Success Stories

Explore Recent News and Success Stories about MSM Students, Alumni, and Faculty.

  • Jul 11, 2022Musical Theatre

    Recent MSM musical theatre graduate Alysia Velez (BM ’22) makes Broadway debut in Sondheim’s Into the Woods

    Musical theatre graduate Alysia Velez (BM ’22) is making her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim and James Lepine’s Into the Woods which opened at the St. James Theatre on July 10 for an eight-week run.

    Alysia plays Rapunzel in a cast that features Sara Bareilles, Gavin Creel, and Julia Lester.

    “I’m grateful to go into the woods each night with these people,” writes Alysia on a post of photos from opening night on her Instagram account.

    The fairytale musical that mashes together stories like Cinderella, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk. This revival places the emphasis on Sondheim’s music and James Lapine‘s story by putting the orchestra on stage with the actors and forgoing any sets or special effects.

    Read about the production here.
    Learn more about Alysia here.


  • Jun 9, 2022Musical Theatre

    MSM recent graduate Alysia Velez (BM ’22) cast as Rapunzel in the Broadway revival of Into the Woods

    Recent MSM Musical Theatre graduate Alysia Velez (BM ’22) has been cast as Rapunzel in the upcoming Broadway revival of the Stephen SondheimJames Lapine musical Into The Woods on Broadway opening June 28 at the St. James Theater for an eight-week run.

    Information about the production here.

    Learn more about Alysia here.

  • Feb 3, 2022Musical Theatre

    Book launch on March 22: Facing the Music by David Loud, the Musical Director of the MSM Musical Theatre program

    Legendary Broadway musical director and arranger David Loud, who is the Musical Director of the MSM Musical Theatre program, is releasing his memoir on March 22.

    His publisher describes Facing the Music: A Broadway Memoir as David’s “wildly entertaining and deeply poignant trek through the wilderness of his childhood and the edge-of-your-seat drama of a career on, in, under, and around Broadway for decades. He also reveals his struggle against the ravages of Parkinson’s and triumphs repeatedly. This memoir is also a remarkable love letter to music.  Loud is the ‘Ted Lasso’ of the theater business, ever the optimist. An inspiration to all!”

    Buy the book in advance here.

  • Dec 7, 2021Musical Theatre

    #1 on Amazon’s hot releases lists for music, and dance! Making Broadway Dance: A new book by Liza Gennaro, MSM Associate Dean and Director of Musical Theatre

    Congratulations to Liza Gennaro! Her book landed the #1 position on two of Amazon’s key book charts: Dance Hot Releases, and Music Hot Releases during the week of December 3, 2021!

    Aimed at students, academics, and anyone who loves musical theatre and dance, the new publication Making Broadway Dance (Oxford University Press) by MSM Associate Dean and Director of Musical Theatre Liza Gennaro gives valuable insights into how Broadway dance is made.

    Learn more about the book here.

  • Oct 21, 2021Musical Theatre

    Play by MSM Musical Theatre alum Jarrett Winters Morley (BM ’20) featured at New York Theatre Festival in November

    Godless is a one-act play that delves into the origins of the human psyche between Adam and Eve, discusses the controversy surrounding humankind’s perception of a higher power, and how each of us defines faith.

    Performances of Godless take place at the New York Theatre Festival on Nov 8 and 10 at 9 PM and Nov 13 at 6:45 PM.

    Jarrett is a singer, actor, composer/lyricist, and playwright who graduated from Manhattan School of Music in 2020 with a Bachelor of Music, and from Berklee College of Music with a Master of Arts.

    For more information and tickets visit this page.

  • Oct 20, 2021Musical Theatre

    MSM alumni featured in Caroline, or Change opening on Broadway on October 27

    MSM voice alumna N’Kenge Pacurar (BM ’96) appears as The Moon in the Roundabout Theatre Company production, while Joseph Joubert (BM ’79, MM ’81), a member of the Artistic Advisory Committee for the MSM Musical Theatre program, is music director and orchestrator of the production.

    Both are pictured here outside Studio 54 theatre with MSM President James Gandre who attended a preview performance.

    Learn more about the production and buy tickets here.

  • Oct 12, 2021Musical Theatre

    Making Broadway Dance: A new book by Liza Gennaro, MSM Associate Dean and Director of Musical Theatre

    Aimed at students, academics, and anyone who loves musical theatre and dance, the new publication Making Broadway Dance (Oxford University Press) by MSM Associate Dean and Director of Musical Theatre Liza Gennaro gives valuable insights into how Broadway dance is made.

