NY YOUTH SYMPHONY with Anna Jacobs

03/04/2019

This is Part 2 of my look at the New York Youth Symphony focusing on their Musical Theater Composition program, directed by Anna Jacobs. Also featured in this episode are two students in the program, Sydney Altbacker and Tate Robinson. They talk about and perform their new piece "Song for Marilyn" which was written for the class. 

In this program, students learn about key songwriting tools, explore the relationship between music and language, and discover the power of writer and performer collaborations. Musical theater professionals take part in these classes (Broadway producers, directors, choreographers, designers, composers, actors, and musicians) in addition to field trips to see professional productions, concerts, and developmental workshops. Sharing of student works will take place in a variety of venues throughout the year, and culminate in a public performance at one of NYC's iconic cabaret venues, Joe's Pub.

Outside of NYYS, Anna has been recognized for her work as a composer/lyricist with the prestigious Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award. She's a former Sundance Fellow and Dramatists Guild Fellow, and has been an Artist in Residence at Ars Nova, New Dramatists, Musical Theatre Factory, Goodspeed, and Barrington Stage Company. Anna holds an M.F.A. in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU-Tisch and is on faculty at The New School.

Her musicals include:

  • POP! (book & lyrics by Maggie-Kate Coleman) 
  • HARMONY, KANSAS (book & lyrics by Bill Nelson) 
  • ANYTOWN (book by Jim Jack) 
  • TEETH (co-book & lyrics by Michael R. Jackson) 
  • STELLA AND THE MOON MAN (written by Richard Tulloch & co-composed with Adrian Kelly) 
  • CAGE MATCH and MAGIC 8 BALL (Prospect Theatre Company; w/ Sam Salmond & Michael R. Jackson) 
  • KAYA: TASTE OF PARADISE, a soon-to-be-released movie musical commissioned by the New York Film Academy and featuring Okieriete Onaodowan (screenplay by Jerome Parker, directed by Paul Warner)

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Intro music and interludes:
"Reverie (small theme)" by _ghost
2010 - Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0)

For more information visit www.annakjacobs.com

Watch the full interview with Sydney, Tate, and two other students on the WINMI YouTube Channel.

Follow these students on Instagram: Sydney / Tate / Elliot / Jesse


The New York Youth Symphony, founded in 1963 as an orchestra to showcase the metropolitan area's most gifted musicians ages 12-22, has since grown to encompass programs in chamber music, conducting, composition, and jazz, with performances at world class venues including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Joe's Pub at The Public.