About Stacy Widelitz
Growing up in Plainview, NY, I started playing music the way so many others have over the years: I signed up for band. It was 4th grade, and I wanted to learn the cello but—to my great disappointment—was assigned the flute instead. My parents rented one, and I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. After a month of frustration, the band director sent me home with a note to my parents: “Please return the flute to the music store. I am dropping Stacy from the band program, as he exhibits no musical ability whatsoever.”
A few months later, my father picked up an old upright piano which he put in the basement. When my 14-year-old cousin, a classical piano prodigy, came to visit, he sat down and started playing Chopin. I was enthralled. Seeing my interest, he said, “Let’s see if I can teach you something.” Using a Schaum method book, we went through the first ten weeks of lessons in an hour, and I was hooked. So began a much more productive relationship than the one I had with the flute (not to mention a deep mistrust of academic music programs).
By 15, I was in Local 802 of the AF of M, playing clubs on Long Island. At 19, I started writing music for a small studio in Stamford, CT, quitting college soon after to focus on composing. I landed my first national TV theme at 24, for “The Richard Simmons Show.” The show became a hit, and it was time for me to switch coasts and make the big move to Los Angeles.
In LA, I scored more daytime TV themes and eventually some prime-time shows. But I couldn’t get an agent. Finally, I scored a UCLA graduate film called “Chicken Thing.” It was a huge success, winning 30 awards around the world. The director got picked up by CAA, and I signed with Triad Artists.
Along the way, I met this actor named Patrick Swayze. It turned out we lived around the block from each other, and we became friends. He had an idea for a song and asked if I would work on it with him. That idea became “She’s Like The Wind,” which ended up being licensed for a little low-budget film called “Dirty Dancing”.
I had 19 productive years in LA, scoring some films and a lot of TV shows. I had a major hit song from a soundtrack album, picked up an Emmy nomination, and wound up living in Malibu with views of the ocean and the mountains.
In my last two years there, a producer friend recommended I start going to Nashville to write songs. “Nashville? I don’t know anyone in Nashville,” I said. He said I would meet people quickly, and I did. I quickly grew to love the collaborative atmosphere and the respect for the creators.
In September of 2000, a real-estate agent rang my doorbell in Malibu, asking if I wanted to sell. Five days later it was sold. I bought a house in Oak Hill, TN, and drove out of LA to a new life.
…To the Future…
My time here in Nashville has led me down unexpected and fascinating paths. Music has certainly been a big part of that (you can listen to my music on Soundcloud), but I got involved in the broader arts community and local government. In 2016, I ran for office, and served four years as Commissioner in the City of Oak Hill. I’ve served as board president of Nashville Film Festival, ALIAS Chamber Ensemble, Leadership Music, and Nashville Opera. I’m currently the president of Nashville Opera Guild.
A few years ago I bought a good camera for a trip to Tuscany and started taking black and white photos. With encouragement from some fellow photographers, I continued my photography on subsequent trips to Cuba, Washington, DC, New Orleans, New York, back to Italy, then London and Berlin in 2019. This journey has led to getting a show and artist representation at The Arts Company, now re-branded as Chauvet Arts, on 5th Ave here in Nashville. It’s a new and exciting chapter for me, and I don’t know where it’ll take me. But then, I never knew where any of my journeys would take me. I just went.
Nashville Opera Guild
President, Board of Directors
Board of Directors, Co-chair of Development Committee
Board of Directors/Past President, Chairman of Gift of Service Committee
Nashville Film Festival
Board of Directors
Board of Directors/Past President, Chairman of Marketing & Development Committee