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Life & Work with Liz McBryde

Today we’d like to introduce you to Liz McBryde. 

Hi Liz, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I come from a musical family and was introduced to playing violin when I was 18 months old by my parents, Stewart and Sandy Kitts. Growing up I always knew that music was what I wanted to do. I worked through school, private lessons, youth orchestras, and summer music camps to expand my playing. I went to college for music and graduated Stetson University with a Bachelor of Music Performance. Originally, I always envisioned myself playing in a full-time orchestra that mainly focuses on classical music. Having only played classical music and training classically this was natural for me. Towards the end of college, I started accepting professional work as a violinist. Playing in local symphonies came naturally, but I also accepted work in different genres. This included any string accompaniment for touring groups or artists that needed local musicians to play their shows. After playing several of those types of shows I realized that there was another way I could play as professional violinist. While still playing frequently in local symphonies, I began accepting more work that would take me out of the classical world aurally while still using my roots as a trained classical violinist. After college, I decided to continue on this mixed genre lifestyle and I moved to Nashville, TN. Nashville presented a different kind of music life and I became involved in the recording business. While still playing in local orchestras, teaching privately, and playing tours, I began to record frequently at Ocean Way Studios on music row. This was orchestral recording for movies, TV shows, and video games and I absolutely loved this side of the classical world. After several years of living in Nashville, I had the opportunity to tour Canada with a Cirque company as an aerial violinist for 6 weeks. This included playing in arenas almost every night and being suspended 30 feet above stage while playing my violin. Similarly, I had the opportunity to tour Japan twice for 4 weeks with the Hollywood Concert Orchestra. Travel and lifestyle as a musician is unconventional and to truly understand and live this kind life is really only understood if you do it. Because of this, when I met my husband, Derek, who is also in the music business as a touring musician based in Cleveland, OH, we understood the sacrifices one has to make to maintain a relationship while balancing a music career. I moved to Cleveland shortly after we started dating and shifted my work around the Ohio area. Being from Florida and having most of my family still there, I have always kept professional relationships around Florida and would frequently return to visit family and to play in various places. 2 years after moving to Cleveland, my husband and I have moved to Florida where I will continue to play professionally. He is shifting his career into addiction and recovery. Having always been involved in recovery, he will now have the ability to focus most of his time to that world. He will continue to play music, however. We play together on Derek’s own music which has strong Americana and folk roots and centers around positive thought and recovery. Him on guitar and singing and myself playing violin. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The music business is never a smooth road. There have been many obstacles and competitors along the way that you naturally compare yourself to while trying to improve. It can be monotonous in the practice room spending hours practicing the smallest amount of music with sometimes little improvement. It can be the nights of trying to memorize a thirteen-page piece of music for a competition that hundreds apply to and only one-three are often chosen as winners. The teasing of your “violin hickey” that is permanently imprinted on your neck from where you hold the violin. The constant scrutiny and analyzation from tutors and teachers of how you can be better, how you can be more, and what you need to do to be perfect in your playing. “Practice makes perfect” is a severely loaded statement. This is a tough business to be in and to get through but it is even more of a mental challenge to persevere through the continuous sifting of yourself. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize and am known for classical violin but am experience in other genres. I do live shows, recordings, weddings, private lessons, orchestra, country music, and others. I now contract other string players to play shows with touring artists and groups. I play with my husband, Derek McBryde, with his original music. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I feel lucky to come from the family I did. Being a 4th generation professional violinist has its pros and cons but I am mostly fortunate because their experience and knowledge has been passed on to me from an early age. 


  • Recording (home studio) – $75 per song with 1 edit.
  • Private lessons (in person or virtual) – $50/hr $30/half hr
  • Weddings – TBD. Specifics of playing, length, distance, etc determine price.
  • Live Shows – TBD. Specifics of playing, length, distance, etc determine price.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Justyna Walker Photos
Definitely Not Zoë’s Photography
Nat Kendrick Jacob
Carr Only Photography

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