Community Music School Student Makes Broadway Debut

Posted on 11/6/2018 1:29:49 PM

IUP Community Music SchoolAfter amazing the Internet with a video that went mega-viral with nearly 3 million views, IUP Community Music School student Adrian Matthew has now realized his dream of performing on Broadway.

It was just a few short weeks ago that Adrian’s practice audition video, taken during his IUP Community Music School (IUPCMS) voice lesson, was posted to Facebook, and within two days it was close to a million views and climbing. In only a week, Adrian’s mother, Irishmae, and his voice teacher in the IUPCMS and Crimson Youth Choir director, Kye-Won Choi (below), were fielding offers from talent agencies and TV shows too numerous to count.

Kye-Won Choi“To say it was overwhelming is an understatement,” said Kye-Won. “The speed that it went viral and the positive response were truly amazing to see and experience.”

Despite being in the second year of an intense master’s degree program in choral conducting at IUP, assisting with another high school musical, teaching private voice lessons, and directing the Crimson Youth Choir in the IUPCMS, Kye-Won worked hand-in-hand with the family in navigating this new and uncharted territory.

“Kye-Won has been so supportive and an amazing resource in helping with so many decisions,” said Adrian’s mother, Irishmae. “There can be so many missteps in this business, and her many contacts, experience, and willingness to go above and beyond in helping us has been an absolute godsend.”

Adrian MatthewThe culmination of a jam-packed three weeks of sorting through the tremendous number of offers and options resulted in a whirlwind trip of a lifetime to New York City.

While the main excitement for October 28 was a surprise invitation to sing on the stage of the Broadway musical Waitress for the cast and audience following the evening performance, the even bigger surprise of the day was receiving an email from the show’s production team that Sara Bareilles, the show’s lyricist and composer, would be at the theater prior to the show, hoping to meet Adrian.

Adrian Matthew with Sarah Bareilles As Adrian wrote on his Facebook page, “...singing at the end of the show was a HUGE surprise and BEYOND my wildest dreams. BUT, something that I will NEVER forget is a moment that happened before the show...” Don’t miss listening to Adrian sing with Sara playing piano.

Following the show’s performance, Adrian was invited to the stage by one of the cast members. To say he made the most of the opportunity is a tremendous understatement. Listen here to the performance of a lifetime where a future star made his Broadway debut!

Adrian Matthew at StageDoor ManorOn October 29, Adrian was given the opportunity to sing in honor of Michael Larsen, a mentor and teacher to many Broadway and Hollywood stars, such as Zach Braff. Zach saw Irishmae’s original post of Adrian and was so moved by it that he offered to scholarship Adrian to attend StageDoor Manor, an exclusive training ground for rising Broadway stars.

“Michael Larsen was a beloved musical director at this camp, and Zach Braff thought that sending Adrian to the camp was the best way to honor Michael’s memory,” shared Kye-Won. “It was truly humbling to see the difference that one teacher made.”

Adrian Matthew singingAdrian sang to a crowd that included past and current Broadway, film, and TV actors, all there because of the difference Michael Larsen made in their lives. Adrian said that he, “...was most nervous to sing at this event, more than any other time in my life, including at Waitress. Because I knew that Mr. Larsen meant a lot to Zach and all of the friends and family there and I wanted to do it justice.”

Then on Tuesday morning, October 30, Adrian was awakened by a request from Al Roker to make an appearance on the Today Show! He was able to spend a few moments on the Today show with Al Roker and the other hosts to talk about his Broadway debut. As Adrian commented about the entire experience, “A little surreal!”

Adrian Matthew with Al Roker Throughout the entire life-changing experience, however, Adrian has remained true to himself—a young man passionate about music and being on Broadway, but remaining a gentle soul who is humble and down-to-earth.

“We came to the IUP Community School not knowing what to expect, but were welcomed with open arms and such encouragement for my son’s talents. The IUP Music Department provides an amazing program for their students and their staff, and an instructor such as Kye-Won is more than I could ask for in a mentor,” said Irishmae.

“While I know in my heart that Adrian would have gotten to Broadway anyway, I didn’t think it would have happened quite so soon and in such an amazing, life-changing way. We will forever be grateful to Kye-Won and look forward to a lifelong friendship with her.”

The IUP Community Music School is funded in part by the College of Fine Arts through the Department of Music and the Lively Arts at IUP; the Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance, a program in partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and funded by an annual appropriation from the state legislature; by generous gifts from IUP Dining and S&T Bank; and by community members Ann Wilmoth and Kay Smith.

For more information on the IUP Community Music School, visit the Community Music School website, email community-music@iup.edu, or call 724-356-4565. For more information on the IUP Music Department, visit the Music Department website.