Music performance major Derek Chase, a senior at Houghton College, recently attended New York University’s Broadway Winds summer program.
Chase traveled to New York City to perform, study, and collaborate with faculty from New York University, as well as with professional musicians dedicated to playing multiple woodwind instruments for major theatrical productions in the city. Sessions covered orchestration, individual shows, vocational paths, and equipment and skills needed for career doublers. Participants also prepared current Broadway pieces and receive feedback on from guest clinicians; had master classes with performers from the orchestras for The Phantom of the Opera, Mean Girls, Aladdin, Anastasia, and Spongebob Squarepants; and took part in panel discussions with production members of the Broadway industry. Chase and fellow musicians even had the opportunity to play the entire score from Aladdin alongside the reed player for the current production.
In addition, Chase experienced the current Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera from the perspective of an orchestra member, seated alongside the professional musicians bringing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score to life. “Being able to sit in The Phantom of the Opera pit was such a surreal experience,” Chase remarked. “All the connections I made make me so much more excited for the future and being able to start my dream career!”
Chase has performed in several musical theater opportunities during his time at Houghton, including as Jud Fry in the college’s major production Oklahoma! He recently took part in a local production of Into the Woods, where he performed the role of Rapunzel’s prince.