    Publication date: November 12, 2021

    Learn more about the book and preorder here:

  • Oct 6, 2021Musical Theatre

    MSM Musical Theatre faculty member Or Matias wins Best Score and Best Book at the 2021 German Musical Theater Awards

    The musical The Wave by the Landestheater Linz won 2021 German Musical Theater Awards in several categories including Best Musical, Best Composition (or Score) and Best Book (Or Matias), Best Director (Christoph Drewitz), and Best Actor in a Leading Role (Lukas Sandmann).

    Or Matias is an Obie award-winning composer, lyricist, music director, and content developer who teaches MT Lab and Senior Showcase II at MSM.

    The Wave is based on the true story of Ron Jones, an American high school teacher who conducted a social experiment on his students to demonstrate the mass appeal of fascism.

    The German Musical Theater Awards are the only musical award presented to musical professionals by their peers in German-speaking Europe. They are presented by the German Musical Academy and are considered to be the  “Tony Awards” of Germany.

    Read news release (in German) here.
    View video clip here.


  • Jun 23, 2021Composition

    National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene salutes its director, MSM alumnus Zalmen Mlotek (BM ’72)

    From July 26 to 30, the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the world’s longest continuously running Yiddish theatre in the world, is having a benefit concert online honoring its director of long standing, Zalmen Mlotek (BM ’72), who is celebrating his 70th birthday.

    Zalmen received his Bachelor of Arts from MSM in Theory, and is an internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theater music. He is a leading figure in the Jewish theatre and concert worlds, as well as a conductor, pianist, musical arranger, accompanist, and composer.

    His acclaimed production of “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish” with Folksbiene ran for two years after a planned run of just two weeks at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, moving to Off Broadway.  It closed in January, 2020.

    The benefit concert, entitled “Yiddish Renaissance” will include 140 artists from around the world, is also being billed as a celebration of the growing interest in Yiddish language and culture.

    More information here.

  • Jan 19, 2021Musical Theatre

    Recording release by MSM Musical Theatre faculty member Judith Clurman in honor of the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States

    MSM Musical Theatre faculty member Judith Clurman, the conductor and music director of the preeminent NYC chorus ESSENTIAL VOICES USA and record label Acis announce the release of America at Heart via streaming platforms.

    The chorus is joined by Tony Award® winners Randy Graff, also a MSM Musical Theatre faculty member, and Brian Stokes Mitchell for a release in honor of the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, on January 20, 2021.

    Learn more here.

  • Jan 2, 2021Musical Theatre

    Musical Theatre students and alumni to perform in original play by Samantha Hahn

    Current students Paul Esswein (BM ’21), Jack D’Emilio (BM ’21), Subiya Mboya (BM ’22), and Alesha Jeter (BM ’23), as well as alumna Raquel Nobile (MM ’17), will star in The Right Way, a new play written by Musical Theatre Senior Samantha Hahn (BM ’21). The Right Way is a school-set comedy in one act filled with wacky characters, wordplay, and little lessons.

    The online event, which is part of the Jocunda Festival’s Virtual Play Reading Series, will be held on Sunday, January 10, at 8pm EST on Zoom. Tickets are a $15.00 donation benefitting the Riant Theater, and are available to purchase here.

  • Dec 29, 2020Musical Theatre

    Sarah Thorn nominated for BroadwayWorld Regional Award

    Musical Theatre senior Sarah Thorn (BM ’21) has been nominated by BroadwayWorld Boston for Performer of the Decade. Voting has closed and results will be announced on the Broadway World Boston website. Sarah performed the role of Lucy Barker/Beggar Woman in last year’s production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

  • Nov 17, 2020Musical Theatre

    Musical theatre students selected to compete in national voice competition

    Musical Theatre students Libby Johnston (BM ’22) and Tirza Meuljic (BM ’22) are semifinalists in The American Pops 4th Annual “NextGen National: Finding the Voices of Tomorrow” competition.

    Libby, Tirza, and 28 other college students from coast to coast will compete this Saturday, November 21st at 8:00 PM for the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship and paid performance opportunity with APO in their 2021-2022 Season.

    For more information visit The American Pops website.

  • Nov 11, 2020Musical Theatre

    Randy Graff interviewed by OnStage Blog

    In a new interview with Joe Szekeres of OnStage Blog, Musical Theatre faculty member Randy Graff talks about teaching during a pandemic, the challenges and advantages of virtual learning, and the future of theatre.

    “As an educator, I see my students finding imaginative ways to connect with each other and with students all around the country. Some are doing Zoom play readings, their own work included, and having group discussions after. Many are using the time to self-tape monologues and songs and get them up on their websites. They’ve started Youtube channels and some are Zoom directing as well. All motivated by the pandemic.”

    Read the full interview here.

