Stories from those living their passion for others in search of theirs.

Life is not about warming yourself by the fire, life is about building the fire and generosity is the match.
~Larry Lucchino

This blog was inspired by the commencement speech given by Red Sox President Larry Lucchino at Boston University in 2008. We believe the most valuable gift you have to give is your story.

We ask inspiring individuals to answer these five questions:

What was your first job?

When did you discover your passion and how?

What was your biggest professional failure? What did you learn from it?

What is the best advice you've received? How have you put it to use?

What kept you going during the toughest times?

~This tumblelog is the brainchild of Biana Bakman.

26th January 2010

Text

Walt Ribeiro

Walt Ribeiro

Walt Ribeiro is a composer living in NYC who loves the Orchestra and Pop music. He brings these two loves together at ‘For Orchestra’ where you can find his amazing compositions of guilty pop pleasures arranged for orchestra.

What was your first job?
Stewart’s Root Beer. It was next door to a Home Depot, and I was the only guy who worked there. So I was kind of like a bus boy, but cooked a lot too. My boss was awesome, and it was probably one of the funnest jobs I’ve ever had.

When did you discover your passion and how?
When I attended The University of the Arts I studied Music Composition - so my works continually got bigger and bigger throughout my time there because the school continually challenged you to grow. So I went from writing for piano, to String Quartet, to small ensembles, then big bands, and finally orchestra. Writing for an orchestra was the coolest thing ever and I loved it-it’s all I ever wanted to do after that.

What was your biggest professional failure? What did you learn from it?
Fresh out of school, in 2006, I released a CD titled 'I.I' (it’s available on iTunes and more) and it didn’t sell at all. So I started understanding why it failed and over the next few years I grew my connections, network, orchestration abilities, and marketing skills. That failure turned me into a smarter person all around.

What is the best advice you’ve received? How have you put it to use?
My professor, Michael Billingsley, once told me, “learn something new every day.” It’s a powerful quote, because every day you fight to meet someone new, or learn a new orchestration technique etc. Over the course of a year, looking back, you’re amazed at everything you’ve accomplished.

What kept you going during the toughest times?
The hope that I would be a better musician from it. To set up that answer, the toughest time I ever had was when I got Carpal Tunnel in school for Jazz Performance on Guitar. I had to take a year off, which was extremely crushing. I read lots of books, learned to exercise, take breaks, ear training and mentally prepare myself hoping I would recover. I thought being a musician was about playing 17 hours a day. It’s not-it’s about practicing 17 hours a day. I realized the best practice was not to play, but to study. As I grew mentally, I realized I was a better and more well-rounded musician than I’d ever hoped to be. The idea of continually growing mentally is what kept me going - and during that time I began to write more music, which I loved much more than playing it all day.

Tags fororchestrawaltribeirocomposermusician

People I Follow