Q and A
with Peter Searby
I grew up in a family of six boys and one girl. We lived in Northern Virginia, but my parents are natives of Queens in New York City. I am sure that accounts for the humor, boisterous conversations, and sincerity that was ever present in my family.
What was your upbringing like?
What were your siblings like growing up?
I am not sure if I will get in trouble with any of them for trying to describe them to an audience, but hopefully, they will laugh. I love them all and miss them. I am the only one who lives a distance away.
What I remember most vividly in my life is witnessing my mother and father going off on their own to pray in silence, reading spiritual books in a quiet room, and making space in the day for deep conversation with God.
How did your family cultivate a strong faith?
How did you end up in education if you felt so dissatisfied with it as a youth?
I jumped around from school to school as a boy mainly because I was very restless and did not fit into the system that well. I could not sit still in school, and to this day I still have a letter from my sixth-grade teacher that was sent to my parents claiming that I was causing intense disturbances in class.
I started when I was around 10 or 11 years old. I was in sixth grade at a public school, and I chose the saxophone. I enjoyed it, but we played music that didn’t interest me. I wanted to play swing, but most of the time we were learning Hot Crossed Buns.
When did you start playing music and why did you choose guitar?
Did you read a lot growing up? As a boy, what were your favorite books?
I did not read a lot, but when I did read a book I liked, I would read it over and over again. I was always a slow reader because I tend to get lots of creative ideas while reading and I love staying in a scene or a setting for a long time and taking it in.
This is an incredibly complicated question for me. I guess one way to answer is that I get ideas through story lines and settings that just come to me. But I definitely have found throughout the years that there are not many musicals out there that have the kind of music that is dear to my heart.
Where do you get the ideas for your musicals? What have you learned over the years about writing?
What do you enjoy the most about running Riverside? What is the hardest part and why?
I enjoy most of all creating inspiring experiences for the young rooted in creative storytelling, adventures in the outdoors
I hope that my book casts a fire in the hearts of many to see that education is about inspiring the young to see beyond the mundane things of this world to the grand epic story that we all are living