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Music Direction Intensive

Music Direction Intensive

2020 Dates to be announced


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 ecoffey@goodspeed.org.


Sign up to be notified when the 2021 dates are annouced.


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

2020 Faculty

More faculty to be announced soon!

KELLI BARCLAY (Choreographer) Many productions at Goodspeed Opera House: The Will Rogers Follies, My One And Only (both earned the CTCC Award for Best Choreography), Anything Goes, Hello, Dolly!, Damn Yankees, Hello! My Baby, How to Succeed…. NYC productions: Himself and Nora at the Minetta Lane Theatre, City Center’s Encores production of Pipe Dream. Associate Choreographer on four Broadway productions, and worked on RCMH Christmas Spectacular in Detroit. Most recently Director/Choreographer of Theatre by the Sea’s Singin in the Rain, Ogunquit Playhouse’s White Christmas, North Shore Music Theatre's Jekyll and Hyde starring Constantine Maroulis and Diana DeGarmo and directed by Robert Cuccioli, Director/Choreographer 42nd Street. Kelli also set the recent award-winning West End production of 42nd Street in London, where she got to work with Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. Kelli is be featured in a documentary about the making of the UK production of 42nd Street that aired on PBS right before the television premiere of the musical. Feature film: Made For Each Other.  An avid dance and arts educator Kelli helped develop The Dance Intensive and Movers Boot Camp programs and has taught at many of Goodspeed’s Intensives including MDI and the College Audition Intensive. With an extensive dance background and much dance company work, including faculty at American Ballet Theater NYC Dance Intensive, she has taught and choreographed around the world. Currently Kelli is training to be certified to teach Dance for PD (Parkinson’s Disease) through the Mark Morris Dance Company Foundation . https://danceforparkinsons.org.   https://www.kellibarclay.com

BENEDICT BRAXTON-SMITH (Copywork, Keyboard Programming, & Electronic Sound) Benedict is an Australian Music Director, Composer, and Orchestrator based in New York City. Benedict’s work has been heard in venues all around the world, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, Brisbane, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Tokyo and London. Recent credits include Associate Music Director and Orchestrator for Kristin Chenoweth: For The Girls (Broadway) and Associate Music Director and Copyist for Cyrano (Off-Broadway), starring Peter Dinklage. With Lyricist/Bookwriter Megan Petersen, Benedict is the composer and co-bookwriter for new musical, Dr. Fox and the Impossible Cure For Death, which was most recently developed through MSU’s ĭmáGen program with director Timothy Koch (Frozen). His other musicals include MetalHead, The Bachelor: The Musical, and Runway. As Music Director and Pianist, Benedict has worked on several productions including Urinetown, Peter & The Starcatcher, Bring It On, The Adding Machine, Bat Boy, Carrie: The Musical, How To Succeed in Business, and Pokemon Live! The Musical. He specializes in developing new works, having worked on workshops and full productions of shows including Because of Winn Dixie, Cyrano, Me Prometheus, Ladies in Black (Helpmann Award for Best Musical), and State of Origin: The Musical. His orchestration credits include 1776 (54 Below), The Anxiety Project, Elevator Heart, Broadway Reimagined, Higher & Higher, and musical-movie, Loving. His extensive keyboard programming and electronic music design credits include Wicked, The Drowsy Chaperone, Billy Elliot, Spamalot, The Little Mermaid, and Legally Blonde. He has worked in the music department at Goodspeed since the beginning of the 2019 season. He is a proud graduate of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU.

SAM DAVIS (Dance Arranger) Broadway credits as arranger, orchestrator, and/or conductor include An American in Paris, Prince of Broadway, Holiday Inn, Gigi, Side Show (2014), Big Fish, and Curtains, as well as the upcoming revival of Company. Film and television credits include Beauty and the Beast (2017); Hail, Caesar!; A Christmas Story Live, and Good Behavior. His work in England includes  Company (2018) and Joseph… (2019) on London’s West End and Gypsy at Manchester’s Royal Exchange. As composer: Bunnicula, #DateMe, Red Eye of Love, Love and Real Estate (all off-Broadway), The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare in the Park.) Regional work includes UnMasked  (Paper Mill Playhouse) and  Marie: Dancing Still (Kennedy Center, 5th Avenue), as well as 6 shows at Goodspeed including Holiday Inn. Winner of the Jonathan Larson Award and graduate of the University of Michigan. For more information, visit samdavismusic.com.

DAN DeLANGE (Orchestrator) 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 (Sound Designer) 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.

MICHAEL O’FLAHERTY (Resident Music Director) is in his 28th season as Goodspeed's Resident Music Director. Broadway: By JeevesGentlemen Prefer BlondesA Streetcar Named Desire. Also: 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. Musical Supervisor and Cabaret Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival for 11 years. His original musical A Connecticut Christmas Carol, for which he wrote music and lyrics, was presented at Goodspeed’s Terris Theatre in Chester in 2017/2018 and will run again this December. Michael has recently received the Tom Killen Award for Lifetime Achievement—the highest honor given by the Connecticut Critics Circle.

JOHN PIKE (Licensing Presenter) 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 Anyone Can Whistle, Lizzie Borden, AmourSmile and Das Barbecu (Hartt), The Farnsworth Invention (Saybrook Theatre Company), Bright StarWorking, The Spitfire Grill and Edwin Drood (Opera House Players). 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.

WILLIAM J. THOMAS (Assoc. Music Director/Keyboardist/Contractor/Programmer) 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, 1776High Button ShoesPirates of PenzanceAbyssiniaWhere’s Charley?A Tree Grows in BrooklynBabes in Arms, and They 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