Music is a powerful force illuminating the inner struggles of characters on stage and allowing the audience to engage with the story on a deeper level. As the Music Director of the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra, Royem is an active guest conductor and has worked with ensembles around the world. In her upcoming class, “How Music Makes the Musical: Broadway’s Top Tunes Examined,” she will explore some of the top musicals in the last 100 years and let us know why and how music makes the audience care. We visited with her to find out more.
WIH Reporter: What is important to know about your class?
Royem: Musical Theatre is a visual art as much as a dramatic or musical art so I use a lot of video clips in my lectures. Also, effective Musical Theatre depends on the audience’s reaction to create emotion and drama. However, each person can react to the same music in different ways. We will be investigating this phenomenon through sharing experiences to music in class.
WIH Reporter: What would surprise us to know about the topic of your class?
Royem: The world of Musical Theatre and the world of Opera are not that far apart! Famous Musical Theatre composers stole a lot of their techniques from the opera stage.
WIH Reporter: What mistaken impressions do folks have about Musical Theatre?
Royem: That Musical Theatre is not serious enough to be called “art” or “art music!” I am a firm believer that Beethoven and Brahms did not take musical genius to the grave with them and that musical masterpieces can be found in every musical genre!
WIH Reporter: What format do you plan on using in the class?
Royem: The best way to learn about Musical Theatre is to experience it so we will be watching and listening to a lot of excerpts from the shows that are the topic of discussion. After experiencing the works we will examine the intersection between music and drama through discussion.