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Scott Coulter

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Spot-On Entertainment is now booking "Stephen Schwartz & Friends" with Stephen Schwartz, Debbie Gravitte, Liz Callaway and Scott Coulter. www.spot-onentertainment.com

Scott Coulter CD and Concerts

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Scott Coulter's CD - [new browser window]

Songs on Scott Coulter:

1. Just Around The Riverbend/Corner Of The Sky - Pippin (Schwartz)
2. My Foolish Heart
3. Maybe You Didn't Hear Me
4. Get Here
5. In Whatever Time We Have - Children of Eden (with Debbie Gravitte) (Schwartz)
6. Cry Without A Reason (Schwartz)
7. Nobody's Side - From Chess
8. Cry Me A River
9. Since You Stayed Here
10. It Goes Like It Goes

Hear Clips or buy
Scott Coulter's CD - [new browser window]

The CD won the MAC Award for Outstanding Recording (Male vocalist) and was chosen as the Best Recording of the Year TheaterMania.com (Scott and Barbara Siegel) and Jeff Rosen of Cabaret Scenes magazine. Scott has also received a Bistro Award for his work in cabaret, and his solo show, Unexpected Songs, was chosen by TimeOut NY as one of the "Best of '99."

This album features a rare and beautiful song by Stephen Schwartz and Dean Pitchford, "Cry Without a Reason"

Scott was in the original company of Floyd Collins at AMTF in Philadelphia and toured the country as Jinx in Forever Plaid directed by Stuart Ross. Regional credits include As Bees in Honey Drown, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cotton Patch Gospel and Chess.

Spot-On Entertainment is now booking "Stephen Schwartz & Friends" with Stephen Schwartz, Debbie Gravitte, Liz Callaway and Scott Coulter. www.spot-onentertainment.com

Classes by Scott Coulter: SONGBOOK

SONGBOOK: A group vocal coaching session focused on musical storytelling

Every song is a story waiting to be told and every singer a potential storyteller. SONGBOOK is a musical study session geared toward bringing the two together. The six week series will focus on fine-tuning the approach to your current material as well as adding new material to your repertoire to create your own personal songbook.

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Stand outside an audition room for an hour or so. Most everyone who walks through the door can sing. Who gets called back? Who books the job? And why?

Think of the last singer you saw perform. When were you most engaged in their performance? When did your attention wander?

Make a list of the people you know who can sing.

Now make a list of the people you know who really tell a story while singing.

Are the lists the same? And which list are you on?

Nothing can raise your level of performance, nothing can make you more engaging as a performer, nothing can make you more hirable as an actor and nothing can better connect you to your audience than making good story telling choices.

Every song is a story waiting to be told and every singer a potential storyteller.

What's your story?

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SONGBOOK is offered periodically throughout the year.

Contact: songbooknyc@gmail.com

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"Scott Coulter is an exceptional teacher who can both articulate and demonstrate the ways in which a singer can dramatically improve his or her technique. I have witnessed any number of singers literally weep with joy with the sudden improvements he brings so quickly and easily."

-- Scott Siegel, Producer, Host, Author, Critic

"I have seen Scott Coulter's teaching skills first hand -- in New York and as far away as Latvia (yes, Latvia). He has the gift and the ability to communicate the art and craft of interpreting lyrics to singers....and he does it with a sensitivity to the performer."

-- Michael A. Kerker

Scott Coulter bio (Teacher)

Theatre, recordings, cabaret, teaching, directing: Scott Coulter does it all. For his work in cabaret, he's been awarded four MAC Awards (Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs), four Bistro Awards and two Nightlife Awards. TimeOut NY picked his show,"Unexpected Songs," as one of the 'Best of 1999'. His self-titled debut CD won the 2003 MAC Award for Outstanding Recording and was chosen as the best recording of the year by TheatreMania and Cabaret Scenes magazine. Scott has appeared at Town Hall in numerous editions of the popular "Broadway by the Year" series (BBTY) and can currently be heard on the Bayview recordings of those performances. Since 1997, Scott has performed around the country with award-winning songwriting duo Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich in their many revues and tours with composer Stephen Schwartz, Liz Callaway and Debbie Gravitte in the revue "Stephen Schwartz & Friends." He has taught master classes from Los Angeles to Kalamazoo to Riga, Latvia. As a director his credits include many shows for The Town Hall in NY (Broadway by the Year, Broadway's Rising Stars, Broadway Originals, Broadway Unplugged), BBTY at The Berkshire Theatre Festival and, along with Michael Kerker and ASCAP, he's produced Michael Feinstein's "Standard Time" at Canegie Hall. He is co-founder/owner of Spot-On Entertainment and is a graduate of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

