Award-Winning Broadway Composer John Bucchino to Teach and Perform at Gannon University
Posted: December 1, 2016
"I feel a hand holding my hand/It's not a hand you can see/But
on the road to the promised land/This hand will shepherd me" says a
verse of the penultimate song from "It's Only Life," a musical
revue by the award-winning composer and lyricist John Bucchino.
From Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Bucchino's hand will shepherd Gannon
University students as he will teach, rehearse and accompany them
in performances of "It's Only Life" at the Schuster Theatre.
This is the first time Gannon's Schuster Theatre will host a
guest artist of Bucchino's caliber- not only as a performer, but
also as a teacher. Bucchino will spend two days conducting a master
class for students in Gannon's Theatre and Communication Arts
program and Gannon's two newest theater degree programs:
Performance for Media and Stage and Theatre Technologies and
"I've worked with the highest level professionals and relative
beginners," Bucchino said by phone from his New York studio. "When
I'm working with somebody who is already a seasoned performer, the
ways I can help them are fewer and more subtle. It's more rewarding
to work with somebody less experienced."
Students in Gannon's theater programs will apply hands-on
learning to their classroom curriculum. They will also gain
practical experience in staging, technical and design elements of a
performance and developing on-stage voice and acting skills as they
rehearse alongside Bucchino.
"The fact that the university not only wanted to have a master
class, but are having a performance of the revue is a bonus,"
Bucchino said. "I love the show and I'm very proud of it and any
chance to put it in front of an audience is a win/win/win
The production will draw on the talents of students in Gannon's
two new programs. The Performance for Media and Stage program
emphasizes acting, directing, improvisation, movement and voice.
Theatre Technologies and Design focuses on all elements needed for
successful theater, film, television, commercial and related
creative works, emphasizing design/technical areas including
costume, lighting, puppetry, scenic and sound design.
"In the revue, each song is a one-act play in itself," Bucchino
said. "There's a lot of juicy acting opportunities to mine in the
John Bucchino's songs have been performed and recorded by pop
(Art Garfunkel, Judy Collins), theater (Liza Minnelli, Audra
McDonald), cabaret (Barbara Cook, Michael Feinstein), and classical
artists as well as The Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic
and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He has written scores for the
musicals "Urban Myths," "Lavender Girl" and Broadway's "A Catered
Affair," with a book by Harvey Fierstein, which was nominated for
12 Drama Desk Awards, and won the New York Drama League Award for
Among Bucchino's honors are two Drama Desk nominations, The
Johnny Mercer Songwriter Award, The ASCAP Foundation Richard
Rodgers New Horizons Award and The Los Angeles Ovation Award for
"It's Only Life."
"It's Only Life: The Music of John Bucchino" will feature
Bucchino accompanying performances by Gannon students and Erie
community performers at Gannon's Schuster Theatre in Scottino Hall,
620 Sassafras St.
Performances will be held Friday, December 2 at 8 p.m. and
Saturday, December 3 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. General admission is $10;
admission for Gannon community members with a current ID is $5. For
ticket reservations and more information, contact the Schuster
Theatre box office at 814-871-7494 or click here.