Of those in the audience enjoying an evening meal with a friend was the very busy Windham Town
Manager Tony Plante. “Believe it or not, I get to have a life and
an evening out with friends from time to time,” joked Plante but then stated
seriously “I really enjoyed the range of music Don Pride offered. It made for a
much-needed relaxing evening.”
|Pride and Bass Guitarist Steve Footer perform at Lenny's|
As part of The Windham Eagle’s Music Entertainment Series, we reached out to Pride who has always loved making music, to discover a bit about his passion. “I have always loved creating and making music since I received a toy piano for my fourth birthday,” stated Pride. “I used to sing on the radio when I was five years old, so I’ve been a musician pretty much my entire life.”
Currently, Pride has his own four-piece musical group known as the Don Pride Band. This ensemble plays everything from jazz, pop, R&B, and rock dance music to original music Pride has composed on his own. “I also play with The Portland Jazz Orchestra (an 18-piece big band that will be releasing a new CD this year), the Carmine Band (formerly the Tony Boffa Band), and I also sub from time to time with people like Mark Tipton, Zappion, Charlie Brown, and many others.”
Not only does Pride and his band perform locally, he along with the other musicians in his band, will perform throughout the United States, often performing at various venues including boat cruises throughout New England. “In the past year, I’ve been up and down the East Coast from Bar Harbor to New York City and even on ships at sea between those places,” stated Pride. “I’ve also played inland in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. This past summer I played a series of shows on the Hudson River that sailed from Newport, Rhode Island, through NYC, where I played while cruising right up to the Statue of Liberty and then onto upstate New York in the Catskill Mountains, where my wife picked me up and took me back to Maine.”
|Pride's love of music began at the age of five|
Pride’s many talents and musical genres include classical guitar, jazz, and various other popular forms. “My favorite style keeps changing but I especially love classical guitar and I enjoy the interaction with others when I play jazz,” Pride said.
Additionally, Pride who has not only performed extensively during his career, has also studied his craft, providing educational services to those who love the art of music and performance. “I have been teaching privately since 1985,” began Pride. “I currently run my own teaching studio out of my home and I am on the faculty at Portland Conservatory of Music, where I teach as part of the Karger College Prep Division, as well as giving private lessons in guitar, composition and music theory. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance as well as two master’s degrees in jazz studies and composition from the USM School of Music. I did post-graduate studies at both New England Conservatory Boston and Manhattan School of Music In New York. I also hold a two-year jazz diploma from the University of Maine in Augusta.”
Despite the fact that having a career in the arts is difficult, for those who dream of making music their entrepreneurial enterprise and success, Pride offers a few pieces of advice:
“I would say you should only pursue a career in music if that is all you think you could do and be happy,” Pride said. “If you do want to be a professional musician I would suggest you find a good teacher and get a good education, but that is not enough to survive. You will have to be an entrepreneur and market yourself. You also have to stick with it and don’t give up. There have been many ups and downs for me and at times I have thought of giving it all up, but I have been a musician so long now that I cannot imagine doing anything else. Most of the work I get is through word of mouth and name recognition, which takes a long time to build up. As a matter of fact, almost all the jobs I currently have come from people calling me, not me reaching out to them. But I keep hustling to try to find work and support my family. It’s a challenge, but I can honestly say I love my job and can’t imagine ever wanting to do anything else.”
For further information about Don Pride, check out his website at http://donpride.com/.