Interview with Micheal McElroy and Stephen Schwartz
In the eighth installment in “Broadway Our Way,” Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV) PRESENTS Michael McElroy’s arrangement of “Love to Me” from Light In the Piazza.
In the eighth video in this continuing series, BIV director and founder, Michael McElroy, allows us to lavish in BIV’s men singing sweetly with “Love to Me”, from the musical Light In the Piazza. Introduced by composer/lyricist Adam Guettel(Floyd Collins, Saturn Returns/Myths and Hymns, Millions), this all-male arrangement features the succulent tenderness of nine of BIV’s men, including Mr. McElroy. As this is a rare occurrence in BIV’s history, Mr. McElroy offered how it felt to be part of the ensemble again: “It was funny. Our first rehearsal I was very nervous and the guys came in and knew it. Then it was only a matter of shaping and styling it. I loved singing this with the men of BIV.”
Mr. McElroy has had personal connections with several of the composers and lyricists featured in this series. Of his relationship with Mr. Guettel he states, “I met Adam years ago when I was doing Violet at Playwrights. When I wanted to include something of his work in the series I reached out to him to ask his permission and I sent him some examples of other songs. He called me and was so supportive. He has been tremendous throughout this entire process. I am so grateful for his friendship. I played the video for him at his farm in Vermont. He loved it. I was terrified.”
Generously allowing others to partake in his process Mr. McElroy shares, “I knew I wanted to do something of Adam’s, and I knew I wanted something for the men. This song in the show is in 5/8 and 4/8 time. So, first it was figuring out the feel and groove of it. My initial thought was a Spanish guitar and something more Latin in theme, but I couldn’t get it to work. This version is actually the 3rd version of the arrangement, and even after I finished it and recorded the demo I went back and revised it. I had to find the balance of holding true to the intent and feel of the love song and the groove that is the BIV sound. I finally found it and love it.”
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for upcoming BIV events at the Sheen Center. Beginning May 1st at 7:30pm with the talents of Crystal Monee Hall and Marcus Paul James singing Gospel, continuing May 8th (Michael McElroy and Capathia Jenkins (Broadway)), May 15th (Celisse Henderson and Eliseo Roman (Folk)), and culminating with the entire BIV ensemble on May 22nd. For more information visit www.sheencenter.org.