  • Sep 24, 2020Musical Theatre

    Musical theatre senior shares her Off-Broadway experience in On the Roof

    Pegasus Publishers released On the Roof today, a new book written by MSM student Samantha Hahn (BM ’21). The book offers a “behind-the-curtain” look at Samantha’s time performing the role of Beylke in the Off-Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish.

    Of the author, Fiddler director Joel Grey writes, “Samantha Hahn is not only a gifted performer but a delightful documentarian; she takes you through our auditions, rehearsals, backstage life, mishaps, and relationships.”

    The book is available to purchase here.

  • Jul 16, 2020Musical Theatre

    Or Matias wins Obie Award

    Musical theatre faculty member Or Matias was awarded a Special Obie Citation alongside Dave Malloy and Hidenori Nakajo for their Music and Sound of OCTET. The award, which was announced during the virtual ceremony on July 14, was given “for their collaboration in creating the soundscape that showcased the boundlessness of the acapella human voice”.

    Later on in the virtual Obie Awards, faculty members Mana Allen, David Loud, and David Cady performed in a tribute to Merrily We Roll Along.

    You can watch the full awards ceremony here.

  • Jul 14, 2020Musical Theatre

    Musical theatre student performs on Stars in the House

    Last night, rising senior Elizabeth Baxley (BM ’21) performed on Stars in the House, a daily live-streamed series to support The Actors Fund and its services. The show was hosted by faculty member Andréa Burns, known for originating the role of Daniela in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical, In The Heights. Broadway legend Billy Porter dropped in as a surprise guest to offer words of encouragement to Elizabeth: “Dream the impossible, dream what you don’t see.”

    Watch the full show livestream here.

  • Jun 2, 2020Musical Theatre

    Incoming Musical Theatre student wins Roger Rees Award

    Newly admitted Musical Theatre student Meredith Heller (BM ’24) is the recipient of the 2020 Roger Rees Award for Best Actress. The 17-year-old graduate of Pelham Memorial Highschool won for her role as Rosemary in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

    Meredith received the award yesterday during Broadway Education Alliance’s 10th annual Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance, a celebration of high school musical programs, in a special livestream event.

    Through a video audition process, professional Broadway coaches and music directors selected the top fifty students to move forward in the competition. A panel of Broadway professionals including Bonita Hamilton, Hal Luftig, Rob McClure, Patricia Hoag Simon, and Merri Sugarman then chose the Best Actor and Best Actress out of ten finalists from the Greater New York Region.

    Read the full press release from Broadway World here.

  • May 22, 2020Musical Theatre

    Judith Clurman receives Emmy nomination

    Musical Theatre faculty member Judith Clurman has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the “Best Original Song Category”. The song, entitled “A New Carol – The Holidays Are Here”, was co-written with Wesley Whately and performed on the Singing Christmas Tree Float during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in November 2019.

    Judith writes, “Thank you, MSM voice students, for constantly teaching me about acting through songs, and kudos to the Freshman Ensemble Voice Class for singing through the piece for me, when I first wrote it.”

    View the full list of nominees here.

  • Mar 25, 2020Musical Theatre

    Musical Theatre students featured on Broadway World

    In light of COVID-19’s disruption to theatre programs around the globe, Broadway World has created an online database to showcase college seniors whose showcases have been cancelled or postponed. Among those featured are Manhattan School of Music students Christa Steiner, David Gabriel Lerner, Paul J Hernandez, Whitney Bomkamp, and Mary Kate Petsky.

    The database— which is available to casting directors, agents, and producers—can be viewed here.

  • Mar 20, 2020Musical Theatre

    Musical Theatre students perform for Broadway Inspires

    The sophomore Musical Theatre class performed a beautiful rendition of “You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hanson that was produced for Broadway Inspirational Voices in their Broadway Our Way series.

    The video, which is introduced by Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry, can be viewed here.

  • Mar 5, 2020Musical Theatre

    Musical Theatre student qualifies for National Archery Finals

    Freshman Musical Theatre student Galvin Yuan (BM ’23) has qualified for the 2020 USA Archery Collegiate Nationals Indoor Final. After ranking fourth in the Recurve Men category at a regional event last week, Galvin will travel to Louisville, Kentucky March 19-20 to compete in the Collegiate Final.

    The 51st USA Archery Indoor Nationals were contested at thirteen locations over the past several weekends with nearly 5,000 participants. The Collegiate Indoor Final is an invitational event for the nation’s top scoring student-athletes. To view the full list of archers participating in the Final, click here.



  • Oct 29, 2019Musical Theatre

    MSM students perform at Drama League Gala

    Last night, 14 Manhattan School of Music students performed at The Drama League’s Annual Gala at The Plaza Hotel.

    Musical theatre students sang with Jelani Alladin and Miriam Shor in tributes to honoree Sutton Foster, while several jazz students performed during the cocktail hour.

