting, their thoughts and how to effectively communicate what it is they need and desire.”

In terms of juggling opera, his day job and being a Scout leader, he said it does take work.

“(I do it) very carefully — no seriously our schedules (mine, my wife and children’s) can be incredibly hard to balance at times. I have one full-time job, three part-time jobs, and one volunteer position … it is crazy.

“We continually discuss our weeks, sometimes our daily schedule, and do the best we can to manage all of it,” he said. “Sometimes, it feels like we are traveling down the highway looking at the side of the road; details are hard to see unless you stop.”

He said it seems weird to say he does “IT, opera and Scouts,” but it really comes down to people, personalities and passion.

“I am inspired by making a difference in someone’s life. I am challenged by the difficulty in the world we live in, how hard making a difference means, but I keep coming back to that goal. If you don’t make a difference, why do it?”

Much of his drive and determination stems from his late father, which makes him reflect:

“I lost my father at an early age; as I got older, I looked for mentors,” he said. “Sometimes, those were easy to find, other times not. I have always strived to make a difference in my kids’ and my Scouts’ lives. It is how my parents taught me.”

Looking toward the future, Frisque said he wants to stay on much the same path.

“I want to continue my pursuit of making a difference, either in business, the arts or working with kids,” he said.

Frisque is married to wife, Lisa, and they have two kids, Maxwell, 12, and Elodie, 10.