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Matt Savarese ’12

“How could one man hide away for so long? Why won’t he stand by my side where he belongs? What would I do if I knew where he’d been?” No, this is not a poem, nor lyrics to a love sick song. These are lyrics to “Where’s Waldo? The Musical”. This delightfully humorous and catchy mini musical is one of several on The Online Musical, the brainchild of co-founder, Matt Savarese. Between making online musicals (Pokémon the Musical anyone?), Matt Savarese does it all. He’s in the Hullabahoos, FYP, UVA Arts Board, he’s Kappa Delta’s Daggerman, and this week, he’s a Campus Celebrity. If you couldn’t tell, music is Matt’s passion. Music and the arts constantly surround him. Somehow in his busy schedule of school, practices, and a whole lot of other commitments, Matt gave us the down low on his musical life. 
 
What’s your major?
Music and Media Studies
 
What’s your hometown?
Rye, NY
 
I know that you are super involved; can you list all of your extracurricular?
Hullabahoos, FYP, Online Musical, UVA Arts Board
 
What organizations are you most involved with and passionate about and why?
Hullabahoos and FYP have really been the center of my college experience here at UVA. Both organizations have given me incredible opportunities for artistic expression and also have provided me with some incredible friends and memories that I’ll never forget.
 
How do you balance all that you are involved in?
I definitely get overwhelmed sometimes, but at the end of the day my passion for the things that I’m doing always pushes me through. I must admit though, school definitely takes the back burner sometimes (hopefully my parents aren’t reading this!).
 
Can you tell me a little about the Online Musical and your involvement with it?
The Online Musical is an interactive digital performance troupe that I started in my third year with my friend, Jeff Luppino-Esposito, a fourth year at the time who has since graduated and works at Nickelodeon. For the past year and a half, with a cast and crew of around 40 UVA students, we’ve been making musical theatre web series and short videos that are hosted on YouTube. Jeff does the lyrics and filming and I do the music and sound recording. Our most popular video to date was ‘Pokemon: The Musical,’ which somehow got over 650,000 views. There are some exciting new videos coming out this week so definitely be on the look out at theonlinemusical.com!
 
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
Oh man…Sadly there are quite a few moments I could choose from. Probably my most embarrassing story though here at UVA was way back at orientation. During a really important welcoming speech by one of the Deans I was feeling really under the weather. I unfortunately happened to be sitting in the middle of a row near the front of the auditorium with about 15 people on each side. I started feeling really sick to my stomach so I literally had to create a huge scene and jump over everyone in my row and run out of the room. Luckily, I made it out the door before I threw up everywhere (but I’m pretty sure everyone inside could hear me). I was SO scared that people would remember when I got to school, but luckily UVA is big enough that no one seemed to remember…or at least they were polite enough not to mention remembering…
 
What is your proudest moment at UVa?
The first rehearsal of The Online Musical. It gave me chills to hear other people actually singing a song that I had written. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget!
 
If you had to sing a solo with the Hullabahoos in front of ALL of UVa today, what song would you sing? And why?
“Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers. It’s just such an epic song!
 
If you had to sing a solo to just your main squeeze, what song would it be?
“Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan. If you’ve heard the version by Adele then you probably understand why.
 
What are your post-graduation plans?
I’m currently applying to jobs all over the music industry – at record labels, digital music platforms etc. – mostly up in New York. Long term, however, I hope to keep composing for musicals and possibly for films as well.
 
What’s your best piece of advice for someone who wants to be an IMP (UVa secret society) more than anything in the world?
Find something at UVA that you are genuinely passionate about and pour your heart into changing it for the better.
 
What’s your favorite fun fact?
Hippo milk is pink.

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