Broadway 1920

International award-winning theatre director Dr David Herendeen flew over from the USA to deliver masterclasses to Edge Hill University Performing Arts students as part of an exciting new partnership.

The University is launching a brand new Music Theatre degree programme in September 2014 and as part of its plans, the institution invited the legendary Professor of Music at Oklahoma City University over to give students a flavour of what’s to come next year.

David, also Director of The School of Theatre and Director of Opera and Music, is world-renowned for his work and has received numerous accolades including the Deutsche Opera Berlin’s German/American Award. He is most notably known for creating the role of Roderick Usher in the world premiere of the reconstruction of The Fall of the House of Usher, by Debussy, which was broadcast on television. He has also acted and directed at the Arizona Opera, D’Angelo Opera Theater, Brevard Music Center, Erie Opera Theater, Hartt Opera, Michigan Opera, Rochester Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, and Erie Philharmonic.

He was able to share the secrets of his success with students and give them a glimpse of life on Broadway.

Dr David Herendeen

Dr David Herendeen

“Music is such a connective link for us all,” said David. “In Oklahoma, we do what we do very well, which is why I was invited over to Edge Hill to give students an insight into our teachings. I think we can learn a lot from each other because there is a big market out there for music theatre. Entertainment is one of the biggest imports and exports so it’s important that we provide the right training and employability opportunities for our students to make it in the industry.

“Already I can see that there will be so many positive benefits from our new partnership. There will be student exchange opportunities so our students can see how it works in the UK and Edge Hill students can come over to Oklahoma and work with leading practitioners here. There are many ways we can share knowledge, for example, we put on a lot of already established productions and the UK can learn from us how to put on a good show. For me, I love the community projects and group collaborations I see here, which is something we can certainly learn from. It’s an exciting time and I’m looking forward to a bright future working with Edge Hill.”

Karen Lauke, Senior Lecturer in Music, said: “Students currently studying the 2nd and 3rd year modules in Music Theatre were very excited by David’s visit and benefitted enormously from his master class session Tools of the Tune. I am very pleased that we have this valuable link with Oklahoma City University and welcome the opportunity for our students to participate in an exchange with David’s students in the near future.’

If you have a passion for music or a background in performing arts and want to combine your talents to become an innovative contemporary performer, then the new BA (Hons) Music Theatre at Edge Hill is for you. Unlike other courses, it is designed to give you the opportunity to work across disciplines, collaborating with other Performing Arts students, which ultimately allows you to bring your passion for Music, Performance, Composition and Theatre together as an interdisciplinary art form.