SPRINGFIELD, NJ - A little over a year ago, Steve Gibb and his family moved to Springfield from Maplewood because the cost of living was more reasonable, the commute to Manhattan about the same, and it seemed to a good place for a family with a good school system for their young daughter.
Steve’s commute is to Broadway and it is one he has done for over eleven years now. He joined the smash hit “Jersey Boys” two months after it opened and has been commuting since. Steve is part of a community of Broadway professionals based in New Jersey. They find the cost of living in New Jersey more reasonable and for many New Jersey also is a place they can afford to raise a family and have a reasonable commute to work. The show’s final Broadway performance is January 15.
Growing up in Scotland, Gibb’s father had a really big LP collection. Today’s term for LP is vinyl. He would constantly listen to his dad’s LPs and decided he wanted to play the guitar. So, he taught himself how to play. When he took a class, he realized he had a lot more to learn about playing the guitar and so he went for more formal training. That training included getting his undergraduate degree from Napier College in his home country Scotland. He did his graduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he won the John Mundy Prize for ‘Excellence in the playing of a stringed instrument’. Now he will tell you he plays everything related to a guitar.
Professionally, his start in theater began in 1993 when he joined the cast of “Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story” in the mid 1990s. He was the show’s musical director and also understudy for the lead role. Steve got the role because he could not only play the guitar, but he could sing like Buddy Holly. The show was one of the first of a growing number of shows requiring actors and musicians on stage. So, his stage opportunities go from acting to being a utility musician.
Steve will be taking off time from “Jersey Boys” to play in this weekend’s annual performance of the “The Pipes of Christmas” in New York City on Saturday and Summit, NJ on Sunday. In its 18th year, “The Pipes of Christmas” is a unique presentation of traditional seasonal music, brass, bag pipes, strings, percussion, and vocals woven around a narrative.
This year’s show will include a partial debut of Steve’s most recent composition commissioned by the Clan Currie Society; the ten-movement “John Muir Suite” inspired by the first environmentalist. Three years ago, Steve debuted “Lullaby for a Prince”, which was commissioned by the Clan Currie Society in commemoration of the birth of HRH Prince George of Cambridge. In 2012, “Balmoral Snow” was commissioned by the Clan Currie Society in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth, II.
The Summit show at Central Presbyterian is sold out. The New York City shows are at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and the website is http://www.pipesofchristmas.com/get-tickets/.