Dan Graeber

Pianist, Music Director, Arranger

Specializing in pop/rock & jazz styles
Extensive experience in musical theater.  Keyboardist and/or music director for over 60 musicals
Adept sight-reader, experienced audition pianist and accompanist for workshops and masterclasses
Skilled arranger, music engraver and keyboard programmer
Known for professionalism, preparation and dependability
Pianist Reel

Full time freelancer in the Denver-area music scene for over 10 years.  At Denver Center For The Performing Arts: THE SECRET GARDEN (Assoc. Conductor, Key 2, Synth Programmer), TOMMY (Assoc. Conductor, Key 2), OKLAHOMA! (Key 2, Synth Programmer).  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 (creative consultant, arranger, music director); THE MAN IN THE PUSH UP BRA (creative consultant, arranger); 13 TALES OF LOVE AND REVENGE (Denver Center staged reading, Pianist/MD).  


In New York: FEATHERS ON THE WIND (NYU staged reading, Pianist/MD); Audition Pianist (Kate Boka, Carrie Gardner).  Accompanist for masterclasses with Craig Carnelia, Kevin Stites, Ted Sterling, Maury Yeston, Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman.  For over 10 years, has 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).

Music Director/Arranger 

IN THE TRENCHES is a new musical in development from husband/wife composing team Graham & Kristina Fuller.  Modeled after I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE, the show is a comedy about the hilarious, touching and messy moments involved in parenting young children.


I joined the project in March of 2018 to provide arrangements and music supervision.  The show has since undergone several staged readings and has been performed in three concert settings and two fully staged workshop productions.  The latest workshop production took place October 2019 at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center under the direction of Robert Michael Sanders.


Along the way, I’ve contributed to the creative development of the show, and helped develop the show’s music from initial ideas and rough piano/vocal demos to a fully arranged and orchestrated score for 5-piece band and cast of 6.  I’ve also served as music director and keyboard/conductor for each iteration.

Here are some clips from the most recent workshop production:

Other Arranging Projects
Dance Arrangements Demo
Christmas Hymn Arrangements for Contemporary Worship Reel
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.