September 4, 2014
Faces of Fauquier: 1-man band learns from children
“I grew up in Fairfax, but I’m a country boy at heart,” says Peter Fakoury, who performs as Peter McCory.
I love doing this. It mixes the two best things in the world — music and children. I want to encourage them to learn about music. Music has been the joy of my life and I feel good doing it. Give me an idea and I can write a song about it. Lots of ideas come from kids. It gives you the pleasure of getting to think like a kid and they take things so literally it gives you a different perspective.
He found his niche as a one-man band, the ultimate multitasker.
Peter Fakoury, working under the stage name of Peter McCory, plays a variety of original and classic songs for children and the elderly.
Inspired by Bob Devlin, a one-man band performer in the area before him, Mr. Fakoury tinkered with a range of acoustic instruments to perfect his act. Playing the kazoo, train whistle, harmonica, drums, cowbell, tambourine and singing almost simultaneously, he can captivate toddlers.
The job “mixes the two best things in the world — music and children. I want to encourage them to learn about music . . . . I hope to inspire some kids to say, ‘I want a ukulele for Christmas’,” he said. “Give me an idea and I can write a song about it.”
In 2000, he quit a 9-to-5 job and started performing full-time in Warrenton, Northern Virginia, Washington, Maryland, Richmond and beyond.
A naturalist at heart, he cherishes his home here.
“Fauquier County is one of the prettiest counties in the Piedmont . . . . I love the natural and agricultural feel out here — its rural beauty is its charm.”
One-man band for 15 years. I started in 1996 and had been doing it part time for four years. In 2000 I quit my job in the public relations department at Fauquier Health after nine years. I think it was a midlife crisis, and I always wanted to be a rock star. I found out by accident that kids really liked my music.
• Why do you do the job?
I love doing this. It mixes the two best things in the world — music and children. I want to encourage them to learn about music. Music has been the joy of my life and I feel good doing it. Give me an idea and I can write a song about it. Lots of ideas come from kids. It gives you the pleasure of getting to think like a kid and they take things so literally it gives you a different perspective. Kids teach me way more about life than I teach them. I love their wonder and how they just look at the world with such curiosity. I hope to inspire some kids to say, “I want a ukulele for Christmas.”
Two daughters, Mary Heather and Hannah. Parents who live in Fairfax and three sisters.
Bachelor’s degree in biology, with minor in communication studies, James Madison University, 1980.
• Civic and/or church involvement
Involved with the Fauquier Community Theatre writing plays, acting, playing in the orchestra pit, set design, and more. He plans on directing his musical “Captains Courageous” at FCT next March. He wrote the play in 1995, writing and orchestrating 15 songs.
Member of Church of the Word in Gainesville. In the Praise band, teaches Sunday School and serves on the church board. Helps Warrenton Middle School build sets for plays. Performs music at benefits for special needs and sick children.
• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Thirty years, since 1984.
• Why do you live here?
I grew up in Fairfax, but I’m a country boy at heart. I don’t want to live in suburbs or the city.
• How do you describe this county?
Fauquier County is one of the prettiest counties in the Piedmont. I’m a naturalist at heart. I love the natural and agricultural feel out here. I volunteer with the Bull Run Mountain Conservancy. Its rural beauty is its charm. From a natural sense there are the mountains in the north and it’s pastoral in the south.
• What would you change about Fauquier?
I wish we would hold our ground on development because that is what makes us beautiful. I think the board of supervisors has tried, but I think it’s getting harder. I love Vint Hill and wish it could stay the way it is.
• What do you do for fun?
Grow an organic garden, restore antique electronics, such as radios and Hammond organs. I have written a novel, but it’s not published. Kayak on Lake Brittle. I’m an avid bird watcher. I enjoy hiking, camping, and doing anything outside. Being creative, you can’t turn that off.
• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Lake Brittle. It’s not in the county, but I like to hike the Bull Run Mountains and go to Kelly’s Ford. I like to walk along area streams and wander around Old Town Warrenton.
• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I’m afraid it’s going to be more developed than it is and that will make me sad.
• Favorite TV show?
“New Tricks” on BBC and “Dr. Who.” I love BBC dramas.
• Favorite movie?
“The Snow Goose” from 1971.
• Favorite book?
“Captains Courageous” by Rudyard Kipling.
• Favorite vacation spot?
Assateague and the Outer Banks.
• Favorite food?
Right now, it’s okra grown out of my garden.
• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
Whatever you do — whether you swing a hammer, teach, write code — do it to the glory of God. That came from a lot of different sources and from the Bible. I care about leaving something in the world that makes it better, leaving a legacy.
• Who’s your hero and why?
My dad, Bud. He’s taught me so many things. He is the one I always go to for advice. I always felt affirmed and we made many memories. He is a man of honor and integrity and I got my tinkering from him.
• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Give it all away to charities. Put part of it into a foundation to continue to generate funds. There are so many people who need it more than me. I don’t play the lottery. I can’t think of something more fun than to give it all away.
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Previous Faces of Fauquier:
• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.
• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.
• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.
• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace
• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.
• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.
• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.
• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.
• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.
• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.
• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.
• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.
• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.
• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.
• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.
• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”
• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.
• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.
• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.
• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.
• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.
• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.
• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.
• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.
• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.
• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.
• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.
• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.
• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.
• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.
• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.
• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.
• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.
• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.
• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.
• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native
• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.
• His job dovetails with passion for hunting
• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.
• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people
• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.
• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.
• He lives and works in a beautiful place.
• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.
• Pretty things everywhere she looks.
• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.
• One day, he might run the company.
• FISH volunteer likes to help others.
• She sees the community’s generosity.
• Cop patrols while most people sleep.
• Pastor a constant in Calverton.
• She keeps the courthouse spotless.
• He loves working working outdoors at the park.
• She sees “everyone” at Carousel
• Library assistant works in a “fun place"
• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton
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