Michael Kooman Headshot

New York Youth Symphony Appoints Michael Kooman As Its New Director of NYYS Musical Theater Songwriting Program for the 2023/2024 Season.


New York, NY – The New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) is excited that Michael Kooman has been appointed Director of the NYYS Musical Theater Songwriting Program, beginning with 2023/24 season. Mr. Kooman follows Anna Jacobs, who will step down from her position at the end of the 2022/23 season after five seasons. Mr. Kooman, who recently composed the acclaimed musical, Romantics Anonymous and was a series songwriter on Disney Junior’s Vampirina looks to use his own successes and life experiences as he takes the helm.

“I am honored and excited to join the NYYS team at a time when it is soaring to new heights, explained Mr. Kooman. “The Musical Theater Songwriting program is doing incredible and invaluable work to open the world of musical writing to young people in New York, and I will do all I can to inspire and lead the next generation of writers.”

“We are so excited to have Michael on board and continue this great program of encouraging young people and their love of musical theater,” says Elliott Forrest, WQXR Host, NYYS Trustee, and member in the MTS Director Search Committee. “Michael, who is so respected in the Broadway community, will be an inspiration and great mentor to our aspiring students.”

The New York Youth Symphony’s Musical Theater Songwriting Program is specially designed to lead students between the ages of 12 to 22 through a range of musical theater songwriting processes. In weekly seminars, students learn about key songwriting tools, explore the relationship between music and language, discover the power of writer and performer collaborations and foster an artistic community. They discover the world of professional musical theater through visits from Broadway producers, directors, choreographers, designers, composers, librettists, actors, and musicians, as well as field trips to see professional productions and concerts. The Musical Theater Songwriting program is part of the New York Youth Symphony and is made possible by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, and the ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund.

About Michael Kooman

Michael Kooman is an Emmy-nominated composer for the stage and screen. His most recent musical, ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS, debuted to rave reviews at Shakespeare’s Globe. He has written over 150 songs for the television show VAMPIRINA, an animated musical TV series that airs on Disney Junior worldwide. Other television songwriting work includes RIDLEY JONESDEAD END: PARANORMAL PARK, and SPIRIT RANGERS. His original musicals include THE NOTEWORTHY LIFE OF HOWARD BARNES (VillageTheater), ORPHIE & THE BOOK OF HEROES (The Kennedy Center), THE ENLIGHTENMENT OF PERCIVAL VONSCHMOOTZ (Canadian Music Theatre Project), JUDGE JACKIE: DISORDER IN THE COURT (Pittsburgh CLO), GOLDEN GATE (Williamstown Theatre Festival), DANI GIRLHOMEMADE FUSION (London’s Ambassadors Theater, Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and JUNIOR CLAUS (Orlando Repertory Theatre). Awards and honors include the Fred Ebb Award, a Jonathan Larson Grant, the Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award, the Samuel French Next Step Award, and the Burton Lane Award.

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