BWW Interviews: Broadway Chamber Players Bring Broadway Musicians from the Pit to the Stage
Broadway Chamber Players (BCP) is a concert series aimed at developing the New York concert scene by featuring the many talents of Broadway's musicians, by bringing the players from the pit to the stage. They perform monthly at St. Malachy's - The Actor's Chapel, right across 49th St. from Book of Mormon, in the heart of the Theater District. With the many talents of these musicians, people sometimes forget they are there helping the Broadway actors along the way in each show. Will Curry is the Development Director of BCP as well as Viola and Second Assistant Conductor for Les Miserables on Broadway.
How did Broadway Chamber Players (BCP) get started?
BCP was founded in January 2014 by two members of the Broadway musician community, John Romeri and Setsuko Otake. I believe it was actually John's fiancee, who is a regular theater attendee but not a musician herself, who was surprised to learn that Broadway shows have live musicians. This inspired John to start an organization that would feature the musicians, as they are so often hidden under the stage, or are off stage entirely. We aim to bring the players "from the pit to the stage."
What is your involvement?
My involvement with BCP is rather new. I was introduced to John by a colleague one night when John was subbing with us at LES MIZ and we realized that I had something different to offer the group. I originally got talking to him wanting to play on some of the concerts, but this quickly turned into a more administrative position though I am playing on Feb. 23rd. I had a big arts administration background while at Northwestern for my undergrad and worked for a few years with Baroque Band, Chicago's Period-Instrument Orchestra. Through my studies and work with Baroque Band, I gained a lot of experience in the administrative side of the arts business and when I brought this experience to BCP, John and Setsuko decided to bring me on permanently as the Development Director. This has been a great learning experience for me, as most of my administrative work had been in marketing and ticket sales, so donor cultivation and crowd-sourcing have been exciting new opportunities. Our capital campaign, which we just launched, has been my first major project with the group.
Tell us about some of the performers who have been involved?
As we are a concert series, we do not have a set group of players. The only common thread is that all of the players perform on Broadway. We've done two concerts so far this season, featuring musicians from On THE TOWN, IF/THEN, MATILDA, Les Miserables, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, AND A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER, among many others. Also, as we perform at St. Malachy's - The Actor's Chapel, across from Book of Mormon, our season opener featured their music director/organist and the chapel's incredible organ. Later this season, we will be featuring several musicians from Les Miserables on one concert, we will be hosting a late-night jazz concert, and for the season finale we are arranging a concert of new works by current Broadway composers and orchestrators. It's a really exciting year for us.
What can people do to find out more about the shows and help out in the capital campaign?
As we're in the midst of our second season, we just launched our first capital campaign. We've received amazing support from our musician colleagues, so now it's time to make our name a little bigger in the New York scene. I invite you to visit our website at http://www.broadwaychamberplayers.org and like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bwaychamberplayers.
If you're interested in contributing to our campaign, we would be eternally grateful! We're using the crowd-sourcing platform, Indiegogo, so there are some fun rewards that come along with your donation. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/support-broadway-chamber-players
If you're in the New York area, come check out an upcoming concert of ours.
SAMPLE OF PAST SHOWS: