Hello friends and colleagues! Please join me in celebrating the first anniversary of www.churchmuse.com! I know it’s been a long time since I updated the news, and it’s been a busy year, to say the least--which is why I haven’t updated the news!--so here goes!
The ball started rolling in early spring, when we received word that Amazing Grace would soon open on Broadway, following its sold-out run at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago. After some enjoyable and productive creative sessions in which we made some slight adjustments in the show, we went into rehearsal in May, previews in June, opened in July, and ran until October 26, with audiences cheering and crying just as we had hoped. It was a great pleasure to tell this important and timely story to the world, and I was privileged to be the show’s music director, arranger, and composer of incidental music. The music team were brilliant and dedicated and a joy to work with--special shout-outs to orchestrator Kenny Seymour, associate MD Julie McBride, our stupendous orchestra, and Jon Weston and company’s perfect sound design and execution.
During the run of Amazing Grace, I began preproduction for Rothschild and Sons at the York Theater Company. On this show, I was the music supervisor and orchestrator, and we started rehearsal in September, opened in October, and close November 2nd. It was an honor to be reunited with my close friend and collaborator Sheldon Harnick to re-envision this gem of a musical in slightly revised form, under the direction of Jeffrey Moss.
Thankfully, both shows were given original cast recordings--and I had the rare experience of recording two cast albums on consecutive Mondays, both at Avatar Studios. Both are soon to be released, so come back soon, as I’ll be posting some clips!
And this fall semester, I began a full-time visiting associate professorship at NYU-Steinhardt’s Vocal Performance and Composition programs. I am teaching private composition, seminars in Musical Theatre songwriting and performance, and, among other administrative duties, overseeing admissions for undergraduates in the Vocal Performance program. This March we are mounting a reconstruction of a marvelous musical, Pins and Needles, a show with a long and storied history but one that has not been produced in decades. Under the direction of Meg Bussert, a team of talented students and I are creating a new score and orchestration for a cast and orchestra of equally talented students--the show will be at the Provincetown Playhouse March 25-28; tickets will sell fast!
My book, Music Direction for the Stage: A View from the Podium, is now in its second printing from Oxford University Press, and is available on, of course, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and all the usual book haunts--and during the year I managed time for a few new blogs on viewfromthepodium.com-- so please check that out, too.
As you can see, there’s been a lot going on, and I’m sure I’m forgetting lots of things, but I’ll try to be a better updater as this year goes on.
Thanks for visiting the site!