David Kreppel bio (Accompanist)

David Kreppel has worked as a music director, arranger, orchestrator, writer, coach and actor for nearly 20 years. Broadway and touring credits include The Lion King, A Chorus Line, Mamma Mia, Saturday Night Fever, and The Little Mermaid among others, as well as regional work at The Old Globe, The Signature Theatre, The Cincinnati Playhouse, Theatreworks (CA) and Chicago's Marriott Lincolnshire. Having spent countless hours on both sides of the audition table and both on and below the stage, he has unique insights into connecting story to song and how to showcase each actor's individual strengths in performance.

A Scott Coulter Profile - Making it Out There

By Carol de Giere

Midway through a "Stephen Schwartz and Friends" concert, Scott Coulter introduced his performance of "Out There" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame by sharing a personal experience. "The first time I heard the song I was living in New York City and went to the movie at 11:00 in the morning it opened there. The movie house was packed with 200 kids, their parents, and me. I'm from a small town outside of Nashville and when I was growing up I was kind of a misfit myself. I spent a lot of time up in my room sitting and listening to records and reading. I always knew that somewhere out there in the world there was a place for me. So that morning as this song came on, I felt like it could have been written for me."

Among the recordings the "misfit" heard in his room in Tennessee were the musicals of his favorite songwriter, Stephen Schwartz. Now at age thirty-three, he shares the stage with him.

By the time I interviewed Scott Coulter, I was also living in the New York City area. In early October 2002, Coulter boarded the number 1 subway by the southern tip of New York City near his apartment, while I boarded a number 1 at the northern end. We met in the middle near Lincoln Center and headed for a diner up the street.

The gentle mannered blond who had become a New Yorker nine years earlier has not retained a trace of a southern twang. Over soup, salad, and sandwiches, he spoke with steady enthusiasm about his career that included performances in Godspell and other musicals in college, summer stock, regional theatres, and a national tour of Forever Plaid. For his first equity appearance he sang in the chorus of Jesus Christ Super Star in Nashua, New Hampshire in summer stock and later joined the original cast of Floyd Collins in Philadelphia. Though he has yet to sing on the Great White Way, the award-winning cabaret performer isn't fussed about that.

At thirty-three, he is most awed by his opportunity to sing in concert as part of Stephen Schwartz and Friends. "The fact that I'm on a stage some night sitting a stool singing next to Debbie Gravitte or Liz Callaway or playing the piano for Stephen Schwartz, if I just stop and think about it, completely blows my mind and I start to laugh. They've all been in my home for years."

Before joining the concert performers, he was already a fan of Debbie Gravitte and Liz Callaway who alternate for the tours. Schwartz, Gravitte, and Callaway first entered Coulter's life through recordings. Coulter admits to being a fanatic collector of musical theatre recordings (and trivia). "Growing up I had the recording of every show ever. I used to just buy them like nobody's business. Everybody's shows." What ranks highest? "The Baker's Wife is my favorite score by anyone across the board. I think it's stunningly beautiful."

Now he sings Schwartz songs solo or in duet or trio arrangements in the hour and forty-minute show given around North America. LML Music recently released the "Scott Coulter" CD that includes several Schwartz songs and Stephen's accompaniment on piano.

Stephen Schwartz discovered the singer during a performance and was drawn to his talent for effortlessly hitting high notes. In 1998 or 1999 Coulter was performing at the Berkshire Theatre Festival with his songwriter friends Marcy Heizler and Zena Goldrich who he met when they all won Bistro awards several years earlier. Stephen Schwartz was there as part of a special benefit night for ASCAP. Coulter sang with Marci and Zena for the benefit performance. He describes the song he sang as a "do whappy 50's song that went crazy high." Afterwards Schwartz came up to him and said, "Your voice, it's amazing. What was that, like a "C"? You were just popping those notes out."

Coulter gushed a reply at this first encounter: "That means so much to me coming from you. The Baker's Wife is my favorite score of all time."

Unlike counter tenors or baritones who can sing an operatic falsetto, Coulter doesn't believe his high voice works as a falsetto. The notes come out as the sound "shoots up into my cavities." He says, "I don't have a falsetto for some reason. My voice is really like an alto voice that just sits in such a high place that I don't use a falsetto. I just have this quasi-mixed kind of thing that goes even higher than my chest voice. Liz Callaway said in a playful way, 'Ah, you're just a freak of nature.' I took it as a huge compliment coming from her."

