Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Jack Elliott Legacy Project

Who doesn't recall that bass line from the start of the Barney Miller theme?  (Don't tell me if you are too young to remember Barney Miller.)  I bet you can still recall the theme song to Night Court.

Keep reading.

Born Irwin Elliott Zucker, “Jack” Elliott graduated from what is now The Hartt School in 1951, where he later was awarded an honorary doctorate and was named Alumnus of the Year (1995), and he studied composition with Isadore Freed, Arnold Franchetti, Bohuslav Martinů, and Lukas Foss.  He worked as a jazz pianist in New York and Paris in the 1950s.  Later, having been sought by Hollywood for his skill as an arranger, he moved to California to launch a celebrated career in television.  His run in television earned him the distinction of being one of Hollywood’s top composers and arrangers, and for having become the musical director of choice for big events, such as the Academy and the Emmy Awards.  He served as music director for the Grammy Awards for 30 years.  His most well-known television work includes the theme songs to Night Court, Charlie’s Angels, and Barney Miller.

In the 1970s, Elliott co-founded the Foundation for New American Music, which commissioned symphonic jazz works for performance by the celebrated classical and jazz performers of the New American Orchestra (later the American Jazz Philharmonic).  He founded the Henry Mancini Institute in 1997, serving as music director until his death in 2001.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hilda Morales, Hartt Dance Faculty, Interviewed in BWW

BWW Interviews: Hilda Morales: An Extraordinary Career with Pennsylvania Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Antony Tudor and the Hartt School of Dance

Hilda Morales was born in N.Y. City, and grew up in Puerto Rico. Her early training was with Ana Garcia of the Ballet San Juan. At 14 years of age, Ms. Morales received a Ford Foundation Scholarship to study at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet. She danced as a principal dancer with the Pennsylvania Ballet, soloist with American Ballet Theatre, artist-in-residence with the Colorado Ballet and guest appearances with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Albuquerque Ballet and Jacksonville Ballet. During her dancing career, Ms. Morales performed in full-length classic ballets as well as works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille, Antony Tudor, John Butler, Alvin Ailey, and Jose Limon. Ms. Morales was featured in the movie The Turning Point, in the role of Sandra, directed by Herbert Ross. She guest teaches and is on the faculty of the Central Pennsylvania summer programs, and joined The Hartt School faculty in 1998.

Broadwayworld Dance recently sat down to interview Ms. Morales.

Click here for the full interview.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Alumni and the 2014 Tony Awards

Alumni of The Hartt School had a big year on Broadway, and several are involved in productions nominated for Tony Awards this week.  Congratulations to all!

The 2014 Tony Award nominations were announced on Tuesday (April 29), and the awards will be handed out on June 8 in a ceremony to air live on CBS.

Here are some of Hartt alumni who are affiliated with Tony-nominated productions:
  • Douglas Lyons ’09 and Kevin Duda ’01 are in the cast of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. The show received multiple Tony nominations, including Best Musical.
  • John Brink ’09 is in the cast of  Les Misérables, which was nominated for Best Revival of a Musical.
  • Orin Wolfe ‘01 is a producer of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which received multiple Tony nominations, including Best Musical. Wolfe also is a producer of Once, which won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical.

The alumni listed above are just a few of the Hartt graduates who have appeared on Broadway during the 2013–14 theater season.  Other Hartt alumni on Broadway include the following:
  • Alison Cusano ‘09, is in the cast of A Night with Janis Joplin, and she performed the lead role in previews. The show has now moved off-Broadway.
  • Christine Dwyer ‘07 plays the lead role of Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked.
  • Hartt alumnus Kyle Wrentz is in the cast of The Lion King.