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August 15, 2022

Alumni Spotlight: Seth Rawleigh’13 (Music Performance)

Seth Rawleigh

Rawleigh is the new principal tubist at the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Prior to that, he spent eight years studying at the Zurich University of the Arts and performing in Switzerland. He shares he is “greatly excited to make music with my great colleagues for the community in Buffalo!”

Can you share your journey to achieving a principal tubist career at the Buffalo Philharmonic?

Craig Sutherland

Essentially, I decided to pursue an orchestral tuba career at the end of high school. I came to Roberts to study with W. Craig Sutherland to get better at my instrument and further my knowledge of orchestral repertoire and technique. He helped me greatly on this path with weekly lessons.

Then, I found out about Anne Jelle Visser and his amazing class of tuba students from all around the world working at the Zurich University of the Arts. So I decided to move to Zurich and study with him.

I earned two master’s degrees in Music Specialized Performance: Soloist and in Music Performance: Orchestra. I spent nearly a decade living and performing in Switzerland while also preparing and taking auditions.

Now, I am super excited to return to the United States and start playing this fall with such great colleagues in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra!

Paul Shewan

How did your preparation at Roberts prepare you for this role?

At Roberts, I found a lot of opportunities to perform in the orchestra and wind ensemble both conducted by Dr. Paul Shewan. He and I rehearsed and performed frequently together with a brass quintet.

All of these performance opportunities exposed me to new repertoire and helped condition me for a future in music performance.

Do you have any tips for current music students in landing a principal position?

Find someone who you can learn from that is doing what you want to do, then learn everything you can from them. Practice non-stop to invest in your future.

Take every performance opportunity given to you and create the ones that aren't given to you.

Listen to recordings of yourself, take notes, look for criticism from others, and work hard to refine your craft.

For orchestral auditions specifically: Listening to a lot of recordings is key. Also you should do countless mock auditions for colleagues and teachers to increase your ability to perform on audition day like every other day.

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