Making Sweet Startup Music With Musical Overture
As someone who has lived abroad, but wanting (and needing) to connect with recruiters, job interviews, etc. in other countries, I advocate the trend that’s slowly happening towards creating video resumes and conducting virtual interviews. So, when I heard about MusicalOverture, a community of aspiring musicians showcasing their talents virtually, I was intrigued.
The site hopes to be an interactive performance venue where more young musicians will be discovered by recruiters from universities, colleges and conservatories.
We caught up with co-founders Terry Lowry (Conductor and Music Director of the Carroll Symphony Orchestra) and Steve Gradick (owner of Gradick Communications, LLC), to find out what inspired MusicalOverture, how they deal with stress, and their advice for budding musicians and entrepreneurs.
How long have you guys been involved with the Internet? What were your first steps?
Terry: I started programming in Basic when I was in second grade and continued through grad school where I was a teaching assistant in a digital music synthesis class using C-Sound. But as far as the Internet, I remember graduating from a small liberal arts college that shared three typewriters in the basement of the library in May of 1995, to graduate school in August when if we didn’t have email accounts we couldn’t receive or turn in our homework. That’s how fast it happened.
Steve: In my business, I have utilized websites and the Internet in a variety of ways for many years.
What time do you usually start work each day?
Terry: I am not a good sleeper, usually only 3 hours a night or so. I am up no later than 5:30 and off to the gym, so I like to get an early start.
Steve: I try not to have my work days start any earlier than 7 a.m. I prefer to work later at night.
What’s the first thing you do when you leave the office at the end of the day?
Terry: It depends on whether or not I have a performance. On off days, I like to have supper with my girlfriend.
Steve: I either work out, or go home to enjoy the lake.
When do your best ideas come to you? In bed in the morning? During dinner? After working for 16 hours? On your third beer?
Terry: Usually while I’m working. A brilliant artist friend once shared with me that for him, inspiration never came while watching a ball game. Instead, it comes while grinding away at the hard work that came from the last wave of inspiration.
Steve: My best ideas come when I am either driving or after a period of rest. I promise myself I will travel every three months but never do. Generally that is when the best ideas come.
How did you come up with MusicalOverture?
Terry & Steve: An overture is what happens at the beginning. The beginning of an opera. The beginning of a concert. The beginning of a relationship. The beginning of a career. We want to facilitate the “beginning”, whether that means helping musicians find teachers or agents or performance opportunities, or helping recruiters find potential students or professional musicians. Musical Overture removes the advantage of geographical location and levels the playing field for the parties on both.
We want to know about where you spend your day! What’s on your desk right now?
Terry: My desk is a 1952 Steinway Model M grand piano. I have books and music all over it. My laptop is always on a small stand right beside it. But on the piano is a bust of Beethoven, a fountain pen, and one of those really fat, husky size pencils that you use in kindergarten.
Steve: My desk is a reflection of my challenge in life which is to bring more organization while not destroying the freedom of movement. In other words it is a mess.
What’s your office environment like? Is it the kind of place where everyone is bumping away to house music or is it more traditional?
Terry: We make music, so we hear what we’re working on.
Steve: My office is neither.
Favorite movie? Band? Vacation Spot?
Terry: Borat. U2. Europe.
Steve: The Thomas Crown Affair, Journey, Barbados.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually put your life on hold and realize yours?
Terry: The concept for Musical Overture grew from an outreach program of the Carroll Symphony Orchestra that I came up with nearly 10 years ago. It was so successful that I felt strongly that Musical Overture would be a success, too.
Steve: Musical Overture is not putting my life on hold, it is a part of living.
How do you handle frustration? When/how was the last time you dealt with frustration?
Terry: Daily. Problem solving is one of my favorite parts of life. I’m a chess player and would rather play a good player any day – because good players frustrate you.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get their business off the ground?
Terry: Choose your team carefully.
Steve: Like an aircraft, it takes a long time to gain altitude but you can come crashing down in a matter of a couple of minutes. Seek wisdom and understanding.
Who has been your biggest cheerleader throughout this process?
Terry & Steve: My business partner.
Terry: No regrets. Lots of lessons learned, with many more to learn, I’m sure.
Steve: No, regrets are a waste of time and worse a negative if indulged.
How do you picture MusicalOverture in 5 years?
Terry: Having changed the lives of musicians for the better.
Steve: Accomplishing its mission for thousands and thousands of aspiring musicians.
How can our readers reach out to you? Facebook? Twitter? Google+? Personal blog?
Terry: Find me on www.MusicalOverture.com. My user name is TerryLowry.
Steve: Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry & Steve: Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MusicalOverture, and follow us on Twitter @MusicalOverture
Thanks guys! If you’re a young musician or a recruiter looking for one, make sure to check out the site. I’m now inspired to dust off the piano and see what skills from my 10 years of lessons I have left. Chop sticks, anyone?