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Musical Theater Songwriting


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. Whether their background is as a classical composer, singer-songwriter, performer, writer, or some cool hyphenate, this program will provide students with the opportunity to both study the fundamentals of musical theater songwriting and take artistic risks. Weekly sessions will feature seminars, workshops, and masterclasses with some of Broadway's most distinguished composers, writers, performers, musicians, producers, directors, and designers. Throughout the year, students will also have the unique opportunity to workshop new material with performers from the Harlem School of the Arts and New York Film Academy, as well as a Broadway pit band. 

Seminars and Performances

The Musical Theater Songwriting Program will meet weekly on Tuesdays between 4:30-7:30 pm. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Fall and Winter sessions will be held online via Zoom

This season will feature guest lecturers including composer and orchestrator Tom Kitt (Next To Normal, If/Then), composer/lyricist and playwright Kirsten Childs (The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Bella: An American Tall Tale), Tony and Grammy Award-winning music director and orchestrator Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen), director Leigh Silverman (Violet), producer Jennifer Ashley Tepper (Be More Chill, Broadway Bounty Hunter, Love In Hate Nation), orchestrator Kris Kukul (Beetlejuice), costume designer Amy Clark (A Night with Janice Joplin, Chaplin), and composer Mike Pettry (The Light Princess,  The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes, Vampirina). Guest performers include Austin Scott (Hamilton, Girl From The North Country), Will Roland (Dear Evan Hansen, Be More Chill), Britney Coleman (Tootsie, Sunset Boulevard), and L. Morgan Lee (A Strange Loop).

Sharing of student works will take place throughout the year and culminate in a public performance at one of NYC's iconic cabaret venues, Joe's Pub. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the season, students in the Musical Theater Songwriting program will:

  • Learn how to develop musical theater stories and characters
  • Learn how to craft a musical theater song lyric
  • Develop music composition and arranging skills
  • Develop music publishing and music production skills
  • Practice collaboration with other young writers and performers
  • Practice giving and receiving constructive feedback
  • Develop confidence performing and presenting original work
  • Gain an exclusive window into the professional musical theater world
  • Discover how different musical theater artists have carved out a career for themselves
  • Become part of a creative, supportive, and inclusive community of young artists

Age Eligibility

New York Youth Symphony serves students between the ages of 12 and 22. In order to participate in a NYYS Program, the applicant's birth date must be no earlier than May 31, 1998 and no later than November 1, 2008, inclusive. Please do not apply if your birth date falls outside of these dates as you will not be eligible for the program and we are not able to refund your application fee.


Applications for the 2020/2021 orchestra season are closed. Please check back in June 2021 for the 2021/2022 season application. 

Musical Theater Songwriting Staff