CEC V - Cutting-Edge Composers V - February 17, 2014

The 9:30pm concert at 54 Below will feature the songs of Eli Bolin & Sam Forman & Hunter Bell, Landon Braverman & Derek Hassler, Scott Burkell & Paul Loesel, Carmel Dean, Drew Gasparini, Joe Iconis, Jason SweetTooth Williams & Lance Rubin, Aaron Jones & Sung Rno, Douglas Lyons & Ethan D. Pakchar, Alexander Sage Oyen, Tim Rosser & Charlie Sohne, Jeff Thomson & Jeremy Desmon, Benjamin Velez & Katie Hathaway and Daniel Zaitchik. More songwriters will be added soon.

Tickets are on sale now at http://54below.com/artist/cutting-edge-composers/.

See also CEC IV, CEC III, CEC II and CEC I.

Hunter Bell

Hunter Bell earned an OBIE Award, a Drama League nomination, and a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical for the Broadway musical [title of show]. Other credits include books for Silence! The Musical, Bellobration! (Ringling Bros. Circus), Villains Tonight! (Disney Cruise Lines), Found, Other World, and Julie Andrews’ The Great American Mousical. He is a co-creator of the web series "the [title of show] show" and has developed television with ABC Studios. Hunter is a proud graduate and distinguished alumnus of Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts, a member of the Dramatists Guild, Writers Guild, and a MacDowell Fellow. @huntbell - CEC V

Eli Bolin

Eli Bolin is the music director, songwriter, and a founding member of the Striking Viking Story Pirates, a NYC-based Arts-Education group that turns stories written by kids into songs and sketches. In the last year, the Story Pirates have taught and performed in L.A., Boston, Houston, Florida & the Kennedy Center for President Obama's inauguration. Eli graduated from Northwestern University, where he composed the off-Broadway and international hit I Sing! with Sam Forman. Their children's musical Schmoozy Togetherness just premiered in July at the Williamstown Theatre Festival as the festival's first-ever original children's musical. Eli also recently released his first solo album, Lemonade and wrote music for Kristen Schaal's special on Comedy Central. http://elibolin.net and http://storypirates.org - CEC I, CEC V

Landon Braverman

Landon Braverman is a NYC-based composer, originally from Vancouver, BC. With collaborator Derek P. Hassler (book & lyrics), he has written the scores for Queen of the West (winner of Best Score and Best Musical – Manhattan Theatre Mission) and Choices (award winner at WVMTF, Top 10 Finalist Ken Davenport Short Play Competition, produced by NAAP). His music has been featured at Lincoln Centre, 54 Below, NYMF, and across North America. He worked with Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records, assisting on the recording of new musicals, including Bring It On and Giant. Landon is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Canadian Musical Theatre Writers Collective (CMTWC), a new national organization devoted to supporting and promoting the work of Canadian musical theatre writers at home and abroad. He is an alum of Mount Allison University, the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU-Tisch, and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. http://www.youtube.com/landobravo - CEC V

Burkell and Loesel

Scott Burkell and Paul Loesel's songs have been premiered by Kristin Chenoweth (Carnegie Hall), Rebecca Luker (The Kennedy Center, Symphony Space), Marin Mazzie (Lincoln Center), Jason Danieley (Joe’s Pub), Stephanie J. Block (Birdland), Susan Egan, and Liz Callaway (Chicago Humanities Festival.) Together they have received the Jonathan Larson Award, and as a composer, Paul is the recipient of the 2010 Burton Lane Award. Recordings of their work appear on Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley’s Opposite You, Stephanie J. Block’s This Place I Know, and Rebecca Luker’s Greenwich time. (Sorta) Love Songs, their debut CD, was released in December 2010 on the Sh-K-Boom Records label. Their musical The Extraordinary Ordinary received a Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grant, an ASCAP workshop, a CAP21 workshop, and productions at the Philly Fringe Festival and Off-Broadway’s Clurman Theatre. Musical revues include Love Songs and Other Crap (MAC Award nomination) and Sorta Love Songs (Birdland). Ella Minnow Pea, their new musical, received a production at the University of Michigan and is currently in development with New York’s breaking bread theatre company. http://www.scottandpaul.com - CEC III, CEC V

Carmel Dean

Carmel Dean recently music directed American Idiot (the Green Day punk opera) at Berkeley Rep, and prior to that was the Musical Director for Everyday Rapture at Second Stage Theatre, with Sherie Rene Scott. Her vocal arrangements were heard in Vanities, A New Musical and she was the Vocal Arranger and Associate Musical Director of the Broadway hit The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Her compositions and arrangements have been performed in concerts and cabarets in NYC and her native Australia, and on the second season of Disney TV's Johnny & the Sprites. Most recently, her work can be heard on Chita Rivera's "And Now I Swing" CD. Carmel is a proud graduate of NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. http://www.carmeldean.com/ - CEC II, CEC V

Sam Forman

Sam Forman co-wrote (with composer Eli Bolin) the musical I Sing! (A cast recording of the York Theatre Production is available in stores worldwide from Jay Records). Other plays and musicals include: The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall (The Lion Theatre, dir. Sam Gold; Theater J, Washington DC dir. Shirley Serotsky), Schmoozy Togetherness (Williamstown Theatre Festival, dir. Johanna McKeon), The Grille Room (Cherry Lane Mentor Project dir. Thomas Kail), Quarterlife (workshop dir. Mark Brokaw), Please Stop Talking (Cherry Lane Theatre, dir. Erwin Maas), Fringical! (Ars Nova, dir. Thomas Kail) and The Quiet Game (Hangar Theatre, Ithaca NY, dir. Daniel Kramer). Upcoming: Broadway’s Next Season (dir. Alex Timbers). - CEC I, V

Drew Gasparini

Drew Gasparini is the recipient of the John Lennon Songwriters Award (2006). As well as being a composer/lyricist for theatre, Drew is a performing singer/songwriter. His work as a touring songwriter has been seen around the country where he's shared the stage with acts such as Jason Mraz, Third Eye Blind, and The Plain White T's. As a musical theatre composer Drew has contributed music and lyrics to the popular one-woman show, Hot Mess In Manhattan, Andrew Kober’s one man show Koberet presented at NYMF (2012), as well as benefits such as Broadway In South Africa. Drew is an alum of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre workshop and has written the music, lyrics and book for his shows Crazy, Just Like Me (winner of "Best Of Fest" and runner up for "Best Book" in the New York Musical Theatre Festival 2011), Above My Pay Grade (commissioned by Pfizer & Holt Learning), Circles (NY reading, fall 2012), and Inappropriate Stories Told At A Bar. Right now Drew is teaming up with the minds behind the Jeff Buckley-Romeo and Juliet adaptation, The Last Goodbye, to write the musical adaptation of the Henry James novella, Turn Of The Screw (workshop at Fordham University), and his very own serial killer love story: Make Me Bad. Drew has been the featured composer for the National Alliance of Musical Theatre, and has twice been featured by Contemporary Classics New Voices in Seattle, Scott Alan’s New Voices and The New York Theatre Barn in NYC. His music can be heard online and all over the country at concerts, benefits, and colleges. http://www.DrewGaspariniMusic.com/ and @DrewGasparini - CEC III, CEC V

Derek Hassler

Derek Hassler is a bookwriter and lyricist originally hailing from the city of Chicago. He received his BA in Music from Millikin University. His recent works include Queen of the West (music by Landon Braverman; winner of Best Musical at the Manhattan Theatre Mission Showcase), CHOICES (music by Landon Braverman; winner 2012 best book at WVMTF; 2012 Ken Davenport Short Play Finalist; selected 2013 National Asian Artist Project), and Last Resort (music by Helen Park; presented in Concert at the Duplex Theatre). His music has been featured in New York City at Lincoln Center, 54 Below, and other various cabaret venues. He is a recent alum of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (TISCH-NYU) and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. http://derekhassler.com/ - CEC V

Joe Iconis

Joe Iconis is a Long Island native and a grad of the great NYU/Tisch Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. He is the proud recipient of a 2007 Ed Kleban Award, a 2006 Jonathan Larson Award, a Backstage Bistro Award, and a 1992 Garden City Elementary School Vocal Music Award. Joe is the author of The Black Suits (music and lyrics by Joe, book by Joe and Robert Maddock; SPF @ The Public Theater), ReWrite (Urban Stages), The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks (Lucille Lortel Theater) and Things to Ruin: the Songs of Joe Iconis (The Zipper). Other projects include Plastic! and Triumphant Baby! (both with Robert Maddock). The Joe Iconis Rock and Roll Jamboree has played to sold out crowds at venues all over the city, including Joe's Pub, The Laurie Beechman Theater, and Ars Nova. http://www.mrjoeiconis.com/ - CEC II, IV, V

Lyons and Pakchar

Douglas Lyons and Ethan D. Pakchar are contemporary musical theatre songwriters who began collaborating while touring with The Book of Mormon. Lyons, who handles lyrics and music, is a Broadway actor who has performed in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Rent and Dreamgirls. Atlanta native Pakchar, a guitarist and composer who has played for the Broadway productions of Wicked, Book of Mormon and Newsies, provides orchestration and additional music. The two are developing a musical entitled '79, inspired by the score of their debut album, #Love (Live). https://www.facebook.com/LyonsandPakchar - CEC V

Charlie Sohne and Tim Rosser

Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne are finalists for the 2013 Ebb Award. Their most recent show was The Boy Who Danced on Air (2013 NAMT Festival of New Works, 2013 Rodgers Award Finalist, developed through The Lark’s Monthly Meeting of the Minds and Roundtables). Previously, they wrote The Profit of Creation (2011 Yale Institute for Musical Theater, one of ten finalists for the O’Neill Music Theater Conference 2011 and 2012, developed at The Lark and through ASCAP’s 2010 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Program) and the short musical Political Speeches (The Culture Project’s IMPACT Series). Their work has been seen in a sold-out 54 Below Show, Birdland, Cutting Edge Composers at Joe’s Pub, NYTB at the D-Lounge, NEXT’s Emerging Composers Series, and The Holiday Concert at the Lincoln Center Library. They were both members of the Advanced Class of the BMI Workshop. http://www.rosserandsohne.com/ - CEC IV, CEC V

Jeff Thomson

Jeff Thomson - bio coming soon. http://www.jeffthomsonmusic.com/ - CEC V

Benjamin Velez and Katie Hathaway

Benjamin Velez and Katie Hathaway met as students at Columbia University where they penned music and lyrics for The 114th Annual Varsity Show, Columbia’s longest performing arts tradition. Their work has been performed and developed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Flea Theater, New Dramatists, The Bushwick Starr, Dixon Place, The Prelude Festival, NYMF, Joe’s Pub, and the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. Their original musical Afterland was a 2012 finalist for the Fred Ebb Award. Both are members of the Advanced BMI workshop. Benjamin is a recipient of a NAMT Grant and the BMI Foundation's Jerry Harrington Award for Creative Excellence. Katie is a MacDowell Colony fellow, and has an MFA from Mac Wellman's playwriting program at Brooklyn College. http://www.benjaminvelez.com/Afterland - CEC IV, CEC V

