June 2011, Volume 15, Number 3

Cultural Spotlight

Alex Lacamoire, right, shares his insights during a master class.
Alex Lacamoire, right, shares his insights during a master class.

Alumnus Teaches Students How to Make Art Work

Long before he won a Tony and a Grammy, Alex Lacamoire sat in the exact same seats as the students asking him questions during his master class, offered recently at MDC's New World School of the Arts as part of the Make Art Work series. Lacamoire, who received awards for his orchestration work on the Broadway musical In the Heights, said he was impressed by the intelligence of the questions asked by the theater students and was happy to be an example of what they can achieve.

Dedicated to Studies

“Someone asked me about the work involved,” said Lacamoire, a 1992 music alumnus. “I remembered being at rehearsals until 11 at night, taking the Metrorail to Dadeland North where I'd get picked up at 12:30, getting home to study and then waking up a few hours later to do it all over again.” Inspired by his powerful story, the students offered Lacamoire thunderous applause at the end of his class. After graduating from NWSA, Lacamoire studied jazz performance, arranging and film scoring at the renowned Berklee College in Boston. Then, he took a leap of faith and moved to New York before he even had a job offer.

Undaunted by Tough Times

“There was a time when my bank account only had $40 in it,” Lacamoire remembered. “I wouldn't order cheese on a sandwich just to save 50 cents.” An audition for The Lion King musical got him a gig playing piano for rehearsals and things started to fall into place. “People started finding out I could arrange and direct music,” he said. “And it all started at New World, in its rich, creative environment, where as a music student I was exposed to theater and visual arts and a tremendous amount of talent.”

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