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Lisa DeSpain

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Lisa DeSpain


Lisa DeSpain (b. 1964, Columbus, Ohio) is a New York City-basedcomposer of musical theatre, opera, and concert works.

She is the recipient of a 2018 Discovery Grant from Opera America in support of her first opera, That Hell-Bound Train. Lisa was also a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow and writer-in-residence at the Eugene O’Neil Musical Theatre Center for her original musical Storyville created with Oscar Award-winning lyricist, Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

Commissioned by a wide range of ensembles, Lisa has composed works for The United States Air Force Band of Flight, Copland House/Hendrick Hudson High School, New York Choral Society, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and the womens choir Bella Voce.

A force in the musical theatre education world, Lisa is the go-to arranger for Broadway educational choral works including Hamilton, Once, American Idiot, Next To Normal and more.

Lisa was the first jazz composer awarded a Copland House Residency. Living and composing in Copland's home profoundly impacted her artistic mission. Inspired by Copland's legacy, Ms. DeSpain strives to explore and expand the boundaries of the American musical language, to create artistic works uniquely identifiable as American.

She is a professor of music and theatre at LaGuardia Community College - CUNY (City University of New York).

Works for Winds