Composer Jason Robert Brown will be coming to Potomac, MD and to Columbia, MD next weekend to conduct and perform Songs for a New World with talented young singers and musicians at Young Artists of America at Winston Churchill High School on Saturday and Sunday March 15th and 16th, and then will head off to Columbia, MD for a fundraiser/cabaret called I Could Be In Love with Someone Like You on Monday, March 17th for Red Branch Theatre Company.
Jason’s new score for the newly-opened musical The Bridges of Madison County has receiving glowing reviews. I saw the show last Sunday and his lush score is indeed glorious. I hope you will make the trip to NYC to see it.
Jason tells us why he is coming to town and why he is so impressed with Young Artists of America and Red Branch Theatre Company.
Joel: What impressed you most about Young Artists of America and Red Branch Theatre Company that you are coming to perform with these groups?
Jason: There’s no cause dearer to my heart than the education of young musicians. Music is what gave me a direction and a reason to wake up in the morning when I was a teenager, and anything that goes young people encouragement and training to be musicians, as Young Artists of America does so beautifully, is something I want to be a part of. And Red Branch’s support of contemporary musical theater is almost unparalleled in the country; I’m honored to be a part of their season!
When will you be rehearsing with YAA for Songs for a New World and how many musicians and singers will you be conducting? Will you be performing any of the songs or accompanying any of the singers on the piano?
I’m arriving next week to rehearse the YAA gang; honestly I don’t even know how many singers and players there are – I think it’s a lot! I’ll be playing some, conducting some, and watching some with avuncular pride.
Why do you think so many schools and young singers are falling in love with Songs For a New World? What lessons do these songs offer these young musicians and singers, students, and their families?
Songs for a New World is ultimately about community, and working in the theater is like finding a community and a family. I think that what the show says about supporting each other and letting each other in is what the theater is all about for me, and I suspect that’s the way it feels to the schools and singers learning those songs now.
What will you be performing at your fundraiser cabaret at Red Branch?
I’m never sure in advance! Definitely songs from all of my shows, including some from The Bridges of Madison County and Honeymoon In Vegas, and surely songs from Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes, as well as new songs I’ve written since then. It’ll be a big adventure, for sure.
What advice do you have for these young singers and actors who are considering singing and/or theatre as a career?
Sing with love. Make music.
What do you want these students to take with them after watching you conduct and perform and meeting with them?
I write and I perform and I teach because music is the thing that courses through my veins. You can do the thing you love, that’s the lesson; and even if you don’t do that thing for a living, you carry it inside you and it makes you whole.
Why should DC theatre goers come to NYC to see The Bridges of Madison County?
I think genuine passion is in short supply in the theater, and Bridges is a work of great passion, both in the story it tells and in the way it was created. Marsha Norman and I have loved bringing these characters to life, and I think there is a realness, a beauty and a power to what Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale are doing on stage that is unlike anything else on Broadway.
Click here to purchase tickets for Young Artists of America
Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 7:30pm
Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:00pm
Bish Auditorium at Winston Churchill High School
11300 Gainsborough Road
Potomac, MD 20854
Red Branch Theatre Company
Drama Learning Center
9130-I Red Branch Road
Columbia, MD 21045
Jason Robert Brown’s website.
The Bridges of Madison County website.
Tickets On Sale for Jason Robert Brown’s Cabaret: “I Could Be In Love With Someone Like You” at Red Branch Theatre Co. on Monday, March 17, 2014@7:30pm
Auditons on November 21st and 23rd for Young Artists of America’s ‘Songs for a New World.’
Red Branch Theatre Company’s website.
Young Artists of America’s website.