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Music Direction Intensive

Music Direction Intensive

January 22-28, 2019


This highly selective, seven-day intensive on the Goodspeed Musicals campus provides a limited number of individuals with practical training in all aspects of Music Direction. The week-long experience offers participants the opportunity to work with internationally renowned experts in Music Direction while networking with industry professionals.

Participants will use the latest technology to receive hands on training in the management and implementation of the audition, rehearsal, and orchestration processes as well as attend nightly lectures given by industry experts on pertinent subjects relating to real-world success in the field of Music Direction.

For anyone considering going into the field of Music Directing, I cannot think of another institution that offers a program that not only teaches these subjects, but also at an incredibly high level. I feel empowered after this week and I know I have a lot more to bring to a show.” -Thomas Cuffari, Music Director & Teacher

Music Direction Intensive

If you have any questions or would like to receive information about future programs, please contact Erin Lafferty at 860.873.8664 x521 or elafferty@goodspeed.org.


Register Now
Early application deadline: 11/8/18
Early notification of acceptance: 11/14/18
Early application registration fee due: 11/21/18

Final Application deadline: 12/14/18
Final Notification of acceptance: 12/21/18
Registration fee due: 1/2/19


  • Total Tuition: $1,600
  • Deposit due with application: $400
  • Balance of $1,200 due on 11/21/18 (early application)or 1/2/19 (regular application)


The intensive begins the evening of Tuesday, January 22nd and runs daily until Monday, January 28th. Participants should plan to arrive on the Goodspeed campus around 3pm on the 22nd and will receive a detailed schedule for each day of the intensive upon acceptance and registration.


The Music Direction Intensive takes place on Goodspeed’s campus in East Haddam, Connecticut. Most classes and work sessions will occur in the Natalie & Ashton Tenney Rehearsal Studio, located at 21 Norwich Road.

Housing & Transportation

Housing on the Goodspeed campus and transportation from the Old Saybrook, Connecticut train station or Bradley International Aiport are included in the registration fee.

CLICK HERE to learn more!

Lectures & Practicum

• The Audition Process2012 Music Direction Intensive
The Rehearsal Process
Working with the Director
Orchestrating for the Musical Theatre
Use of Electronic Sound in the Musical Theatre
Conducting for the Musical Theatre
Business and Legal Tips for the Music Director
Working with the Choreographer
Vocal Arranging


“Never have I been more excited, challenged to think outside my comfort zone, and more energized to work with such a talented and well-respected bunch of colleagues.”                    
-John-Michael d'Haviland, Conductor/Music Director, Dominion Stage 

“For anyone wanting to improve or expand their music direction skills, I can't imagine a more comprehensive program or a more talented and caring faculty.” 
-David Kidwell, Conductor and Music Director , Holyoke Civic Symphony

“The program serves to affirm the profession of Music Director so wonderfully, and it's just amazing to meet a large group of MDs and make connections that can carry into future.  The whole atmosphere of low pressure and friendly professional learning is great!” 
-Ian Axness, Music Director in Residence, Oberlin College

The Music Direction Intensive is excellent for a music director from any experience level. You will undoubtedly learn something new and, best of all, network with others who do EXACTLY what you do. This is a rare and beautiful thing. You will be inspired by the creativity among this group of people.”
-Heather Luellen, Staff Pianist & Music Director, Department of Theatre and Dance, Missouri State University

It's so affirming to be in a room with 20 other MD's, solving the same problems, asking the same questions. It's rare to meet other MD's on the job since most productions are small and you're often the only one (even an AMD is luxurious in many cases), so this is great networking! The range of topics was thorough and very specific to our work, and such an offering is not to be found elsewhere. Goodspeed in particular has the resources, industry position, and understanding of the craft to pull it off.”
-Nathan W. Perry, Music Director & Pianist

The Music Direction Intensive was, hands down, one of the best things I've ever done. Being surrounded by so many talented, amazing people and getting to work together with all of them was incredible. I learned so much, from the sessions themselves and all the other music directors around me.”
-Mindy Cimini, Piano Performance & English Major, Brandeis University

2017 Faculty

Faculty for the 2019 intensive will be announced shortly.

DAN DeLANGE has orchestrated for The Jim Henson Company, Julie Andrews, Rosie O'Donnell, Live Theatricals at Universal Studios, composers Paul Williams, Jerry Herman, Harvey Schmitt, Charles Strouse, Peter Link and Mark Hollman. His work has been heard on Broadway, London's West End, National & European tours, film, television and at regional theaters from coast to coast including over 40 productions at Goodspeed Musicals. He's a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. DanDeLangeOrchestrations.com

KELLI BARCLAY Choreographed for Goodspeed: Damn Yankees; Hello, Dolly!; My One And Only (Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Best Choreography); How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Connecticut Critics Circle Award nomination); and Hello, My Baby! at The Norma Terris. NYC: City Center Encore's production of Pipe Dream; City Center's 20 Years of Encores, Camelot in Concert, and The Oscar Hammerstein Awards saluting Carol Channing. Recent: Himself and Nora at Hamilton Stage; 40 Naked Women, a Monkey and Me at the Eugene O'Neill. Feature film: Made for Each Other. Faculty: American Ballet Theater's NYC Intensive and Goodspeed's Musical Theater Dance Intensive (www.goodspeed.org/dance-intensive). kellibarclay.com

DAVID CHASE has been Music Director/Music Supervisor and Arranger for the Broadway productions of Finding Neverland, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Nice Work if You Can Get It, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Billy Elliot, The Pajama Game, Flower Drum Song, The Music Man, Little Me, Side Show, and Damn Yankees. In addition, David has served as dance arranger for 25 Broadway shows (recently: Tuck Everlasting and Anything Goes.  Upcoming: Anastasia). Other New York credits include Music Director of House of Flowers (Encores!) and six seasons as Music Director and Arranger for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. In London’s West End, Chase was Dance Arranger for productions of Evita and Guys and Dolls. Beyond the theater, he has also arranged and orchestrated for the Boston Pops, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Kennedy Center Honors, Essential Voices USA, and the Bobby Darin biopic Beyond the Sea.   He has two Grammy nominations as Music Director (and Arranger) of NBC’s live telecasts of The Sound of Music and Peter Pan, and a Grammy nomination as producer of the cast album of Nice Work.  At Goodspeed:  rehearsal pianist for Pal Joey (1990) and Music Supervisor/Orchestrator for My Paris (Chester, 2015).  Music training: Harvard Biology degree. 

JORDON CUNNINGHAM is a Music Director out of New York City and is currently the Music Assistant at The Goodspeed. He most recently worked on a co-production of The Secret Garden (Lucy Simon, Marsha Norman) with The 5th Avenue Theatre and The Shakespeare Theatre. He was seen sailing on the Goodspeed stage as the Associate Conductor for Anything Goes this past season. Other credits include 20th Anniversary Smokey Joe's Cafe National Tour (Key II). Off-Broadway: Nobody Loves You (Second Stage Theatre); Regional:  A Sign of the Times and My Paris (Goodspeed's Terris Theatre), A Little More Alive (Kansas City Repertory Theatre). NYC: Dreamgirls (The Gallery Players), RAGS. Readings/Concerts:  Dear Evan Hansen (NYC, Pasek and Paul), A Little Princess World Premiere (Texas Music Theatre).

JAY HILTON has designed countless productions at both The Norma Terris Theatre and the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam. His work has also been heard on Broadway, National Tours, and at Regional Theatres from coast to coast. In addition to being Goodspeed’s Resident Sound Designer, Jay also serves as their Lighting & Sound Supervisor. He and his wife, Goodspeed Line Producer Donna Lynn Hilton, make their home (and garden) in Hadlyme, Connecticut.

