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Theatre Arts Alum Directs Virtual Concert ‘Obsessed: Alanis Morissette’

MMC alum Daniel Palese ’11, a graduate of the Musical Theatre program, will act as the musical director and guitarist for “Obsessed: Alanis Morisette” taking place virtually on Zoom at 9:30 p.m. on August 14.

Starring Tony award-winner and singer/songwriter Lena Hall, “Obsessed” is a series of concerts dedicated to one artist every month, featuring songs performed entirely acoustically. This month focuses on Alanis Morissette, and attendees can expect to hear songs across her career, ranging from Jagged Little Pill up to her most recent album, All the Pretty Things.

“The MMC community can expect an evening of incredible vocal talents from Lena in addition to her unique and engaging presence over a Zoom concert format,” says Palese. “She interacts with audience members either by direct conversation or by prompting them with polls in which they can control musical aspects of the show, such as what songs she might sing next.”

Palese is a board-certified music therapist, a small business owner, and a children’s musician who operates under the name “Dan the Music Man.” In addition to performing, Palese offers music and movement classes for young children and their families. Now adding musical director to his list of professions, Palese notes that working on “Obsessed” during the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unexpected resource of strength and creativity.

“Like all of us, the pandemic drastically changed the way in which I am able to work,” says Palese. “I’m relatively new to home recording and actually had to buy myself an audio interface to be able to record the music. I never would have believed that I would not only meet but also collaborate with one of my favorite actors/musicians, especially during a pandemic. Recording music for Lena Hall is a surreal and creatively satisfying experience.”

In overcoming the challenges of the pandemic, Palese credits his experience in the MMC Musical Theatre program for teaching him resourcefulness and self-advocacy. 

“Even though the title of music director is fairly new to me, my experience in the musical theater program at Marymount has always shaped my approach to my work. I’m reminded of the numerous student-run productions where we had the opportunity to create our own space for our voice, and how I learned how to clearly communicate in a collaborative environment. I also learned from many supportive music directors, such as Professor Christine Riley. My time at MMC taught me to not only arrange songs in musically interesting ways, but to operate from a perspective that still places the vocalist at the song’s center.”

Interested in attending the virtual concert? Tickets are now available for purchase.

Congratulations on this exciting opportunity, Daniel!

Published: August 13, 2020