The Road To Inspiration — Peter Link and Julia Wade

January 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm 1 comment

 

This article has been reprinted from an article first appearing in the Principia Purpose, Peter’s High School and College Alumni Magazine in December of 2010.

Peter Link’s music career flowed naturally from his days at the College. After serving under Jack Eyerly as assistant choir director his sophomore year, Peter went on to be its main director until he graduated. “Jack believed in my ability, mentored me, and provided opportunities,” Peter recalls. “I really learned my craft from him!” Peter also directed a College production of Carousel. After seeing it, a parent told him, “If you directed this production, you can make it in New York.” With that encouragement, Peter packed for the Big Apple soon after graduation.

During the next two years, Peter studied acting under Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse. From there, he landed a lead role in the TV soap opera As the World Turns as well as a lead role in Hair on Broadway. “Doing Hair and the soap was an incredible two-year ride as an actor, but I soon found that my real interest was composing for the musical theatre,” Peter says. During Hair he wrote the hit musical Salvation. Out of that score came a gold record that sold two million copies. “This was a whirlwind start for a young guy!” Peter notes.

Next, after seeing one of Peter’s shows, Joseph Papp, producer of the New York Shakespeare Festival, offered him the position of composer in residence. Over the next five years, Peter wrote music for 40 Shakespeare Festival productions. He has also written music for 15 Broadway shows and was twice nominated for a Tony Award.

In the following decade, Peter teamed up with his wife at the time, Jenny Burton, to develop a gospel show called The Jenny Burton Experience, which sold out in New York City for seven years and toured nationally. Jenny and Peter also had a son during this time, and although they’re now divorced, they remain friends and collaborators.

“Show business is about reinventing yourself from time to time,” Peter notes. “During this period, I recognized a need to write inspirational music of deeper content.” He also met Julia Wade, an opera singer crossing over into more popular styles. Soon the two were married.

Along with their love of music, Peter and Julia have Principia in common. Though Julia only attended for a few years of Lower School, she says that time was “an important backdrop” to her life. In particular she recalls her fifth grade teacher, Mr. Sellers, and playing flute in the band.

Eventually, Julia majored in music at San Jose State University in California and began her singing career at Opera San Jose. Later, she settled in New York City, but she has performed widely, including the Rome Opera and Palermo Opera.

By the time Peter and Julia got together, the music industry was beginning to change dramatically due to the Internet, so they contacted a Principia friend, Jim Birch (US’63), to help them navigate the business side of this new industry. Eventually, Watchfire Music was created, which now represents a wide range of inspirational music artists (including Julia) and composers (including Peter).

Julia also shares inspirational music each week as The Mother Church soloist. Describing her solo selection process as that of a “hunter-gatherer,” she pores over each week’s Bible Lesson along with stacks of solos. To help others in the same situation, she helped develop a research tool called “Solo Thoughts” on Watchfire’s website. There, 12 to 20 suggested solos are matched with the Bible Lesson each week, and the sheet music can be downloaded immediately. “I wanted to create for other people what I needed myself,” Julia shares.

As busy as they both are, Julia and Peter still find time to make music together. Their latest CD, entitled Every Day, features Julia singing Peter’s songs. Available at Watchfire Music (www.watchfiremusic.com), Every Day is definitely inspirational. As Julia explains, “The title track brings forth the idea that every day, every moment, God is enabling us and loving us.”

To hear the report Julia Wade gave during the 2010 Annual Meeting, go to www.christianscience.com/church/the-mother-church/annual-meeting. Julia’s report begins 50 minutes and 20 seconds into the webcast.

~ Heather Shotwell

Reprinted with permission
from Principia Purpose.

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Entry filed under: Inspiration, Inspirational Music, Inspirational Sheet Music, Inspiratus, Inspiratus Interviews, Inspiring Sites, Spiritual Thinkers. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

A Christmas Eve Invitation What’s Love Got To Do With It? Part 1

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Carolyn Allgeier  |  August 2, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    We had the great good fortune to hear you perform “Even Now” in the Mother Church last Sunday. We were traveling and just happened to be there in Boston. We both wept, it was SO gorgeous… even my husband cried- who is a Methodist!

    Is there a recording of that song available? My husband is an accomplished guitarist and he loved the guitar music so much too. Of course your singing was a gift!

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful singing with all of us. We will never forget how special that was!

    -Carolyn & Mike Allgeier

    Reply

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