The first-ever SongHubs Musical Theatre kicked off yesterday with curators Eddie Perfect, Yve Blake and Sonya Suares leading a select group of composers and artists to write, produce and record new original music, songs, and sound for the theatre. The sessions are running 19 September-25 September at Sydney's Church Street Studios.
APRA AMCOS' SongHubs Musical Theatre is proudly presented in partnership with PAC Australia with support from NIDA and was created to support Australia's growing scene of composers and songwriters creating music for the theatre at home and abroad.
Helpmann Award winner for Shane Warne the Musical and Tony Award nominee for Beetlejuice Eddie Perfect, Matilda Award and Sydney Theatre Award winner for FANGIRLS Yve Blake and director Sonya Suares selected the participants through an application process and at the sessions will assign daily working groups to compose new music.
As SongHubs special guests artist and actor Samuel Gaskin (RECKŌNING) and FANGIRLS musical director Zara Stanton will collaborate with selected participants including composer, theatre maker and producer Jules Orcullo (Fraser Babies); performer and creator of the musical PASSING Michele Gould; writer, performer and comedian Lou Wall; and songwriter/producer Jacob Leaney (aka Monster Mansion) and established composers Yuri Worontschak (Mad as Hell, Margaret Fulton) and Sean Peter (Play School).
Perfect, who has participated in popular contemporary SongHubs sessions, said, "SongHubs Musical Theatre is an exciting and inspiring way for composers and lyricists to flex their creative muscles, make new connections and practice their craft amongst the best writers in the country. As the industry evolves, Australian writers are beginning to make their mark in New York, the UK and at home.
"I’m incredibly proud to be able to share my knowledge of writing music and lyrics for the stage, and to connect with other passionate creatives as we explore the endless possibilities in telling stories through music and song. SongHubs Musical Theatre is a wonderful initiative by APRA AMCOS that has been developed by and for music theatre writers. A huge thanks to Milly Petriella and everyone at APRA AMCOS for recognising and supporting Australian music theatre authors, and for giving us all a wonderful platform to develop our craft."
"I'm enormously excited to be part of this music theatre songwriting intensive - it's a gem of an initiative and just thrilling to be in the room with Eddie, Yve and the breadth of artists we've assembled. Diversity equals excellence, and this year's SongHubs cohort truly exemplify that!" said Suares, whose onscreen credits include My Year Without Sex and Rush, is currently developing The Lucky Country, MTC's Sunday and Watch This' Into the Woods.
"I'm so excited for this week. When I started writing musicals, I had no writer peers who were doing the same thing, so I had no one to jam with, or vent to, or who I could call and say 'I'm stuck on this song! what do you suggest?', said Blake.
"This week ahead feels like it's everything I wish I'd had when I was starting out: peers, collaboration, and the chance to see how other writers might solve the same problem differently. I'm so excited about our cohort, and I can't wait to hear what they come up with!"
In recent years, SongHubs has expanded beyond a popular contemporary music focus with sessions specialising in country, hip hop, electronic, music for the screen and an upcoming music for interactive games.
Since SongHubs launched in 2013, across more than 80 events worldwide, over A$4m in performance royalties for the initiative's collaborators has been earned. SongHubs has produced commercial releases for the likes of Briggs, Troye Sivan, Tayla Parx, Morgan Evans, Peking Duk, Tkay Maidza, Ainslie Wills, The Chainsmokers, Guy Sebastian, Ecca Vandal, Chaii and many more.