Birmingham violinist performs at sporting events after surviving pandemic slump

October 02 2021 06:00 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The pandemic left musicians, entertainers and countless others without gigs – meaning they had to get through the pandemic on a limited income. Susie Shortt, a Birmingham-based violinist, spoke to CBS 42 about her experience in the pandemic and how she’s now faring better than ever when it comes to her career.

“I was at a standstill,” Shortt said. “I’m known as a ceremony musician, so I do weddings and travel all over. So I had to really think about how to reinvent myself.”

Susie Shortt is a Birmingham-based musician. She’s begun playing the National Anthem at sporting events – including a Barons game.

Many of her scheduled gigs were cancelled almost overnight when the pandemic began.

“Before the pandemic I was in Vegas maybe six months out of the year, and I was doing 15 weddings a day when I was in a three day stint there,” Shortt said.

She also had to adapt the violin lessons she teaches to a virtual platform .

But Shortt made the most of her quarantine time.

“I had time to do music videos to promote myself, and then I auditioned for the ballparks for the national anthem,” she said.

Then she got her first call back.

“Barons was the first gig,” Shortt said. “Then last weekend, I was at my home team. I’m from Chattanooga. Guess who they were playing – they were playing the Barons”

Shortt said playing on the field at Regions Field “felt like home.”

Let’s just say she knocked her performances out of the park.

“Everybody loved it,” Short said. “Usually national anthems are vocalists; I’m an instrumentalist. They really love instrumentalists because it’s unique and different.”

Which has, in turn, brought in more business for her.

“I just love it because people come up to me and take pictures and say ‘I want to take violin.’ Then I get more business that way being a teacher and an entertainer.”

Boiled down, Shortt said she’s coming out of the pandemic living out her childhood dreams.

Shortt said she’s coming out of the pandemic living her childhood dreams.

“I remember sitting in the stands watching the national anthem being performed – saying maybe one day I’ll be doing this,” she said. “I never knew my dreams would come true.”

You can find out how you can book Shortt for your wedding and find her other work here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.