Home   |  
Press Room
Press Login

If you are a member of the media, please contact Elisa Hale at 860.873.8664 x323 for login information.

Music Direction Intensive

Music Direction Intensive

January 21-27, 2020

Registration will open shortly - please check back


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 and the opportunity to work with internationally renowned experts in the field. .

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 Coffey at 860.873.8664 x521 or ecpffey@goodspeed.org.


  • Early application deadline: 11/18/19
  • Early notification of acceptance: 11/22/19
  • Early application registration fee due: 12/2/19
  • Final Application deadline: 12/16/19
  • Final Notification of acceptance: 12/20/19
  • Registration fee due: 1/6/20


  • Total tuition: $1,600
  • Deposit due with application: $400
  • Balance of $1,200 due on 12/2/19 (early application) or 1/6/20 (regular application)


The intensive begins the evening of Tuesday, January 21stand runs daily until Monday, January 27th. Participants should plan to arrive on the Goodspeed campus around 3pm on the 21st  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

2019 Faculty

2020 Faculty to be announced soon!

DAN DeLANGE His work was heard in the West End's production of Show Boat and was nominated for Best Musical Revival at the 2017 Olivier Awards in London. He has orchestrated for Manhattan Concert Productions at Carnegie Hall, The Jim Henson Company, Julie Andrews, Rosie O'Donnell, Live Theatricals at Universal Studios, and composers Paul Williams, Jerry Herman, Harvey Schmitt, Charles Strouse, Stephen Schwartz, Peter Link, and Mark Hollman. His scores have been heard on Broadway, London's West End, National and European Tours, film, television, and at Regional Theaters around the world. He’s a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. DanDeLangeOrchestrations.com

JAY HILTON is pleased to continue his long association with Goodspeed Musicals. Jay has designed countless productions at both The Goodspeed and The Terris Theatre in Chester. 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 serves as their Audio Supervisor. He and his wife, Goodspeed Producer Donna Lynn Hilton, make their home (and garden) in Hadlyme, Connecticut with Cookie and Macy.

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 created dance and additional arrangements for Disney’s just-released Mary Poppins Returns. 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 over 30 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.

MICHAEL O’FLAHERTY is completing his 27th season as Goodspeed’s Resident Music Director, with more than 85 productions to his credit. His original musical A Connecticut Christmas Carol was presented at Goodspeed’s Terris Theatre in 2018 and 2017 and  Genesius was included in Goodspeed’s New Works Festival in 2008, with a later showcase production in New York City. He has music directed at Paper Mill Playhouse, North Shore Music Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Ford’s Theatre, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kennedy Center, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and the Smithsonian Institution. Broadway credits include By Jeeves, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and A Streetcar Named Desire. He was Musical Supervisor and Cabaret Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival for 11 years.

JOHN PIKE is a professor at The Hartt School Theatre Division (University of Hartford) teaching musical theatre history, composition, text analysis, and contemporary theatre. Previously, he was on faculty of Syracuse University. As stage director, recent productions include Lizzie Borden, Amour, Smile and Das Barbecu (Hartt), The Farnsworth Invention (Saybrook Theatre Company) Working, The Spitfire Grill and Edwin Drood (Opera House Players), and Big (Artful Living Productions). As a musical director, he has conducted 1776, Spamalot, Shrek, How to Succeed…, Gypsy (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), Nicholas Nickleby and Coram Boy (Hartt), and A Little Night Music (Syracuse University). John is the co-author of The Christmas Tree Dinner. 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, working on more than 90 productions and serving as publisher of Show Music Magazine. His articles have appeared in Playbill, The Sondheim Review, and Dramatists Quarterly. More recently he contributed to The Book of Broadway and is the author of Achieving the Impossible Dream: Goodspeed Musicals at 50. 

ROB RUGGIERO has directed Goodspeed’s productions of Oliver!, Rags, La Cage aux Folles, Fiddler on the Roof, The Most Happy Fella, Carousel, Show Boat, Annie Get Your Gun, Camelot, Big River, and 1776. Rob has won multiple Connecticut Critic’s Circle Awards for Best Direction, including last season's highly-celebrated production of Next to Normal at TheaterWorks, where he is the Producing Artistic Director. His Broadway credits include High (starring Kathleen Turner) and Looped (starring Valerie Harper in a Tony-nominated performance). Off-Broadway, he conceived and directed the original musical revue entitled Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn. The production received nominations for both the Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award. Rob has earned national recognition for his work on both plays and musicals. Regionally, he has directed a number of critically-acclaimed musical productions including Follies; Oklahoma!; Hello, Dolly!; South Pacific; The King & I; and Sunday in the Park with George, among others. In addition, he conceived and directed the highly successful Ella (Kevin Kline and Joseph Jefferson Awards) at TheaterWorks. His work has been seen at many other major regional theaters around the country, including Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Arizona Theatre Company, Barrington Stage Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Playhouse, Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Northlight Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater, and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, among others. Future projects include a production of Gypsy with Tony-winner Beth Leavel for The Muny’s 100th season, followed by a revival of Evita at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

WILLIAM J. THOMAS has played keyboards in the orchestra pit at Goodspeed Musicals for over 70 productions since 1993 and has served as principal conductor for the Goodspeed Musicals mainstage productions of Rags (2017), Anything Goes (2016), 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, andThey All Laughed!. Norma Terris credits include Lizzie Borden (music director), Tin Pan Alley Rag (conductor). 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. Bill is also the Musicians Contractor for the entire Goodspeed Musicals Organization.

Sponsored in part by
Adolph & Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation

The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre