B I O G R A P H Y
Matthew Stern has been music directing for theater in the Boston area for the past ten years, and has over one hundred productions to his credit. He is a full time Assistant Professor of Musical Theater at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and also teaches courses at Boston University. Matt has worked with several professional theatre organizations (Huntington Theatre Company, Speakeasy Stage, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, New Repertory Theatre, Greater Boston Stage Company, Wheelock Family Theater, Berkshire Theatre Festival) as well as universities, schools, and community organizations. His work has been recognized with a number of awards including the Elliot Norton Award, the IRNE Award, the DASH Award, and the BroadwayWorld Boston Award.
Above all else, Matt is a collaborator who values the art of storytelling through music. The precision and technique required in musical performance is accomplished in the service of telling a story and communicating with the audience and fellow performers. Matt is practiced in all of the various areas of expertise that a music director must employ, including audition accompaniment, vocal coaching for soloists and ensembles, choral directing, rehearsal accompaniment, pit orchestra conducting (keyboard or baton), pit orchestra contracting, orchestration and instrumentation, vocal arranging, and synthesizer programming. Matt is also experienced with Finale and Sibelius, and has used Garage Band to create audition/rehearsal accompaniment tracks and vocal training tracks.
Matt's pit orchestras have been lauded many times by the Boston Globe. A review for the Elliot Award Hairspray at Wheelock Family Theatre mentioned that "Stern conducts a tight, six-piece band through the high energy score with joyful ease." Of Fiddlehead Theatre's Ragtime at the historic Strand Theatre in Dorchester, the Globe remarks that "The 16-piece orchestra led by Matthew Stern is stellar."
Matt has worked with thousands of students of varying ages and level of experience as a music director, vocal coach, and educator at the Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Emerson College, French Woods Festival, Newton South High School, and Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley. As a member of the faculty at the Boston Conservatory, Matt teaches sophomore musical theater, graduate styles and analysis, and vocal repertoire. At Boston University, he teaches and serves as the accompanist and coach for many undergraduate musical theatre courses. He has also been serving as the music director for BU's mainstage musical theatre productions since 2010.
Each summer at French Woods Festival in Hancock, NY, where he will be returning for a ninth summer, Matt supervises the music directing staff, and music directs approximately 12 full musicals with casts as small as 12 and as large as 92, made up of students as young as 7 and as old as 18. Most of these productions are accompanied by full pit orchestras made up of students and professionals. Each show is given 10-14 two and a half hour rehearsals to prepare the cast for a full-scale production including sets, costumes, lighting, and sound. As a music director at French Woods, Matt will often be rehearsing or playing for up to 6 different musical productions in a single working day.
Matt has trained as a vocalist, a vocal coach, a pianist, and a conductor with accomplished musicians in the Boston area including Matthew Larson, William Lumpkin, James Olesen, Pamela Wolfe, Ann Howard Jones, Scott Alan Jarrett, Daniel Stepner, Neil Hampton, and Lawrence Wolfe. He holds an MFA in Theatre Studies (concentration in Music Theatre) from Boston University and a BA in Vocal Performance and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University.
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P R E S S
Huntington Theatre Company's MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG
Speakeasy Stage Company's BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
New Repertory Theatre's ASSASSINS
Wheelock Family Theatre's HAIRSPRAY
Fiddlehead Theatre's RAGTIME