His vocal range is something he developed in early years. He says, "When I was growing up I spent a lot of time in my room listening to records. My parents had Barbara Streisand records and Helen Reddy records. It was mainly female singers that I was drawn to. I used to sing with them and just mimic what they were doing. So I don't know if I just taught myself to do that or what."

Coulter's musical aptitudes showed up early. He began playing the piano at age five and spent most of his free time involved with music. "I'd come home from school, sit at the piano, and play the rest of the day. He played the trumpet in his high school band but singing was always high on his list of interests. "Every year I'd ask for a microphone for Christmas. So one year my parents got me this little makeshift microphone. There was an amplifier that you could carry around with a strap and it had a little microphone with a cord. I thought that was just the best thing ever."

Though he grew up in Nashville, a music city, his parents were not keen on a music career for their son because they were so aware of impoverished musicians with broken dreams. "There was a man down the street from us who was one of the head honchos at RCA records and he had all sorts of stories about how hard it is to make it. I was undaunted," Coulter recalls. He always had in the back of my mind that he was going to perform, though he started college at a near-by school officially heading towards a career in Broadcasting. After a few years he announced his decision to switch to a music education major.

"Finally my mom and dad said, 'Look, if you're going to be serious about this, you need to go to the best school possible.'" Together they drove to Cincinnati to the conservatory to look at their music education program. "I wasn't really taken with it. But while I was there I got a little glimpse at their musical theatre program and I thought, 'Oh, that looks promising.' That was a program where you have to audition. They accept maybe twenty five-people a year. So I auditioned on a whim and I got in. I thought, well this is a sign that I'm supposed to go here."

Coulter transferred to University of Cincinnati. His three years there were "the best three ever." In a college Godspell he played Lamar and sang 'All Good Gifts.' "I loved it, it was so much fun and the audience is so appreciative. I think Godspell affects everyone who ever does it." The show's messages and music resonated with his prior experience as well. "I sang in the youth choir in my church all through high school. When I graduated and went to college I became the co-director and accompanist of it. I have always loved Gospel music and church music, so his show really spoke to me on a lot of different levels." After graduation he performed in summer stock and regional theatres.

Coulter's vocal range is a little bit of a problem in the musical theatre world, but the role of Jinks in Forever Plaid is ideal. He was hired for the first non-Equity tour of the show. "That was my dream show. It was one-nighters for the most part. We road around in a sleeper bus so the four cast members, two understudies, the base player, the piano player, the props mistress, and the tech guy who were married, and the bus driver. We had two lounges with TVs and VCRs. We had the best time. We went all over the country. It was so much fun. We went to every state except for Hawaii and Alaska."

Next a surprise plot twist in the progress of his career helped him reset his goals. At the auditions for Forever Plaid, the casting director said, "Regardless of what happens today for this show, look at this and tell me if you can sing this" showing him "Those Magic Changes" from Grease. He replied, "Oh, I can sing this." He started thinking "I'm going to get two jobs out of this." In Seattle on tour for Forever Plaid they called him in for an audition for Grease to replace someone in the role of Duty. He flew to New York, went out on stage, and "...sang like nobody's business." The music director said, "Where are you going to be next week, how can we get in touch with you?"

Coulter left believing he had the part but never heard from them. "That was so upsetting to me. It was at that moment that I said, 'You know what? I'm sick of this. What was the reason I didn't get it? I could obviously sing it?' They had obviously been wanting me for months. I kept wondering what was the problem. I said to myself, 'This is not worth it. I'm sick and tired of waiting for someone to let me do what I want to do. I'm just going to do it on my own.' So I decided to do a cabaret."

The cabaret world seemed to welcome Scott Coulter and he began earning awards right from his first show. In 1996 or 1997 in New York he asked two or three of my friends from a college show if they would be interested in adapting it for a cabaret setting? They said, "Sure." In a revue format, Get Your Tickets Now a revue that celebrated great music from shows that had very brief runs, like Carrie, and Is There Life After High School. "We had two great medleys: one from Rags and the other from The Baker's Wife." The trio staged their show and when it came time for the critics of Backstage Magazine give their annual Bistro awards, Get Your Tickets Now won awards for group show and ensemble performance.

Coulter describes the award night as a turning point. "It's a huge awards show at the supper club and all the cabaret folks come. The winners get to perform. But the two girls from our show were both out of town so I got to do all the singing. All the critics were there and they all came up to me and said, 'You should do your own show!' So that when I did my first solo cabaret show a few months later at Don't Tell Mama, they all came. They already knew my name--they had seen me. It was just a shoe in.