    The exciting opportunity was a collaboration of efforts between MSM Community members including Joe Pizza, Sceneworks Studios, Center for Music Entrepreneurship, Michele Wright, and Enrique Brown.

    Musical Theatre Participants: Elizabeth Baxley, Rafaela Cicchetti, Liam Collins, Pantelis Karastamatis, Jordan Paige Kliphon, Ariela Pizza, Austin Prebula, Savannah Sinclair, Joey Zook
    Jazz Arts Participants: Kofi Baraka-Shepsu, Joseph Miller, Dabin Ryu, Hamish Smith, Sam Towse

  • Aug 13, 2019Musical Theatre

    MSM Musical Theatre students perform in sold-out Edinburgh Festival

    Four MSM Musical Theatre students recently performed in Edinburgh International Festival’s concert production of West Side Story.

    David Gabriel Lerner (BM ’20) shares: “I am trying to find the right words that best fit the experience. Performing in The Usher Hall, in a featured role, to sold out audiences was surreal. My MSM peers — Sofia Faus (BM ’20)Jared Johnson (BM ’21)Paul Hernandez (BM ’20) — and I were provided with comfortable housing, transportation, an honorarium, and an unforgettable experience that I will hold dear to my heart. This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

  • Aug 6, 2019Musical Theatre

    Current Musical Theatre student to play title role in Anne Frank

    Kristyn Vario (BM ’20) will play the lead role in the Off-Broadway premiere of Anne Frank, a musical September 11-24th at the Center for Jewish History. The musical, adapted from French to English by Dylan Hadida, will be directed and produced by David Serero. Read the full press release on

    Kristyn performed the role of Martha in Manhattan School of Music’s production of Spring Awakening last season (pictured), and lists Erzulie in Once on This Island and Ms Potts in Beauty and the Beast as other previous credits.

    Purchase tickets to Anne Frank, a musical here.

  • Jul 1, 2019Musical Theatre

    Liza Gennaro featured in SDC Journal

    The Associate Dean and Chair of MSM’s Musical Theatre program is included in the Summer 2019 edition of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) Journal. The quarterly publication is distributed nationwide and aims to give voice to an empowered collective of Directors and Choreographers.

    You can subscribe and purchase single-edition copies here.

  • Apr 10, 2019Musical Theatre

    Liza Gennaro to participate in Musical Theatre Scholarship panel

    The Associate Dean and Chair of Musical Theatre at Manhattan School of Music will discuss the importance of musical theatre scholarship with fellow panelists Jessica Sternfeld, Elizabeth Wollman, Raymond Knapp, Stacy Wolf, David Savran, Dominic Symonds, and Joanna Das.

    The panel will take place Friday, April 12 at 3 PM at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The event is free, and reservations can be made online in advance.

  • Mar 22, 2019Musical Theatre

    MSM Artistic Advisory Board member Bebe Neuwirth to announce 2019 Tony Nominations

    Bebe Neuwirth, an MSM Honorary Doctorate recipient, is set to announce the 73rd Annual Tony Award Nominations LIVE on Tuesday, April 30th. The nominations can be viewed on CBS This Morning at 8:30 PM EST and will be live streamed in their entirety at

    Neuwirth has been dancing and singing and working in theatre, television and film for the last 40 years. Some of her Broadway credits include A Chorus Line, Little Me, Dancin‘, Sweet Charity (Tony Award), Damn Yankees, Addams Family, Chicago (Tony, Drama Desk, Astaire, etc. Awards), and Fosse.

  • Mar 13, 2019Musical Theatre

    MSM students and alumni achieve off-Broadway success in Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish

    The smash hit has received rave reviews from The New York Times, Time Out, and NYPost, and features four alumni and one current student: Alexandrina Boyanova (BM ’10, MM ’12) as the solo violinist; Samantha Hahn (BM ’21) as Beylke;  Cameron Johnson (MM ’14) as Fyedke; Zalmen Mlotek (BM ’72), conductor; and Raquel Nobile (MM ’17) as Shprintze. The production, directed by Broadway legend Joel Grey, will run through September 2019 at Stage 42. 

    Buy tickets to Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish here.

  • Feb 4, 2019Musical Theatre

    MSM Musical Theatre’s new version of Kander & Ebb’sCabaret featured on writes about MSM Musical Theatre’s recent collaboration with the composer of the Broadway classic Cabaret, John Kander. The new MSM version reflects his favorite moments from all the various editions of the classic musical, including Bob Fosse’s 1972 film adaptation. He took part in a full rehearsal, giving guidance to students. Performances take place at MSM Feb 4-6 in MSM’s newly renovated Neidorff-Karpati Hall.

    Watch the show trailer here
    Watch John Kander with MSM students here
    Learn about MSM Musical Theatre here