|Charles Strouse Honored at Manhattanville|
|Tuesday, October 25, 2011|
In front of a full West Room in Reid Castle on the Manhattanville campus, Assemblyman Robert Castelli declared October 23, Charles Strouse Day. The storied composer has penned some of America's most famous musicals, including Annie and Bye Bye Birdie, has won numerous awards, including three Tony awards, and through all that the highlight of his career happened in 2011.
"I would have to say today," Strouse said. "Being here with all of you and having a day recognized after my life's work."
The Manhattanville community welcomed composer Charles Strouse, and Broadway performers Andrea McArdle, Alan H. Green, and Susan Watson to campus at the inaugural event of "Living Arts at Manhattanville." An event meant to honor a living musical legend.
"This program was organized to honor people in the musical theatre and to inspire students and youth to continue following their dreams and passions," Dr. Francis Brancaleone, chair of the Music Department, said.
One highlight of the day was performances by the Broadway stars and Strouse.
Andrea McArdle, who played Annie in the original production, sang her now-famous rendition of "Tomorrow" and along with Strouse performed "I Don't Need Anything but You".
Susan Watson, who is currently starring in Follies, sang pieces from Applause, Bye, Bye Birdie, and All American. Alan H. Green, of Sister Act on Broadway, performed pieces from Annie Warbucks, Unsung Strouse, and Annie.
Strouse participated in a Q&A with those in attendance. He gave students advice about surviving and succeeding in the performance world including the importance of remembering why one is doing this type of work. His words inspired many students and brought some to tears.
"I felt inspired," Manhattanville senior Maria Luisa Criollo said. "I wanted to hug him and thank him for coming, he was very moving."
Strouse said he enjoyed the day tremendously and felt very at one with the students, since he had once been in the same position as them.
"The interest in musical theatre opened up a great part of my heart," Strouse said.
Strouse said he felt very lucky to perform for younger generations, many of whom grew up on his musicals. To conclude the program, Strouse was honored with renditions his works by the Dance Ensemble, the Vocal Chamber Ensemble and the Quintessentials.
The Daily Harrison was also on hand. Read their article here.