Daniel Zaitchik

Daniel Zaitchik is a singer-songwriter and composer-playwright of unconventional music-theatre. His musical Picnic at Hanging Rock was developed at Lincoln Center Theatre and the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, and will have its world premiere at Weber State University in early 2014. Other theatre projects include Suprema (developed at Ars Nova, Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, and New Dramatists), Ula (45th St Theatre) and Grenadine (currently in development.) As a singer-songwriter, Daniel has brought his tunes to classic NYC/LA venues including Joe's Pub, Canal Room, Rockwood Music Hall, and The Bootleg Theatre. In 2009, Daniel created the multi-voiced band Blue Bottle Collection, with whom he released the 2011 concept album Summer of the Soda Fountain Girls. His debut solo EP, Bad Dancer, was released in June. As a sometimes-actor, Daniel has worked at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club, Cherry Lane, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Intiman Theatre, and others. Daniel lives in Los Angeles. http://danielzaitchik.com/ - CEC V

CEC IV - Cutting-Edge Composers IV - February 4, 2013

The 7:00pm concert at Joe's Pub featured the songs of Drew Fornarola and Scott Elmegreen, Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, Joe Iconis, Lourdes Lane, Peter Lerman, Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond, Virginia Hart Pike, Will Reynolds, Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham, Charlie Sohne and Tim Rosser, Nathan Tysen and Chris Miller, Benjamin Velez and Katie Hathaway, and Zack Zadek.

See also CEC V, CEC III, CEC II and CEC I.

Scott Elmegreen

Scott Elmegreen - bio coming soon. http://www.scottelmegreen.com/ - CEC IV

Drew Fornarola

Drew Fornarola is a songwriter and playwright living in New York City. He is currently developing a new musical for both stage and screen with DreamWorks Theatricals / DreamWorks Animation. Other theater: Super Claudio Bros: A Videogame Musical (Best Musical DC Fringe '10); COLLEGE The Musical (pub Dramatic Publishing Company); Thucydides (Samuel French Play Fest Winner, pub. Samuel French); and the children's musicals Uncle Pirate (based on the novel by Doug Rees, pub. Samuel French) and AWESOME ALLIE: First Kid Astronaut (pub. Theatrical Rights Worldwide). His new play Straight was a 2012 O’Neill Semi-Finalist and is under option by Tony Award-winning producer Andy Sandberg (Hair). Awards: NYMF Award for Excellence in Lyrics, John Wallowitch Award for songwriting, 2 MAC Award nominations, Richard Rodgers Award Nomination. B.A. Princeton University, BMI Workshop Alumnus, J.D. Fordham University School of Law (expected 2013). Drew is represented by Buddy Thomas at ICM. http://www.drewfornarola.com - CEC III, IV

Zina Goldrich

Zina Goldrich was recently nominated for a Drama Desk award for Outstanding Music for the Off-Broadway show, Dear Edwina, written with lyricist Marcy Heisler. Other Goldrich & Heisler productions include Junie B. Jones (2005 Lucille Lortel Nomination, Best Musical), Allison Under the Stars (Workshop, Second Stage) and Adventures in Love (Ordway). Current projects with Heisler include Ever After, based on the 20th Century Fox film, and an original musical with author and fashion expert, Clinton Kelly. She is also the co-author of Goldrich and Heisler, Songbook Volume 1, now in its fifth printing. An accomplished television composer, Goldrich scores episodes of Nickelodeon’s Emmy Award-winning Wonderpets, as well as Third and Bird for the BBC. She has also written music for many Disney projects, including Johnny and the Sprites, Pooh’s Learning Adventures and The D Show. Goldrich was a co-recipient of ASCAP’s Richard Rodgers New Horizon Award, the Seldes-Kanin Fellowship, a Larson award and was a Joseph Papp Artist in Residence at Second Stage. She studied under the tutelage of Jerry Goldsmith at USC’s Scoring for Motion Picture and Television Program, and has played keyboards for numerous Broadway shows including Avenue Q, Oklahoma and Titanic, where she also conducted. http://www.goldrichandheisler.com - CEC I, IV

Marcy Heisler

Marcy Heisler has been collaborating with composer Zina Goldrich since 1993, providing book and lyrics for Dear Edwina (2009 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Lyrics), Dear Edwina Junior, and the Lucille Lortel Award Nominated Junie B Jones. As a lyricist, Ms. Heisler has contributed songs for many Disney projects, including Johnny and The Sprites (Disney Television), Pooh’s Learning Adventures (Disney Toon Studios), and The D Show (Disney Interactive). As an adaptor, she wrote new versions of 101 Dalmatians, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book for Disney Theatricals. Other productions include Adventures in Love (Ordway Theatre), Allison Under the Stars (Workshop, Second Stage Theatre), and The Marcy and Zina Show, which tours around the country and Canada. Ms. Heisler was a co-recipient of ASCAP’S 2002 Richard Rodgers Theatre Award and was a Joseph Papp Artist in Residence at Second Stage Theatre. She recently collaborated with composer Michael Picton on songs for Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus 137th Edition. Current projects with Goldrich include a musical adaptation of 20th Century Fox’s Ever After and an original musical with bestselling author and fashion expert Clinton Kelly. Alphabet City Cycle, a collection of her poems set to music by Georgia Stitt, was recorded by Kate Baldwin and released by PS Classics this past Spring. She is also the co-author of Goldrich and Heisler, Songbook, Vol. 1, now in its fifth printing. An active member of the Publications Committee of the Dramatists Guild, Ms. Heisler is a contributing writer to Dramatist magazine. She graduated with High Honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing Program and previously studied acting at Northwestern University. http://www.goldrichandheisler.com - CEC I, IV


Joe Iconis - see bio under CEC V.

Michael Kooman and Chris Dimond

Michael Kooman (music) and Chris Dimond (book & lyrics) received the 2010 Jonathan Larson Grant and are the first recipients of the Lorenz Hart Award. Between them, they have received the Burton Lane Award, the Harold Adamson Award, the KC/ACTF Musical Theatre Award, an Anna Sosenko Grant, numerous ASCAP Plus awards, and have been three-time finalists for the Fred Ebb Award. Their musical Dani Girl has been workshopped at the Kennedy Center, American Conservatory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, the ASCAP/Disney Musical Theater Workshop, the Festival of New American Musicals, and was featured in the 2011 NAMT Festival of New Musicals. The show has seen recent productions in Toronto, Dallas, Boston, and Australia. The duo's other works include Golden Gate (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Homemade Fusion (London’s Ambassadors Theater, Edinburgh Fringe Festival), the family-friendly Christmas musical Junior Claus and the short film Flour Baby. Currently, they are working on a commission from the Kennedy Center, the original musical The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes, and several other new projects. Michael and Chris are proud members of the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, and the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop. They were Dramatists Guild Fellows, received a fellowship at the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference, and attended the Johnny Mercer Songwriting workshop. Their debut album, Out of Our Heads, featuring an all-star lineup of Broadway performers, is now available on iTunes. http://www.koomandimond.com - CEC III, IV

Lourdes Lane

Lourdes Lane - bio coming soon. http://www.lourdslane.com/ - CEC IV

Peter Lerman

Peter Lerman is a composer and lyricist whose musicals include Back There, To Memphis (with the intention of returning) and Problem Child. In August 2009, he performed a solo concert of his songs at The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. He is a graduate of Columbia University, where he wrote music and lyrics for the Columbia Varsity Show. Peter is currently working on an album and an original musical. http://www.peterlerman.com/ - CEC I, CEC II, CEC III, CEC IV

Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen

Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen have written The Burnt Part Boys (book by Mariana Elder, finalist for the American Theatre Critics New Play Award, co-produced by the Vineyard Theatre and Playwrights Horizons Spring 2010) and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (book by Joe Calarco, world premiere at Barrington Stage Co., Boston Globe Top Ten Pick of 2008). Their song cycle, Fugitive Songs, received a 2008 Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Revue. Chris and Nathan apply for many awards and grants, and sometimes even win (Jonathan Larson, Richard Rodgers, Daryl Roth, and Kitty Carlisle Hart). They are also co-creators and contributors to the monthly NYC songwriting hootenanny Sagebrush Valentine. Miller and Tysen began their collaboration together at New York University where they received their MFA's in musical theatre writing. Recently profiled in The Dramatist Magazine under "Fifty to Watch," current projects include Molly's Delicious (book by Craig Wright) for Playwrights Horizons/Theatreworks, an adaptation of the popular children’s novel Tuck Everlasting (book by Claudia Shear) and a new musical commissioned by Lincoln Center Theater. http://www.millerandtysen.com/ - CEC II, IV

Virginia Hart Pike

Virginia Hart Pike has worked as a pianist, musical director, and composer for various venues in NYC and beyond. Her full-length classical dance piece, The Prodigal Daughter, and choral song cycle, First and Fairest, were performed at the Salvation Army's Theater 315 in midtown Manhattan, and produced by Skylight Dance Theatre. She has written numerous choral pieces that have been performed by The Jubilee Chorus, and the choir at St. George’s Episcopal Church. Virginia has played the keyboards for musicals on and Off-Broadway, and musically directed and assisted on various theater productions in regional theaters, including the Goodspeed Opera House, the McCarter Theater, NY Stage and Film Festival, and Theater Virginia. She’s also worked as a musical director and arranger for legendary composer Charles Strouse. Virginia is a proud member of the worship team and board of directors of her church, Times of Refreshing Christian Centre. She is the coordinator and drama instructor for an arts outreach program through her church called New York Generation, which offers free ballet, hip-hop, singing and drama classes to kids in midtown Manhattan. She holds a M.F.A. from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in Musical Theater Writing, and a B.S. from Duke University. - CEC III, IV

Will Reynolds

Will Reynolds is the composer and creator of The Greenwood Tree, seen in concert at NYMF in 2009 and as the closing event of the 2010 “Page to Stage Festival” at the Kennedy Center (a reading co-produced by Signature Theater and Folger Shakespeare, DC.) Most recently, Will provided music for Bliss, a play by Jerome Parker (Public Theater Emerging Playwrights). With lyricist/book writer Eric Price: The Sixth Borough (workshopped at Lyric Theater of Oklahoma City as well as Indiana University’s “Premier Musicals”), On the Contrary! (a commission by The Music Theater Company, Chicago) and their children's musical commission - Around the World, most recently seen at the Utah Festival Opera. Will wrote the songs for Daniel Goldstein's (dir. Godspell) ukulele-infused production of The Servant of Two Masters at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, and was a member of the cast as well. He also wrote the music for American Bard Theater Company’s production of Much Ado About Nothing(Flamboyan Theater, NYC). Will has been honored as the guest composer for both the New York and Chicago iterations of the “Monday Nights New Voices" concert series, and is a proud alum of ASCAP's prestigious Johnny Mercer Songwriter Project, under the auspices of Craig Carnelia and Andrew Lippa. In 2010, Will was selected for the National Alliance For Musical Theater's (NAMT) Songwriter's Showcase. Dream Light Theater Company produced an evening of Will’s songs as part of their “Bright Lights” concert series at the Triad, NYC, and his work has been heard as part of the Songbook concert series at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library, also at the celebrated “New Voices” concerts at Symphony Space, NYC. In April 2012, The musical theater department of Roosevelt University in Chicago presented an evening of his songs as well as a concert version of The Greenwood Tree at Chicago's Auditorium Theater. Acting credits include: A Room With a View and Emma (The Old Globe), Huck Finn in Big River (Goodspeed), Tony Kusher's The Illusion (Signature, Off-B'way), and the North American tour of Mamma Mia!. Carnegie Mellon graduate. http://www.willreynoldsonline.com/ - CEC III, IV


Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne - see bios under CEC V.

Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham

Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham met in the NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Their thesis musical, I Love You Because, went on to be professionally produced Off-Broadway, earned a Drama Desk nomination for the team, spawned a cast album on PS Classics, and garnered a licensing deal with Theatrical Rights Worldwide, resulting in productions both nationally and internationally. They continue their collaboration with many projects, including: Queen Esther, a family musical comedy based on the story of Purim and commissioned by the Kaufman Center; Next Thing You Know, a song cycle currently in development with director John Simpkins. They are contributing songwriters on the Disney Channel's Johnny and the Sprites. Their song "Just Not Now," from I Love You Because, was featured on Lauren Kennedy's new solo album Here and Now. Cunningham and Salzman are both members of the BMI Advanced Writing Workshop, ASCAP, and the Dramatist Guild. http://salzmanandcunningham.com/ - CEC II, IV


Benjamin Velez and Katie Hathaway - see bios under CEC V.

Zack Zadek

Zack Zadek is a composer/lyricist and singer/songwriter. His work has been heard at Joe's Pub, Le Poisson Rouge, Gallapagos Art Space, and most recently as a part of "In The Valley: The Songs of Zack Zadek" at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. Zack's musical 6 was presented at the 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival and is currently being workshopped and developed. In addition to musical theatre, Zack is an active solo artist and has played concerts across the New York and L.A. areas. A Long Island native, Zack studies at NYU and currently bangs on pianos in NYC. Upcoming projects include the Silicon Valley musical The Crazy Ones, a new song cycle, solo album, collaborations with pop artists and various other musical projects. He is a proud member of ASCAP and the Dramatist's Guild of America. http://www.zackzadek.com/ - @zackzadek - CEC III

CEC III - Cutting-Edge Composers III - July 23, 2012

The concert featured the songs of Scott Burkell and Paul Loesel, Joey Contreras, Anna Dagmar, Kevin Fogarty, Drew Fornarola, Drew Gasparini, Michael Kooman and Chris Dimond, Peter Lerman, Virginia Pike, Will Reynolds, Akiva Romer-Segal and Colleen Dauncey, Zoe Sarnak, Benjamin Velez, Michael Patrick Walker and Zack Zadek. We presented two shows at the Theatre at St. Clements at 7:00pm and 9:30pm.

See also CEC V, CEC IV, CEC II and CEC I.


Scott Burkell and Paul Loesel - see bio under CEC V.

Joey Contreras

Joey Contreras is a musical theatre songwriter in the New York scene. He received his BFA in Musical Theatre from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and his MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, where he was the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Max Dreyfus Scholarship Award. His original compositions and arrangements have been featured in NYC venues including Joe's Pub, Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Laurie Beechman Theater, The Duplex and multiple Broadway in South Africa galas at the Manhattan Center. Internationally, performances of his music have stretched as far as Australia, Germany, South Korea and the UK. His musicals include All the Kids are Doing It and This Thing Called Love. Joey's first album, "Love Me, Love Me Not: The Music of Joey Contreras" features a host of exciting Broadway talent and is currently available on iTunes and CDBaby.com. He is a proud member of Actors Equity and the Dramatists Guild. http://www.joeycontreras.com - CEC III

Anna Dagmar

Anna Dagmar is a British-born/NYC-based piano-woven folk/pop artist. Anna Dagmar cites influences including Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel and Leonard Bernstein. An Eastman School of Music graduate, her third CD, Let the Waves Come in Threes (2009) charted #6 on the National Roots Report, and received a Gold Prize in the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest. Dagmar is a BMI Musical Theatre Workshop member and is recording her fourth album, Satellite. http://annadagmar.com - CEC III

Kevin Fogarty

Kevin Fogarty is a contemporary musical theatre composer and lyricist, a recognized country songwriter, and an experienced drummer. He was a finalist for the 2011 John Wallowitch Award and selected composer for the New Voices at CUA Music Festival. In 2009, his musical Call Me Home received a workshop production at Montgomery Bell Academy and was selected for the 2011 Manhattan Repertory Theatre Summerfest. His song cycle The 5 Year Plan premiered in Nashville, TN in 2011 and he recently made his New York debut presenting selections from his musicals in a concert produced by the New York Theatre Barn. http://www.kevinfogartymusic.com - CEC III


Drew Fornarola - see bio under CEC IV.


Drew Gasparini - see bio under CEC V.


Michael Kooman and Chris Dimond - see bio under CEC IV.


Peter Lerman - see bio under CEC IV.


Virginia Hart Pike - see bio under CEC IV.


Will Reynolds - see bio under CEC IV.

Akiva Romer-Segal and Colleen Dauncey

Akiva Romer-Segal (lyrics) and Colleen Dauncey (music) are a Toronto-based songwriting team. Many of their stand-alone songs have been performed in cabarets and concerts across Canada. Their debut full-length song cycle entitled The Subway Songs was produced in Toronto in 2010, featuring some of Canada's top talent. Colleen and Akiva received a grant from FACTOR (Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent On Records) to record demos with Canadian producer and arranger John Alcorn. The duo was selected to participate in the 2011 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project in Chicago, a prestigious week-long songwriting intensive that “hosts the nation's most promising songwriters across all genres", where they were mentored by Craig Carnelia, Marcy Heisler and Lari White. This experience culminated in a public performance alongside the likes of Charles Strouse and Christine Ebersole. They were chosen by Canadian company Theatre 20 (whose founding members include Colm Wilkinson and Louise Pitre) to develop their one-act family musical Bremen Rock City as part of their Composium initiative - an incubator group for emerging musical theatre writers. The pair is also writing a contemporary adult musical with librettist Kevin Michael Shea. http://www.colleenandakiva.com/ - CEC III

Zoe Sarnak

Zoe Sarnak is a composer, lyricist and playwright. She graduated from Harvard University in 2009 where her show The Quad received grants from the Harvard Office of Fine Arts and the Radcliffe Women’s Center for a 2-week workshop followed by a production at Harvard’s Loeb Experimental Theatre. In 2010, two staged readings of her next show, A Lasting Impression, were produced in New York City by East 3rd Productions. The piece was developed in workshops throughout 2011, aimed for a 2012 opening. Zoe’s songs have been performed in various composer showcases including New York Theatre Barn’s D-Lounge Series, Composers Sing Composers, and NYTB Presents a Celebration of Women Composers. Her band, TheWD, performs in venues throughout New York and has recently released a live concert album, “TheWD, Live From the Bitter End.” http://www.zoesarnak.com/ - CEC III

Benjamin Velez

Benjamin Velez is a recent Columbia University graduate where he studied film and wrote music and lyrics for the 114th Annual Varsity Show. He is a composer/lyricist in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater workshop where he was recently named the Jerry Harrington award winner for the 2nd year workshop. His work has been featured as part of AWOL's 8 Minute Musicals at NYMF and in last year's NEO concert. While originally from Miami, he is now happy to call New York home sweet home. - CEC III

Michael Patrick Walker

Michael Patrick Walker is best known as one of the creators and composer/lyricists of Altar Boyz for which he received two Drama Desk nominations (shared with Gary Adler) for both outstanding music and outstanding lyrics, and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off Broadway Musical. Altar Boyz became the 9th-longest running Off Broadway musical of all time (having run for five years) and continues to be performed around the world. His other shows include: the upcoming original musicals Dog and Pony (with book-writer Rick Elice) and being theo as well as the Eugene O’Neill Musical Theatre Festival finalist, The Distant Bells. Beyond the world of theatre, his music and lyrics can be heard on TV on the Disney Channel’s “Johnny and the Sprites” and Nick JR’s “Olivia” and he composed the new Rockette dance number Humbugged! which debuted in the 2011 Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Recordings include Out of Context: The Songs of Michael Patrick Walker, the Altar Boyz cast album, the Johnny and the Sprites album and several editions of BC/EFA’s Carols for a Cure. Michael is a proud graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. http://www.michaelpatrickwalker.com/ - CEC III


Zack Zadek - see bio under CEC IV.

CEC II - Cutting-Edge Composers II - November 9, 2009

The concert featured the songs of Jeremy Schonfeld, Peter Lerman, Brian Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan, Jonathan Reid Gealt, Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias, Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen, Carmel Dean and Anna Jacobs, Creighton Irons and Sean Mahoney, Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham, Joe Iconis, and Ryan Scott Oliver. Laura Pietropinto directed and Julie McBride was music director.

See also CEC V, CEC IV, CEC III and CEC I.

Brad Alexander

Brad Alexander's music has been featured on VH1, Showtime, Sony Records and at theaters across the country. He wrote the music for TheatreworksUSA’s Just So Stories, Lilly’s Big Day (from If You Give A Pig A Pancake), the upcoming I Have To Go, and Click, Clack, Moo, coming soon to the Lucille Lortel Theater and directed by John Rando. Brad and collaborator Adam Mathias won the 2008 Richard Rodgers Award and 2007 Jerry Bock Award for See Rock City & Other Destinations, which premiered at Barrington Stage Company and was recently workshopped with Transport Group Theatre Company. Brad is a member of The BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, National Academy of Popular Music, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and The Dramatists Guild of America. http://www.bradalexander.com - CEC I, CEC II


Carmel Dean - see bio under CEC V.

Jonathan Reid Gealt

Jonathan Reid Gealt's music has been featured in concerts and venues in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Manila, Japan, Australia, London, and New York including the Broadway in South Africa Benefits, UNSUNG 2007, Miracle on 13th Street, Performers for Peace, The MNNV series, Symphony Space, The Laurie Beechman, The Duplex, The Triad, and the MAKOR. He also wrote jingles for The Barn Theatre's 2003 summer season in Michigan. Jonathan is currently working on his debut musical, Forward. The Forward demo recordings have gained buzz online and around the city with such Broadway heavyweights as Kelli O'Hara, Liz Callaway, Lauren Kennedy, Shoshana Bean, Michael McElroy, Jonathan Groff, Michael Arden, Lewis Cleale, Tituss Burgess and more. Jonathan is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory. http://www.jonathan-reid-gealt.com - CEC II


Joe Iconis - see bio under CEC V.

Creighton Irons

Creighton Irons is a composer/lyricist from beautiful Chapel Hill, NC. His musicals include aliveinsignificance (2001), Ran Together (2003) and Soul Notes (2005). His original songs have been presented by William Finn at Barrington Stages and performed across NYC (Joe’s Pub, ArsNova, Theater Barn, Sage Theater, and others). Factory Girls, a new musical written with collaborator Sean Mahoney, has been workshopped at the American Conservatory Theater and at Goodspeed Musicals’ Festival of New Artists, and is featured in NAMT’s 2009 Festival of New Musicals. Irons received his BA from UNC-Chapel Hill (Morehead Scholar 2005) and his MFA from NYU-Tisch’s Musical Theater Writing Program. http://www.creightonirons.com - CEC II

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs wrote the music for Pop! (Yale Repertory Theatre, 2009) and Stella and the Moon Man (Sydney Theatre Company/ Theatre of Image/ Australian Youth Orchestra, 2005), which won a Helpmann Award. Current projects include music for Harmony, Kansas, about a gay men’s chorus in rural Kansas, and lyrics for inclusion in Shooting from the Hip, a song cycle commissioned to open the 2011 Sydney Festival. M.F.A. Musical Theatre Writing, NYU-Tisch; B.Mus (Honors I) Composition, University of Sydney; Member: Dramatists Guild of America. - CEC II

Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk

Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk have been awarded the Jonathan Larson Award, a Dramatists Guild Fellowship, and are members of the BMI Musical Theatre Advanced workshop, ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild. Separately, Kait Kerrigan is the 2009 recipient of the Kleban Award for Most Promising Musical Theater Librettist and Brian Lowdermilk has been awarded the Richard Rogers and Alan Menken awards for his works. They have written numerous musicals together including The Unauthorized Autobiography of Sam Brown, Tales from the Bad Years, and their off-Broadway debut Henry and Mudge. http://kerrigan-lowdermilk.com - CEC I, CEC II


Peter Lerman - see bio under CEC IV.

