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Despite His Fame, Kevin Stites Remembers Where It Started

Photo provided
Kevin Stites poses at his piano in his New York City apartment. He's come a long way from Pecatonica, Ill., but he still loves to come home.

Kevin Stites is ranked among the “Who’s Who” of Broadway conductors but, despite the impressive body of work he's put together, he'll proudly tell you he’s from Pecatonica, Ill.

Phil Masterton

Years ago I had the good fortune of working with Kevin on a number of shows in the Chicago area. He was resident musical director at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre, where I performed in a number of shows in the 1980s.

I went off to tread the boards in Broadway National Tours and London’s West End while Kevin made a name for himself with the biggest stars, composers and producers in the world.

Recently our paths crossed again in Rockford, and Kevin sat down with me to share his journey from Pecatonica High School to the “Great White Way.” He spoke about the people who deeply inspired him. He never forgot their names -- or even where they live, for that matter.

Lots of talent, good fortune, good timing and -- more importantly -- good people, led to a wonderful career as one of Broadway's most sought-after conductors and musical directors.

It’s a great story, and it all started in Pecatonica, Ill.

Phil Masterton's complete 25-minute interview with Kevin Stites

Philip Masterton (“Phil”, nobody calls me Philip) was born just outside Dublin, Ireland and emigrated with his family as a lad. Growing up in Chicago’s northern suburbs he eventually graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a degree in Mass Media Communications/Radio & TV.