Natalie Rebecca Lovejoy is an American composer and lyricist of musical theater and piano music whose work has been described as "brilliant," "phenomenal," "sophisticated," "expressive," "deep," "glorious," and "divine" by producers, performers, literary manages, master teachers and peers in the industry.
Childhood & College
Natalie grew up in the suburbs of Annapolis, Maryland - where her family had moved from their home state of Texas - listening to everything from West Side Story, Annie, and Jesus Christ Superstar to Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, and Johnny Cash to Gregorian chant, Mozart and Bach. She dabbled with composition soon after starting piano lessons in the first grade, but not until she saw Les Miserables on Broadway a few years later did she get "bit," diving head-first into composing musicals of her own.
She studied musical theater and composition at Catholic University's Benjamin T. Rome School of Music where she earned her bachelor's degree. Although she didn't end up pursuing a career in performing, the training had a powerful impact on her composition as it helped her to get inside the psychosis of the characters for whom she wrote. While at Catholic U. she also began collaborating with lyricist/librettist Donald A. Connolly on a musical adaptation of Mark Twain's "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg."
Life as an Army Wife
After college, Natalie married and found herself in the unfamiliar territory of being a military spouse. Though she enjoyed aspects of the new experience, it soon became clear there was an expectation that her composition was to be no more than a hobby - her husband's military career deemed more important - which left her restless and depressed, and the marriage ultimately ended a few years later.
During her first year of marriage, while struggling with her new identity as an military spouse, Natalie was admitted into the Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project, a highly competitive program that attracts applicants from around the world. The program invited twelve songwriters to spend a week in residence at Northwestern University, working with award-winning master teachers Craig Carnelia (Working, Sweet Smell of Success), Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party, The Adams Family) and Amanda McBroom (Bette Midler's "The Rose").
Upon returning, Natalie began writing Home/Front, channeling the bundle of emotions she was experiencing as Army wife into a semi-autobiographical musical which tells the story of a military couple going through a deployment in Iraq and reintegrating into the civilian world afterward from both the soldier's and the wife's perspectives.
Move to New York
Natalie then moved to New York and earned her master's degree in composition and music theory at New York University. While there she studied with award-winning composer Steven Rosenhaus, who aided her in developing not only her musical theater work but also her piano composing.
She was also admitted into and thrived in the famed BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop, which boasts of alumni such as Edward Kleban (A Chorus Line), Alan Mecken (Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime), and Robert Lopez, (Avenue Q, Book of Mormon).
Over the following years, Ms. Lovejoy developed Home/Front, which was produced Off-Off Broadway in 2014 and praised by military veterans and civilians alike as "completely new," "authentic" "relevant," and "absolutely wonderful." It received numerous performances and readings in New York. (Read more here).
She worked on other projects as well, including a musical about Philippe Petit’s 1974 wire-walk across the twin towers, and contributed songs to an array of concerts and musicals which have been performed in New York and around the country. She and lyricist Donald Connolly also revisited and began developing their musical, now retitled Hell, or Hadleyburg. She is honored to be listed in The Directory of Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers at contemporarymusicaltheater.com.
Ms. Lovejoy is in the process of releasing her first professional album, Light Seeking Light: New Music for the Piano and recording a concept album of Hell, or Hadleyburg. She is also currently writing a new musical. (Read more about her current projects here).
Master of Music, New York University
Bachelor of Music, The Catholic University of America
The BMI Lehmen Engel Musical Theatre Workshop
The Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project
The Dramatist Guild
ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers)
Favorite musical genres:
70s and 90s rock, folk, jazz, bluegrass, Romantic-era piano music
Les Miserables, Hair, The Last Five Years, West Side Story
Favorite classical works:
Mozart's Requiem, Bernstein's Mass, anything by Beethoven and Chopin
Natalie is 3rd generation Czech on her father's side and can make kolaches from scratch.
Photo credit: DSMC Photo