Virginia Rep welcomed Anthony Smith in a new position this summer. He jumped right in to musical direct the cast and conduct/play piano in the orchestra of The Wiz, instruct summer campers, plan music for this Fall’s Virginia Rep on Tour, and accompany/musical direct Cadence Theatre’s 13. He is also supervising the orchestra for our Signature show, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder!
Formally educated in flute, piano, and vocal and percussion performance, Anthony has won several regional and national competitions with each of his instruments, and has had the privilege of studying with and participating in masterclasses led by some of the top artists in the world.
An active proponent of new music, Anthony has been involved in the world premieres of several new musicals and operas, most recently Atlantis by Matthew Lee Robinson, Ken Cerniglia, and Scott Anderson Morris, which was presented in last year’s Signature Season. He’s also a frequent collaborator of the Chamber Music Society of Virginia, The Virginia Chorale, and the Virginia Arts Festival.
He is a strong believer in the importance of music education, and in addition to his work with the Education department at Virginia Rep, he maintains an active private studio comprised of flute, percussion, piano, and voice students. He has also focused on collegiate education, providing musical direction for Virginia Commonwealth University, The College of William and Mary, and the University of Richmond.
We caught up with him this week amidst his busy schedule!
What is the biggest challenge in taking on all of the Virginia Rep programming – from shows, to tour, to camps and special events?
I didn’t know the full scope of programming that Virginia Rep offers – from Virginia Rep on Tour, to our booming Education Department, to our collaboration with Cadence, and our Signature, Hanover and Children’s Seasons – it’s a truly astonishing and unique business model! I’m having a great time learning about all of our offerings, and facilitating musical connections between them!
What is the most satisfying aspect of working in musical theatre?
I started in classical music – working on contemporary opera, choral, and chamber music. The immediacy of the text and music is my favorite thing about musical theatre. We get to tell stories artistically, but in a very direct and connected way. Of course, that’s not to say that we don’t achieve that in classical music, but I feel that the classical world is learning from musical theatre and vice versa, from marketing to programming – really across the board. Collaboration is always positive!
What do you like most about living in RVA?
There are so many wonderful things about Richmond – the amazing food scene is a big draw. My husband attended grad school at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia, and we always assumed that we would settle down in New York City. Richmond has allowed us to own a beautiful home in North Side, with our three dogs [Aurora, Bracket, and Gypsy]. We’re also close to family, and Richmond is in a great location – it’s easy to get to Manhattan, DC, the Outer Banks… We really love living here, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to live and work here!
**This information was take from VA Rep’s Newsletter**