Timothy Huang is a New York City-based composer, lyricist, librettist and, as he says, "Asian Dude." Among the shows he has written are (with descriptions adapted from his website): American Morning, a show about two Asians in a cab, the one-person musical The View From Here, Peter and the Wall, which is about an historical Asian, the one-act Koi Story, which is about a half Asian and her non-Asian mother, and the short musicals A Relative Relationship (which features an Asian) and Missing Karma, which is about burying a dog.
And here's info directly lifted from his website: "I spent a lot of my twenties auditioning to be the third dancing potato from the left in Any City USA. But in the 90s, you couldn't do that if you looked like me. (Sorry if that threatens your frailty. Actually, screw you if that threatens your frailty.) You could only do Miss Saigon or the King and I. Or be labelled an amateur. So this amateur got his MFA and started writing shows that employed people who looked like me. It was a pigeon hole I was not only happy to be crammed in to, but one I was more than happy to make larger."
We invited Huang to Harvard to share his musical theater knowledge and his extraordinary skills as a musician and composer. And also because the back of his business card reads: Never. Stop. Writing.
Huang will offer a songwriting workshop 4-5:30 p.m. Friday, April 5 at Farkas Hall, featuring Harvard student composers. If you're a composer or an observer, if you are a Harvard student or a student at another college, if you are part of our larger community or in town for the day: JOIN US! The event, which is open to everyone, is free, and is held in conjunction with the inaugural ASAP show, a production of the original musical The East Side, running April 11-14 at Farkas Hall.
Here are our student performers for the songwriting workshop:
Julia Riew ’21, a resident of Lowell House, is studying History of Science and Theater, Dance & Media with a secondary in music. With Jared Leong '19 (Emerson College) and John Lim '20, she is the co-book writer of the musical The East Side, as well as the composer/lyricist. The three began writing The East Side in the summer of 2018, and are very excited for the first production of the musical with Harvard College Asian Student Arts Project, April 11-14 at Harvard University. In her free time, Riew enjoys playing IM squash and tennis, jamming with friends and walking to H Mart.
Michael Yin ’22 can’t go anywhere without humming or beatboxing. He is co-president of the Harvard Composers Association and is working to implement the group’s first-ever coffeehouse event, featuring undergraduate songwriters. Yin is also assistant directing The East Side. Additionally, he is a baritone and vocal percussionist in the co-ed a cappella group the Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones. After playing piano and clarinet since he was a kid, Yin began composing in his first year of high school. He started songwriting shortly thereafter, and now he can often be found in Holworthy music room improv-ing potential melodies for new songs.
Ian Chan ‘22 is a Hong Kong-born Canadian composer whose work integrates jazz, musical theater and contemporary classical music. A pianist and violinist, he is also a composer and, with lyricist Chloe Levine, wrote Cruising Altitude: The First-Year Musical premiering May 2-5 (during Harvard’s ARTS FIRST Festival) at the Agassiz Theatre. Chan serves on the inaugural board of the Harvard College Asian Student Arts Project and sings baritone with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and the Harvard Din and Tonics. Chan is also interested in literature (in particular short fiction and poetry), applied mathematics, theoretical semantics, sociolinguistics and East Asian history.
Chloe E.W. Levine ‘22 is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter with one foot in the Appalachian folk community and the other in a character shoe. Levine's songs and her work as co-vocal director will be featured in Cruising Altitude: The First-Year Musical, premiering May 2-5 (during Harvard’s ARTS FIRST Festival) at the Agassiz Theatre. She is assistant music director for the Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones and sings in the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum. Levine is a member of the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence through which she promotes gender equity. She plans to study English and Government.
This event is presented by the Learning from Performers program at the Office for the Arts, Harvard College Asian Student Arts Project, and Theater, Dance & Media.