Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in music but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Roderick MacDonald,
Music Director of Worcester Symphony Orchestra, located in Worcester, MA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Our vision: Connecting New England with Great Music.

Our mission: The Worcester Symphony Orchestra enriches and inspires lives through music, community engagement, and education while maintaining financial stability.

The Worcester Symphony Orchestra (WSO), formerly the New England Symphony Orchestra, has served Central Massachusetts for more than 47 years, providing programs for the education, enrichment, and pleasure of the citizens and musicians of the region. The orchestra is an independent cultural organization committed to enhancing the quality of life in our communities.

Tell us about yourself

I was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and have served as the Music Director of the Worcester Symphony Orchestra since 2014. In 1988, I was appointed Principal Trumpet of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig Opera, and St. Thomas Church by Music Director Kurt Masur. My trumpet has been heard around the world in various ensembles, such as the Japan Philharmonic, Virtuosi Saxonia, and the Bach Collegium Munich, among others. I was also the Music Director of the Stelzen Festival Orchestra for over 20 years. From 2000 to 2012, I served as the Music Director of the Leipzig Philharmonic Orchestra, recording over 10 CDs. I've been a finalist for prestigious positions, including Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic and Associate Conductor of the Dallas Symphony. I received a diploma in Orchestra Conducting from the Leipzig Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory, and the "Leonard Bernstein" Fellowship at Tanglewood. I was also awarded the honorary title of "Kammermusiker" from the City of Leipzig and hold a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rhode Island.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Meeting the expectations of our audience.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Keeping all the people involved in the success of the group's greater good.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Make sure you are there for the long path ahead.
  2. Be sure you like the people you are working with.
  3. Believe in the product you are selling without reservation.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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