New York, NY – New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) Musical Theater Songwriting (MTS) program welcomes Broadway composer, arranger, and orchestrator Tom Kitt (Next To Normal, If/Then) to lead a virtual masterclass on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 from 6-8:30pm. The masterclass will feature songs written and composed by the MTS students, as performed by students from the Harlem School of the Arts and the New York Film Academy.
Led by Director Anna K. Jacobs, the NYYS MTS program invites musical theater lovers to tune in live on Zoom or YouTube Live, to see Mr. Kitt share constructive feedback with students, as well as insights into his own creative and professional journey. Registration for the Zoom webinar will open February 16, 2021, at nyys.org/TomKitt.
Ms. Jacobs said, “Tom Kitt has carved out an astonishing, singular career as a theater artist. He is deeply admired by the aspiring young composer-lyricists in our MTS program, which is why we are so thrilled to have him leading a masterclass this season. We are also very much looking forward to officially kicking off our 2020-21 partnership with the Harlem School of the Arts and the New York Film Academy, and providing a platform to showcase the talents of their participating students as well.”
Founded in 1963, the NYYS is internationally recognized for its award-winning and innovative educational programs for talented young musicians. As the premier independent music education organization for ensemble training in the New York metropolitan area, the NYYS has provided over 7,000 music students unparalleled opportunities to perform at world-class venues including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, and The Times Center, and to study with world-renowned artists. Beyond the instruction from accomplished musicians, students gain valuable life skills — commitment, discipline, focus, collaboration — and friendships that last a lifetime.
The NYYS is committed to making its educational offerings accessible to a wider and more diverse community. Through partnerships with organizations including the Harmony Program, Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s Harlem School of the Arts, New York Film Academy, New York SongSpace, Maestra, and Orpheus, the NYYS is creating pathways for young people from all backgrounds to find their way to music. These community partnerships include peer-to-peer instruction, financial support, mentorships with professional artists, free community concerts, and more.
About The Directors And Artists
Anna K. Jacobs is a Jonathan Larson Award-winning composer, lyricist, and book writer. With various collaborators, she authored the musicals POP! (Yale Rep, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Studio Theatre, etc.), Teeth (NAMT, O’Neill), Anytown (George Street Playhouse), Harmony, Kansas (Diversionary Theatre), Echo (Musical Theatre Factory), and Stella and the Moon Man (Sydney Theatre Company/Theatre of Image). She also wrote music and lyrics for the movie musical, Kaya: Taste of Paradise (NY Film Academy), and contributed music and lyrics to the multi-composer song cycle, Letters to the President (Berkshire Theatre Group). Currently, Anna is writing the screenplay for The Real Gemma Jordan (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and the music and lyrics for a stage musical about the child prodigy author, Barbara Newhall Follett (Whitman-Grove Commission). Anna is the recipient of a 2018 Eric Salzman Award for New Music Theater Composition and the 2016 Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award. She holds an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU-Tisch, and is a former Sundance Fellow and Dramatists Guild Fellow. As an educator, Anna is passionate about helping the next generation of songwriters to develop their voices and craft. In addition to being the founding Artistic Director of the New York Youth Symphony’s Musical Theater Songwriting Program, she is on the faculty of the Institute for American Musical Theatre’s Creators program.
TOM KITT (Composer/Arranger/Orchestrator/Music Supervisor) received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as two Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Orchestrations for Next to Normal. He is also the composer of If/Then (Tony Nom); High Fidelity; Bring it On, The Musical (co-composer with Lin-Manuel Miranda); Almost Famous (written with Cameron Crowe); Superhero; Disney’s Freaky Friday (Stage Production and Original Disney Channel Movie Musical); Dave; and The Winter’s Tale, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Cymbeline (The Public’s NYSF). As a music supervisor, arranger, and orchestrator, credits include The SpongeBob Musical (Tony Nom); Jagged Little Pill; Head Over Heels; Grease Live!; Rise (NBC); and American Idiot. His work with Green Day also includes additional arrangements for their Grammy Award-winning album 21st Century Breakdown and their album trilogy, ¡Uno! ¡Dos! ¡Tré! Mr. Kitt received an Emmy Award as co-writer (with Lin-Manuel Miranda) for the 2013 Tony Awards opening number, Bigger. Other Television Songwriting credits include the 2019 Tony Awards Opening Number, Live!, a musical episode of Royal Pains, and songs for Penny Dreadful, and Sesame Street. As a musical director, conductor, arranger and orchestrator, credits include the Pitch Perfect films, 2Cellos featuring Lang Lang (Live and Let Die), The Kennedy Center Honors, 13, Debbie Does Dallas, Everyday Rapture, Hair, Laugh Whore, Pippin (Deaf West), and These Paper Bullets. Upcoming projects include The Visitor (Public Theater, Spring 2020), and Flying Over Sunset (Lincoln Center Theater, Spring 2020). Tom is also now a recording artist at Sony Masterworks and will begin recording his debut album in the summer of 2020.