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Putting the MUSIC in a MUSICAL: From Piano Score to Demo Recording to Full Orchestration

June 28, 2008, 10:30 am - 6:00 pm

CAP 21, New York City

The 2008 New Works Summit brought together producers, writers, and industry leaders to discuss key topics related to developing and producing new musicals. The Summit was an opportunity for conversation between creative and producing entities in order to help foster collaboration among the participants.



1113 Productions
321 Theatrical Management
Caraboo Princess of Javasu (Fest 2005)
Collaborations Limited
East of Doheny
Eleanor (Fest 1992)
The Enchanted Cottage (Fest 2002)
The Girl in the Frame (Fest 2004)
Goodspeed Musicals
Gorgeous Entertainment
Holson Productions
Jungle Queen Debutante (Fest 1993)
Junkyard Dog Productions
Meet John Doe (Fest 2005)
Musical Theatre Matters: UK
North Shore Music Theatre
NYU- Tisch School of the Arts, Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program
P2 Creations
Party Come Here! (Fest 2005)
Striking 12 (Fest 2004)
Summer of ’42 (Fest 1999)
Tell Me (f.k.a. The Chocolate Tree, Fest 2007)
Theatre Building Chicago
Vanities (Fest 2006)
Village Theatre
Walnut Street Theatre
Yes, Virginia, There is A Santa Claus (Fest 1997)

Also Attending:
Sh-k Boom/Ghostlight Records


SESSION I – (10:30AM – 11:45AM)

Setting Goals and Defining Expectations
Moderated by Sue Frost (Junkyard Dog Productions) and Andrew Gerle (Meet John Doe, Fest 2005)

  1. What is needed musically at each stage of the process?
  2. What is the “voice” of this piece and how can it be lifted by the orchestrations or arrangements at this stage in the process?
  3. How do you determine what stage the piece is in and allocate the appropriate amount of resources?
  4. How will other parts of the production affect the music and vice versa? (sound design, size of the space, size of the cast, etc.)
  5. What can realistically be afforded?


BREAK – (11:45AM – 12:00PM)

SESSION II – (12:00PM-1:00PM)

Filling Out the Team
Moderated by Greg Schaffert (321 Theatrical Management) and Brendan Milburn & Valerie Vigoda (Striking 12, Fest 2004)

  1. What positions are needed to expand the music of the piece? (Dance Arranger, Orchestrator, Music Director, Vocal Arranger, etc.)
  2. At what point, does each new team member get added to the process?
  3. How is it best to outline the goals and expectations between the producing organization and the expanding music team?
  4. Who drives the orchestration and expansion process? Who sets the deadlines and upholds them?
  5. What resources are there to find the right people for your team?


LUNCH – (1:00PM-2:00PM) provided by NAMT

SESSION III – (2:00PM-3:15PM)

Demos, Contracts, and Productions
Moderate by Robb Hunt (Village Theatre) and Thomas Tierney (Eleanor,Fest 1992)

  1. Who controls the rights to what for future productions and licensing?
  2. When is the right time to record a demo and what issues need to be taken into consideration?
  3. What are the many hidden costs in orchestrations, music copying and music preparation?
  4. What methods, approaches and contracts are possible for recording the demo and cast recordings?



Open Forum on Additional Topics (3:15-3:45)



BREAK – (3:45PM – 4:00PM)


SESSION IV – (4:00PM-5:00PM)

9 New Songs by 9 New Talents
from BMI, ASCAP and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program
Shows represented:

Bubble Boy
Cheer Wars
Homemade Fusion
I’ll Be Damned
Lightning Man
The McCrearys
Room 16



COST: $30 (includes summit, lunch, showcase, and wine & cheese reception)

This page was last updated on 06/21/2016