David Sisco, Founder & Curator
Lorene Phillips, Contributing Editor
For a long time, we’ve been frustrated by the lack of published contemporary musical theatre songs available to us as voice teachers. If it’s not yet on Broadway, it almost never gets published. Living in New York, we knew there was so much more out there. But where could we get our hands on it?
For the past seven years, David has been a member of the prestigious BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, where he’s been witness to some of the best new writers and songs. David brought an idea to Lorene: what if we created a directory of writers and songs to help other teachers find good material and get writers paid for their work?
That question led to the development of The Directory of Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers. We began creating a database and interactive web platform, which currently holds over 150 writers and 360 songs (all searchable by voice and song type). Each page of the Directory features a writer or writing team’s head shot, bio, contact information and five of their best songs with links to listen/view the songs and information on how to purchase them directly from the writers. All the songs were vetted by musical theatre and voice professionals, making the Directory a very unique resource for those looking for fresh new repertoire (95% of which is self-published).
The Directory was first presented as a poster paper at the 2012 NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Convention in Orlando. Since then, our blog associated with the project - which covers a wide range of topics about the musical theatre industry - has received over 31,000 hits in over six countries! It's clear this is a much-needed resource.
The online Directory holds a host of other information beyond our ever-growing database. Keep track of what writers are up to by visiting our regularly updated news feed and subscribing to writer’s social media pages. Catch up on the musicals you might have missed by visiting our Musicals 2000 - Present and immediately purchasing the soundtrack and/or score. And we’ve just begun. Stay tuned as we roll out even more ways to keep your finger on the pulse of the best of the best and the newest of the new. Click here to see a sample.
David Sisco is the author of HERE I AM: A MUSICAL PERSONAL AD, VARIATIONS ON A THEME OF YOU, SOPRANOS BAIT n' SWISH and with Tom Gualtieri FALLING TO EARTH and I'M AFRAID, YOU'RE AFRAID: 448 THINGS TO FEAR AND WHY. A winner of the 2010 NATS Composition Award, David’s art songs have been heard at concerts produced by Friends & Enemies of New Music, New Music New York, Joy in Singing, Lyricfest and Songfest. Forthcoming commissions include works for Manhattan Girls Chorus and Mirari Brass Quintet. For over twelve years David has been a member of the Marble Collegiate Church Sanctuary Choir. He has sung on all three of their CDs, including their forthcoming recording, which will feature his piece “Awake, My Heart.” David has taught voice at Northeastern and Suffolk University, and currently teaches at Marymount Manhattan College. He also leads masterclasses around the country on preparing contemporary art song. www.davidsisco.com
Lorene Phillips has sung with Syracuse Opera, Mohawk Valley Opera, Opera Nova, Opera New York and Brooklyn Repertory Opera. Most recently she premiered the role of Abbess Marie in Susan Stoderl’s Veil of Forgetfulness. Conducting highlights include her tenure as Director of the Children of the World Choir at Marble Collegiate Church where she performed at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall with the choir and her work as the conductor of Scarlatti’s Eraclea (world premiere) with Opera Nova. Lorene collaborated with composer David Sisco to produce the innovative operatic sketch comedy, Sopranos, with Caprice Opera and the NY Fringe Festival. Additionally, Lorene is a private voice teacher in NYC with over 12 years of experience in preparing singers for auditions, performances and tours. She teaches contemporary commercial vocal technique alongside classical pedagogy and her students have performed on Broadway, in national tours and in regional theater. Additionally, Lorene sings chorally, does commercial voice over work and teaches preschool music classes. She is a graduate of Indiana University and Syracuse University.
Headshots by Joshua Bouchard - http://www.grogshopphotography.com/