Sean Mahoney

Sean Mahoney is a composer, lyricist, and bookwriter who was raised in North Conway, NH. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and received a B.A. in English from UNH. He spent ten years building concurrent careers in both music and education, developing a bi-coastal business as a DJ, guitarist, and independent record producer while teaching and coaching at various public and private schools, including a two-year stint as the head men’s lacrosse coach at Domincian University of California. He moved to New York in 2006 to receive his MFA in Musical Theater Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Some recent pieces include Factory Girls (co-book, music, and lyrics with Creighton Irons), Sweet Cassandra - A Greek Rock Opera (co-book, music, and lyrics with Amy Burgess), Diaper Derby (music, book and lyrics by Janet Allard) and Skitown, a movie musical. His works have been performed and staged at Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub, Birdland, Goodspeed Musicals, American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, Barrington Stages, CAP 21, and Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Sean plays in two rock bands, maintains a thriving DJ business, and produces records for singer/songwriters and fellow musical theater writers. He lives in the East Village in New York City with his wife Emily and son Tee. http://www.seanmahoneymusic.com - CEC II

Adam Mathias

Adam Mathias received the 2007 Jerry Bock Award and the 2008 Richard Rogers Award, both with composer Brad Alexander for their musical See Rock City & Other Destinations. He conceived and co-wrote the 2004 NY Fringe hit The Passion of George W. Bush (also Joe's Pub). Recent: Hamlet: What Dreams May Come (an adaptation for 4 actors.) Upcoming: The Dirty Hippie Jam Band Project (with songwriters Dan Israel and Phoebe Kreutz) and Life is a Dream (with composer Oran Eldor.) He is a member of the BMI Workshop and an alum of the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. http://www.adamup.com - CEC I, CEC II


Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen - see bio under CEC IV.

Ryan Scott Oliver

Ryan Scott Oliver is a 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant recipient and wrote the music and lyrics for Mrs. Sharp (2008 Richard Rodgers Award Winner, at Playwrights Horizons July 2009 starring Jane Krakowski, dir. by Michael Greif), Darling (Pace New Musicals 2009), the song cycle Out of My Head, Quit India (commissioned by UCLA), and the music for Angus Oblong's The Debbies. A collection of his work, Rated RSO, was recently seen at Joe's Pub, where it will return January 2010 following an engagement at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). His work has also been heard on the hit YouTube TV show The Battery’s Down ("This is Your Life" among others) and in showcases presented by Summer Play Festival (SPF), The York Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, William Finn & Barrington Stages, New York Theatre Barn, Monday Nights New Voices, and the Festival of New American Musicals in Los Angeles. Ryan is a 2007 Dramatists Guild Fellow and the recipient of numerous awards including the first-ever ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Award for Excellence in Lyric Writing, the Margo Lion Award for Excellence in Adaptation (Mrs. Sharp, with Kirsten A. Guenther), the Looking Glass Theatre Favorite Production Award (Out of My Head) and the John Denver New Composers Award. Currently he is the Executive Director of the Pasadena (PUSD) Musical Theatre Program in California, produces The Spotlight Cabaret in New York City, and is at work developing a commission by Broadway Across America as well as We the Peoplefor TheatreWorksUSA, directed by Alex Timbers, which will premiere Off-Broadway in 2010. B.A. Music Composition, UCLA; M.F.A. Musical Theatre Writing, NYU-Tisch, a proud member of A.S.C.A.P. http://www.ryanscottoliver.com - CEC II


Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham - see bio under CEC IV.

Jeremy Schonfeld

Jeremy Schonfeld is a singer / songwriter / composer / lyricist. A benefit concert version of his musical Drift was recently performed at BB Kings starring Adam Pascal, Julia Murney, Terrence Mann, Jarrod Emick, and Adam Kantor, among others, and will be remounted at North Carolina’s “Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy,” September 2009. Upcoming theatrical projects include the development of a new musical with director and producer Daisy Prince (Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years) and playwright Jonathan Marc Sherman. Other recent projects include: the album 37 Notebooks, which featured the vocal talents of Shoshana Bean, Tracie Thoms, Amy Spanger, Lauren Kennedy, Luther Creek, and Kate Shindle, among others; the feature film Clear Blue Tuesday; as well as the musicals Home and innumerable atrainplays; and the Broadway Dreams Foundation’s “Broadway Bootcamp,” for which Jeremy serves on the Board of Directors and as Musical Director. Schonfeld has also contributed original music for numerous benefit concerts including “Defying Inequality,” “Broadway in South Africa,” “The Pink Campaign on Broadway,” and “Broadway for a New America,” among others. Jeremy’s recording, “Song for New Orleans,” is currently being used as part of a recruitment video for the American Red Cross. - CEC II

CEC I - Cutting-Edge Composers I - July 27, 2009

The concert featured the songs of Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias, Eli Bolin and Sam Forman, Bobby Cronin, Adam Gwon, Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler, Rick Hip-Flores, Peter Lerman, Brian Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan, J. Oconer Navarro and Joel B. New, and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Laura Pietropinto directed and Julie McBride was music director.

See also CEC V, CEC IV, CEC III and CEC II.


Brad Alexander - see bio under CEC II.


Eli Bolin - see bio under CEC V.

