Skip to main content

Alumni Connections

Profile photo

Cristina Dinella 2013

Location: New York, NY
Major: Music Education
Title: Freelance Music Director and Pianist

What are your daily tasks and how do you support your organization?

As a music director for Off-Broadway and regional theatre productions, I supervise all musical elements of a production. In practice, this includes casting the show, teaching music to the cast, rehearsing the pit musicians,arranging and adapting music to fit the production and playing piano for rehearsal and show.

What do you consider the most essential skills for this career?

A music director music be a good musician. The ability to learn music quickly, and run an efficient rehearsal is essential. They also must be highly adaptable to a wide variety of situations, and be able to communicate with a colleagues from a variety of disciplines. My music education degree at Eastman was a great preparation for my work in Musical Theatre. There are so many similarities between effective classroom procedures, and a well run professional production.

What advice do you have for students preparing to enter the workforce?

Always be looking for opportunities. There are tremendous benefits to freelancing, but building a freelance career requires you to be proactive. Research arts organization you might want to work for. Sign up for daily job alerts. Make it your business to know about the business.