MONDAY, DECEMBER 08
Two OCU alumni will be featured in the 2008 Holiday Songbook at Lincoln Center Dec. 14. The showcase of 30 up-and-coming composers and lyricists will begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. Admission is free and open to the public.
Joel B. New’s “Christmas Lights” will be premiered by fellow OCU graduate Michael Galyon. The song is from New’s project “Looking Around, Looking Back.” Sunday’s presentation is part of the 18th season of the Songbook series, presented by Arts and Artists at St. Paul’s.
New, winner of a 2008 Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grant, is a graduate of OCU’s Bass School of Music and earned an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He remained in New York after graduation and works as a composer, lyricist, bookwriter, arranger, dramaturge, vocal coach, and performer. On. Jan. 26, the Songbook series will highlight an entire program of New’s music.
In 2003, Oklahoma City University staged the premiere of New's first full-length musical, “You & My Heart,” with book, music, and lyrics by New. Since then, his songs have been performed across the country in recitals, master classes, concerts, festivals, cabarets, and a songbook revue entitled “Something New.” Current projects include “Looking Around, Looking Back,” an album musical with vocalist T.J. Moss and director Jessica Hutchinson; “Stand Clear,” a theatrical song cycle; and “Awakening,” a musical based on Kate Chopin's 1899 novella with J. Oconer Navarro.
Under the direction of Jen Bender, “Awakening” received a 2008 NYU-Tisch Alumni Development Grant made possible by the Frederick Loewe Foundation and the 2006 Margo Lion Award for Outstanding Adaptation.