Master Classes for Music Directors, June 25th in New York City

On June 25th I’ll be organizing and moderating an afternoon of master classes for music directors in the theatre industry.

  • Joe Church (original music director of Lion King, now conducting at Sister Act) will lead a session on piano conducting
  • Jeff Marder (synth programmer for 3 shows on Broadway this season) will discuss music technology and synth programming
  • Sonny Paladino (Assistant Conductor on this season’s revival of Jesus Christ Superstar) will talk about breaking down grooves and playing different musical styles for theatre

Everyone is welcome to attend. Classes cost $45/each or $100 for the whole day, payable through EventBrite (EventBrite adds an additional transaction fee).

Visit for more info.

Full class descriptions are below. I’d be very glad to see all of our music director readers at the event!

Conducting from the Piano

Instructor: Joseph Church (Music Director: The Lion King, The Who’s Tommy, Associate Conductor: In the Heights; Assistant Conductor: Sister Act)

This class will examine skills and circumstances peculiar to conducting a stage show from the piano, covering both scores written for a piano/conductor and orchestra reductions. The focus will be communicating a maximum of information with a minimum of gesture. Techniques of conducting with the hands, the head, and with breath and facial expression will be demonstrated and analyzed. Issues of audio and video monitoring will also be discussed. The format of the master class will be a short presentation, followed by an opportunity for attendees to play and conduct with the presenter’s feedback.

Time: June 25th from 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Cost: $45

Eventbrite - Music Director Master Classes

Music Technology for the Theatre – A Guide to What Music Directors Need to Know

Instructor: Jeff Marder (Synth Programmer: Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Newsies, Leap of Faith; Associate Conductor: Guys and Dolls, Priscilla Queen of the Desert; Assistant Conductor: Leap of Faith)

In this workshop we will focus on synthesizer programming and will give an overview of the synth programming technology commonly in use at the present time. Participants will learn the basics of what the various pieces of hardware and software are used for, in addition to gaining a greater understanding of how these things affect the sound of a show. Also covered, but with a lesser emphasis, will be the role of sound design. This workshop is not intended to be a tutorial in the use of these various technologies, but rather a guide to what music directors need to know to effectively interact with the synthesizer programming and sound design in order to facilitate a seamless collaborative process.

Time: June 25th from 2:30pm to 4:30pm
Cost: $45

Eventbrite - Music Director Master Classes

Styles at Play

June 25th from 4:45pm to 6:45pm
Instructor: Sonny Paladino (Music Supervisor: High School Musical (Milan/Italy Tour); Assistant Conductor: Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease)

Musical Theatre today is not what it used to be. For the first 50 years or so music for most American theatre was simple: a beautiful melody, some interesting chord changes, and you were set. The rhythm was decided: either it had a two-feel or it was a sweeping ballad. Today musical theatre music embraces so many different styles of music. So how does one master all these styles? One show we’re playing 60’s Soul, the next show we’re steeped in Disco, next thing you know we’re groovin’ to salsa, and what’s that Hip-Hop!? Styles At Play will help you discover different approaches to getting down to the essential elements of the styles at play within the play. We will look at ways to break down different styles to find what actually makes them groove. After this class you will be prepared for whatever show and whatever ever style comes your way!

Time: June 25th from 4:45pm to 6:45pm
Cost: $45

Eventbrite - Music Director Master Classes

Reminder: Scholarship Applications Due by Midnight Tonight

If you are interested in applying for the Scholarship for Music Director Training, please note that applications will only be accepted until midnight tonight (9/6/2011). We will be announcing the scholarship winner on our Facebook page on Friday.

The scholarship pays for one music director to attend the Weekend Intensive Music Director Training Program in New York City, September 16-18. More details and the application form are at this link.

We wish the best of luck to all of our applicants. Also, don’t forget the Music Director Meet-ups in Chicago and New York City on September 25th.