Lost Broadway songs to be performed at our University

Thanks to our researchers at the Department of Music, lost Broadway songs from one of America’s most beloved musicals - The Music Man, are set to receive their world premiere this Sunday (25 February 2018) in Firth Hall.

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Music ManThe concert, organised by Dr Dominic McHugh from the Department of Music, features some of the biggest hits from the musical as well as songs that were cut from the final production.

Students from our University will perform the songs accompanied by members of our Broadway Orchestra. The musical will be conducted by Joshua Goodman, a PhD Music student, who has also created the arrangements and orchestrations for the concert.

Dr McHugh rediscovered some of the lost songs during his research at the Great American Songbook Foundation in Carmel, Indiana. The eight lost songs will now receive their world premiere alongside other rarities from the score, including alternate versions of some of its familiar songs.

The Music Man, by world renowned composer Meredith Wilson, was the most successful Broadway musical of the 1957-58 season. It opened at the same time as Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, but ran for almost twice as long, won the Tony Award for Best Musical, and received more consistently enthusiastic reviews from Broadway critics.

Although the musical is not widely known today in the UK, it became one of the most loved musicals in the US and includes the song Till There Was You, which was covered by The Beatles.

Dr Dominic McHugh, who is an expert on the history of Broadway musicals, said:

“The Music Man has always been one of my favourite musicals. When I looked through the archives at Willson’s papers – which were only released in 2012 – and saw all these wonderful songs that were removed before the show opened on Broadway, I knew we had to perform them for the 60th anniversary. It’s such a privilege that Willson’s estate has allowed us to perform these songs – for one night only.”

The Music Man features the story of a travelling conman who convinces locals to start a band by purchasing uniforms and equipment from him. His intention is to flee as soon as he receives the money, however he develops feelings for a local librarian and faces a difficult decision about skipping town.