While classical music was always my first love, musical theater is a work flirt that has gotten out of hand. I earned my first paycheck when I was 12 as an accompanist for a musical theater workshop at a top media conglomeration in Manila, where I was introduced to the likes of Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, The Sound of Music, and The King and I, among others. I since went through my time at the Ateneo de Manila University playing piano and conducting with the country’s best college-level musical theater organization, Blue Repertory. Productions I did include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Last Five Years, Summer of ’42, Bare, and Tick, Tick… Boom! One time I even played Sheriff Earl in All Shook Up. I would later abandon the theater in 2010 to pursue “serious” composition outside the Philippines.
Fast-forward eight years, New York City: after a string of orchestral and large ensemble projects that left me feeling creatively drained, I longed for a change of pace and felt impelled to apply to the famous BMI Lehman Engel Musical Workshop in the summer of 2018. Before writing music and lyrics to three brand-new songs that I would use for my audition, I had only written exactly two songs in my entire life: one, a failed entry to a songwriting contest at my high school, and two, a tune called “Fucking Internet!” which has never been performed.
After many years away from the theater (all the while secretly harboring dreams to write musicals), I have finally come crawling back into its loving arms, starting with the the BMI Workshop. Eventually this page will have more information on my latest projects and a lot more media, so stay tuned!
The Getaway: Music by Joshua Cerdenia; Book & Lyrics by Jared Corak; BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, June 2019.
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The Eyes of Vienna: Music by Joshua Cerdenia; Book & Lyrics by Kara Cutruzzula; Across A Crowded Room, Bruno Walter Auditorium, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (Lincoln Center), September 2019.
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A collection of various standalone projects from the BMI Lehman Engel Workshop: