Dan Headshot Small.jpg

Dan Graeber

Pianist, Music Director, Arranger
I help craft live music that uses the powers of song and story to connect people.
  • Collaborator on over 60 musical theater productions and countless concerts, cabarets, voice recitals, and masterclasses. 
 
  • 15 years' experience in sacred music.
     
  • Adept sight-reader, improviser, and accompanist, specializing in jazz and pop/rock.
 
  • Known for professionalism, preparation and dependability.
Pianist Reel
 
 
Bio

Full time freelancer in the Denver-area music scene for over 15 years. At Denver Center For The Performing Arts: THE COLOR PURPLE (Assoc. MD, Key 2 - upcoming), RATTLESNAKE KATE (Assoc. MD, Copyist), OKLAHOMA! (Key 2, Synth Programmer), TOMMY (Assoc. Conductor, Key 2), THE SECRET GARDEN (Assoc. Conductor, Key 2, Synth Programmer). At Arvada Center For The Performing Arts: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Key 2 - currently), ELF! THE MUSICAL (Key 2). Active throughout the region’s vibrant theater scene (inc. BDT Stage, Midtown Arts Center, Lake Dillon Theatre Co., Centerstage Theatre Co.). New musicals in development: IN THE TRENCHES: A PARENTING MUSICAL and IN THE HOLIDAY TRENCHES (creative consultant, arranger, MD); THE MAN IN THE PUSH UP BRA (creative consultant, arranger); 13 TALES OF LOVE AND REVENGE (staged reading, Pianist/MD).  

 

In New York: IN THE TRENCHES: A PARENTING MUSICAL (54-Below, Pianist/MD); FEATHERS ON THE WIND (NYU staged reading, Pianist/MD); Audition Pianist (Kate Boka, Carrie Gardner). Accompanist for masterclasses with Craig Carnelia, Kevin Stites, Ted Sperling, Maury Yeston, Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman. For over 15 years, have served as music director & pianist/organist for Christ the Servant Lutheran Church in Louisville. Published collection of contemporary Christmas hymn arrangements is used by churches across the country. Experienced studio musician and producer: The Larry Stephens Project (featured jazz soloist); City Dreams: The Album (original music & production); Johnny Phillips: That Other Christmas Album (pianist, arranger).

 
Skills

PIANO/KEYBOARDS

SIGHT READING

IMPROVISATION

POP/ROCK

JAZZ

CLASSICAL

PIANO CONDUCTING

PIPE ORGAN

GUITAR

ARRANGING/TRANSCRIPTION

RECORDING/EDITING/MIXING

MIDI/ELECTRONIC MUSIC PRODUCTION

KEYBOARD PROGRAMMING

SIBELIUS

LOGIC PRO

MAINSTAGE

 
Music Director/Arranger 
Project: IN THE TRENCHES: A PARENTING MUSICAL

Modeled after I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE, IN THE TRENCHES is a musical comedy connecting people in the shared experiences of being a parent -- all that's hilarious, messy and heartfelt about the parenting journey. 

Since the project's inception, I've consulted on the show's creative development and provided arrangements/orchestrations and music supervision. Since 2018 the show has undergone:

  • Many staged readings

  • Two fully staged workshop productions

  • Three concert settings

  • A concert performance at 54-below in NYC (July, 2022)

The show will play a two-week run at Littleton Town Hall in January.

Here's a reel with a few short clips from the most recent workshop production:

And the song “Give Me The World” from the recent concert performance at 54-Below:

Other Arranging Projects
THE MAN IN THE PUSH UP BRA
Dance Arrangements Demo
Christmas Hymn Arrangements for Contemporary Worship Reel
SHENANDOAH
Solo Piano Arrangement
A Quick Journal Entry

A few things I've learned on my journey through music direction...

  • Prepare!…The MD must know the score inside and out. 

 

  • Plan!… Arrive with a plan for how to tackle the challenges of the material. (As the old aphorism goes, “you can’t change the plan if you don’t have one.”)

 

  • There are two types of music-making: Accidental music-making and intentional music-making. The MD's job is to guide an ensemble toward intentional music-making. (What tempo?, style?, articulation?, dynamic?, phrasing?, diction?, cutoff…?  The MD ensures these are not decided by accident.)

 

  • …And tempo/time-feel is greatest of them all. Or at least pretty high up the list. And also the hardest — your perception of tempo in the moment is untrustworthy. The metronome is mighty in the pursuit of intentional tempo-making.

 

  • …And the operative word is “guide”. A director’s task is to activate and unlock the creativity of others. Rehearsal is a process of discovery. The director guides that process toward intentionality.

 

  • Like so many creative endeavors, music direction is an iterative process. Record, listen, evaluate, reshape, repeat…  

 

  • God is in the details.

 

  • Musical theater is a service industry — the orchestra serves the actor, the actor serves the audience. The actor’s essential and formidable task is to express their own truth to the audience. Every musical decision must support this endeavor.  

 

  • Be willing to be wrong.  (It’s hard, the ego is strong-willed.)  

 

  • The best idea must win — even when it doesn’t come from you.

 

  • Theater is collaborative. The value of collaboration comes first — the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

  • Quoting Alex Lacamoire: "I'm constantly trying to learn because I believe the moment you stop learning, you're dead; you're done." Never stop learning.