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Kenny Morgan
February 10, 2021

Making a Musical Theatre Splash in the Big Apple

Kenny Morgan’s only musical experience before Berry was belting out show tunes in his car. But thanks to a caring voice teacher, he was able to pursue a Master of Music in vocal performance with a concentration in music theatre at New York University Steinhardt.

“I never had voice lessons or did proper theatre growing up,” Kenny says. “I couldn’t read music, and had very little knowledge about what it meant to study music.”

Kenny’s plan was to major in business at Berry, doing theatre on the side. When he heard about music scholarship auditions, he decided to try out. “Given my impeccable performances of Hamilton in my car, I thought I’d go for it,” Kenny explains. “I ended up getting a scholarship, which meant I had to major in music.”

Though talented, Kenny didn't have technical knowledge of music or music theory. Enter Lecturer of Music Ruth Baker: the mentor who would change his life. Weekly vocal lessons with Baker took Kenny’s raw, untrained voice to the next level, transforming him into one of the most successful vocal performance majors at Berry. During an office visit, Kenny confided his dream of being on Broadway and asked whether he could succeed. Baker said, “You have a lot of work to do, but you can do this.”

He spent hours practicing in the studio each week, honing his voice with the fundamentals that Baker taught him. They worked together every semester to keep him on track. After experiencing an open call audition for a Broadway show, Kenny knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Baker encouraged him at every step, recommending that he look into graduate school. Kenny set his sights on New York University and never looked back.

Despite the global pandemic, he was able to continue his graduate studies. “Performing is like oxygen to us,” Kenny says. “Without it, we have no real outlet for our creative expression.” Like the rest of the theatre community, he looks forward to performing again. 

“The day Kenny auditioned for the music program,” Baker says, “I realized that he was a very special individual. His work ethic, talent and drive make him unique in the truest sense of the word and will serve him well throughout his life.”

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