Musical Theatre Student Heads to NYC
NOCCA Musical Theatre Student Heads to NYC to Compete in NEA Songwriting Competition
NOCCA is proud to announce that full-day Academic Studio | Level IV Musical Theater student Aaron Richert is one of six national finalists in the National Endowment for the Arts Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge. Aaron heads to New York City later this month to join the other finalists for a weekend workshop and final competition.
Aaron’s song Lucky, inspired by musical theater composers William Finn, Jason Robert Brown, and Stephen Sondheim, who Aaron admires, has landed him this opportunity of a lifetime. In New York City, Aaron will work one-on-one with a professional musical theater artist to shape his song into a stage-ready composition. That song will be performed by a music/vocal ensemble as the final competition on Monday, April 23. In addition, Aaron will have his song published by Samuel French, the leading publisher and licensor of plays and musicals.
Aaron shared that writing music was a very personal thing, “My mom sent me the link and told me to write something for someone else for a change.” Aaron wrote an up-tempo piece about a man who realizes that relationships come with issues, but the good outweighs the bad.
“This resonates to me because the things that make me happy or the joy that different things may bring me, always outweigh the negative things that I focus on,” Aaron said.
Aaron credits his passion for songwriting to his mentor and NOCCA Musical Theatre artist-faculty Jefferson Turner. Aaron said Jefferson encouraged him to follow his passion. “I’m grateful for his mentorship. I would not be a composer without Jefferson,” Aaron, said.
The final stage of the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge will take place on April 23 at the Greene Space in New York, when the winner is announced. The event will be live streamed at arts.gov. If Aaron is the lucky winner, he will also receive a $25,000 scholarship courtesy of the National Music Publishers Association S.O.N.G.S. Foundation (Supporting Our Next Generation of Songwriters).