In November of 1998, The Other Side of Broadway presented its inaugural concert in New York City. On the program were works by Leonard Bernstein, David Shire, Charles Strouse, Harvey Schmidt, and newcomer,Jay Alan Zimmerman. Each of these composers has written for theatre, for film and for dance, but each has his own distinctive musical voice. I feel that their exciting and beautiful concert works deserve to be heard.

Though not without a struggle, the genius of composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein came to be appreciated by lovers of musical theatre and classical music alike. His West Side Story maintains huge popularity to this day. Harvey Schmidt, composer of The Fantasticks and I Do! I Do!, grew up hearing the classical piano lessons taught by his mother in Texas. As a child, David Shire studied classical piano, and, while in high school, began studying theory and composition with his father. He majored in music and English at Yale and later gained theatrical recognition for his musicals Baby and Closer Than Ever. Charles Strouse was told by Nadia Boulanger during his studies with her in Paris that he had a gift for lighter music. He later chose dance arranging in the Adirondacks over going to the MacDowell Colony, and subsequently wrote Bye Bye Birdie and Applause. Jay Alan Zimmerman, the son of a Midwestern music theory professor, studied music, theatre and film in college and made a film of his musical, The Madness Channel.

The concert for 1999-2000, which was presented in February of 2000, included pieces by David Amram, Rudolf Friml,Galt MacDermot, Charles Strouse, and emerging composer, Timothy Brown. Pianist Bradford Gowen joined Barbara Irvine for duo-piano pieces by Galt MacDermot and Charles Strouse.

Galt MacDermot, whose first loves were jazz and country-western music, was classically trained at the University of Cape Town, and went on to write the landmark musical, HAIR. David Amram was brought up listening to 18th- and 19th-century European classical music, was introduced to jazz and music of other cultures by his uncle, and grew up to become the first composer-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic, as well as composer of scores for films (The Manchurian Candidateand Splendor in the Grass) and scores for thirty-five of Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival productions. Rudolf Friml, best known for his songs “Donkey Serenade” and “Indian Love Call,” initially studied with Antonin Dvorak at the Prague Conservatory. Residing permanently in the U.S. after 1906, he wrote 33 operettas including Rose MarieThe Vagabond and , composed music for the Ziegfeld Follies, and has written numerous piano pieces. After studying music at North Texas State University and working as a teacher and choral conductor, emerging composer Timothy Brown moved to New York City and combined his love of music and theatre by writing Curious George for Theatreworks/USA.

We gave our first college concert on October 14, 2000, at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The concert featured the music of Charles Strouse, who appeared at the end of the concert singing songs from his musicals as he accompanied himself on the piano.

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