Bobby Cronin

Bobby Cronin was awarded the 2012 Alec Baldwin Fellowship for his musical 'Til Death Do Us Part with Harrington Award Winning bookwriter Allen Mogol. His pop/rock musical Welcome To My Life (W2ML) is under a Broadway option. He is the first American commissioned to pen an original musical (The Concrete Jungle) for London’s esteemed ArtsEd School (President: Andrew Lloyd Webber) with a sold-out hit workshop production in June 2012, leading to THE INTERNATIONAL STUDIO CAST RECORDING of THE CONCRETE JUNGLE (music & lyrics by Cronin, book by Cronin & Crystal Skillman) which is now available on iTunes et al, produced by Burlington Productions and released on the Great White Wax label. Daybreak, add’l material by Brett Teresa, won the 2011 New Jersey Playwrights Contest winner and premiered in NJ & London in June 2012. He is currently working on two new projects: the original musical Sunset City and an adaptation of the claymation film Mary & Max. Other: Lincoln Center Songbook Series, 54 Below, Birdland, Symphony Space, London’s The Players Theatre & St. James Theatre, more. "Reach The Sky: Live at The Beechman" on iTunes. Yale graduate, Member of: ASCAP, Dramatists Guild, & MMD. http://bobbycronin.com - CEC I


Sam Forman - see bio under CEC V.


Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich - see bios under CEC IV.

Adam Gwon

Adam Gwon is a MacDowell Colony fellow, a musical theater fellow at the Dramatists Guild, and received the 2008 Fred Ebb Award for excellence in musical theater writing. A member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild, his works have been produced at the Kennedy Center, NAMT, NYMF and The Johnny Mercer Foundation. His song "Running" was nominated for a 2009 MAC Award. Gwon’s musical Ordinary Days will be produced in the 2009-2010 season at the Roundabout Theatre Company, and he’s currently at work on several new musical commissions. http://www.adamgwon.com - CEC I

Rick Hip-Flores

Rick Hip-Flores has recently played in the orchestras of Billy Elliot, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular and Spelling Bee. As a musical director and conductor, credits include High School Musical (MUNY), Singin’ in the Rain (North Shore Music Theatre), Jacques Brel (Zipper Theatre), Breaking Up is Hard to Do (Actors’ Playhouse), Shakespeare on Broadway (Symphony Space), 8 by Tenn (Hartford Stage), Henry and Mudge, A Christmas Carol (TheatreworksUSA) and numerous productions for Musicals Tonight. As a composer and lyricist, Rick has written songs for Neon Mirage (Humana Festival, 2006), A Tooth Fairy Tale, My New York (Vital Theater), Dido and Aeneas (Prospect Theater), Tartuffe, As You Like It (Worth Street Players) and the Columbia University Varsity Show. His songs have been recently featured in the York Theater's NEO3 Concert, and 4@15 series. - CEC I


Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk - see bio under CEC II.


Peter Lerman - see bio under CEC IV.


Adam Mathias - see bio under CEC II.

J. Oconer Navarro

J. Oconer Navarro is an award-winning composer/lyricist and musical director based in NYC. As a writer, he is the recipient of a 2009 Musical Theatre Society of Emerson College New Works Festival production, 2008 NYU Alumni Grant made possible by the Frederick Loewe Foundation, 2007 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grant, 2006 Margo Lion Award, and 2005 Paulette Goddard. He was musical director for the acclaimed Adding Machine Off-Broadway, and some favorite NYC music department credits include: The Apple Tree, Curtains, Mary Poppins, Pig…Pancake, Rooms: a rock romance, plus countless readings, workshops, and concerts of new work. Regionally, he has served as musical director at Barrington Stage Company, The Hangar Theatre, Theatreworks (Palo Alto), Two River Theater Company, Westport Country Playhouse, and will make his Kennedy Center debut this fall. BS 2004 Vanderbilt University, MFA 2006 NYU. www.joconernavarro.com - CEC I

Joel B. New

Joel B. New is an award-winning composer/lyricist and proud recipient of a 2008 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grant. He has been praised as one of today’s “most exciting contemporary musical theatre writers.” (BroadwayWorld.com) Joel recently had a concert of his work produced at Lincoln Center as part of John F. Znidarsic’s acclaimed Songbook series. The evening boasted performances by Broadway’s Becca Ayers, Donna Lynne Champlin, Lisa Howard, Megan McGinnis, Jonathan Rayson, Tory Ross, and Tony Yazbeck. His projects include Awakening (with composer J. Oconer Navarro and director Jen Bender), Looking Around / Looking Back (with singer TJ Moss and director Jessica Hutchinson) and Stand Clear. His work has been seen and developed at Dreamlight Theatre Company, Oklahoma City University, Ars Nova, Margo Lion, Ltd., Clear Space Productions, Broadway Cares, NYMF, Scott Alan’s “Monday Nights, New Voices,” Lincoln Center, and many others. He’s currently preparing for a workshop of Stand Clear. Joel holds an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a BM in Musical Theatre Performance from OCU’s Bass School of Music. http://www.joelbnew.com - CEC I

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul began their collaboration as freshmen at The University of Michigan. They are the winners of a 2007 Jonathan Larson Award and at age 21 became the youngest recipients in the history of the foundation. They were honored as 2007-2008 Dramatist Guild Fellows and were listed as part of the “50 To Watch Upcoming Playwrights and Composers” by The Dramatists Magazine. The team’s musical revue, EDGES, has been performed numerous times at various professional venues and colleges throughout the country. Pasek and Paul are writers for John Tartaglia’s Disney Channel television series, Johnny and the Sprites and contributed music to Off-Broadway’s upcoming White Noise (A Cautionary Tale) which won Talkin’ Broadway’s 2006 Summer Theatre Festival Citation for Outstanding Original Score. They have recently played sold-out shows at Joe’s Pub and Ars Nova in New York City featuring a host of Broadway talents and were invited to participate in the first ever Johnny Mercer Songwriting Festival funded by the American Musical Theatre Project. They are currently developing several original book musicals. http://www.pasekandpaul.com - CEC I