From Stanford’s Braun Music Hall to the Big Apple

“Surreal and wonderful” is how Stanford alumnus LOUIS LAGALANTE described presenting the opening number from his original musical Mirror Image at the New York Musical Theater Festival this summer.

Mirror Image, with music and lyrics by Lagalante, premiered at Stanford in March 2015 as Lagalante’s senior capstone project in music composition. The story follows three individuals dealing with the loss of friendship, love and life, and how they learn to move forward without forgetting the past. The musical was funded by the Department of Music with additional support through the University Advising and Research grant program and Spark!

Four months after the premiere on campus, and just one month into Lagalante’s first summer as an alumnus – he graduated in June with a dual bachelor’s degree in psychology and music composition – “Move On” was performed in Theater 3 on West 43rd Street in New York as part of the Student Leadership Project Concert titled Beyond Words.

“The concert consisted of some of the most clever, most heart-wrenching and most life-affirming musical theater numbers I had ever heard, and it was an honor to have a piece of my own included among them,” Lagalante said.

One of those life-affirming numbers in Beyond Words was “How Far?” by alumni SAMMI CANNOLD and MAKULUMY ALEXANDER-HILLS. Their song is from a musical they have been working on about early American activism. “Getting to see the number performed in New York was thrilling,” Cannold said. “So often, we’ve been writing a song in a Braun Rehearsal Hall practice room and thinking, ‘Oh gosh, is this any good?’ So, to witness people enjoying and appreciating it was quite exciting and rewarding.”

The director of Beyond Words turned out to be fellow alum BRANDON POWELL, who was making his New York directorial debut at the festival.