Cabaret Scenes magazine ran an interview with the award-winning singer in March of 2000. They asked him what he wanted to do if he could do a show about anything. He said, "Actually I would do a show of all Stephen Schwartz music because I think he's great."

Over his tuna fish sandwich Coulter tells me quietly, "I love the man. I love his music. I know it all. I kind of put out in the universe that what I wanted to do more than anything was a show of Stephen Schwartz songs."

Coulter first created a solo show called Unexpected Songs that included "Chanson" (The Baker's Wife) as well as a medley of "Spark of Creation" (Children of Eden) with "Just Around the Riverbend" (Pocohontas). TimeOut NY magazine chose Unexpected Songs as one of the "Best of '99."

Then came the two nights when Stephen Schwartz heard him perform. One was for his Unexpected Songs performance. The composer-lyricist attended totally unannounced. Coulter recalls, "He came up to me afterwards and said the nicest thing to me, which I will never forget. He came through the receiving line after the show. I was so thrilled to see him again. I didn't know if he'd remember that he'd seen me at the Berkshire Festival. He said to me, 'I'll tell ya, often times people sing my songs and I sit there and I want to put a bag over my head. Not because they don't do them well but because I just sit there and I listen to it and I critique and say, 'Is that what I wrote, Is that what I did.' I second guess what I did. But sometimes people sing my music and I think, 'Oh my gosh, I wrote that.' It happens when Liz Callaway sings "Meadowlark" and it happened when you sang my songs tonight."

Coulter adds delightedly, "I couldn't believe that. What do you say if you're just up there trying to have a career in the arts and doing your thing and the composer comes and says such a wonderful thing to you? And to be thought of in the same sentence as Liz Callaway. I have all of her records. I have been singing with her [on recordings] all my life. So that was amazing."

"A few months later Michael Kerker (ASCAP cabaret and musical theatre executive) calls me and asks me to sing at an ASCAP workshop cabaret night. I said, 'Sure.' He said, Stephen is going to be there, I think it would be nice if you did one of his songs. So I did the 'Spark of Creation' medley. Before the show Stephen says, 'Oh hi, it's so nice to see you. I want to talk to you before you leave tonight, don't leave before you talk to me.' And I'm thinking 'Oh my God, what's he going to ask me.' So I sang the song in the show and the place went crazy. It's a great arrangement."

"After the show Stephen says to me, 'Listen, I'm going to be doing a performance of some of my songs. And we have something like seven gigs coming up in the fall, and I want to know if you'd like to do it. It would be me and you and probably Debbie Gravitte will be the girl.' My friend Zena was standing there and her jaw hit the floor. I was like, 'Yes, yes. Oh my God, that's fabulous.' He said 'Great, I'll call you in a few months.' And he called."

When they started rehearsals Coulter says Stephen was receptive to his ideas for medleys and flexible about the program. The singer wanted to know who would get to sing, "When You Believe" adding that he loved that song." Schwartz said, "Well, then you can sing it."

On tour he's flexible. "I don't find him to be that hard set. He's very open to opinions as far as the show goes. He'll run stuff by us. He'll say, 'What if I sing this song instead.' He did 'Chanson' at the spur of the moment the other night. He got out there afterwards to the audience and said, 'That wasn't the song I had intended to open with. But I decided I wanted to do it. So I want the tech guys to know the rest of the show will be what we rehearsed.' He was very funny and off the cuff."

Yet with recordings Schwartz is a perfectionist. He encouraged Coulter to make a CD and during recording sessions came in for long hours to play the piano accompaniment on his own songs to be included on the album. Coulter reports, "He was a prince. He was unbelievable. He was so giving of his time because it took a long time. The CD is just piano and voice. There's no room for error. If you've got drums and strings in there you can mask a lot of error. There wasn't any of that stuff going on so it had to be perfect. He did a couple of takes that I thought were perfect and he didn't feel they were good enough. He wanted to be the best he could be. If you listen to it, especially, 'Cry Without a Reason,' it's stunning. What he's playing is stunning. It's hypnotic and so steady."

Before we walk into the soft October night, Scott Coulter reiterates to me his gratitude for Stephen Schwartz whom he admires as a person, as a composer-lyricist, and now as a fellow performer. "I've thanked him several times. 'You've been so great to me and given me such a great gift.' He said, 'I didn't give you anything. I just wanted to work with you.' He's just so gracious. He's totally made so many of my dreams come true."