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Violin/I want to be like you, but I need advice!

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Question
Hi! My name is Madison, and I stumbled across your profile while looking for Broadway advice. I am a current high school junior who is 16 years old, and my dream is to play in the pit orchestra for Broadway shows (and hopefully Wicked at some point!). I have been playing the violin for 4 years, but I have practiced very hard and have made it to the pre-college/college level literature. I need advice on how I will accomplish my dream. How did you make it to Broadway? Are there auditions? What colleges would you suggest for me to study violin performance at? Where did you study? I'm sorry for the question overload, but I know the best advice would come from somebody who has made it to Broadway. I have more questions, but I guess I will leave it at this for right now and ask them later. Thank you so so so so much!!!
-Madison

Answer
Hi Madison. There are multiple strategies for specific goals like yours, but almost all players have the same general path:  study in major music programs after high school as classical violinists, then find their way to new york city as professionals and network into broadway jobs.  Only the radio city christmas spectacular and some rare shows are auditioned; all others are contracted and are based on referrals from colleagues.

If you are good enough to graduate a conservatory or major music school and win a minor orchestra audition or two, you will be a good enough player for broadway shows.  The rest just depends on a variety of intangibles that I am ill-suited to advise anyone on!  

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Todd Sullivan

Expertise

Hello, I am a NYC violinist performing for Broadway shows, symphony orchestras, opera, and sundry theatre/pop tours. I would be happy to answer your questions about anything related to being a performer in the music business. I play both violin and viola professionally, so questions on playing either instrument are welcome. The only thing I am not well informed on is information concerning instruments/bows...those questions are best left to luthiers.

Experience

Professional experience includes a variety of on/off Broadway tours and shows, numerous orchestras, tours with Ray Charles and Ann Murray orchestras, leader of the 20-piece Todd Sullivan Orchestra.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Fine Arts (violin) with honors from Carnegie Mellon University (1999)

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