"Scandal" tune hits right note for Pittsburgh's Margie Balter

Written by Maria Sciullo on .

They’re playing her song, and Pittsburgh native Margie Balter couldn’t be happier.

Balter, who grew up in Squirrel Hill, graduated from Winchester-Thurston and studied jazz at the University of Pittsburgh, said it is “crazily wonderful” that a number from her CD, “Music From My Heart” will be heard, possibly twice, on ABC’s hit, “Scandal” Thursday.

MargieBalter“I heard it might be in a restaurant scene,” said Balter, who is a fan of the show but will be, appropriately, walking a red carpet that night at the LA Music Award. “I’ll have to tape it,” she said.

She was at a music conference last Friday when she checked her cell messages and got the good news. Balter, who won previous awards for "Music From My Heart," also makes a living as piano teacher to the stars. Among her clients, who had to learn to quickly play various musical instruments, are Tom Cruise, Scarlett Johansson, Holly Hunter and Sandra Bullock.

The song, a piano solo called “Bluesie,” was previous chosen for the 2010 feature film, “Date Night,” with Steve Carell and Tina Fey. Hollywood music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas, who selects songs for everything from “Mad Men” and “Scandal” to “The Hunger Games” trilogy, obtained “Bluesie” via Balter’s licensing agent, Crucial Music.

The LA Music Awards will be her third red carpet event of the week. "I'm super-busy with a variety of things," said Balter, who is also a board advisor for the the non-profit Playing For Change. She's also working on a Christmas song.

Getting music placed is a tough business, she said.
“This is a success, but last week, I had, like, 50 ‘no’s,” Balter said. “It’s a hard thing. You have to be made of some sort of steel and I’m a Pittsburgh girl; I’m made of it.”


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