DAVID KRANE arranged and produced two songs for Golden Globe Winner and Oscar nominated Michelle Williams to sing as Marilyn Monroe in the acclaimed film My Week With Marilyn, has created the dance music and additional score adaptation for the Oscar-winning film Chicago (directed by Rob Marshall), has written all new music arrangements with additional score adaptation for the film version of Nine (also directed by Rob Marshall), was Michael Douglas' NY piano coach for Behind The Candelabra, and has coached Meryl Streep for the  film version of Into The Woods, for which he has adapted the musical score. He’s currently working on Mary Poppins Returns for release on Christmas, 2018. He composed Aspire with Stephen Cole, the first-ever commissioned American musical produced in the Middle East, which premiered in Doha, Qatar in November, 2005, scored for 70 piece orchestra. His musical comedy The Road To Qatar, also written with Stephen Cole, is about his incredible experience writing Aspire; it premiered in Dallas to rave reviews, won Best New Musical Award '09-10 from the Dallas-Fort Worth Critics Forum, was on three 10 best lists for the year, was subsequently produced by the York Theatre in NYC, and will be produced for the 2013 Edinburgh Festival this summer. It is now licensed by Josef-Weinberger, and the original NY cast recording is on Jay Records (jayrecords.com, amazon.com). His original movie musical The Wheel Goes Round, (www.vimeo.com/10303835) also written with Stephen Cole, premiered at the Ripfest Film Festival in New York and was chosen for six film festivals, including The Big Apple Film Festival and the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival. He has composed dance music and arrangements for 29 Broadway shows, including  She Loves Me, 110 In The Shade, La Cage Aux Folles, Cabaret, Man Of La Mancha, Oklahoma! (Hugh Jackman), Kiss Of The Spider Woman (Chita Rivera), The Music Man, Show Boat, Big (Susan Stroman), Ragtime, Victor/Victoria (Julie Andrews), Minnelli On Minnelli (Liza), and Damn Yankees. Orchestrations: The Road To Qatar, She Loves Me, The World Goes 'Round (Drama Desk Nominee). For TV: Once Upon A Mattress, 2005 (Disney/ABC), starring Carol Burnett and Tracey Ullman; the award-winning Annie (Disney/ABC), for which he received a special citation from the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences Primetime Emmy Awards; Mrs. Santa Claus (CBS) with Angela Lansbury; Cinderella (Disney/ABC), starring Whitney Houston; the 2003 Oscars, and The Kennedy Center Honors (CBS). He is a protégé of Leonard Bernstein, from whom he received grants while studying at the famed Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Bernstein began David’s Broadway career when he chose him to be a musical assistant on his last show, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

MARK A. MERRIMAN is a partner in the Entertainment Group where he practices in all aspects of entertainment law - with an emphasis on theatre, and book publishing and reality television. In his theatre practice, Mr. Merriman has acted as production counsel for numerous live stage productions such as “Every Brilliant Thing”, "Heathers The Musical", the Broadway revival of the Glass Menagerie, Hit the Wall, Scandalous, Cock, Once, TribesDr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas, the Musical, Mistakes Were Made, Our Town, Adding Machine, Gone Missing, and No Child. Mark is currently working on several projects in development, including Delerium’s Daughters, PopNation and Spin. Mark also represents playwrights, bookwriters, composers, lyricists, dramaturgs, underlying rights holders, estates, music publishers, general managers, investors, co-producers, executive producers, directors, associate directors, resident directors, and other creative team personnel in the live stage industry. Prior to entering law school, he worked in the theatre industry on several long-running Broadway musicals, and served as the business manager of the WPA Theatre in New York City. In his book publishing practice, Mark represents a variety of authors of fiction and non-fiction, illustrators, and underlying rights owners in their agreements with publishers, agents and collaborators. He currently serves as an adjunct professor of clinical law at Brooklyn Law School. Mr. Merriman is admitted to practice in New York.

MICHAEL O'FLAHERTY is in his 26th season as Goodspeed’s Resident Music Director. His musical arrangement credits include Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Broadway); Reunion-A Musical Epic in Miniature; Carol Hall's To Whom It May Concern; and Red, Hot and Blue! (Goodspeed and Paper Mill Playhouse). He has worked at North Shore Music Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Ford's Theatre, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kennedy Center, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and The Smithsonian Institution, and was the Musical Supervisor and Cabaret Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival for 11 years. Michael conducted the Goodspeed Musicals productions of By Jeeves and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on Broadway. His original musical Genesius, for which he wrote the music and lyrics, was recently showcased in NYC.  Michael conducted Hartford Symphony Orchestra concerts in 2013 and 2016, and he wrote music and lyrics for A Connecticut Christmas Carol, to be produced at Goodspeed' Terris Theatre in 2017.

JOHN PIKE is a professor at The Hartt School Theatre Division (University of Hartford) teaching musical theatre history, text analysis, and contemporary theatre. Previously, he was on faculty of Syracuse University. As stage director, recent productions include Working (Hartt), The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Little Women (Opera House Players), and Big (Artful Living Productions).  Also a musical director, he has conducted A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), Coram Boy (Hartt), and A Little Night Music (Syracuse University). Other favorite productions as director/musical director include Titanic, Cabaret, The Apple Tree, Pippin, Brigadoon, and The Frogs. John is the co-author of The Christmas Tree Dinner, which was performed at the Old Lyme Inn in 2010/2011. He has written music for several plays and is the author of The Grand View and The Womb. For many years, John served as Artistic Associate for Goodspeed Musicals, where he worked on more than 90 productions and was publisher of Show Music Magazine. His articles have appeared in Playbill, The Sondheim Review, and Dramatists Quarterly. More recently, he edited the book HAIR: The Story of Show That Defined a Generation and is the author of the current Achieving the Impossible Dream: Goodspeed Musicals at 50.

ROB RUGGIERO is a freelance professional director whose work has earned him national recognition on both plays and musicals. He is currently the Producing Artistic Director of TheaterWorks in Hartford, CT where he has directed over 50 productions, including recent productions of The Other Place and Christmas on the Rocks (which he conceived and directed and highlights the work of 7 nationally-known playwrights). Mr. Ruggiero’s Broadway credits include Looped (starring Valerie Harper in a Tony-nominated performance) and High (starring Kathleen Turner). Both productions toured nationally. Off-Broadway, he conceived and directed the original musical revue entitled Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn. This production received nominations for both the Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award. In 2005, Mr. Ruggiero conceived and directed a world premiere musical portrait of Ella Fitzgerald entitled Ella. A popular and critical success, Ella has been seen on over 24 regional theater stages from 2005-2010 before beginning a National Tour. Last year, Mr. Ruggiero returned to Goodspeed Musicals to direct the critically acclaimed 50th Anniversary revival of Fiddler on the Roof. This was his eighth collaboration with Goodspeed, where he also directed highly successful productions of Carousel (BroadwayWorld Award), Annie Get Your Gun, Camelot, Big River, 1776, The Most Happy Fella and a new adaptation of Show Boat (which garnered him his fifth Connecticut Critic’s Circle Awards for best direction). This new version is now being licensed by the Rogers & Hammerstein Organization. He will be returning to Goodspeed this summer to direct a revival of La Cage aux Folles. His work has been seen at major regional theaters around the country, including: Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Arena Stage, The Asolo, Barrington Stage Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Playhouse, Dallas Theater Center, The Guthrie, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, The Muny, Northlight Theater, The Pittsburgh Public Theater, and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. www.robruggiero.com.

ADAM SOUZA began his career at age 17 as the music intern at Goodspeed Musicals. After graduating from high school, Adam attended the Boston Conservatory, majoring in Musical Theatre with a concentration in acting and conducting. He spent his summers continuing to train at Goodspeed, having performed in the ensembles of George M! and Brigadoon, acting as Associate Music Director for Great Expectations and The Road To Hollywood, and conducting Very Good Eddie on the main stage. After 4 seasons and over 15 shows at the Opera House and The Norma Terris Theatre, Adam finished college and began touring with the Broadway National Tour of Les Misérables playing Keyboard I for almost two years. Continuing his road career, Adam began work as Associate Conductor for the National Tour of Monty Python’s Spamalot, later taking over as Music Director/Conductor. After just over two years with Spamalot, he moved to New York to begin learning Wicked on Broadway. In the start of 2009, Adam conducted the Broadway production of Wicked, then began his third tour, acting as Music Director/Conductor for the 2nd National Tour of Wicked. 

WILLIAM J. THOMAS has been playing keyboards in the orchestra pit at Goodspeed Musicals since 1993 and has served as principal conductor for the Goodspeed Musicals mainstage productions of 42nd Street (2009), Li’l Abner (2006), Me and My Girl (2003), Brigadoon (2001), and George M! (2000). Bill was also associate conductor for Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (2008), Big River, Happy Days, 1776, High Button Shoes, Pirates of Penzance, Abyssinia, Where’s Charley?, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Babes in Arms, and They All Laughed!. Norma Terris credits include Lizzie Borden (music director), Tin Pan Alley Rag (conductor), Dorian,and Gotham!. Bill has been the chief keyboard programmer at Goodspeed Musicals since 2000 and recently served to oversee the transition from "Kurzweil" to Apple "Mainstage" technology at Goodspeed's East Haddam Theatre.

Sponsored in part by
Adolph & Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation

The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre