Creativity Abounds



The great American poet, Maya Angelou wrote, “You can’t use up creativity the more you use the more you have.” Local violist, conductor, writer and composer, Dr. Carolyn Waters Broe, is the living example of the validity of this statement.


Growing up in the beautiful rolling hills of Newport Beach, Calif., Carolyn started playing piano at age seven, violin at eight and the viola by 10. It would be the viola that would become her instrumental partner in life.


She remembers her parents being extremely supportive of her dreams to become a musician. They spent hours driving her to viola lessons and honor orchestra rehearsals each week.


Carolyn credits her first viola teacher, Rene Bregozzo, an Italian concert violinist, for her love of music and teaching her the art of performing; both priceless gifts that would become the foundation of her successful musical career.


At the age of 15 she went on to play with the University Symphony at University of California, Irvine by the age of 17, while attending high school. Carolyn attended Chapman University in California, earning a bachelor’s degree in music where she studied with Jerry Epstein of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Dr. Thomas Hall.


While working on her master’s in music history at California State University in Long Beach, Carolyn studied viola with: Adriana Chirilov, a solo violist from Romania; Robert Becker, Principal Violist of Pacific Symphony; and Louis Kievman, violist with Toscanini’s NBC Symphony. All were influential in her choosing to do her master’s thesis on J.S. Bach’s Treatment of the Viola.


In 1980, Carolyn married clarinetist and businessman Steve Broe. Steve was the President of TLC Enterprises in California and managed a chain of private preschools.


By 1982 she had founded the Opus Four String Quartet, performing between 75-100 professional concerts a year throughout Orange County, Calif. During that time she was also teaching private violin, viola and piano lessons.


With the birth of their son Jean Rene Broe, she shifted the music career back to second gear, with no intentions of coming to a complete stop. In 1990 Carolyn’s husband, Steve was hired as Vice President of operations with American Child Care Corporation in Phoenix, so by 1991 the family was settled in Scottsdale.


Carolyn soon joined the music community in her new home by founding the Four Seasons Orchestra of Scottsdale and the Four Seasons String Quartet. She also taught violin, viola and chamber music at Glendale Community and Scottsdale Community colleges.


Arizona State University (ASU) would be Carolyn’s choice for a doctorate in music. ASU also gave her the opportunity to study with William Magers, who Carolyn describes as, “A brilliant musician and historically grounded performer.”


She chose for her ASU doctoral dissertation, “Louise Lincoln Kerr’s String Literature.” During her doctoral studies her daughter Jasmine was born.


At this point Carolyn was handling the working mom role much as she would conduct an orchestra with calm, focused and organized resolve. She graduated with ASU from her doctorate program in 2001 and went on to expand her passion for music from a sitting performer into a standing conductor.


To achieve this goal Carolyn pursued master classes with Leonard Bernstein, Herbert Blomstedt, Seiji Ozawa and Dr. Michael Zearott.


Carolyn would use her skills conducting the Four Seasons Orchestra in Austria for the Hayden Festival in 2009. Most recently in January 2018, she conducted the Mozart, Chopin, and Friends Concert for the Four Seasons Orchestra, and five solo artists.


Over the years the Four Seasons Orchestra has consistently been nominated for Grammy categories, Arizona Governor’s Arts Awards. It has also been given official Historical Centennial Legacy Project status for their “Arizona Profiles” album, which is now in the Arizona time capsule to be opened in 2121 at the State’s bi-centennial.


In 2012 Carolyn was asked to audition as a violist for Scottsdale Philharmonic, and became their Principal Violist and a founding member.


The Scottsdale Philharmonic will be performing Sunday, October 14, and November 18, at 4 p.m. Concerts are free and located at the Scottsdale Bible Church in Scottsdale.


For more information go to Dr. Carolyn Broe can be reached at


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